"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.)
Halloween approaches, TombRats, and this week I have a couple of great selections perfectly suited to the season. Multitalented author/illustrator Greg Chapman has two in the Tomb this week to give your Halloween spirits a boost. Come get some!
HISTORY OF THE BURNING TIMES by Rocky Wood, Lisa Morton, illustrated by Greg
Thousands of innocents perished during what is called “The Burning Times”, when corrupt and superstitious authorities invoked the name of God to arrest, torture and murder those accused of being in league with the devil. It is a terrible and shameful period of European and American history, and this superstitious era is thoroughly examined in the Bram Stoker Award ™ winning graphic nonfiction book by Bram Stoker winners Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, and is beautifully illustrated by Australian artist/author Greg Chapman. The volume begins with a surprising revelation that the early Church of 775 A.D. Saxony did not believe in witches and tried to erase the Old Testament belief in witchcraft in an attempt to eradicate paganism. I didn’t know that! We all know, however, that the belief in witches continued to grow until it became institutionalized by the Church and certain governments. WITCH HUNTS follows the heinous trajectory of witch hunts through its background, methods, victims and the profiteers who grew rich from torturing and burning those accused of sorcery. Infamous witch hunters Heinrich Kramer (author of the notorious how-to manual, the Malleus Maleficarum), Matthew Hopkins (aka the Witchfinder General) appear in all their gut-wrenching inhumanity. And, of course, America’s own horrifically failed experiment with theocracy in a small Puritan town called Salem is featured. Enlightening, entertaining, and marvelously illustrated, WITCH HUNTS is a splendid and comprehensive guide to the Burning Times.
VAUDEVILLE AND OTHER NIGHTMARES by Greg Chapman
Australian author Greg Chapman’s new short story collection features grotesque and horrific tales that touch upon darkest depths of human consciousness, 24 stories of loss and despair wrung from elemental terrors that plague us all. A boy grieving the loss of his parents’ self-inflicted deaths find solace and horror in the forest where his father hanged himself; the worst job interview ever; something terrible lurks beneath an ice-locked lake; a world without parental interference is not at all what one teenager expected; a small town suffers a biblical downpour; a captive Djinn longs for freedom; imprisoned by a demon, a princess endures a special kind of hell; an Irish priest hears a vampire’s confession of sins; Edgar Allan Poe’s words find a life of their own; an abused woman seeks to end her torment; hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa, a young boy witnesses the most horrible Christmas imaginable; a writer truly suffers for his art, and more! These stories range from fairy tale inspired dark fantasy to full-on hardcore screamers of the most graphic sort. Astutely introduced by fellow Australian author Brett McBean, VAUDEVILLE AND OTHER NIGHTMARES storms onto the horror stage with unflinching brio.
Some of the best fiction can be found in the small press, TombRats, so this week I thought I’d throw you a couple of live ones from a favorite small press of mine, Dark Renaissance Books!
LORD CAME AT TWILIGHT by Daniel Mills
Reminiscent of the ghostly tales of Hawthorne and Irving seasoned with a heady dash of Lovecraftian cosmic terror, author Daniel Mills has crafted a collection of tales set in a chilly corner of bygone New England. An atmospheric sense of dread overarches these fourteen tales in which an abandoned boy lives a feral existence in the forest with only ghosts for company; a man awaiting certain death in a seedy hotel leaves behind a special message; a man doomed to execution relates a terrible tale of an alien infestation; an innkeeper goes to horrific lengths to care for the souls of his guests; inscriptions on cemetery headstones tell the alarming stories of people who died in an ill-fated town; a family man goes full Satanic with disastrous results; a grieving prince receives a shattering reading from a psychic who resembles his lost love, a minister abandons his wife and ministry due to a vision that most certainly did not originate in a heavenly realm; Union Civil War soldiers find a hidden slave whose discovery causes havoc; a character plucked from the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft informs his wife that he is no longer human; a man locates a village where all of the inhabitants have been deliberately blinded; and the title story of an insane nobleman who creates a huge amphitheater for very unusual public games. This is a stunning collection of weird fiction that follows in the venerable footsteps of the great practitioners of weirdness, but which also plows fresh fields of horror in the cosmic tradition.
THE UNIVERSAL AND OTHER TERRORS by Tony Richards
Tony Richards writes short stories that shock, unnerve and delight, each a dark gem of unease equally perfect for rain-blasted midnights or bright days at poolside. These stories work anywhere because they are set everywhere, places that evoke dread as well as locales that suggest restful relaxation. What we have here is a travelogue of terror told in eleven tales: a sleepy seaside town that harbors an awful secret; a Greek beach where sunbathers who look utterly normal are anything but; a driver lost in a fog confronts a mysterious entity; a vain woman who refuses to heed the customs of her culture must face the consequences; a rather unattractive old man is a sought-after Lothario; Abraham van Helsing of Dracula fame turns out to be something we could not have imagined; common crows have a powerful and deadly friend; a young couple moves to a Utopian-seeming new town; and more! Mr. Richards is an author firmly in control of his material, crafting tales that reach out and draw the reader into his worlds of darkness. These stories will thrill anyone who enjoys of the darker fiction of Matheson and Bradbury.
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 visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name. 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!
About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name.
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!