The Demon’s Wife: A Novel of the Supernatural and Attempted Redemption
JournalStone, September, 2013
Reviewed by Michael R. Collings
In many ways, Rick Hautala’s posthumous novel, scheduled for release in several months, is a fairly traditional contemporary love story. A woman meets a devastatingly attractive man in a bar, where they share a few moments. Later, as she leaves the bar, the man rescues her from a potentially lethal situation, suggesting that he has an equal interest in her. As the story progresses, they date, learn more about each other, fall in love, decide to live together, get engaged, meet her parents, set a date, get married…and so forth.
Of course, with the title The Demon’s Wife, and a page count exceeding 300, there is no secret that the seemingly-normal love story will not progress quite as smoothly as one might hope.
There is, for example, the small detail that the man, known through most of the novel only as Samael, is in reality a demon in human form, with all of the physical and emotional ‘baggage’ that millennia of devotion, not simply to evil but to ‘Evil’, must include. He has no soul. He keeps being tempted to fall into his old ways—such as finagling to capture other characters’ souls—in spite of his at-the-time-sincere promises not to. He isn’t precisely trustworthy, particularly at the beginning, because, of course, demons lie for a living. He is spectacularly handsome, though, even if—as Claire McMullen discovers to her extreme embarrassment and perturbation—he lacks any genitalia at all; the moment of revelation takes on a distinctly humorous edge, however, when Hautala gives a unique and unexpected turn to the old phrase (if you will pardon the vulgarity) “a piece of tail” (Hautala, I should also point out, does not use the phrase but it is implied throughout).
Indeed, that bit of anatomical anomaly is a key to the way Hautala treats his narrative. By taking absolutely seriously the idea that a demon might fall in love with a mortal woman, and vice versa, he allows for any number of horrific episodes, particularly when a group of the groom’s friends decide that they don’t want Samael to marry Claire or to attempt regaining his soul. As might be expected, their actions are vicious, insidious in the extreme, and highly effective.
At the same time, however, Hautala uses that same absolute seriousness as a pathway into humor. Imagine a demon’s response when his girlfriend inadvertently uses any number of common expletives referring with Heaven and its inhabitants. Or a demon and a human woman on a luncheon date. Or entering a jewelry store to buy an engagement ring. Time and again, Hautala uses his story-line to create obvious justapositions of right and wrong; morality and, not immorality perhaps, but certainly amorality; security and anxiety; mortality and immortality.
The result is a delightful, fearful, comedic, horrific, serious, satirical look at relationships, at the conventions of religion (although no specific religion is even mentioned), at humanity’s need for love regardless of its source, and, ultimately, of the possibilities and potentials of redemption.
I read the ARC of The Demon’s Wife in a little less than two days, which for me suggests that it was highly entertaining, highly effective, and deeply satisfying. It is certainly Rick Hautala doing what he does best—creating a fascinating characters within an equally fascinating narrative.
After the world died, a legend rises
“Incredible… Paul Kane is a gifted writer.” – Terrorizer.com
“A tale that will keep you glued to the last page.” – Falcata Times on Broken Arrow
After the success of its School’s Out Forever collection, Abaddon Books is releasing a trio of Robin Hood-inspired post-apocalyptic novels by Paul Kane in an omnibus exclusively for the North American market.
When civilisation died and the world descended into a new Dark Age, Robert Stokes lost everything, retreating into the woods near Nottingham to turn his back on it all.
But foreign mercenary and arms dealer De Falaise sees England as ripe for conquest – and when he and his army arrive at Nottingham, Stokes is reluctantly drawn into the resistance.
From Sherwood he leads the fight and takes on the mantle of the world’s greatest folk hero. The Hooded Man and his allies will become a symbol of freedom, a shining light in the horror of a blighted world, but he can never rest: De Falaise is only the first of his kind.
Filled with impressive action and desperate characters, this hard-edged dystopian omnibus collects the novels Arrowhead, Broken Arrow and Arrowland.
About the Series
The world has been devastated by an epidemic. Although there are pockets of an attempted continuation of civilisation, the truth is that the world has gone to hell in a handcart. The reason for this is a disease that has wiped out most of the world’s population. It kills almost all those who are not of the blood group ‘O neg’. Those people who survive are untouched. Everyone else dies. Infrastructures have collapsed. Mobs run rampant. The only kind of law that exists is that imposed by the people with the biggest guns. In this chaotic world who can bring hope and order?
