Writer of Horror Fiction

Posts tagged “steampunk

Review of Bizarro Press’ “Tall Tales with Small Cocks”

Tall Tales With Small Cocks is an anthology from Bizarro Press.  It is a series of short stories (along with one poem) that range from bizarro to straight up horror tales.  A brief overview of the tales in this compendium:

In The Flesh by John McNee is a mix of steampunk and bizarro, with a mechanical detective on the hunt for a flesh covered woman hiding out at a living, breathing flesh hotel.

Help! My Ass Has Rabies! By Adam Millard tells the story of a fast food employee and an attack of a virus with some teeth to it that rampages through the restaurant where he works.

Zeitgeist by Arthur Graham gives us a parody of the trials and tribulations that come along with trying to get a new TV show produced.

The Zombies of Killimanjaro by Jon Konrath is about a man waiting for the zombie infection to take hold of him after he’s scratch while he sits on Killimanjaro reflecting on his past.

I am a Whale by Robin Wyatt Dunn is a brash poem about the grandeur of a whale and how humans suck by comparison.

Yappy the Happy Squirrel by Dominic O’Reilly regales us with a battle between man and squirrel kind and the god-like melon that would save us all.

MouseTrap by Wol-vriey reads like a bizarro fairy tale with a wind up mouse, an obese house wife and the ungrateful men in her life.

Regressive by Nathan J.D.L. Rowark is a horror story about the elderly taking a miracle drug that ends up turning them into monsters.

The Night of the Walrus by Gabino Inglesias dives into a seedy underworld filled with desperate Walruses, midget gangsters and toasters possessed by the elder gods.

Someone who enjoys both horror and bizarro should find something to enjoy among these tales, though as is the case with every anthology, not all tales resonate equally.  Special mention go to In The Flesh, Zeitgeist, and MouseTrap, all three of these stories had their own distinct bizarro flare that brought a twisted smile to my face as I read them.  A couple of stories didn’t have any bizarro elements to them and were more pure horror, but that was okay for me as a fan of both genres.  There weren’t any duds here, though a couple of the stories didn’t leave me with any lasting memory of them.  A few others did leave an aftertaste…and that to me is what is best about short stories-if they have the power to stick with you long after you read them.  You’ll get a few of those here.

Tall Tales with Small Cocks can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Tales-Short-Cocks-Anthology/dp/0615635474/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341170946&sr=1-1&keywords=tall+tales+and+short+cocks

Review of Tonia Brown’s “Railroad!: The Three Volume Omnibus”

Railroad! is a hard book to categorize.  Certainly, it would be easy to say that it is a steampunk tale of the old west, but that seems like a limiting description.  I am the first to admit that I haven’t read a tremendous amount of steampunk literature, but I would venture to say that this book has elements that make it somewhat unique in that genre, combining fantastical elements along with the technological, turning this story into something utterly unique.

Tonia Brown, the author, wrote this tale as a serialized adventure, releasing a chapter at a time online, and then releasing each of the three different volumes separately.  This book has all three volumes thus far: Rodger Dodger, The Dogs of War, and The Trouble with Waxford.  The story is told from the viewpoint of Rodger Dodger, a man curious about an ad posted that is looking for a hired gun to work aboard a steam locomotive.  The setting is the old west of the 1870s, and while Rodger has a mysterious past as a gunman, everything else about him seems rather normal.  So when he meets up with Professor Dittmeyer, Ched, and the rest of the crew of the Sleipnir, a steam powered locomotive that requires no tracks to run on, he is as baffled as we are.  And things just get stranger from there for the man with a mysterious past but a far more intriguing future as the hired gun for an wild band of adventurers.

Of course, the wondrous technology that the author describes with great delight is quite fascinating, and gave me pleasant reminders of my youth, when I used to watch repeats of ‘The Wild, Wild West.’ I do, of course, mean the classic television show starring Robert Conrad and not the atrocious movie starring Will Smith.  You will find gadgets galore here, including guns that fire multiple rounds at the same time, horseless carriages that allow one to travel at speeds near a hundred miles per hour across the desert, and trains that need no tracks to make their way from place to place.  But that is only the beginning.  The author allows us, alongside Rodger Dodger, to enter a world filled with the fantastic-with ghosts, vampires, and genetic mutants filling its pages.  As it is described within this tale, the strange, cursed, and fantastic seems to follow Professor Dittmeyer, owner and inventor of the Sleipnir Steam Locomotive, everywhere he goes.  After all, he hasn’t been banned from 90 different countries for nothing.

The characters are colorful, detailed, and fun getting to know.  And when it comes down to it, this story may be best described as a weird western steampunk story, but it is the characters that keep things interesting, and kept me glued to each page.  A well-crafted, entertaining story that is a lot of fun, Railroad! is a trippy ride.

You can find Railroad! here: http://www.amazon.com/Railroad-The-Three-Volume-Omnibus/dp/1468185543/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335136282&sr=1-9