"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.)
Life can be heaven, and life can be hell. Same goes for fiction, but these
wonderful picks from Count Gore’s Teetering Towers of Terror Tomes are both
hellishly heavenly. Or heavenly hellish. Or something like that. Anyway, they’re
good! Let’s read!
HELLHOLE by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
The authors who have collaborated in writing the latest bestselling installments of Frank Herbert’s DUNE series have produced a spectacularly entertaining new military space opera in a brand new series of their own! Hellhole is a planet that has certainly earned its name. Asteroid impacts, monumental storms and geophysical disasters have ripped Hellhole asunder, but still there are intrepid, desperate colonists who dare to try to settle the rogue planet in hopes of some kind of future. A ruined, exiled general who lost everything when he took the moral high ground in opposing the greedy political schemes of the so-called Crown Jewel worlds, Tiber Adolphus comes to the frontier planet of Hellhole to help build the world into a stable, self-sustaining homeland. Nearly forgotten by the ruling class he opposed, Adolphus and the colonists discover that Hellhole has been hiding an astonishing secret. Beneath Hellhole’s blasted surface lay the remains of a lost civilization and information that could destroy all worlds. As a surviving member of noble heritage, Adolphus clings to his family’s honor and sense of duty to make Hellhole into a paradise from which he will launch a righteous, heroic war to regain the galaxy. Fans of the DUNE series and Star Wars films will love HELLHOLE. Check out the trailer for HELLHOLE here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUxH6aIXeTU.
STORIES OF FALLEN ANGELS & HEAVENLY HOSTS edited by Stephen Jones
One of my favorite editors of short fiction casts a dark eye upward for an anthology about entities that 68% of Americans believe to be real beings. Whether or not you believe in the existence of angels, you will be enthralled by these wonderful stories about heavenly winged messengers of the fallen variety. Combining new stories and reprints of stellar tales from masters of speculative fiction, VISITANTS is a transcendent reading experience. Horror, science fiction and fantasy fill the pages of this stunning anthology. Horror fans will be drawn to Yvonne Navarro’s chilling tale, “ Plague Angel”, and Mark Samuel’s deadly “Black Altars”, both tales of beings who are in the process of discovering who—and what—they are. Science fiction fans will enjoy Michael Bishop’s slyly funny “ Sariela” and SF giant Robert Silverberg’s “ Basileus”. Dark fantasist Sarah Pinborough’s beautiful “Snow Angels” tells of children in a cancer hospice search for magic in a snowy landscape, and Jane Yolen’s “An Infestation of Angels” portrays angels as rapacious scavengers of human souls. Michael Marshall Smith’s memorable “Being Right” is a sardonically charming tale of the terrors of getting what you wish for, and a man with a very empty soul is chosen to deliver the worst news mankind has ever received in Christopher Fowler’s “The Beautiful Men”. You’ll also find Neil Gaiman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Ramsey Campbell, Graham Masterson and other superstar authors represented in this marvelous anthology of nightmares and delights. Don’t miss this one!
My search for excellence in horror literature continues this week with two fine offerings from specialty publisher Chômu Press!
DRACULA PAPERS, BOOK 1: THE SCHOLAR’S TALE by Reggie Oliver
This is the first installment of a projected four-volume mega-novel that details the trajectory of an insignificant Balkan aristocrat who becomes the infamous king of vampires. In a fictional introduction, Mr. Oliver recounts the discovery of arcane documents collected by Abraham Van Helsing that describe the life of the 17th century man who would become Count Dracula. There follows a foreword by Van Helsing himself, written in the year 1894, following the terrible events related by Bram Stoker in his novel, DRACULA, in which Van Helsing asserts that THE DRACULA PAPERS is a true and accurate account. The account itself is written by Renaissance-era scholar named Martin Bellorious, who was employed as a tutor to the sons of the King of Transylvania. In 1632, Bellorious writes his autobiography, recalling “certain incidents” in his life in which the reader is made privy to formerly unknown information of the future Count Dracula in claustrophobic Gothic prose reminiscent of the great M. R. James. Opening the tale with an atmospheric journey across Europe, Mr. Oliver casts an ominous, overarching atmosphere that draws the reader deeply into the narrative. From the dark shadows of the grand Transylvanian castle keep to the oppulent palace of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul, the first volume of THE DRACULA PAPERS describes a surreal path that culminates in the ascendancy of the greatest archetypical monster of all times.
I WONDER WHAT HUMAN FLESH TASTES LIKE by Justin Isis
This masterful debut short story collection from Justin Isis stirs the senses with interconnected tales of strange, chilling experiences, both sensory and metaphysical, set in contemporary Japan. Using metaphor and artful imagery in minimalist narratives, the author conjures a mindscape of the bizarre, concentrating upon encounters with the unusual and taboo such as cannibalism, exotic sexuality, determined cruelty, and the grotesque in many guises. In these stories, Mr. Isis describes in exquisitely sharp focus a teenager raised by strict vegetarians tempted to taste the most forbidden meat of all; a dull, unimaginative middle-aged man finding rapture in his idolization of a transvestite; college students grapple for selfhood through sexuality; a boy’s reacts to the purposeful drowning of a dog; the act of suicide is transformed into a spiritual art. In this world, all journeys lead to extraordinary destinations. Written with astutely provocative language and assertive style, Mr. Isis strikes out into anomalous topographies of human experience with stunning prose replete with disturbing textures of shuddering unease. Iconic author Quentin Crisp offers a perceptive introduction to Mr. Isis’s superbly crafted short stories. For more about Justin Isis, please visit http://justinisis.blogspot.com/.
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!