The Afterblight Chronicles bring together the best genre writers in a shared world full of action-packed surprises and terrifying images of a world gone to the dogs, in a series that refuses to wallow in dystopian despondency when there’s meals to catch and cannibals to ward off!
Abaddon Books recently struck a deal with Multistory Films to bring The Afterblight Chronicles title School’s Out by Scott Andrews to the big screen.
About the Author
Paul Kane has been writing professionally for more than 14 years. His genre journalism has appeared in such magazines as The Dark Side, Death Ray, Fangoria, SFX, Dreamwatch and Rue Morgue, and his first non-fiction book was the critically acclaimed The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy. His award-winning short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic and has been collected in Alone (In the Dark), Touching the Flame, FunnyBones and Peripheral Visions. His novella Signs of Life reached the shortlist of the British Fantasy Awards 2006, The Lazarus Condition was introduced by Mick Garris, creator of Masters of Horror, and RED featured artwork from Dave McKean. In 2008 his zombie story ‘Dead Time’ was turned into an episode of the Lionsgate/NBC TV series Fear Itself. He currently lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife – the author Marie O’Regan – his family, and a black cat called Mina.
From the press release:
SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne is pleased to announce the signing of New York Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award® winning author, Jonathan Maberry, for the publication of the first-ever collection of short fiction involving the author’s famous character, Joe Ledger—the protagonist of a series of popular military/Horror/Speculative Fiction thrillers. The collection—to be titled: Joe Ledger: Special Ops—will contain reprints of existing Joe Ledger short stories and novelettes, totaling over fifty thousand words, along with between fifteen and twenty-five thousand words of all new content, containing new fiction and bonus materials including character Bios, ‘Behind the Scenes at the DMS,’ and other goodies. The anticipated release date for the collection is April of 2014.
About the Author: Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries. His novels include the Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (Pinnacle books; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2006), DEAD MAN’S SONG (2007) and BAD MOON RISING (2008); the Joe Ledger series of action thrillers from St. Martin’s Griffin: PATIENT ZERO (2009, which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Best Novel Award and is in development for TV by Sony Pictures), THE DRAGON FACTORY (2010; now available), THE KING OF PLAGUES (March 2011), THE OTHERS (March 2012), VISITORS (2013); THE WOLFMAN (NY Times bestseller from Tor, based on the Universal Pictures film starring Benecio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Sir Anthony Hopkins); the Benny Imura series of Young Adultdystopian zombie thrillers from Simon & Schuster: ROT & RUIN (Sept 2010) and DUST & DECAY (2011); and the forthcoming zombie thriller DEAD OF NIGHT (June 2011)
His nonfiction works include: VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006), THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 –winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer), ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and nominated for a Stoker Award; 2008), THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer), WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010 co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman), and THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall). He writes a variety of projects for Marvel Comics involving CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, and THE MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER. All of Jonathan’s comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.
Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He is also a ‘blog correspondent’ on Sony’s zombie-themed web show ‘WOKE UP DEAD’; and a recurring character on ‘IT’S TODD’S SHOW’. Jonathan’s Big Scary Blog(www.jonathanmaberry.com) focuses on the publishing industry. Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA. He is a frequent guest at genre cons, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including ThrillerFest, San Diego Comic Con, Sisters in Crime, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, New York Comic Con, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, The Write Stuff, Hypericon, Hypericon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others. Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors L. A. Banks, Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Sara Shepard, William Lashner, and Laura Schrock. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. On the last Sunday of every month Jonathan hosts the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill. The event is held at the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove Pennsylvania. Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics. In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field. His martial arts books include Self-Defense for Every Woman (Vortex Multimedia, 1985); Introduction to Asian Martial Arts (Vortex Multimedia, 1986); The Self-Defense Instructor’s Handbook (Vortex Multimedia, 1990); Judo and You (Kendall Hunt, 1991); Ultimate Jujutsu Principles and Practices (Strider Nolan, 2002); The Martial Arts Student Logbook (Strider Nolan, 2002); Ultimate Sparring Principles and Practices (Strider Nolan, 2003).
