March 5, 2011

Uncle Sam's Carnival of Copulating Inanimals by Kirk Jones Review

By Kirk Jones
Eraserhead Press
ISBN: 978-1936383252
Review posted 03/5/2011

Gary worked a an American Dollar store, a hardware supply store. It was his first occurrence with loosing an arm. Then he went to work at a textile factory where he lost his right leg. Soon afterwords he lost all of himself at another factory, dropping something called Rigenangent #32 that he ends up combining with, now Gary is nothing more than a blob of human flesh.

Then comes in Uncle Sam who says he has a job for Gary at his carnival. He can train what are called inanimals. Inanimals being furniture of all sorts that enjoy having sex with each other. But things turn for the worse as Uncle Sam has another agenda up his sleeve, which includes his shadows.

Bizarre, yet compelling as Jones takes the reader on a journey through finding what one's self means and what deep down inside you are really made of. Even the most innate object may have the feelings you often as a human take for granted. A must read for those who like the strange, yet thought provoking stories.

March 4, 2011

On the Verge of Madness by George Wilhite Review

By George Wilhite
Lulu Press
ISBN: 978-1435719651
Review by: Rob Walter
Review posted 03/04/2011

On the VERGE of Madness is the first collection of horror stories from George Wilhite published through and by Lulu Press dealing with the theme echoed in the title of characters teetering on the line between sanity and madness. Although he has been compared to Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft, and one can see those influences in his writing, there is also a unique voice to his work.

The stories range from the first extended short story of Victor Chaldean and the Portal to the two page short Cast of Characters. While two pages might not seem enough to tell a tale, the two pages of Cast of Characters is more than adequate to provide enough development and detail to understand and feel the gruesome details and identify with the main character and their actions. This is not the case of slash and hack horror, but more a psychological horror. Severed heads, hmm, now that is quite the idea for story development!

Overall I liked this collection of short stories and would recommend it to anyone interested in a slightly different “not just your standard horror story” collection.

March 3, 2011

Population Zero by Wrath James White Review

By Scott Kenemore
Deadite Press
ISBN: 978-1936383375
Review posted 03/03/2011

Population Zero has Todd Hammerstein, a man who has gone through several things when he was young: the suicide of his father after he killed the man who had an affair with Todd's mother, his own mother who tried to give herself an abortion and died soon afterwords and his own ordeal with being alone, no friends and finding out what the population of humans compared to animals were. As he gets older he picks up the website 'Population Zero', a extreme activist group that believes in the stopping humans from populating more.

Later in life, Todd works at a welfare assistance department. He gets flustered when he watches people come in time and time again asking for assistance, having babies just to get that assistance, so he starts telling these people to have abortions, get themselves 'fixed' so to speak so no more babies will be born and then he will approve their checks and food stamps.

Then, people stop listening to him. One day a man comes into his cubicle to ask what everyone asks of Todd, assistance. Todd once again suggests the same thing, get 'fixed.' The man just laughs in Todd's face. Then Todd suggests he goes to this one address for job training. What the man doesn't know is that is Todd's address and he is about to help the guy get fixed. After Todd has finished cutting cords, he realizes too much blood has come out and he kills the man. This action though he felt was helping take care of the overpopulated Earth, makes Todd question what he has done.The murdering of the man is only the beginning for Todd as he takes on his quest to save the Earth from overpopulation.

I have read many books in my time, some really extreme in gore, horror ect. However, Population Zero threw me down and shook my inner core.
The story of Todd and his quest to make things right in his mind, though disturbing, made me think. What would someone do if they believed so strongly in something? Would they go to those extremes as Todd did?

My mouth remained on the floor the whole time reading this. Yet, as I read, it kept me wanting to see what happened to the character. He was sick in what society considers mentally ill, but wanting to help the Earth was a redeeming quality, and yet his way of pursuing these moral beliefs caught me extremely off guard.

There is nothing for the faint of heart with this book. I would recommend this book to those that want to feel fear, but not because some vampire or werewolf is what they are reading about, but someone who you never know could be your next door neighboor.

March 2, 2011

Urban Gothic by Brian Keene Review

By Brian Keene
Deadite Press
Review posted 03/02/2011

A group of teenagers from the suburbs make their way into Philadelphia to attend a Hip Hop concert. After the concert is over, they get lost and end up in an area not too friendly. They come across what seems to be what they think a gang, who scare them a bit and they run into an abandoned house, but not just any house, a house that has been rumored to be haunted with evil things.

But rumors are sometimes based on fact and what the teenagers learn is something is lurking in that house, something bad that starts killing members of their small group one by one. Is it human, or is it something else and will they all survive through the night?

