We had a great year in 2016.
Creeping Waves by Matthew M. Bartlett
My favorite book of the past several years, horror or no. Yeah, yeah, I’m biased and all, but it’s really, really good. A tableau of nightmare imagery; a mix of pulpy decadence and existential terror; gleeful, mean-spirited stories of a witch-cult spreading its madness through a Satanic radio station. Bartlett manages to impress thrill-seekers and literary folks alike.
But don’t take my word for it:
“Bartlett is a visionary. He actually reinvented the wheel here, with his idea of a collection. His stories are woven into intricate quilts of passage and prose, stitched through catalog entry or radio editorial, want ads and personal ads. Black and white pictures. You get an entire world between the covers. It’s not a pretty one.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror
Continue reading ➞ Things that we went and did in 2016
It’s been a dream of mine to get into the Lovecraft eZine. I’m thrilled they published my story “The Secret Goatman Spookshow” in issue #38! Best part… all the stories in their issues are FREE to read.
Review by Michael Bryant
Through the narrow lens of time, we the living view what is perceived as reality, a universe of energy and matter with unbreakable laws governing its expansion and development. Everything is accounted for and measurable. Substance is finite, nothing is created or destroyed; all is merely changing form. All matter has a knowable mass and density.
The dead know better. They know of the overlaps. The points on the continuum where universes collide, where volume exceeds the measured limits of its container, where matter and energy cease to change form and vanish from the cosmos, and substances unyielding to Newtonian laws seep through. And they know of the sixth ocean. An ocean yet unborn which walks the Earth in unassuming form, and will drown this world in a flood of unreality.
The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas combines imaginative genius with a faux-classical prose style, producing an effect of eldritch atmosphere in a compelling and engaging narrative. A former educator-turned-rare book collector gives his account of journeying in the footsteps of Doctor Albert Pond, whose posthumously-published journal has become a valued collector’s item for the supernaturally inclined. A pilgrimage of history turns to a hideous adventure as our narrator finds himself pitted against the same celestial menace that Dr. Pond faced before his abrupt disappearance. With his life (and possibly the world) at stake, he must consult with phantasmal powers to battle the forces of the sixth ocean.
A deep tale of cosmic terror, The Sea of Ash balances the ghoulishly macabre with a whimsical playfulness as we are treated to scenes that are both deeply horrifying and awkwardly humorous. Incorporating elements of metaphysical science, body horror, investigative occultism, with a sprinkling of architecture porn, Thomas wraps his epic through the aeons in the ambience of necromantic New England.
My only complaint would be that I absolutely flew through this book and was done with it too soon, but the defining trait of a great storyteller is leaving the audience wanting more.
A haunting story sure to delight the discerning weird fiction fan, The Sea of Ash is published by The Lovecraft eZine, and is currently available for purchase on their website.
5/5 Trilobite-Shaped Teeth