Visit his website at www.jonathanmaberry.com or find him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Library Thing, Shefari and Plaxo.
From the press release:
Winners of the 2012 Aurealis Awards were announced in a glittering ceremony held in Sydney last night.
Chris Barnes, convenor of the awards, said that with over 750 entries across the thirteen categories, the judges had a very challenging task.
“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. The winners represent the best of Australian fantasy, horror and science fiction writing in 2012 as judged by a panel of their peers. This year’s winners join the likes of Sara Douglass, Garth Nix, Isobelle
Carmody, Trudi Canavan, Shaun Tan and Sean Williams, all of whom are multiple Aurealis Award winners.”
“I’d like to extend my thanks to our sponsor, the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, and to Harper Voyager and Xoum Publishing for their support. I also thank all the judges for their efforts.”
“This is the third and final year for SpecFaction NSW to run the Aurealis Awards in Sydney. We are moving on to other things, but hand over with pleasure to Conflux Inc, who will host next year’s event in Canberra.”
Details of the awards are available at www.aurealisawards.com
19 March 2013
2012 Aurealis Award Winners
BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION (TOLD PRIMARILY THROUGH WORDS)
Brotherband: The Hunters by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION (TOLD PRIMARILY THROUGH PICTURES)
Little Elephants by Graeme Base (Viking Penguin)
BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
The Wisdom of the Ants by Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld)Media Release – 2013 Aurealis Awards ceremony Page 2 of 2
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney (Allen & Unwin)
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK / GRAPHIC NOVEL
Blue by Pat Grant (Top Shelf Comix)
That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote by K. J. Bishop (self-published)
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six
edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
BEST HORROR SHORT STORY
Sky by Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
BEST HORROR NOVEL
Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)
BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY
Bajazzle by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
BEST FANTASY NOVEL
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
Significant Dust by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Harper Collins)
PETER MCNAMARA CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
KRIS HEMBURY ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD
From the press release:
On Saturday June 8th at 2:00p.m. Dark Delicacies presents a special addition to its Victorville Massacre DVD signing.
Joining the signing will be French-born Actress Barbara Magnolfi. Her newest film role is in The Sister of Ursula but she is probably best known for her role in Dario Argento’s Suspiria. She will be signing copies of both films during her appearance at Dark Delicacies.
Dark Delicacies is located at 3512 West Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, Ca 91505 and can be reached at (818)556-6660 or email@example.com.
Creator: Alan Ball
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård
By Brian M. Sammons
Time for some more hot, sexy, bloody, and funny vampire action with Sookie, Bill, Eric, and all the rest of the gang from the tiny little Louisiana town that just so happens to be the nexus point for all things supernatural happening in the world. Or at least, that’s how it always seems. Yes, this is now the fifth year of HBO’s fangtastic show, and the question is; is it still as good as it was, or has it succumbed to the eventual decline that almost all TV shows seem to fall into? Well I guess that depends upon who you are.
You see, True Blood has one hell of a rabid fan base and after five years you already know if you’re a fan of it or not. If you are, then rejoice because here’s some more southern gothic, supernatural romance for you to sink your teeth into. So in essence, this is one of the easiest reviews for me to do, as I’m largely preaching to the converted if you’re still reading this. But hell, I’ve got a job to do, so grab your silver chains and your favorite artificial blood beverage; we’re going way down south for some vampire goodness.
Last season was all about magic, and this one is all about faith. Faith in people when it looks like they have majorly lost their way, and faith in divine beings. Now that’s common for many shows, but what is not too common is when murderous blood-fiends find religion. Even if it’s a religion based on slaughter. To this end, the Vampire Authority, the ruling body of vampires, play a huge part in the story. Unfortunately, this shifts much of focus from a lot of the supporting characters who have been part of the show from the beginning. There are only so many minutes in an episode, after all. Season five also brings back a villain from the past, one that was just so fun, and yet here he is poorly utilized and almost neutered. Lastly, some of the main characters take some wild turns only for the sake of plot contrivance. Instead of adding anything of merit to the story, they just seem way out of place. It does end with a nice cliffhanger, so there’s hope season six will be a bit better than this one.
