Archive for Horror News
Thorn Publishing, February 2014
Reviewed by Michael R. Collings
It’s something of a recent phenomenon in eBooks—packaging a number of highly rated novels as a ‘boxed set’ available on Kindle for less than a dollar. It results in a powerful publicity tool for the authors whose books are included and an equally powerful opportunity for a wide range of entertaining reading.
From Darkness Comes: The Horror Box Set contains eight complete novels: That Ghoul Ava, by TW Brown; Kin, by Kealan Patrick Burke; The Colony: Genesis, by Michaelbrent Collings; Chronicler of the Undead, by Mainak Dhar; Painted Darkness, by Brian James Freeman; Chasing Spirits, by Glynn James; The Home, by Scott Nicholson; and Preta’s Realm: The Haunting, by J. Thorn.
Since I’ve now read two of the selections, I suppose it is appropriate for me to put in my two-bits worth of reviewing.
I read Michaelbrent’s The Colony: Genesis when it first came out. It is the opening salvo in a multi-volume zombie-saga, the final installment of which is scheduled for later this year. Since I’ve already spoken to some degree about it (and the comments will be reprinted in my forthcoming Chain of Evil: The JournalStone Guide to Writing Darkness), I will say here only that each volume of the series confirms my faith in my son’s storytelling abilities.
The second book in the set—Scott Nicholson’s The Home—was new to me, even though it was first published 2005. I had tried to read another Nicholson novel several months ago but was unable to finish it, so I approached this one with some trepidation.
And at first, the trepidation seemed warranted.
In many ways, The Home seemed like an extended cliché. The setting is a 1930s monstrosity, a featureless grey building that had originally housed an insane asylum—with all of the accoutrements of horror that such places feature—and now is home to several dozen children. The children themselves initially come across as typical: social misfits that include the fifteen-year-old bully and his sycophantic, army-jacketed flunky; an anorexic/bulimic girl whose distorted body-image controls her thinking; a sensitive twelve-year-old who, abused mentally and physically by his psychiatrist father, had retreated into a mental world fashioned along the lines of his favorite tough-guy actors. The institution’s director is an alcoholic whose surface religiosity masks his own deep flaws, including his need to administer corporal punishment whether deserved or not. The head scientist is determined to make his name as a psychiatrist—mentioning the holy trinity of Freud, Skinner, and himself—regardless of the physical and emotional trauma to his victims/subjects. Social workers are reduced to their nickname, “shrinking” their charges’ self-esteem while bolstering their own.
Then something remarkable happens. Gradually, as the major characters assemble and begin the task of revealing themselves through their words, their actions, and, most critically, their thoughts, The Home moves from threatening to degenerate into a clichéd mess and instead strikes out in unusual and original directions.
Largely through layers of motivation, self-revelation, and deft narrative pacing, Nicholson transforms what could have been ordinary into a constantly evolving study of barriers—between sanity and insanity, science and religion, and, most importantly, life and death. With each page, the story develops greater and greater complexity and ambiguity, leading to a conclusion that is apocalyptic in the oldest sense of the word—an ‘uncovering,’ a ‘revealing’ of truths beyond anything the characters might have imagined.
As a story, The Home offers entertainment and intrigue while inviting readers to reconsider many of their assumptions about sanity, truth, life, even reality itself.
I bring this to you because I’m starting to be interested in it myself. It premieres on Showtime on May 11th, and I think I may have to give it a try. Take a look at the trailer and see if it doesn’t pique your interest just a little bit.
Synopsis from the Showtime website:
Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
Step 9 of the ZA Twelve-Step Program by Dominic Daley
What do I say when you open the door, if you open the door?
That it wasn’t my fault?
That I wasn’t the only one?
That I just started shambling one day?
That it made me so damn hungry?
That I’m all better now?
That I’ve had my shots, gone to therapy sessions, group talks?
That I still wake up gagging, the taste of blood filling my mouth?
That he was just stood there, quivering, in bright shoes and a sunhat?
That you screamed for him to run to you?
That he was delicious?
Maybe I’ll just leave the flowers.
