Sunday, February 25, 2007


Congratulations to Ing Kalchthaler!
Ing won the autographed copy of Funny Stories of Scary Sex by Jeff Strand and it is on the way via US Mail. Coming up next is a copy of The Last Stand of The Great Texas Packrat autographed by Steve Vernon. I'll have a review of it up this week.

This past week has been pretty quiet here at The Horror Fan. Between a two tooth extraction for my wife and the passing of a kidney stone for myself it has been anything but quiet at home.

Pick a book and do some reading. I'll have reviews up again this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Development Hell

Development Hell by Mick Garis is available from Cemetery Dance. Once again the small publisher comes though with a well produced book.

I wanted to write a review that would sing the praises of this book. Then I wanted to write a review that said how much I enjoyed this book. I finally decided I would just say I made an honest effort to read this book.

Development Hell has gotten some wonderful praise and reviews but it just wasn't for me. I tried to read it twice and didn't have any luck. Mick has a fine writing style but the plot and characters just didn't reach me.

I don't have any negative comments, but I can't come up with any positive ones either. Feel free to give the book a chance. It might be a treasure that I've simply missed.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Q&A

Today I'm thrilled to present a Valentine's Day Horror Q&A with Jack Ketchum and Michele Bardsley. Each author was chosen because of the unique views on love, sex and horror they present in their writing.

Big "THANK YOU!" to both Jack and Michele for taking time to answer the following questions. Enjoy!

Cupid, angel or demon?
Jack - Have you ever been in love when the little fucker wasn't both?
Michele - DEMON

Which scares you more? Having your heart broken by the betrayal of a lover or having it broken because a monster just ripped it out of your chest?
Jack - I've had the former. Got over it. When the latter happens I doubt I'll be able to let you know.
Michele - Um ... I think having a monster rip my heart is scarier. I can recover from a figurative broken heart.

Was Dracula a scary villain or a romantic lead character?
Jack - My Dracula was Stoker's Dracula. An amalgam of the two. Dead, but beguiling.
Michele - Both. He was terrifying and sexy. Kudos to ol' Drac for pulling that one off.

Going out on Valentines night which would you suggest, scary movie or romantic dinner?
Jack - First you gotta figure, what's your aim here? You want a hug or you want the full monte? Scary movies are cheaper. But if you've got any class you might want to spring for the dinner. Besides, most movies don't serve Chocolate Martinis or pitchers of Banana Daiquiri.
Michele - Romantic dinner. I like food way more than I liked to be scared out of my wits.

The marriage vows say that a couple will stay together until death. If a voodoo witch doctor brings them back from the dead are they free to date other zombies?
Jack - Date? Did George Romero ever address the subject of dating? Did I miss something? For some reason I'm thinking dinner again. More important.
Michele - That's an excellent question. I think couples who plan to walk down the aisle should clarify this situation in their vows. I mean, if your body is technically dead, but still shuffling around, does that really count toward "'til death do us part"?

Psychotic small restaurant owner is serving dinner on Valentines night. His mind is finally slipped and he has butchered his wait staff. What body part(s) does he serve his customers that night?
Jack - You've clearly got this goddamn restaurant fixation. You need to work on that. Okay. Is his wait staff male or female? What age? Are we talking cherrystone clams or deep fried bull's pizzle? You gotta be more specific.
Michele - The hearts, of course!

It's Valentine's Day. You can spend it with any character you have written about. Which one is it and why?
Jack - RED. Dogs are cheap. They love you unconditionally. And they don't bitch about the Chardonnay.
Michele - I would probably choose Patrick O'Halloran, the vampire hero from I'M THE VAMPIRE, THAT'S WHY. Yeah, he's really sexy and has that yummy Irish accent, but really, I want to ask him a bunch of questions about what really transpired in the world 4,000 years ago.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Looking for a review? You'll find plenty here with plenty more to come.

There will be a Valentine's Day treat here for you on the 14th. Be sure to drop by and check it out.

