Upon My Worst EnemyUpon My Worst Enemy
by Mike Wellins
Release Date:  January 27, 2014
Publisher:  Freakybuttrue

Reviewed by Matthew Scott Baker
I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this or not, but I love historical horror.  The concept of inserting a terrifying story into living history takes a true talent, but I’ve read several stories and books over the years that pull it off with ease.  Such is the case with UPON MY WORST ENEMY, a recent release from author Mike Wellins.  In this novel, Wellins uses World War II as the backdrop for his horror yarn, one of my personal favorite time periods in history.  And although the book is not perfect, it is a hell of a read and one I highly recommend.

If you are not familiar with UPON MY WORST ENEMY, here is the plot synopsis:

Toward the close of World War Two, a foundering, lone German Uboat runs aground on a tiny nameless island in the North Atlantic. Just miles below the arctic circle, the German U-boat captain finds himself and his surviving crew stranded on a hostile rock in the middle of the frozen, pitching sea. Their ship destroyed, their supplies ruined, the German sailors quickly discover that they aren’t alone on the barren island. A small squad of Navy engineers, the working Seabees were already on the tiny island to build a small radio repeater station for the allies. With no place to retreat to, the two foes will face off in a brutal battle of attrition on the inhospitable island. The only hope for the Germans and the Americans alike is to survive long enough to meet the ship that is scheduled to pick up the Seabees, once their task is completed. The American squad is outnumbered, but far better prepared for battle and the deadly conditions. Neither side, however, could ever have been prepared for the third inhabitant on the god-forsaken rock.

I’m not sure what it is about horror stories set within wars that enthralls me, but there’s something about the idea that sets my interest ablaze.  Maybe it’s because war is such a horrific thing to begin with, and adding another terrifying element to that compounds it so; or maybe it’s because war can bring out the best and worst of humanity, which makes the perfect companion to the premise of a horror tale.  I don’t know.  But regardless, I enjoy the concept greatly, and this book is a welcome addition.

UPON MY WORST ENEMY is written fairly well, although I will confess there are bits of clunky prose here and there.  The storyline is fluid, however, and the plot never bogs down.  Wellins writes with a unique voice, an attribute which deepens the immersion-factor into the story.  I particularly like this aspect, as it allowed me to fly through the book and finish it within two days.

The characterizations are sufficiently in-depth, and I never once balked at the actions of any of the soldiers.  Wellins creates original and well thought-out individuals, not stereotypical personas that readers can find in thousands of other books.  This is yet another big plus and one more reason to enjoy this title.

My sole complaint about UPON MY WORST ENEMY is the editing.  I ran across several missed edits, including commas in the wrong place, omitted words, and words used incorrectly (i.e. ‘son’ instead of ‘sun’).  This is, however, very forgivable in a self-published piece like this; authors cannot necessarily afford to hire an outside editor, therefore they have to do the cutting and fixing themselves.  And I speak from personal experience when I say editing can be a very difficult thing to do, especially if you are dissecting your own work.

UPON MY WORST ENEMY is a great book and very enjoyable read.  I recommend it to fans of horror or anyone looking for a nice, temporary escape (the book measures in at 230+ pages, and it’s a fast read).  It is available now in a variety of formats.

Categories : Book Reviews
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Joe_Ledger_Collection-197x300JournalStone Publishing proudly announces the release of Joe Ledger: Special Ops, a collection of short stories by Jonathan Maberry on April 25th.   To get your very own copy, just click here.

Captain Joe Ledger. Former cop. Former Army Ranger. Currently the top-kick of Echo Team, an elite squad of first-class shooters who roll out to face down the world’s most dangerous terrorists. Not fanatics with explosive vests or political hostage takers. Joe and his team square off against terrorists who have the most advanced and exotic weapons of mass destruction. Designer bioweapons. Cutting edge transgenics. Real mad scientist stuff.

If they have to call Joe Ledger – it’s already hit the fan.

JOE LEDGER: SPECIAL OPS collects several of the Ledger short stories and presents two brand new tales exclusive to this volume. Bonus features include character profiles and a never-before-published glimpse behind the scenes of the Department of Military Sciences.

Join the Hunt!

Includes:

ARTIFACT – original short story
Joe Ledger goes after an enigmatic device that could hold the key to permanent sustainable energy –or could become the most dangerous weapon on earth.

THE HANDYMAN – original short story
Joe Ledger is naked and unarmed and has to escape a high-security facility armed with whatever he can find. Expect Joe to get cranky.

Borrowed Power, Changeling, Countdown, Deep Dark, Mad Science, Material Witness and Zero Tolerance

Bonus features include character profiles and a never-before-published glimpse behind the scenes of the Department of Military Sciences. 

Categories : Publisher News
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scarlet galleonFrom the Scarlet Galleon website:

Submission Guidelines for DEAD HARVEST

A Collection of Dark Tales

Scarlet Galleon Publications is proud to announce its inaugural horror/dark fiction anthology CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS.