Season Five of True Blood is not the show at its best, in fact it might be the worst season yet, but it’s far from being truly bad. The show continues to be a silly, sexy, if only ever slightly scary good time and I do enjoy this show despite my better judgment. I’m not a fan of the sexy, misunderstood vampire thing that is so popular these days, but even despite that, I do find myself returning to True Blood again and again. It’s cotton candy for the brain with plenty of pretty for the eye. I know some serious horror fans hate this series, but I think such folks need to lighten up and just enjoy this show as the ridiculous, over the top, naughty soap opera it is. That’s how I watch it, and it never fails to give me a giggle.
Merits of the continuing adventures of Sookie and Vampire Bill aside, this new Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy combo set from HBO is pretty top notch. There are five audio commentaries to be found here. Why only five? I don’t know, but they are pretty fun and informative and have a bunch of the cast and crew on them, including show-runner Alan Ball, stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O’Hare and more. In addition to the commentaries, there are a bunch of interviews about each of the episodes with all the True Blood writers. There is a group discussion with members of the cast and crew on one of the episodes (episode six), how it was made and various behind the scenes bits. There is an interactive guide showing all the relationships, past and present, and with five seasons and a cast this large, that gets quite extensive. There are several “authority confessionals” where actors playing the vampire hierarchy speak to the camera while staying in character about their shadowy organization. Character bios, flashbacks, flash-forwards, and other interactive hints and goodies round out this impressive list of bloody good extras.
So if you are waiting for the sixth season of True Blood to start up on HBO, do yourself a favor and pick up this fifth season to remind you of all the sexy supernatural shenanigans from last years. Even five years in it is still a load of fun that looks absolutely great on Blu-ray and comes packed with a gaggle of great extras. If you have yet to catch this show and want to jump on the True Blood bandwagon, this is not the season to do it. There’s too much inside baseball here for newbies. However if you’re a diehard fangbanger, you’ll still get a kick out of this season, although you have probably already seen it by now.
How lucky can you be? I’ve been to New Zealand. It is an absolutely wonderful place. Beautiful mountains, stunning beaches, forests…just being allowed to live there should be enough to make anyone happy. Well now, if you’re a lucky Kiwi with a good idea, it seems that you can also get your movie made. Sounds pretty cool to me.
From the press release:
Producer Ant Timpson, Greg Newman (EVP MPI/Dark Sky Films), and New Zealand Film Commission CEO Graeme Mason announced today the return of MAKE MY MOVIE, the highly successful New Zealand feature film project.
The New Zealand Film Commission and MPI/Dark Sky Films are financing a low budget feature film scheme in which the entire budget will be given away to any individual/team who can come up with a synopsis and poster that wows the public and the in-house gurus. The first round resulted in the critically acclaimed Kiwi peeping-tom rom-com HOW TO MEET GIRLS FROM A DISTANCE. That film was conceived and delivered in less than six months; it was then sold to Madman Entertainment after a highly successful festival run in New Zealand.
This time around exec producer Timpson sought support from Newman and MPI and upped the stakes, calling it MAKE MY HORROR MOVIE with a focus entirely on the horror genre.
“Having MPI/Dark Sky on board from day one is a smart way to help us to find a project that can transcend the inherent limitations of a low budget and to select a project that can make a real dent internationally. We were all knocked out by the creativity from the first Make My Movie; we have a real chance to find the next Paranormal Activity through this process” said Timpson.
Greg Newman, EVP MPI/Dark Sky, said, “We are pleased to be involved in this unique collaboration with Ant Timpson and the New Zealand Film Commission. This furthers our commitment to developing new talent and to bringing the best in independent genre to the marketplace.”
“We were all really impressed by what the make My Movie team and How to Meet Girls from a Distance achieved last year. We’re proud to support this excellent low-budget initiative, and I can’t wait to see what Make My Horror Movie produces this time round,” added NZFC Chief Executive Graeme Mason.
The deal was structured by Tim Riley of Dominion Law with assistance from NZFC’s Naomi Wallwork. MPI will cover Worldwide Sales.
The MPI/Dark Sky Films brand includes the successful genre films The House of the Devil, Stake Land, The Innkeepers, Frankenstein’s Army, Hatchet III, Stitches, and the upcoming Late Phases.