Review of Wolves of War, a Werewolf anthology
Wolves of War is an anthology of werewolf tales with war being the setting. Most of these stories hold to that, though there are a few stray pups that don’t really stick with that as the theme, though each of them have werewolves front and center as the key element to each story.
A brief overview of the different stories found on the pages within this book:
World Were II by A.P. Fuchs: Sergeant Dick Channer is at war. Not only with the enemy, but with himself as he hides out in a bunker with the half-eaten corpse of his father, a General, at his side.
The Devil’s Teardrop by David Dunwoody: A little twist on the traditional werewolf tale where the horror isn’t always manifested in a physical form.
And The Streets Will Run Red with the Blood of Bunnies by Derek J. Goodman: From the world of the author’s novel, “The Apocalypse Shift”, Mr. Goodman gives us a darkly comedic tale of werewolves and were…bunnies. Yep, bunnies.
Adrift: A Werewolf Tale by Anthony Giangregorio: A traditional werewolf tale of a bloodbath, but with the slant of it being at sea, on a ship where there is nowhere to run from the slaughter.
Once We Were…by Grayson Moran: You don’t always know who, or what, the true menace is, even if the creatures at the gate are the ones with the fangs and claws ready to tear your heart out.
The Battle After the Apocalypse by Casey Quinn: As the author states at the beginning of this tale, the enemy of my enemy is my friend…but for how long, in this story of the world after the bombs fall.
Fleeing by Rhiannon Frater: Man is not the only creature that flees the horrors of war and sometimes, it is better not to stick your nose into other people’s business.
Homecoming by Franklin E. Wales: I always thought it would be cool to explore my Italian heritage, but not if I knew what was going on in those Italian hills during WW2.
Under a Civil Moon by John Grover: The question often comes up in transformation tales…can the man ever control the beast, especially when he knows what it does is wrong? This Civil War tale explores that question.
Let Loose the Wolves of War by Timothy W. Long: What if you could become the perfect warrior? One that could travel the space lanes and release your inner-beast to lead your squad to victory time after time?
FUBAR by Alan Mendoza: American G.I.’s come across a German Bunker during WW2 with more than just dead German soldiers in it as they discover a bloodbath and some strange experiments going on.
Simon Midean by T. Patrick Rooney: A fast paced whirlwind of blood and guts tale of a werewolf that seems unstoppable, and yet, it is often times the things you least expect that bring things to a crashing halt.
Overlord by Dylan J. Morgan: Another WW2 tale, but told from the eyes of the werewolves, who care little for the follies of man but use their wars to hide their eternal battle with their arch-nemesis.
The World has Talent…To Kill by John McCuaig: On the game show circuit, the werewolves are the kings of the world when it comes to taking on all supernatural comers and laying waste to them.
Blood and Belief by Thom Brannan and Victorya: The world is at war with the werewolves, and they are killed on sight. But what if one of the soldiers in the cause had a dark secret, and knew of even darker, more dangerous secrets that would impact both human and wolf-kind alike?
Der Wulf by Tim Curran: The siege of Stalingrad turns into an even darker nightmare for a squad of German soldiers as they stumble onto a den of werewolves and face the wrath of the pack-leader.
Genetic Coding by Lee Pletzers: Having the natural instincts of a wolf, as well as its strength and endurance, make for a very tough terrorist in this romp through a jungle filled with strange mutations.
As is the case with every anthology, not all stories hit the mark for me, though overall, this was an entertaining tome of short tales of werewolves doing what werewolves do best: terrifying while tearing the hearts out of their prey. Though there were several really entertaining stories in this book, the one that I would have to say was my favorite was “Der Wulf.” The author takes a scene out of nightmare with the siege of Stalingrad, something horrifying enough on its own, and ups the ante with the addition of creatures out of myth that turn jaded soldiers who have pretty much accepted that they are doomed and fills their hearts with the realization that there are fates far worse than death.
If you are fond of werewolves, this one is well worth checking out.
