In celebration of the spirit of the season and in recognition of the CIA’s historic plot to bomb Cuba and blame a foreign government, our second anthology High Strange Horror is free for Kindle now through Halloween!
Today the front cover for Muzzleland Press’ forthcoming video game-themed horror anthology Terror in 16-Bits was posted on Facebook by the editor/publisher Jonathan Raab.
Art by Peter Lazarski
Also posted was the back cover and table of contents. As you can see, I’m one of the contributors.
The cover, as you can see, is gorgeous, and the ToC boasts a few of my favorite current writers (Sean M. Thompson, Raab himself, J.R. Hamantaschen, Matthew M. Bartlett, Alex Smith, and Orrin Grey among them).
My story “OneiroVision” was one it took a while to get right, and one I still don’t feel entirely confident about (but I’ve gotten used to this sensation; I have it whenever I finish a story). I won’t add much in the way of story notes, as those are included in the book. I’ll only say that its the first published story to involve my fictional New…
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The Conqueror Weird gives a very positive review to LETTERS OF DECLINE!
Letters of Decline: Four Tales of Job Interview Horror
by Joseph Pastula, Matthew M. Bartlett, Sean M. Thompson, and Jonathan Raab
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the second installment of “What in Beelzebub’s unholy name have those Orford Parish Books boys gotten up to now?” You may remember the first time we looked at the exploits of Orford Parish Books, probably because it wasn’t too long ago as the blog flies. That post covered such diverse topics as murder houses, picture books, the American flag, and wrestling.
Now we zone in a bit on their most recent publication, a self-styled “split chapbook” entitled Letters of Decline: Four Tales of Job Interview Horror. As the title suggests, it contains four weird horror narratives, all of which relate to the nerve-wracking experience of a job interview. Orford Parish Books has not yet failed to pick a…
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A glowing review of HIVE from Splatterpunk Zine!
HIVE by Alex Smith (Muzzleland Press)
With HIVE, Alex Smith explores the world of urban paranoia with a Cronenbergian precision. The story follows the relationship of Mark and Carolyn as they try to piece things together following the decision to have an abortion. The act causes an emotional rift in their relationship, which they seek to close by moving out of their matchbox sized, loft apartment. As you can expect, it’s upon moving into their new apartment where things start to get creepy and weird. As to not spoil any more of the plot, let me just say that what follows is goddamn awesome.
Despite it’s short length, Smith manages to pack a whole lot of emotional realism in to the main characters and the rebuilding of their relationship. For all its paranoia, HIVE is a deeply human book. In that way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith was, along…
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I’m pretty new to the notion of being a big enough deal that anyone would even think that a blurb from me would go any distance toward helping sell their book (and probably still a long ways off from that actually being true). The first book I was ever asked to provide a blurb for was an odd choice, a fascinating nonfiction tome on the confluence of Lovecraft and actual occult practices called, reasonably enough, H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition. I liked it, and said so, though I imagine that my poor blurb was overshadowed by praise from such luminaries as Cherie Priest, Nick Mamatas, and Richard Gavin, to name a few.
More recently, Jonathan Raab, publisher and proprietor of Muzzleland Press and my co-conspirator on the occasional CreatureFeatureConversation, asked me to read his latest novella, The Lesser Swamp Gods of Little Dixie…
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A three-fold crossrip.
Let’s talk about “window areas.”
It’s an idea conceived by the late, great John A. Keel to describe the liminal spaces that connect parts of the Super Spectrum that are otherwise utterly separate. It’s an expansion on the idea of the “Super-Sargasso Sea” put forth by Charles Fort, father of the examination of the weird – the “damned,” he called it – in the real world. It’s a similar notion to how our world connects to the world of the sídhe – the mound elves – of Irish and Scottish mythology, and the basis for the Samhain festival. If you’re into the many-worlds interpretation of reality or brane cosmology, window areas are the spots where infinite soap bubble universes intersect and bleed into one another. It’s also the basically the same phenomena as the “thinnies” in Stephen King’s fiction.
It’s a concept I’m certain Jonathan Raab is familiar with. Practitioners of the…
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Below is the continuation of my brief exploration into the home invasion narrative. Here, I focus on film. I mentioned in my interview with Jonathan Raab that The Strangers had a major impact on me, which I discuss in a bit more detail here.
Again, here’s to hoping that you might find something of interest on this list.
Straw Dogs (1971) – dir. Sam Pekinpah
It wasn’t until HIVE was in its nth revision that I noticed the stunning similarities with Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs. A couple move to the UK countryside to build a home for themselves. Dustin Hoffman plays a mathematician. Mild-mannered, humble, and a man of the mind, his lack of physicality and cerebral nature become a target for the jibes and bullying of the locals working on his house—one of whom is his wife’s ex-boyfriend. Continue reading “The Home Invasion – Part Two: Movies”