Keene takes us on a journey through one's most inner fears. Each terrorizing moment of the characters is felt as if we are playing a game where the vibration settings are on. The intensity of this story gives the sense of not wanting to go into areas of a city that is dark and that you have not been around before.

Before you go driving around and then stop, be sure to look around. You never know what could be lurking in the shadows and that's what Urban Gothic is warning us about and letting us get scared just thinking about it.

March 1, 2011

The Church by John McCuaig Review

By John McCuaig
Library of the Living Dead Press
ISBN: 978-14538008214
Review posted 03/1/2011

Sam Miller had a nice life. A wonderful wife, two Jack and Katie who wish to immigrant to Australia and Sam watches them go. Then the worst happens. A flu strain unlike no other takes hold of everyone. It not only kills people, but ends up bringing them back. It takes Sam's wife Pamela. He watches her die. Soon later he hears noises and she is back eating their dog. Sam now wonders what he will do and if his own children are okay.

Soon the outbreak is worse and Sam needs to flee. He comes across a church and hears what he hopes are survivors, others like him. There is a Reverend and several others inside. But Sam soon discovers something is not right about this Reverend and the way things are handled in the church. Sam begins to wonder if the situation inside the church is just as bad or worse than the one outside with the undead.

McCuaig adds a special way of dealing with survival at the end of the world. He shows people in the most human condition ever told in a story. Faith, hope and what people long for in a crisis is shown here with eloquence.

The Church is an eye opener for people to look at certain others in a position of authority where faith takes priority, where fear of dying will make you do almost anything, listen to anyone, follow anyone.

The Church is a page-turner. It is not only entertaining, but mind-blowing. It is one that I know I will read over and over again.

February 28, 2011

Unbound and Other Tales by David Dunwoody Review

By David Dunwoody
Library of Horror Press
ISBN: 978-1451511581
Review by: Gina Desory
Review posted 02/28/2011

Unbound and Other Tales by David Dunwoody is a scary, yet thrilling ride of bizarre and chilling stories. The first story, Unbound, tells of Josh Talbot who works at a publishing company. His boss wants him to continue the research and possible continued writing of a certain series name Sharpe. What Talbot doesn't know is the background of the series and what horror comes from dealing with this book and the main character.

The other 8 stories in this collection range from clowns standing together forming a line and nobody able to move them in the story Clowns. More of frightening words in the story Ministry where grave riders ride graves and switch their souls with the dead buried below. In Voice, we learn just what it means to deal with what we think are our exs, but Steven deals with more than his ex-wife's voice.

What leaves the reader hanging is not having more of these glorious stories to feed on. My appetite is now wet with words from Dunwoody and a wanting for more more more!

As any fan of Horror will tell you, Dunwoody is a star and every story in this collection is is just pure amazing and a must read for a fan of his work and fans of the Horror genre.

February 27, 2011

Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies by Bryan Smith Review

By Bryan Smith
Deadite Press
ISBN: 978-1936383276
Review by: Jim Cherry
Review posted 02/27/2011

Bryan Smith’s “Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies” is your average teenage boy meets girl who is sent away by her parents to be deprogrammed and “cured” of listening to heavy metal music, runs into homicidal lesbian facility headmistress, and then has to fend off zombies story.

“Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies” is meant to be an homage/parody of “B” or less movies of the 60’s and 70’s. It starts off on a right note, a fast paced Rock ‘n’ Roll tone, hitting the ground running with a sense of the irreverent. But it quickly downshifts a gear or two to a more traditionally written novel, and some of the irreverent attitude is set aside, not totally lost. Every once in a while it will show up in a nicely turned phrase or in the attitude of a character, but the break neck speed is lost, and some of the attitude that pulled you in at the beginning is gone.

In the heavy metal rehabilitation center Smith tries to make the connection that leading a life of conformity and being a Zombie are much alike. Like George Romero did in “Dawn of the Dead,” making zombies a metaphor for conspicuous consumption. But once that makes it’s appearance it is quickly left behind and not reinforced in the characters or action. It feels like Smith had a lot of ideas and tried to have them all included and it seemed he tried to go in too many directions at once. I have to say something about the end, it doesn’t make sense. The heroes do something really stupid, they know they’re doing it and it will precipitate another wave of zombies but they still do it anyway.

Of course if you just want to read about teenage, scantily clad zombies lumbering around chomping on their former friends, the bad guys all get their comeuppance first being masticated by zombies and then the ultimate justice of them getting their heads blown off after they become zombies then “Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies” is for you.

Jim Cherry is the author of The Last Stage