You can find Wolves of War here: http://www.amazon.com/Wolves-War-Werewolves-Eric-Brown/dp/1449573665/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310327912&sr=8-1
Review of Jonathan Moon’s “Heinous”
Before I started on Heinous, I assumed it was going to be something like Mr. Moon’s Nightmares, which was a series of short stories and novellas with some intertwined themes to it. Instead, this was a single tale-a tale about Gavin, a somewhat normal teenager that occasionally has dark visions of torture and other disturbing things run through his mind. Still, he seems relatively innocent, and carefree, living his life in a college town hanging out with his best friend and not worrying about much of anything. The story starts out with a hellish dream with visions of people wrapped in barbed wire as they laugh uncontrollably, their agony beyond all reason as they are tortured and odd creations trickle through the visions Gavin is having. We step back into the past after the dream, to the days of Gavin’s youth, before he meets up with, and is subjected to, the creature he later dubs Heinous, though it has had many names since its birth at the dawn of time. Heinous is chaos incarnate, a symbiote with a desire to cause pain and death while it tortures those who it chooses to do its bidding endlessly.
This is a story that pulls no punches and doesn’t apologize for the grim realities it unveils. Gavin resists the creature at first, watching as it uses him to do unspeakable things to those he loves, but then, in time, he embraces the dark cravings of the beast and releases what seems to have been buried inside him from the outset-a lust for the same evil that Heinous spawns. I have said it before in a prior review of Mr. Moon’s work-the man knows how to spin a tale. He is a story teller of the macabre and this story tears and claws at you, much as Heinous tears and claws at Gavin, shattering him both inside his head and throughout his body. I will warn you that Moon doesn’t soften the blow at any point, and kept me wondering what grand new vicious treat was waiting around the corner with every page I turned. It is interesting, because as I read this book, it almost felt as if Heinous was the incarnation of Gavin’s darker self, something he created in his own mind as a justification for his evil actions. At the same time, Heinous seems to have gravitated to the one person with the capacity to embrace his level of wretched depravity. Gavin is that person, and goes along for the ride, able to handle the visions that torture him as he does perpetrates as much evil as Heinous can offer up to the world.
As is the case with most good stories, a lot of what the interpretation of what is truth is left up to the reader to decide for themselves. All I know is the truth that came from this book was filled with a grim darkness that will stick with me for some time to come.
Heinous can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Heinous-Jonathan-Moon/dp/1461096227/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1305258398&sr=1-1
Coming soon…I hope…well, whenever it does, I think you will crack up at it!
I wanted to post the cover of an anthology that I am proud to have a story in. The challenge with the premise of this antho was to use two different monster archetypes and mash them up and make it into a comedy story about them. It is entitled Groanology: Amusing Monster Mash-Ups Unleashed!
My short story, “Hell in the Family” will appear on its pages. Shocking tidbit about it: there are NO zombies in this one! So you see, I can actually write a horror tale without the undead in it. But of course, there have been others I’ve written. But of course, by now, you all know I love writing about the undead buggers, heh.
Anyway, here is the cover, and I think it will give you a great idea of how amusing this book will end up being. More details to come as the book gets closer to release.
Review of “From Beyond The Mist” by Elizabeth LaFond
I am not a huge poetry aficionado, but on occasion I will check out poetry from a few different sources out there that are related to my interests. From Beyond the Mist is from the Library of Horror, but most of the poems written here are not of traditional horror, at least not of the supernatural, though there are a few poems of that bent. Much of what the author provides us with is tastes of reality, seen through the eyes of someone who has experienced despair in their existence. A poem of something as simple as a leaf growing green and vibrant, only to die in time with no one left interested in the beauty that was once there and others that speak of the death of a loved one, the grief of leaving someone behind, and much more. Tales of abuse, anger, dreams, nightmares…there is much here that dips into the darkness of the soul. As I said, some of this is of a supernatural, or horror bent, with a substantial sprinkling of tales of angels, both those from above and those that have fallen, but I think all of us who have dealt with tragedy and hardships will find at least a few different poems here that will touch you personally.
In some spots, I tried to discern the deeper meanings of certain poems, while with others the meaning seemed more clear to me. I believe there is layers to every one of these tales and each reader has to determine for themselves what meaning they can take from them. While there is sadness and grim, harsh realities spoken of here, there is also light, and a hope that sparkles through on many pages. If you are looking for something that speaks of the darker side of reality, and also of the dreams that we try to hide from, check out this book of poems.
