Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Tales From the Realm!


I'm super chuffed to have a story appear in this, Tales of the Realm. It's the latest anthology to be released from Aphotic Realm the home of strange and sinister fiction. Tales from the Realm features the best tales from 2017. There's some really great talent in here, so do give it a read.

It will be available in both paperback and kindle from May 1st 2018


Also available are;











 Classified 




That's not all, also a great short story collection, Shadows of the Mind by Mandi Jourdan





Stay tuned!



Sunday, 22 April 2018

Dreaming At the Top of my Lungs by Israel Finn



This is a book I've been meaning to read for a while and I'm really glad I finally got round to it. Seriously my TBR pile is getting huge, there's just so many great books out there.





This is a great collection. Israel Finn has a really cool sort of laid back writing style that has an informal feel to it like he's right beside you talking to you reeling you in unawares.  Dreaming At the Top of My Lungs covers a great range of subject matter and themes and no two stories are the same.

I'm not quite sure what genre this falls into, its not horror but definitely dark and has some elements of science fiction, weird and speculative fiction. Which is cool as I like stories that don't really fit in with the crowds.

These are tales about the down and outs, the forgotten people who fall through the cracks and feel they will never be able to haul themselves back up. These are the people who feel they've lost everything already. As I read this I get the impression that Israel Finn has somehow lived a multitude of different lifetimes and is sharing his dark wisdom with us. He's clearly seen a lot in life as these stories hint at.

Its a quite a short collection of  12 short stories and took me no time at all to read as they're all so good. As I'm writing I'm finding it really hard to pick out a favourite tale. There really wasn't any that I thought that weren't as good as the others. They're all so different and brilliant in their own ways.

I found the penultimate tale, Ugly really moving and I just loved the dark imagination of it, a modern day Jesus.  As was Water and War  and Stones which really makes you think about the world we live in and what the future might hold.

I really enjoyed Sick Day and No Such Things as Monsters as very darkly  amusing and gruesome tales which will appeal to those who like a bit of gore. Stranded was a really fun read with a great ending. The Present was a really satisfying read and I also felt the darkest tale.

The clever thing about Israel Finn is that he somehow makes you side with his characters who aren't always the nicest of people, somehow you feel like you played a  part in their crimes and are complicit in what is it they're doing.

I'm really looking forward to reading more by Israel Finn,  definitely going to keep an eye for him in the future.

About the Author


Israel Finn is the author of Dreaming At the Top of My Lungs, and a winner of the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition.

He is a horror, dark fantasy, and speculative fiction writer who's had a life-long love affair with books, weaned on the likes of Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson, and later discovering Robert McCammon, Dean Koontz, F. Paul Wilson, Dan Simmons, Ramsey Campbell, and Stephen King, as well as several others.

Israel lives in southern California with his wife, Eyde, and his dog, Sammy.

He's currently working on his new novel, Darkworld.


Friday, 13 April 2018

Drag Race by Pat Kelleher


(Book Review originally posted on British Fantasy Society Review Page)




Drag Hunt is the bonus tale accompanying Unclean Spirits  by Chuck Wendig which I have recently reviewed but I felt it deserved its own blog post too! 

It’s set in the same world as Unclean Spirits and features some of the same characters. I really loved this darkly funny and delightful tale.

In Drag Hunt, Kai AKA Coyote has his penis stolen and he will stop at nothing to get it back. Joining him in his quest is Richard Green a young man whose life is spiralling into constant misfortune after losing his job, his home and his girlfriend in one hit.

In the same vein as Unclean Spirits there are lots of gods trying to claw their way back to heaven. I loved the selection of Anglo-Saxon deities featured in Drag Hunt which is set mostly in the U.K.

Pat Kelleher does a great job of continuing Chuck Wendig’s epic Unclean Spirits. The tales really complement each other. Pat Kelleher really captures the essence of Coyote and turns him into a great character worthy of their own tale. Unlike Unclean Spirits this isn’t what I would call horror but it is very funny and I had quite a few laugh out loud moments whilst reading this. Richard Green is desperate to turn his life around whilst all Coyote wants is his penis back!

About the Author


Pat Kelleher is a freelance writer. He has written for magazines, animation and radio. He served his time writing for a wide variety of TV licensed characters, translating them into audio books, novels and comics. Yes, he¹s written for that. And that. And even, you know, them. He has several non-fiction books to his credit and his educational strips and stories for the RSPB currently form the mainstays of their Youth publications. Somehow he has steadfastly managed to avoid all those careers and part-time jobs that look so good on a dust jacket.
(From publisher's website http://www.abaddonbooks.com)


 

Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig

(Book Review originally posted on British Fantasy Society Review Page)

Unclean Spirits is an urban fantasy unlike any I have read before. Our main character is Cason Cole, a lovable rogue who has been serving E as a bodyguard for the last five years. His employment is suddenly terminated when a mysterious guy appears and blows up his boss into tiny little pieces.