It's not too late to enter the drawing for an autographed copy of Funny Stories of Scary Sex by Jeff Strand at the contests page.

Speaking of contests, the next autographed item to be given away will be a copy of Steve Vernon's The Last Stand of the Great Texas Packrat. Review coming soon. Keep checking in to find out when the contest starts.

For the ale drinkers in the crowd you will be pleased to know that the advertisements for Sam Adam's Lager are all true. Goodbye Miller beer. I've switched brands. I'm also trying out some microbrewery beers as well. Maybe one day I'll work up the nerve to try brewing my own. Horror Beer maybe? Something to think about.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Nothing To Lose

Nothing To Lose was written by Steve Vernon and published by Nocturne Press. Let me start by saying I really hope there are more stories coming from Steve about this character. I loved it.

The book contains three stories about Captain Nothing. This guy is my kind of hero. Yes he wears a mask, or two, and believes in helping others. It's the way he goes about helping people that makes him so entertaining. Who needs heat vision or lightning speed when you have a brick and the bad guy doesn't hear you sneaking up behind him?

After reading Nothing To Lose I found myself wondering if Captain Nothing is a hero out to protect the innocent or a institutionalized patient simply sharing his delusions with us. Either way he is quite entertaining in the three stories.

The Glint Of Moonlight On Broken Glass - Captain Nothing encounters two men assaulting a woman with plans to rape her. If she knew the horrors that awaited her in the future she would have prayed for death instead of a savior. This story gives us the supernatural villain that every superhero must one day face. A being that feeds on the suffering of others. A being that takes the form of it's victims so that it can feed again.

Lamprey Fellatio - The problem with being a hero is there are people out to get you. After all, you can't have good without bad. All our hero wanted was to enjoy a night at The Sloppy Seconds and a few beers. Next thing he knows is his life goes from pleasure to pain as he finds himself chained to a cinder block and rapidly sinking. It's a fear we all have.

The Frozen Axe Of Winter Love - When you have no reason left to live the only thing you can do is die. This is the kind of story that will make you stop and give your mother/wife an extra hug in the morning and an extra kiss at night. If someone is determined to die then the heroic thing to do is comfort them before they go. Captain Nothing is just the man for the job.

So where is the "horror" in Nothing To Lose? Each person will find it in a different way. To me the horror comes from the crimes discussed in the book that you can read about in your newspaper every day. The horror comes from Captain Nothing's point of view. Once you see how he sees the world you learn there is something to be afraid of everywhere. The horror comes from the choices people make when they feel there is no choice left.

For those of us that grew up thinking "Batman should be more bad ass than this. He's the Dark Knight for crying out loud!" Steve Vernon has given us what we wanted. Captain Nothing is beyond cool.

I can't help but wonder if I was the only one to hear KISS singing their song "Nothing To Lose" while reading the book.

Special "Thank you!" to Steve for allowing me to quote the following:
Then I heard the scream. It was more than a scream. More like something was being pulled out of her, yanked and uprooted. I run like my feet have suddenly grown anvils; the purse rattling against my side like a bagful of hammers. In the moonlight I look like the world's ugliest drag queen, cape, purse and all. I don't care. She needs saving.

By the time I get there the screaming has stopped. She's lying in the mouth of the alleyway. Lying wreathed in a halo of sodium lamp, something dark pooling around her, moonlight glinting on a fresco of broken glass.

I have one more point to make today. Why can't the major publishing houses produce books of the same quality as the small publishers? I recently received Ghoul from Dorchester and saw Hannibal Rising at the book store. Both of these books, all of the Hannibal Rising copies in this particular store, were in ragged shape. Apparently the cutting blade used during production was dull. In both books some of the pages were not separated and they both had the very ragged ends that looked like the pages had been ripped apart instead of properly cut. I'm am constantly amazed by the production quality of the smaller publishers and Nocturne Press is one of them. Wonderful production quality for Nothing To Lose.