You can find From Beyond The Mist here: http://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Beyond-Mist-Elizabeth-LaFond/dp/1460937465/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301972541&sr=8-1
Review of David Dunwoody’s “Unbound and Other Tales”
David Dunwoody has written some fine zombie fiction, and I was curious about this combination novella and short story compendium he’d written, since it steers clear of the rotting folk completely. There isn’t one story about zombies in this book, although the dead do pop up in a couple of different instances. Unbound, which carries the bulk of the pages in this offering, is a story about Emil Sharpe, a man with albino white features dressed entirely in black. He is supposed to be a character in a series of books, but for reasons unknown, he has come to life, and is terrorizing the people who live and drive up and down I-15 out west as he takes his 18 wheeler, the Yankee Rose, and carries cargo for some darkly mysterious people. Several folks are after him, including the author of the novels he appears in, because Sharpe has made their lives nightmares as he has demands that his story, his real story, be told through the author’s pages. The story starts out with a bang, and the intensity doesn’t let up throughout. Emil Sharpe acts like a demon and yet at the same time, there is something distinctly human and vulnerable about him, though he most assuredly is neither. It isn’t until the very end of this tale that we discover the truth, and there will be hell to pay when we do.
The rest of this book is made up of eight short stories, more than one of which ties into Unbound in one form or fashion. They provide the reader with a nice creep factor, with odd characters, dark magic, and other elements of a good, jarring nightmare. I particularly enjoyed “Clowns”, knowing that anyone who has ever been afraid of these painted devils will probably feel at least a tad bit uncomfortable while reading that tale.
It is Unbound that holds sway here, overshadowing the rest of the stories, though I found them enjoyable and certainly devious. It is just that Unbound could be expanded or contracted into a full length novel or be turned short story and would likely leave its taste in your mouth long after you’re done with it. It has the flavor of Peckinpah with just a dash of Lovecraft and larger helpings of Stephen King. There were perhaps echoes of The Dark Half, by Stephen King, in my head as I read this tale, but Dunwoody takes the concept of a character come to life off the pages of a book and molds and shapes it like clay (in more ways than one) to make it his own. Emil Sharpe is just one of those characters that starts out fascinatingly scary and grows on you from there.
Unbound and Other Tales can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/UNBOUND-Other-Tales-David-Dunwoody/dp/1451511582/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297787359&sr=1-1
Review of Patrick Rutigliano’s “Black Corners Of A Blood-Red Room”
Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room is a series of brief vignettes, or nightmares, if you will. Each is like a taste of a bitter drink that first warms, then burns, as it travels down your throat, and then is gone, though you can still feel it there, itching in your gut, well after you have finished it. None of these slightly less than fifty tales is more than ten pages long, and most are quite a bit less than that. That the author is able to do much like the creature that adorns the cover and grab you by the throat with the stories that appear here speaks highly of his writing talent. Short fiction can be tricky, and admittedly, not every single story here resonated with me, but again, with a selection as wide as Mr. Rutigliano has offered up here, his hit rate is quite impressive.
The stories on these pages are broken up into five different themes, though the author’s flights of fancy don’t really provide enough restraint that all of these stories can be easily categorized, though they are all horror, and there is a tremendous amount of diversity at work here. Not often do you see a writer willing to plunge into such diverse territory. We travel through history, alternate universes, and surreal environments. This is definitely a dreamscape, and a wide ranging one at that.
I would like to see some longer tales from this author, but my guess is that he often gets the itch to create something short and abrupt, and finds it hard to spend time on larger works. Again, he has done a great job at creating short, strong splashes of imagery that pulls you in and then drop kicks you rather rapidly when the tale is done. So if you have a penchant for short horror fiction that tends to run into the fantastical, you should check out this book. It is well worth the price of admission.
Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Corners-Blood-Red-Patrick-Rutigliano/dp/1453756531/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294715754&sr=1-1
Mr. MoOn’s Nightmares Day, ALL DAY!
Ladies and Gents,
Tomorrow, my good friend, Mr. Jonathan MoOn, is running a promotion on his book, Mr. MoOn’s Nightmares. I reviewed his book here, https://patrickdorazio.com/2010/07/31/review-of-jonathan-moons-mr-moons-nightmares/.
Check out the Facebook page for Mr. MoOn’s Nightmares Day, All Day: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=170572399623444 and make sure you are attending this event!
And check out his blog to see what goodies he is giving away! http://bit.ly/dUQ9QW
Most importantly, make sure you swing by Amazon and pick up a copy of his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Moons-Nightmares-Jonathan-Moon/dp/1451577249/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287516260&sr=1-1 and then write a review on it after you read it. I am sure he will be happy you did, and my guess is that you’ll be happy you checked out this terrific book as well!
Houdini Gut Punch is now on Amazon!
For those folks who prefer to get their books from Amazon instead of Createspace, I am happy to announce that Houdini Gut Punch is available on Amazon!