Is Cason upset, angry or scared? No, he makes a bid for freedom getting into the first taxi he can find and makes a trip back to his beloved wife and son whom he hasn't seen in five years.

All hopes of an ecstatic family re-union are dashed when both his wife and son try to kill him when he turns up unannounced at their house.

Confused yet? 

As I said this is unlike anything I've read before. I'm going to tentatively call it American lad horror, if that even is a thing? The book starts off quite confusing but fret not it all clicks into place very quickly. I took a while to get into it, I found it really confusing but I persevered and after the first chapter, I was in!

Chuck Wendig has a very distinctive style of writing, it’s very economical, straight to the point and really packs a punch. There's no flowery descriptions in here just full throttle action which moves at a really fast pace

Cason Cole only wants his family back but is forced to find the culprit for killing his boss. He thinks that's all he has to do to sort out his crazy situation but it just takes him further into a dark web of unearthly trouble when he realises he is more than just an inconsequential pawn in a very big power game between the gods who have been evicted and cast down to live in the gutter with us mortals.

The pace is very fast and the various sub plots weave together in a way that builds up to a powerful ending. When writing about gods living amongst us it can all so easily sound very far-fetched but in Unclean Spirits it makes for a really interesting tale. 

It’s a fun novel that doesn't take itself too seriously, with this tale you're getting all story all action.

Drag Race by Pat Kelleher





Accompanying this tale is a bonus story by Pat Kelleher titled Drag Hunt. It’s set in the same world as Unclean Spirits and features some of the same characters. I really loved this darkly funny and delightful tale.

In Drag Hunt, Kai AKA Coyote has his penis stolen and he will stop at nothing to get it back. Joining him in his quest is Richard Green a young man whose life is spiralling into constant misfortune after losing his job, his home and his girlfriend in one hit.

In the same vein as Unclean Spirits there are lots of gods trying to claw their way back to heaven. I loved the selection of Anglo-Saxon deities featured in Drag Hunt which is set mostly in the U.K.

Pat Kelleher does a great job of continuing Chuck Wendig’s epic Unclean Spirits. The tales really complement each other. Pat Kelleher really captures the essence of Coyote and turns him into a great character worthy of their own tale. Unlike Unclean Spirits this isn’t what I would call horror but it is very funny and I had quite a few laugh out loud moments whilst reading this. Richard Green is desperate to turn his life around whilst all Coyote wants is his penis back!

About the Authors


Chuck Wendig




Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, and their feature film HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope.

Chuck's novel Double Dead will be out in November, 2011.

He's written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with a wonderful wife and two very stupid dogs. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

You can find him at his website, terribleminds.com

Pat Kelleher


Pat Kelleher is a freelance writer. He has written for magazines, animation and radio. He served his time writing for a wide variety of TV licensed characters, translating them into audio books, novels and comics. Yes, he¹s written for that. And that. And even, you know, them. He has several non-fiction books to his credit and his educational strips and stories for the RSPB currently form the mainstays of their Youth publications. Somehow he has steadfastly managed to avoid all those careers and part-time jobs that look so good on a dust jacket.
(From publisher's website http://www.abaddonbooks.com)


 








Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Entertaining Demons by Daniel I Russell




Wow this was one helluva read! This is a tale about demons messing with man kind but with a twist. I've recently read Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig and this book is strangely similar.

Half of this story is about a young girl on the cusp of womanhood trying to figure out her life and who she is, the other half is crazy demons trying to possess her! Her house is so haunted a TV show PI:Paranormal Investigations has set up surveillance in her house and made her an international reality TV star. Sure her and her beloved grandpa are making loads of money but it's coming at the expense of her feeling alienated from her friends and the sort of life a teenage girl should be living.

It's revealed that the ghost is only after Molly,  except it's not a relatively benign ghost going by the name of old Bill but an ancient immortal demon coming to claim Molly when she turns sixteen?
Can Samuel a paranormal expert who's presenting the show do enough to save her from the demon's evil clutches?

I have to admit that this tale isn't usually something I'd go for but I like to read a bit of everything and this was certainly a good read. This tale is really frightening in places and will make you think twice about shadows in your home. It's an interesting read that will make you question society and where we're heading.

There's some really gory moments in this book and Daniel I Russell does a really good job of creating baddies you'll come to loathe. These demons are despicable creatures, in some places throughout this book their deeds are so dark it makes for uncomfortable reading.

It's easy to feel for Molly she has no friends and has no control over her life other than being able to pay for her mother's healthcare the only reason why she agreed to be filmed. I really liked her character development she gets a bit kick ass in the end but will it be enough.

The ending was unexpected and really chilling!

About the Author



Daniel I. Russell has been featured publications such as The Zombie Feed, Pseudopod and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Author of Samhane, Come Into Darkness, Critique, Mother's Boys, The Collector, Retard, Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem, and his latest novel, Entertaining Demons. Daniel lives in Western Australia with his partner and four children, and is currently completing a BA in psychology and counselling.