We invite you to submit a story for consideration! Original stories only please. NO reprints, duplicate or simultaneous submissions.

Publication Date: September 23, 2014 (Autumnal Equinox)

Open Period for Submissions: May 1, 2014 – May 31, 2014. Any submissions emailed before or after set call dates will be deleted.

Project Title: DEAD HARVEST – A Collection of Dark Tales

Subject/Theme: Open concept horror/dark fiction stories. 4,000 – 9,000 words.  If your story consists of a ’harvest,’ ‘autumnal,’ or ‘agricultural’ theme, great, but it need not be to be consideration.

Manuscript Format: 12 pt Times New Roman; double-spaced; formatted tabs with 0.3 auto indent; extra line between paragraphs; pages numbered; your name/contact information/story title in header of every page.

Submissions must be sent directly to Scarlet Galleon Publications as an email attachment. Any questions or concerns should also be directed to Scarlet Galleon Publications  by emailing them directly to:

scarletgalleonpublications@gmail.com

In your email please include your full name, title of the work you’re submitting, and the final word count of your manuscript.

It is expected that submissions will be fully edited and proofread prior to being sent in for consideration. Submissions with incorrect grammar, misspellings, or formatting issues will be disqualified and therefore excluded from the review process. ALL submissions that are accepted for publication in DEAD HARVEST – A Collection of Dark Tales, will be subject to minor editorial corrections. Any stories needing more than minor edits, but meritorious for their originality and content, will be discussed with the contributor prior to exclusion, however Scarlet Galleon Publications maintains the right to disqualify the entry if the overall editorial process would prove too exhaustive.

Submissions MUST be sent in DOC files; please NO DOCX. If your story is not in DOC format, it will deleted.

If your story is selected for publication, payment will include $25.00 (within 30 days of acceptance, or contract signing) and one (1) print edition of DEAD HARVEST – A Collection of Dark Tales, (within 90 days of publication).  Scarlet Galleon Publications will retain first worldwide publication rights for a period of 12 months from the date of publication.

Upon acceptance of your story, a brief biography will be requested, to be included at the end of the anthology. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of your publications or weblinks, just a short bio to let readers know about the contributors.

Again, kindly submit ALL correspondence dirctly to: scarletgalleonpublications@gmail.com

PLEASE NOTE: ANY submissions or inquiries sent anywhere other than to the email address provided above will be deleted.

Scarlet Galleon Publications would like to thank you for your interest, and wish each of you luck in writing a story filled with originality and all-out terror.

Now, get those stories written!

Dark Discoveries 27JournalStone Publishing announces the release of Issue #27 of Dark Discoveries Magazine on April 30th.  If you enjoy the very best in original horror fiction, interviews with the best of today’s horror authors, and news and features on all things horror, then this magazine is for you.  Just click here and you’re one step closer to receiving the best horror magazine on the market today.  Here is what you’ll get in the latest issue:

Dark Discoveries – Issue #27

Dark Mystery

Expected ship date of April 30, 2014

All new Fiction by: Douglas Clegg, Brian Evenson, Maurice Broaddus, John R. Little, Bentley Little, Tom Piccirilli

Interviews with: Brian Evenson, Jeffrey Sackett, and Tom Piccirilli

Articles on:  The Italian Connection: Crime Films of the 1970s by James R. Beach, Nightmare on Main Street: The Mad Slasher Pulps by Frank M. Robinson & Lawrence Davidson, Hannibal Lecter’s Reign of Terror by Aaron J. French

Jade Sky Comic by:  Joe McKinney and Patrick Freivald with artwork from Chris Bell

Columns from Jonathan Maberry, Yvonne Navarro, Richard Dansky, Robert Morrish and so much more!

Table of Contents

Fiction

Funerary Rites by Douglas Clegg
BearHeart by Brian Evenson
Communication Breakdown by Maurice Broaddus
The Exchange by John R. Little
The Pen by Bentley Little
My Secret is the Faces in My Hands by Tom Piccirilli

Non-Fiction
Career in Misperception: An Interview with Brian Evenson by Geofreey H. Goodwin
What the Hell Ever Happened to… An Interview with Jeffrey Sackett by  Robert Morrish
Meeting the Black: An Interview with Tom Piccirilli by Joel B. Kirkpatrick

Features
The Italian Connection: Crime Films of the 1970s by James R. Beach
Nightmares on Main Street: The Mad Slasher Pulps by Frank M. Robinson & Lawrence Davidson
Hannibal Lecter’s Reign of Terror by Aaron J. French
Genre Crossover: The Alan Wake Game Series by Richard Dansky
Double X Chromosome: Taxes Noir by Yvonne Navarro
Once Upon a Nightmare YA Horror: The Black Dahlia by Amy Shane
Things That Bite: Cryptids (Part 2) by By Jonathan Maberry and David F. Kramer
To Name the Genre by Michael R. Collings

Jade Sky Comic by Joe McKinney and Patrick Freivald – Artwork by Chris Bell

Hellnotes Reviews

Book Reviews

Movie Reviews

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dark Discoveries is a quarterly (Spring: April 30th, Summer: July 31st, Autumn: October 31st andWinter: January 31st), 8×11/color glossy magazine (100 to 130 pages) that is available in close to 500 stores in the US, Canada and Overseas (U.K., Germany and other countries) — including Barnes & Noble, Chapters, Powell’s Books, Tattered Covers, Borderlands, Things From Another World, Dreamhaven, Mystery & Imagination and Dark Delicacies.