So check it out. My story, “Consumer’s Paradise” appears amongst it pages. If you dig bizarro, don’t miss this tome of disturbing stories and odd tales.
Hit the picture to go straight to Amazon so you can pick up a copy today.
Commercial for Library of the Living Dead!
Check out the commercial for Library of the Living Dead Press that was shot at Horror Realm last month. A lot of folks were involved with this and I had the privilege of being one of the zombies in the commercial. It was a blast! I’m the guy with the bloody face, by the way. Wait…everyone had a bloody face, heh. I’m the guy with the red shirt, if that helps. Well, it doesn’t matter if you can’t find me in the crowd, because we’re zombies-we’re sorta supposed to be hard to tell apart.
Enjoy watching the video. I know I enjoyed being a part of the making of it.
My interview on Blog Talk Radio
My interview with Sonar 4 tonight, for those who didn’t get the chance to check it out live.
Lori Titus and Tonia Brown did a great job and it was a lot of fun talking about Comes The Dark, some of my short stories, and the absolutely horrendous book I wrote back in high school that remains locked away forever.
Check it out!
Looking back at Horror Realm 2010
This past weekend, I got to go to my very first horror convention, Horror Realm, which is held in Pittsburgh. This is a zombie-centric horror conference and gave me and the rest of the authors from The Library of the Living Dead and Permuted Press the chance to meet with horror fans of all stripes, discuss zombies, and have a blast.
Things got going on Thursday night, when those of us who had the chance to come in a bit early were able to head to Rich Dalzotto’s house and mix and mingle with one another. Rich is one of the folks who runs Horror Realm. The party gave me the opportunity to meet and interact with quite a few of the folks I haven’t met face to face before but have corresponded with and spoke to on Skype. Too many to mention here, and I fear that if I start naming names, I will end up skipping someone. So suffice it to say, the party was a lot of fun and a great experience.
Putting up my books and being at the actual show was quite an experience. I have gone to conferences for work before, but never something like this. There were a ton of vendors and quite a few horror celebrities, with reunions for Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead happening at the convention. Even with these celebrities walking around, I gained the most enjoyment in having the chance to get to know a lot of other authors over the three days of the show. Doc, my publisher, was terrific, and so was Jacob Kier, who is the publisher over at Permuted Press. They both took great care of everyone and despite the fact that sales weren’t huge, the show was a rousing success.
One of the highlights for me was getting made up as a zombie to film a commercial for The Library of the Living Dead. All us zombies got to tear into Doc, though it wasn’t blood and guts that came out, but something else entirely. I won’t ruin the surprise, but lets just say we all had a blast filming the commercial.
I wanted post a few pictures I took at Horror Realm here as well, just to provide a flavor of the event and the people I had the pleasure of meeting up with. I am already anxious to go to next year’s event, because if it is half as much fun as this Horror Realm was, it will be well worth the trip!
A Plug for Horror Realm
I will be attending the Horror Realm Convention in a couple of weeks. Horror Realm is one of the premier convention for horror fans, and in particular zombie fans, and is held every year in Pittsburgh, PA, the birthplace of the modern zombie, when George A. Romero filmed Night of the Living Dead there over forty years ago. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend this event in the past, but I am very excited to not only having the chance to be going as a visitor, but also as a member of the Library of the Living Dead’s group of authors who will have tables at the convention. I will be selling and signing my book, Comes The Dark, and sharing space with a large group of other fantastic authors. In addition, I will have the opportunity to read from my novel on Sunday afternoon in one of the Author Panels and will be sharing the stage with Jake Bible, Robert Cordray, and Steve North. It will be a blast hanging out with these great group of writers. I just hope I have the opportunity to check out some of the other panels that are running all weekend long, which include both film and book panels, but I will promoting my book as much as I can, so I may be glued to my table most of the time. Not that I’m complaining-I can hardly wait to have the chance to meet and greet other horror fans like myself and talk up my book.
The Convention runs from September 17th-19th at the Crowne Plaza, Pittsburgh South. Check out the website: http://www.horrorrealmcon.com/ for all the information you’ll need to get tickets, find out who is going to be in attendance, and the schedule of events. That weekend will be jammed packed with a huge array of events that every horror fan will love. I am really looking forward to the costume party on Saturday night. Given that I will be getting all gussied up for a video spot being done a couple of hours before that for the Library of the Living Dead, I will fit in perfectly!
