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review 2020-04-08 21:35
After the People Lights Have Gone Off - Stephen Graham Jones

There are hundreds of reviews and ratings for AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF and there's not much I can add to what's already been said.


I love how this man writes and his powers of description. It takes concentration to properly read his prose and during this time of near constant distraction, (there's a pandemic going on), the fact that he captured my attention and held it, really says something.


There's a ton of variety here, my favorites being DOC'S STORY, SECOND CHANCES, THE SPINDLY MAN, UNCLE and THE SPIDERBOX. There's also an excellent introduction from Joe R. Lansdale, wherein he talks about some of his favorite stories.


I enjoyed the hell out of this collection and maybe it's just the thing to distract you during this uncertain time?


Highly recommended!




*I bought this paperback with my hard-earned cash. *

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review 2020-03-22 19:26
Fear of Free Standing Objects: A Collection - Doug Rinaldi

FEAR OF FREE STANDING OBJECTS: A COLLECTION is an impressive and imaginative group of stories that swept through me like a slow moving storm and left me like jello, shivering on the floor.


I can't list my thoughts on all of them here, but the ones that blew me away were:




THE YATTERING-A haunted bookstore. Already, with the title and subject alone, it screams my name.


THE SICKENING-At this point in time, what with COVID19 and its effects, this tale was even scarier than it otherwise would have been.


At least COVID19 doesn't make us kill each other. At least not yet.


AND THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING -A "tables are turned" type of story.


LOTUS PETALS: LIMINAL PERSONAE-Body Horror that put me in mind of Geek Love or some of Michael Blumlein's work.


SYBARITES (OR THE ENMITY OF PERVERSE EXISTENCE) I don't even know what to say about this other than that this was the tale that cemented my thoughts about how great this collection really was.


To be honest, this was a collection where every story worked for me on some level or another. That's a rare occurrence, so I took my time savoring these tales and surrendered myself to whatever it was Mr. Rinaldi wanted to show me. I'm so glad I did!


My highest recommendation!




*Thanks to Doug Rinaldi for the paperback arc in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-01-08 17:06
SPUNGUNION by John Boden
Spungunion - John Boden

SPUNGUNION! This book deserves all the stars, your time and your attention.


Deke is a truck driving man who returns home from an overnight run to find that his wife has been murdered. He cannot get over it. He's hanging on by a thread and I think he finally wants to let go, but he has questions that need answering first. Will he get those answers? Will he survive the weight of his grief? You'll have to read this to find out.


Immersed in the world of Deke's grief, riding with him in his 18 wheeler, listening to Waylon on the radio...I was there. I could smell the stale cigarette smoke, I could feel the air coming through the windows, (cracked open a bit so the smoke could escape)...I was there. I accompanied Deke on his search for knowledge, even though we both knew that the outcome wouldn't be good. I was there with Tiny, I was there with the behemoth and his small servant, I was there feeling the regret, feeling Deke's need to know. I was there.


Once again, John Boden has pierced my heart with his subtle wording, his outstanding writing, and his big, big heart.


"The reality is this: Life is just a balloon floating dangerously in a room full of cigarettes. At any moment, second, day or week, Pop! And then everything as you know it is different or gone. Sometimes both."


This is my second time reading SPUNGUNION, the first time was back in 2017. I love it just as much now as I did back then. Maybe more, because there have been some Pops! in my life since that time. Those Pops! make you more aware, make you more grateful, because for some like Deke, those Pops! can spell the end.


This version of SPUNGUNION features the same marvelous introduction from Bracken MacLeod, and it also features a brand new short story: THE DRAWER. It was fabulous, as is everything that flows out from John Boden's hand.


I'm so happy to say that this novella will now be available to everyone- and every fan of dark fiction needs to read it. You need to immerse yourself in it and let it surround you. You will be better for it in the end. Perhaps you'll be more grateful and content when you're done? Because you never know when that Pop! is going to come.


My highest recommendation!


Available on January 15th, but you can pre-order here: SPUNGUNION


*Thanks to John Boden for the e-ARC of this beautiful novella in exchange for my honest feedback. As always, this is it!*

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review 2020-01-01 17:18
Those Who Go Forth into the Empty Place of Gods - Jared Collins,Curtis M. Lawson,Doug Rinaldi


After losing on a televised quiz show by giving an incorrect but bizarre answer, Brewster Gilligan's life continues to roll downhill. He doesn't realize it yet, but his wrong answer set in motion a series of powerful events-events that could change the world forever. Will the thoroughly unlikable Brewster be able to save the world? You'll have to read this and see!


I love books that revolve around themes like opening doors to other worlds, ripping through our reality to get the other side, and ancient organizations or cults whose only purpose is to make those doors open right now. THOSE WHO GO FORTH INTO THE EMPTY PLACES OF GODS is none of those, exactly, but it's close. I love this paragraph, from the introduction, talking about artists, (authors, musicians, etc...), getting random glimpses of things:


I do know, though, that when they reached down into the recesses of their brain buckets to pull an idea up from nothing, that a little of that nothing came back up with the idea. It's worming its way into existence, one story and one song at a time. Pretty soon there will be no nothing left on the other side.


 The writing here is seamless and often beautiful. Also, it's concisely descriptive and gory as well. I found at times that scenes were unfurling in my head like a movie. Most especially one scene where all the guardians, (You'll see), strutted into town, (Sheba) like superheroes in a Marvel movie, or better yet, like something out of Tombstone.


Even though Brewster is a pompous jerk I couldn't help but feel for him and what he went through. I wish I could tell you that everything turned out all right. I wish I could tell you that the gate stayed closed and that humanity remained untouched, unharmed. Or maybe I'm lying to you right now, and it did stay closed? I guess you'll just have to read this to find out!


THOSE WHO GO FORTH INTO THE EMPTY PLACE OF GODS was my last read of 2019 and what a way to close out the year! If cosmic horror, or the themes I mentioned above are your cup of tea, then you need to add this book to your 2020 reading schedule.


Highly recommended!


*Available January 15th, but you can pre-order here: THOSE WHO GO FORTH INTO THE EMPTY PLACE OF GODS


*Thank you to Curtis Lawson and Douglas Rinaldi for the signed, paperback ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2019-12-01 18:53
Brides of Hanover Block (The Hanover Quartet Book 2) - Gregor Xane

BRIDES OF HANOVER BLOCK can be summarized in two words: Messed. Up. !!!!!


Messed up is not really my first choice of phrasing, but it's one that Goodreads and Amazon will both allow. BRIDES picks up months after the events in HANOVER BLOCK. Where that book focused on the men in a certain neighborhood and their weird backyard appearances, this one focuses on the women in a certain neighborhood and their weird INDOOR appearances.


What is it that appears, exactly? All I can say is look at the covers of both books. Done?

Now you know as much I do..          

What can I say without spoiling anything? These books are strange, erotic, and strangely erotic. They are sick and weird and did I mention erotic? Ok then-sick, weird, and (one more time!) erotic. These books are not for the fainthearted. After all the strange erotica, then come some murders, some guys in weird uniforms with gas masks, and a dude with some kind of industrial fog machine in a truck. (I told you it was weird.)


That said, halfway through this quartet of books we have been led through a compelling, intriguing, weird tale and I just cannot wait for the next one!


My HIGHEST recommendation!


Get your copy here: BRIDES OF HANOVER


*Many thanks to the author for the signed paperback he sent me, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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