In continuous publication for nearly a decade, the magazine features some of the best content in the Horror/Dark Fantasy/Science Fiction genres, offering in-depth interviews, insightful articles, regular columns, fantastic artwork and outstanding short fiction. Past contributors and topics include: RayBradbury, Richard Matheson, The Twilight Zone, H.R. Giger, William F. Nolan, Ramsey Campbell, EC ComicsJoe R. Lansdale, Dan O’Bannon, Forrest J Ackerman, Graham Masterton, Brian Lumley,George Clayton JohnsonDark Horse Comics, Brian Keene, Douglas Clegg, Joe Hill, J.K. Potter and many others.

Categories : Publisher News
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Apr
22

Coins of Chaos – Book Review

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Coins of ChaosCoins of Chaos 

Jennifer Brozek (Editor)

Edge

ISBN 978 1770530485

May, 2014; $14.95 PB

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Known as the hobo nickel, this coin is handed out for a number of different reasons, for a stay in a strange place, sustenance, love or power over others. These nickels aren’t normal, though, as each person who owns one finds out. They are made by the Carver who has made them and placed inside them his hatred and wish for evil to befall anyone who has the misfortune to own one. In all, there are twenty coins, all 1913 Buffalo nickels made to look as though they are worth nothing. All the coins  give each person a different fate as the seventeen short stories will show; a hungry coin with a defaced Indian on the face, or a smiling skull and a skull with snakes crawling out of it.

The Carver shares his stories with us as he wants us to see his intentions for humanity, and before each story, he introduces it with a chance remark about the coins, while at the end of the stories, he finishes with a bit about the person involved and what happened to them later. One of the extras the reader gets is an illustration of the coin the character in the story owned, and they are all grotesque in one way or another.

Edited by Jennifer Brozek, Coins of Chaos contains seventeen of the best stories from various authors; Nathaniel Lee, Kelly Swails, Andrew Penn Romine, Jay Lake, Erik Scott de Bie, Nathan Crowder, Dylan Birtolo, Jason Andrew and Peter M. Ball. I have to admit that I flicked through the stories, and skipped the first one to take a look at the second one, “The Price of Serenity,” about Charles whose son had died in a house fire. As the fire had been his fault from the start, he has been estranged from his then wife, and, in a moment of madness he goes to see a fortune-teller at a fayre. Thinking it would be something to distract him from how bad he felt, he is prepared for the possibility she might be a fake, but when she tells him what is on his mind and what he has done before, he thinks she might have some answers.

This is one of the many stories that have a twist in the tale endings readers can enjoy as much as I did and I did think that this was one of the better anthologies Edge has to offer as the stories start back in 1913 and continue to 1928 and into the more modern day.

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kgb-barFANTASTIC FICTION at KGB reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel

present:

Laird Barron is the author of several books, including The CroningOccultationand The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. His work has also appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Fearful Symmetries and Lovecraft Unbound. An expatriate Alaskan, Barron currently resides in Upstate New York.

and

Paul Tremblay is the author of five novels including The Little SleepFloating Boy, and The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (YA with Stephen Graham Jones, forthcoming October 2014), and A Head Full of Ghosts (forthcoming in 2015,). He’s the author of the short story collection In the Mean Time and has co-edited five anthologies, including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan).  His fiction and essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Times and numerous year’s best anthologies.

Wednesday May 21st,  7pm at

KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.)

New York, NY

www.kgbfantasticfiction.org

Subscribe to our mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kgbfantasticfiction/

Readings are free

Forward to friends at your own discretion.

Books will be for sale by word books

Sponsored in part by Cemetery Dance Publications

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A Lover’s Lament

by William Morgan

I never thought the day would come when, after 25 years, that I would fall out of love with my wife, Patsy.

Pretty, not beautiful. She had this sexy laugh and deep blue eyes. That’s all it took.

We married in 1988.

She died 2013

She’s been dead a year.

I can no longer look in her eyes for they have liquefied. I can no longer kiss her for her lips have rotted away.

I can no longer…love her… for the squish, squish,gurgle sounds just disturb me.

I’ll have to put her back. The love has decomposed.

Categories : Horror in a Hundred
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