Apr 062015
 

Black Dog Books has six new titles now available for order, and it’s a pulp bonanza!

The Garden of TNT by William J. Makin—The compete adventures of the Red Wolf of Arabia. With an introduction by Mike Ashley.

Dying Comes Hard by James P. Olsen—Two-fisted investigator “Hard Guy” Dallas Duane knocks the crime out of these oil field mysteries. With an introduction by James Reasoner.

The Voice

Blackout – Tim Curran

 horror fiction, science fiction, Tim Curran  Comments Off on Blackout – Tim Curran
Aug 202014
 

BLACKOUT is the
first thing I’ve read by Tim Curran. It’s a well-written horror/science fiction
novella that’s very reminiscent of not only 1950s SF movies but also the work
of Stephen King, in that he takes a group of normal people (in this case
middle-class suburbanites) and puts them in an unexpected and very harrowing
situation so we can see how they react.

Curran spends a little time

Elderwood Manor – Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes

 Angeline Hawkes, Christopher Fulbright, horror fiction  Comments Off on Elderwood Manor – Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes
Jul 162014
 

The set-up of ELDERWOOD MANOR, the new novella by
Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes, is a classic one in horror fiction:
protagonist returns to his creepy, tragedy-haunted childhood home, where things
get even creepier and more dangerous.

Fulbright and Hawkes bring this tale to life with some fine writing, a brooding
sense of overpowering doom, a nice pace, and the addition of the

The Charnel God – Clark Ashton Smith

 Clark Ashton Smith, fantasy, horror fiction, Weird Tales  Comments Off on The Charnel God – Clark Ashton Smith
Jun 302014
 

A while back John Hocking
suggested that I read Clark Ashton Smith’s story “The Charnel God”,
which originally appeared in the March 1934 issue of WEIRD TALES. Now I have,
and I’m becoming more of a CAS fan after never reading much of his work until recently.

“The Charnel God” is one of Smith’s Zothique stories, set on a far
future, decadent Earth where magic has replaced science. The plot

Arkham Woods – Christopher Rowley

 Christopher Rowley, Graphic Novels, H.P. Lovecraft, horror fiction, manga  Comments Off on Arkham Woods – Christopher Rowley
Jun 122014
 

Let me start out by saying that I’m not overly fond of the
manga format, especially for graphic novels that weren’t published in Japan to
start with. Doing a story that way strikes me as being almost as pretentious as
not using quotation marks in fiction.

That said, I can get used to it once I start reading, and as a result, ARKHAM
WOODS turns out to be fairly entertaining.

This graphic

Paradox Falls – Peter Brandvold

 horror fiction, Peter Brandvold  Comments Off on Paradox Falls – Peter Brandvold
Jun 042014
 

PARADOX FALLS is Peter Brandvold’s first true horror novel,
although he’s included horror and supernatural elements in some of his
Westerns. It’s a good one, too, as the plot finds three old friends upholding a
tradition as they hike to the top of a mountain in Colorado. Jake is a writer,
not as successful as he’d like to be, and when he and Ashley were teenagers
they were each other’s first

Zombies from the Pulps!: The Corpse Master – Seabury Quinn

 horror fiction, Jeffrey Shanks, Seabury Quinn  Comments Off on Zombies from the Pulps!: The Corpse Master – Seabury Quinn
Apr 232014
 

Unlike H.P. Lovecraft, who authored only a few stories that
I’ve read so far, and Henry S. Whitehead, who I hadn’t read at all, I’m pretty
familiar with the work of Seabury Quinn, the next author in ZOMBIES FROM THEPULPS! I’ve read probably two dozen of the stories in his long-running series
about occult detective Jules de Grandin, maybe more. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t
read “The Corpse-Master”,

Zombies From the Pulps!: Jumbee – Henry S. Whitehead

 Henry S. Whitehead, horror fiction, Jeffrey Shanks, zombies  Comments Off on Zombies From the Pulps!: Jumbee – Henry S. Whitehead
Apr 162014
 

The second story in ZOMBIES FROM THE PULPS!, the fine new anthology edited by Jeffrey Shanks, is Henry S. Whitehead’s “Jumbee”, which originally appeared in the September 1926 issue of WEIRD TALES. As Shanks points out in his introduction, it’s one of the earliest zombie yarns. Following the lurid “Herbert West: Reanimator” by H.P. Lovecraft, it comes off as a little on the mild side, as the

Forgotten Books: Herbert West: Reanimator – H.P. Lovecraft

 Forgotten Books, H.P. Lovecraft, horror fiction, Weird Tales  Comments Off on Forgotten Books: Herbert West: Reanimator – H.P. Lovecraft
Mar 212014
 

My general dislike of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, while still
acknowledging its influence and historical significance in the field of Weird
Fiction, has gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion in the past. But
for some reason, every so often I get the urge to read something by him, maybe in
the hope of finding a story that I like. And whaddaya know, I finally did.

I’m fudging a little with

The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs – Daniel Abraham

 Daniel Abraham, horror fiction, mystery fiction  Comments Off on The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs – Daniel Abraham
Jan 222014
 
THE INCIDENT OF THE HARROWMOOR DOGS is the first thing I’ve read by Daniel Abraham, who’s becoming well-known as an author of science fiction and fantasy under his own name and a couple of pseudonyms. This is a novella featuring a couple of characters who have appeared previously in some of Abraham’s short stories. Balfour and Meriwether (we don’t find out their first names) are a pair of tough Englishmen in the 1880s who carry out dangerous assignments for a secret intelligence agency headed by a nobleman who reports directly to the Queen.

This time they’re asked to track down a fellow agent who has disappeared while investigating the case of an explorer and war hero who is locked up in a sinister sanitorium after suffering a breakdown of some sort. It seems that this unfortunate patient has been having nightmares that somehow reveal information the British government would prefer to keep secret.

Balfour—whose weapon of choice is knives—and Meriwether—who carries a brace of pistols and is good with them—pursue different lines of investigation that ultimately lead them to the same place, a warren of tunnels under the English countryside that contain a horrifying secret.

THE INCIDENT OF THE HARROWMOOR DOGS is a well-written, very entertaining blend of mystery, espionage, adventure, and horror. There’s a little Conan Doyle, a little Robert E. Howard, even a little Robert Louis Stevenson. There’s a late twist in the plot that seems a little forced to me, but hey, it’s Abraham’s story, not mine. And overall I had a fine time reading it.

The earlier Balfour and Meriwether adventures are available here. I liked this one enough that I’ve already bought them and look forward to reading them.