Review: Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse

By Mike Griffiths

Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse. Editor: Edward McKeown. Altered Dimensions; First edition (May 1, 2009). ISBN-13: 978-0982135242.

What can I say about this excellent, small-press anthology? First off, I could start with: “It is the best book I have read this year.” Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse offers a fascinating premise: every 10,000 years, the barrier between the Earth and Hell becomes thin and it becomes far easier for the minions and armies of Hell to …

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Review: Abaculus III

By Ben Cooper

Abaculus III. Editor: Danielle Kaheaku. Leucrota Press: Poway (CA), 2009. 219 pp. US$ 14.95. ISBN: 978-0-9824713-2-6.

The genres of sci-fi, fantasy and horror have come to thrive in the small presses. With the larger publishing houses increasingly looking to play it safe and rack up mammoth sales with established genre authors rather than take a punt on some new, unproved scribbler, it has fallen to the hard-working, small-press arena to foster new talent, whether through novels …

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Review: Crossed Genres Year One

By Lyndsey Holder

Crossed Genres Year One. January 7, 2010. US $9.99. ISBN-13: 978-1449996949.

The most interesting thing about this book is that it seems to throw convention completely out of the window. There’s a romance with no bodice-ripping, a crime story with a shocking lack of alcoholic detectives, child fiction that is surprisingly dark, and a humour piece that isn’t at all funny. Although it doesn’t work for all of the stories in this anthology, many of the …

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Review: The 12 Burning Wheels

by Mike Griffiths

Torres, Cesar. The 12 Burning Wheels. (February 17, 2010) USD $7.99 (Kindle Edition: US $5.99) ISBN-13: 978-1450585545

Last summer, Cesar Torres set a goal for himself: he was going to write 12 stories in 12 days. Not only did he succeed in that goal, but he also succeeded in producing 12 imaginative, vastly different, yet highly entertaining tales.

The first story, “The Broken Chest”, is an eerie tale about a modern magician and his daughter. Torres’ …

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Review: Occultation

By Lyndsey Holder

Laird Barron, Occultation. Night Shade Books (May 15, 2010), 300 pp. USD $24.95. ISBN-13: 978-1597801928.

Occultation contains nine short stories of the type of horror generally referred to as ‘Lovecraftian’ – clever protagonists who live mostly in their own heads find themselves face to face with an evil that is so far beyond our spectrum of understanding that it makes us feel small and isolated in a world which, despite our best efforts, is not as …

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Review: Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

By Orrin Grey

Joshi, S.T. Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror. PS Publishing, 2010. US $40. ISBN 978-1848630611.

Over the years, countless anthologies of original “Lovecraftian” fiction have been released, but when S.T. Joshi’s Black Wings was announced on the heels of Ellen Datlow’s Lovecraft Unbound, it seemed inevitable that the two volumes would be compared. Not only were they two major anthologies with a similar theme being released by two luminaries in the field, their tables …

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Review: The Anthology of Dark Wisdom – the Best of Dark Fiction

By Mike Griffiths

Jones, William, ed. The Anthology of Dark Wisdom – the Best of Dark Fiction. Elder Signs Press; (October 2009). ISBN-13: 978-1934501146

This collection of 25 stories is one of the best anthologies that I have read in years. The stories centre around darker themes, as one might guess from the title, but most of them are not what one would call “classic” horror. Many are in more of a dark fantasy vein, where heroes have come …

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Review: Supernatural Magazine, Issue #16

By Paula R. Stiles

Supernatural Magazine. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2010. Issue #16, May 2010. 67pp. US $6.99, CAN $7.99. ISSN: 1752-945X.

[some spoilers for season five, both past and future episodes]

This issue is not officially supposed to come out until April 6, but, for whatever reason, my local bookstore had it last week. So, I had a chance to check it over before reviewing it. Except that a cat is lying on it no matter where I …

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Review: Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon

By Paula R. Stiles

DeCandido, Keith R.A. Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon. London: Titan Books, February 16, 2010. 320pp. US $7.99/CAN $8.99/UK £6.99. ISBN: 978-1848566002.

In Japan, a wandering ronin is tricked by a demon, who gets him burned to death by a group of dirt-dumb peasants straight out of The Seven Samurai. A century and a half later, his descendant calls him back to earth in the form of a flaming harbinger of death called the “Heart …

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Review: Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead

By Lyndsey Holder

Kilpatrick, Nancy, ed. Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead. Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (September 15, 2010). $15.95 USD; $16.95, CAN. ISBN-13: 978-1894063333.

I’ve read more than a few anthologies in the decades I’ve spent as a confirmed bibliophile, and I have found that the general rule of thumb is to find an editor whose tastes run parallel to yours. Compilations of stories are much the same as compilations of music – full of …

Lyndsey HolderReview: Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead

Review: Supernatural: Beginning’s End: Issue #3

By Paula R. Stiles

Dabb, Andrew. Loflin, Daniel. Supernatural: Beginning’s End. Issue #3. Matthew Dow Smith, Diego Olmos, art. Marta Martinez, colors. Wes Abbott, letters. Ben Abernathy, Kristy Quinn, eds. Wildstorm Comics, March 17, 2010 [date on comic cover, May 3, 2010]. $2.99 USD. 32 pp.

Going stir-crazy in the motel room, with Sam and John at each other’s throats, Dean “discovers” a hunt at the Museum of Natural History (one of the funnest museums in the world, as …

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Review: Supernatural Magazine, Issue #15

By Paula R. Stiles

Supernatural Magazine. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2010. Issue #15, March/April 2010. 67pp. US $6.99, CAN $7.99. ISSN: 1752-645X.

[some spoilers for season five episodes, both recent and future]

This issue is a “relatively” short one, by which I mean that it’s not a hundred-page monster. But it still has some nice tidbits in it, notably, interviews with Jensen Ackles, Richard Speight Jr. (Trickster/Gabriel), Rob Benedict (Chuck), Mark Sheppard (Crowley the demon), Steven Williams (Rufus), and …

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