by Mark Taylor
It was much vaunted of bringing a new age. When the comet rode the stars past the moon in its third night full, it changed everything.
It was the first time in millions of years it had passed the earth close enough to see.
I sit here now, watching the new age unfurl. It has brought us all closer together. We work in groups now, sharing the load, making sure no one person has too much or too little to do. There is a common hierarchy, and no one person has control.
We are free.
The dead rising does that.
Michael Philip Cash
Redfeather Publishing, 2013
Reviewed by Michael R. Collings
Having read Michael Philip Cash’s earlier novel, Brook X—A First Hand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion, I received Stillwell—A Haunting on Long Island with a sense of anticipation tinged with an odd feeling of familiarity, as though I were about to read something by an old friend. I’ve never met Cash nor corresponded substantively with him, but I remembered the feeling of comfort-within-horror in the earlier novel.
As things turned out, the feelings were justified.
Stillwell examines a broken family. Paul Russo’s wife has died and his three children are not handling the crisis well. Nor is he. He has largely ignored his job during the final weeks of his wife’s illess…and his children. Following the funeral, he must face the inconceivable: a life without her. At the same time, however, he has a much-needed opportunity to get back to work. A life-long friend has asked him to sell a centuries-old mansion on Long Island. The commission from the sale will go a long ways toward re-establishing the Russos’ financial stability.
There is a drawback, however…actually two.
The first is that Stillwell Manor, easily worth cool twenty million, will likely be a hard sell. It is the scene of the murder-suicide of the previous owners, which will turn many prospective buyers off; and it is haunted, in fact has been from the eighteenth century. Somehow Paul must deal with these difficulties, which only seem to increase the more he discovers about the old place and the more intimately he involves himself with the Andrews family, past and present.
The second drawback is even more formidable.
Paul Russo half believes that he is going insane. He has had dreams, evil dreams of his dead wife’s spirit in the clutches (literally) of a horrific demon, a beast-thing that will not allow her to move forward into the afterlife. As the story progresses—the actions taking little more than a week to complete—Paul fells increasingly drawn into the world of his nightmares that somehow, inexplicably, focuses on Stillwell Manor and the ancient well nearby.
The novel is less horror than ghost story. That is, there is an otherworldly feel about even the most terrifying events, usually recounted as occurring within dreams; while the actual “real world” circumstances are recounted with precisely, almost obsessive detail that balances and often contravenes scenes of horror. The story unfolds slowly, with the opening chapters devoting more time to Allison Russo’s death and Paul’s struggle to cope than with anything outré or unexpected. When the supernatural does begin to intrude, it does so almost unnoticed, building gradually to a combustive conclusion that simultaneously resolves both haunting: the one at Stillswell Manor and the one confronting Paul.
The storytelling is clear and precise. Perhaps my only critique of the book is that it leaves me with a lingering wish for more, that the tale had not been told quite so crisply—the same sense, by the way, that I had when finishing Brood X. Still, Cash tells his story well, creating and animating a bit of history as he invites us into a decaying, atmospheric old pile on Long Island.
by William Morgan
“Uncle Jack!Wake up”
Jack,who’s been staying at his brothers until he got his life sorted,woke up hazily.
Tommy ,11, led his Uncle into his room and pointed to his closet.
“I-in there…” said Tommy fearfully
Jack peered into the closet. ” ‘snuthin there.Honest. Look”
Jack sighed, walked into the closet.
Tommy slammed the door shut and locked it.
“Hey! What the-! Open this door!TOMMY! Dammit!”
Tommy woke up his father next.
“Daddy,” he said, “There’s a monster in my closet”
By Byron Craft
Reviewed by James B. Carter
The idea for The Alchemist’s Notebook started way back in 1978, when it was initially going to exist on celluloid, but unfortunately for cinephiles the world over, the movie incarnation of Craft’s story, originally entitled THE CRY of CTHULHU, just wasn’t in the cards.
Roughly thirty-five years later, Bryon Craft proves that persistence will always win out, as the novelization of his film idea doesn’t just pay off, it pays off in spades.
It isn’t only Craft’s impeccable writing skills that shine, so does Tom Sullivan’s artwork, which just doesn’t grace the cover, but is speckled throughout the pages of Craft’s epic tale.
If you’re longing for bizarre creatures, mind control and hyper unique other worldly environments, then Byron Craft has written a must read book for you.
The Alchemist’s Notebook is not only an homage to the work of H.P Lovecraft, but it’s as if he wrote the book himself, possessing the mind and fingertips of one Byron Craft.
The novel is written as if it were based on true events taken from a diary kept by Janet Church, the journal of Heinrich Todesfall and a series of audio recordings made by Janet’s husband, Faren Church. Each story is seamlessly sewn together, acting as one flawlessly written narrative.
The story is highly imaginative, and written with unapologetic sophistication, although brilliant, It’s not a casual read. If you want an intense one of a kind journey, steeped with wormholes and alien life forms, then by all means jump down Crafts rabbit hole.
Byron Craft is so astute at bringing to life these fantastic thoughts and intriguing storyline that sometimes you wonder if the story he has penned is fictitious at all.
The Alchemist’s Notebook, is the first chapter from a planned trilogy, so strap yourselves in and prepares for the mysterious unknown, because what Craft has graced us with thus far is just the beginning.
This is more sci-fi than horror, but I liked it. I hope you do also.
by Rose Blackthorn
The star was small, orbited by four rocky planets, two gas giants, two ice giants, and uncounted asteroids. It was distant from the center of an average spiral galaxy, and perfect for their research.
G’toxn ran the last calculations, chitinous appendages blurring with their speed.
R’garyx studied magnified images of the blue planet, faceted eyes noting small mechanical satellites orbiting beyond its atmosphere. “Did you know the third planet supports life?”
G’toxn finished, and nodded absently. “Too primitive to worry about.”
R’garyx frowned, antennae drooping.
The experiment was deployed. From outside the system, they observed as the unnamed star collapsed.
Rose Blackthorn is a writer, reader, dog-mom. Lives in the high-mountain desert, but longs for the sea. She can be found online at http://roseblackthorn.wordpress.com.
From the Grimmfest website:
Ever dreamed of getting your movie in cinemas, on DVD and VOD platforms all around the world? We’ll here’s your chance. Read on to find out more.
Its that time of year again folks. Submissions are open and we’re looking for the best in Horror, Cult, Weird, and Fantastic movies for our early October festival. If you think this applies to your very own cinematic offspring, then we’d love to hear from you.
To submit a film you’ll need to download the submission form at the bottom of this page, fill out and post along with your short or feature length film.
“This year, for the first time, Grimm Up North, in partnership with Raven Banner Entertainment will be offering a very special competition for all submitted feature and short films”.
When you submit your film for festival consideration, you will also have the option of entering our Grand Jury Competition. The feature film winner will be afforded the incredible and unique opportunity of having their film distributed in the UK by Grimm Entertainment and sold internationally by esteemed genre specialist sales company, Raven Banner. We will also create a Grimmfest 2014 compilation of the best shorts for UK distribution.
NOTE: In entering your film into the distribution/sales competition you must have the authority to and agree to give GrimmFest permission to directly acquire all appropriate rights to your film. Exact agreements between all relevant parties can and will be clarified upon the film’s success in the competition. Grimm Up North will directly represent the title and arrange for domestic UK distribution and Raven Banner will serve as the film’s international sales agent, securing distribution deals in other territories across the world.
For further information, please download the appropriate submission form or contact the team: Info@GrimmFest.com with the subject line ’2014 Festival Competition Inquiry’.
To learn more, you’ll have to go to the Grimmfest website by clicking here.