"Welcome to Count Gore De Vol's Tomb of Dark Delights. I'm J. L. Comeau, horror writer and resident Tomb Keeper. I have been charged with the daunting task of sorting and cataloging the Count's vast library of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Take a torch from the wall and follow me down the stone stairway into the darkness deep beneath the Dungeon. It's cold and damp down here--perfect for the kind of reading we're going to do. Never mind the shambling figures in the shadows, they're probably just some friends of ours looking for a good book. If you click on the cover, you'll be taken to a wonderful place where you can buy the book.
Now, let's reach into the musty stacks and see what we can find..."
(Clicking on the covers gives you more information and prices from Amazon.com and other outlets.)
I love monster stories, donít you? Monsters are almost always allegorical, and itís always fun to try to figure out what the author is really saying. This week, Iíve got a sequel to a popular novel and a brand new novella featuring marvelously monstrous creatures.
WOOD by Robert Dunbar
Here is a brand new novella from author Robert Dunbar (THE PINES, THE SHORE, WILLY) published by his Uninvited Books publishing company, which specializes in literate dark fiction. WOOD reads like a bad dream experienced during a feverish nightódarting shadowy imagery of dark places where nothing and no one behave as expected. A young thrown-away teen escapes the strictures of a loveless shelter for abandoned children on an icy winter night to return to her Nana, the only person who ever made her feel loved and secure. Rosariaís bus trip to a similarly thrown-away and derelict town to find her grandmotherís house sets the mood of rejection and cold isolation. Exiting the bus, Rosaria treks through the dangerous streets, where a she is confronted by a shambling, tentacled monster from a Lovecraftian nightmare. The girl finds refuge at the home of a broken, desolate man who is spiraling down into the sorrows of broken relationships and disappointments. Without giving away the plot, suffice to say that the Rosaria andóas the author points outóthe most unfortunately named man, Dick Wood, join forces in confronting the terrors of their lives and milieu that has somehow become something horribly tangible and predatory. To watch a beautifully crafted video about the many dark offerings available at Uninvited Books, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcvOpLl1BoY.
THE TROUBLE WITH HAIRY by Hal Bodner
Author of the wildly popular gay vampire novel, BITE CLUB, follows up with a rollicking howl of a sequel that will make you squeal with horror and delight. You donít have to be familiar with BITE CLUB to enjoy this roaring black comedy/horror/mystery tale set in Bodnerís imaginary WeHo (West Hollywood), where supernatural creatures and very human foibles are center stage and great fun. When a handsome and seductive WeHo antiques proprietor is found with his throat savagely ripped out, the game is afoot and the fun begins. The BITE CLUB gang is back on the case, although they have maturedÖwell, a bit. Youíll discover (or rediscover) Mayor Daniel Eversleigh, police captain Clive Anderson, City Manager Pamela Burman, and City Coroner Becky OíBrien (whom I adore), but the real stars of this screwball horror mystery are vamp Christopher Driscoll and his long-standing significant other, Troy Raleigh. Irreverent, hilarious, explicit and often quite viscerally terrifying, THE TROUBLE WITH HAIRY is a grand and entertaining romp through WeHoís urban culture that you wonít want to miss. For more about the author and his books, check out www.wehovampire.com, where youíll find intrigue, murder, vampires, pretty boys! Yummy!
This week, TombRats, Iíve excavated two volumes of brilliant speculative fiction from Count Goreís Teetering Towers of Terror Tomes that will absolutely delight you!
by Nick Mamatas
I enjoy weird fiction, and I must say that SENSATION is one of the weirdest, funniest, flat-out strangest novels Iíve read since Thomas Pynchon last published. Although the narrative belongs to a hyper-intelligent species of spiders that have been waging a millennial war against a mutant species of anarchist wasps, this novel skewers current American pop culture, cyber culture and politics in a most humorous way. Julia Hernandez flees her marriage and shoots dead a Brooklyn real estate mogul before slipping out of this reality and into another called the Simulacrum, a place that exists just beyond our detection, where intelligent spiders and wasps battle to control human history. The missing Julia is being sought via an onslaught of media coverage when Juliaís ex-husband spots his former wife, following her into the strange Simulacrum otherworld where Julia has become media phenomenon as well. He discovers that it is by insidious parasitization that Julia and the entire human race is being manipulated and controlled. However, The Butterfly Effect reigns, making any semblance of order or control of impulsive creatures such as humans impossible. SENSATION is as sobering as it is amusing, revealing our foolishness, folly and self-absorption. How we--a collection of weird little creatures clinging to a rock flying through space--have come to take ourselves so seriously turns out to be very funny indeed in the hands of Mr. Mamatas. For more information about the author, you will find his website at http://www.nick-mamatas.com.
ROSSUMíS UNIVERSAL REPLICAS by Christopher Conlon
In 1921, celebrated fantasist Karel Ćapekís futuristic stage play, R.U.R, premiered in Prague, stunning audiences and becoming an instant classic. Now largely forgotten, it has been resurrected and reimagined by award winning author Christopher Conlon. In Ćapekís stage production, mass-produced robots have been invented and employed to do mundane jobs that humans eschew, laboring in factories and sweatshops. The robots eventually develop consciousness and revolt against their makers and masters in an apocalypse of horror. Award winning author Christopher Conlon has retooled Ćapekís vision into a futuristic 1921 setting reminiscent of the film Metropolis. Robots have been updated to Replicas, and a descent into terror awaits the cloistered Rossum family as they receive increasingly horrific news about the Replica revolt that is brewing and worsening beneath their high-rise castle keep. People are dying at the hands of the Replicas, who are rumored to be duplicating themselves. In the Rossumís plush sitting room, the family begins to look at their Replica servants in a whole new light. I do hope this unnerving play sees the stageóI would love to attend. Until then, this play is a grand reading experience. >
To get even more information about these titles, including some of the best prices on the Internet, just click on each of the book covers and you'll be connected to
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name.
About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories.
To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!