So if you live in the region and have the opportunity, head on over to Horror Realm the weekend of September 17th-19th and check it out. And if you can’t make it, check back here after that weekend to see what pictures I post and the stories I will have to tell about having the chance to meet all these fantastic people involved in writing horror novels and staring in horror films. I’m just hoping I don’t act like a total goofball when I get the chance to meet these people…but there is little doubt that I will.
Getting Comes The Dark for your E-Reader…as well as many other titles from The Library of the Living Dead.
Did you know that you can order various books from Library of the Living Dead Press in pdf format that you can read on your computer or upload to your e-reader, like the Kindle, Nook, and others?
Just another way to access Comes The Dark along with a ton of other great books with ease.
Check out this link for details on how to do it:
Comes The Dark and virtually every other book that can be found at www.thelibraryofthelivingdead.com can be ordered this way.
Another anthology that I will be in!
I had never taken a swipe at Bizarro fiction previously, but decided to take up the challenge when a submission call was put out earlier this year for Bizarro Horror Short stories. I came up with a little piece of oddness called “Consumer’s Paradise”, which appears second in the Table of Contents of this book. It has not been released yet, but as you can see, the cover has been designed already. Hopefully, it will be out soon, because I can’t wait to check out the rest of these strange stories.
For those not in the know, Bizarro is defined as:
1. Bizarro, simply put, is the genre of the weird.
2. Bizarro is literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store.
3. Like cult movies, Bizarro is sometimes surreal, sometimes goofy, sometimes bloody, and sometimes borderline pornographic.
4. Bizarro often contains a certain cartoon logic that, when applied to the real world, creates an unstable universe where the bizarre becomes the norm and absurdities are made flesh.
5. Bizarro strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.
6. Bizarro was created by a group of small press publishers in response to the increasing demand for (good) weird fiction and the increasing number of authors who specialize in it.
7. Bizarro is Franz Kafka meets Joe Bob Briggs, Dr. Suess of the postapocalypse, Japanese animation directed by David Lynch.
Very excited about this and will definitely be posting something once it has been released.
Review of Tim Long and Jonathan Moon’s “The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole”
Dip yourself in whatever numbing agent is your preference, strap yourself in tightly, put on some welding goggles, and then perhaps you might be able to absorb this little slice of delightful insanity, brought to you by two authors who apparently have a strong fetish with glory holes, demons with, shall we say, impressive dangly bits, some very odd and phallically shaped bugs, feces, LSD, the “F” word, and anything else you can think of that might disrupt the sensitive minds of virtually everyone on the planet.
The apocalypse is here, and everything is screwed up. God the father has decided to take a hike to another universe and start all over, while the angels and demons are waiting to get the party started. Jesus is tired of being taken advantage of, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are mostly all around incompetents, the Antichrist is a no show, and Satan…well, Satan is rising out the desert, ass first. And none of them hold a candle to the main characters in this truly freaked out story.
We have an assortment of people who are all trying to sort things out during the apocalypse, whether they are trying to prevent it or get the party started, including a General who strives to find new and fun ways to curse like a madman, a Sheriff and one of his deputies who just came from the orgy to end all orgies and are dressed appropriately in a g-string and ball gag, a man who can best be described a narcissistic, delusional, drug addled blogger who has a one armed, heroin addicted ape for a pet named Phil, an employee of a sex shop whose beverages have been spiked with so much LSD that he can only speak in what can be described as porno-linguistics, and a militant lesbian who seems to be the most sane person amongst them. Oh, and we can’t forget Goatboy…the half man, half goat who speaks with a British accent and can’t stop telling dirty jokes.
This book is a riot of psychotropic incidents and disturbing imagery…and yes, plenty of glory holes. For me, the most visually intriguing scene had to be the battle between the angels of heaven and the half man/half demon that occurs in the sex shop. It was also one of those rare moments when I am reading where I virtually laughed my butt off. I couldn’t help myself. But to say that this particular scene came even close to being the most outrageous, the most jaw-droppingly absurd in the book would be stretching it quite a bit.
Do not read this book if you do not a) have a strong stomach b) a mind willing to be twisted into little pretzel shapes, then allowing the salt on said pretzel shapes to be licked off by goats and various farm animals with questionable morals, and c) don’t have a great fascination with feces and the sexual practices of demons. You have been warned. Everyone else, come on board for a strangely compelling mind-F of the highest magnitude.
The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Satans-Glory-Hole/dp/1452862036/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279596785&sr=1-1