We at Hellnotes.com and our parent company, JournalStone Publishing, want to thank you for your outstanding support in 2013. As the New Year arrives, we want to assure you that we will continue to bring you the best book reviews, movie reviews, and horror news, as well as some original fiction with our Horror in a Hundred features.
Happy New Year, and may 2014 be the best year yet for you.
Hellnotes and our parent company, JournalStone Publishing, want to wish all of you the merriest of Christmases. We hope that you are able to spend this special day with those that you love. For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, we hope that you are enjoying your day, and that you are able to spend it with family. Please remember those who aren’t able to be home and wish them well.
December 3, 2013 – The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival is just days away from its highly anticipated second annual and has added three films to the previously announced schedule. The three-day experience will launch in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from December 6-8, 2013 at the prestigious IndieScreen theater and will screen numerous innovative features and shorts which are adapted or inspired by the unprecedented works of Philip K. Dick. Each of the films capture the distinctive boldness of the the genre and bring forth the most riveting moments of science fiction cinema.
With a total 37 feature films and shorts set to be screened the festival will surely be one of the weekend’s most popular events. Topping off the already remarkable and eclectic schedule are the new additions of Shanti Thakur’s Red Tulips (2008) and Sky People (2012) and Eolan Power’s Contacts (2013). Don’t miss out on further highlights including Eric Pennycoff’s The Pod (2013), Larry Fessenden’s Beneath (2013), Adam Ciancio’s Vessel (2013), Jessica Curtright and Santiago C. Tapia’s Territorial (2013), Éric Falardeau’s Thanatomorphose (2012) and the exclusive world premiere of Shahab Zargari’s The Crystal Crypt (2013). Below is the festival’s official lineup of chills, thrills and outer-worldly spills which celebrate an alternative cornerstone of science fiction and bring to life the eternal legacy of Philip K. Dick.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 • The Pod: Directed by Eric Pennycoff (6:40-7:00 PM) • The First Day: Directed by Nicholas Zafonte (7:00-7:13 PM) • Ascendants: Directed by Don Schechter (7:14-7:22 PM) • The Compositor: Directed by John Mattiuzzi (7:23-7:53 PM) • The Crystal Crypt: Directed by Shahab Zargari (7:54-8:23 PM) • Promised Land: Directed by Joe Turner Lin (8:24-8:42 PM) • CyBelle Horizon: Directed by Rachael Reichert (8:44-8:52 PM) • Deadstar: Directed by Brandon Wright (8:52-9:01 PM) • Odessa: Directed by Cidney Hue (9:01-9:16 PM) • Luv U: Directed by Ben Garchar (9:16-9:21 PM) • Sky People: Directed by Shanti Thakur (9:21-9:36 PM) • Red Tulips: Directed by Shanti Thakur (9:36-9:51 PM) • Beneath: Directed by Larry Fessenden (9:55-11:27 PM) • Vessel: Directed by Adam Ciancio (11:30 PM-1:00 AM)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 • Territorial: Directed by Jessica Curtright and Santiago C. Tapia (7:00-7:11 PM) • Sulfuric: Directed by Jeffrey A. Brown (7:11-7:20 PM) • The Session: Directed by Rick Craft (7:20-7:52 PM) • Environmental Pressures and Species Adaptation: Directed by Jihyun Park (7:25-7:36 PM) • Hide and Seek: Directed by Kayoko Asakura (7:36-7:52) • Khoon Ltd.: Directed by Rahul Desai (7:52-8:10 PM) • Honeymoon Suite: Directed by Zao Wang (8:20-8:35 PM) • Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of The VHS Collector: Directed by Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic (8:35-10:15 PM) • Thanatomorphose: Directed by Éric Falardeau (10:15-11:45 PM)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8 • Contacts: Directed by Eolan Power (5:45-6:00 PM) • Emit: Directed by J.S. Mayank (6:00-6:09 PM) • Exit: Directed by Michel Goossens (6:10-6:20 PM) • Karon: Directed by Erez Avni and Itai Edry (6:20-6:40 PM) • Biographer: Directed by Viktor Gorbachev (6:40-7:30 PM) • Agophobia: Directed by Benjamin Ross Hayden (7:10-7:34 PM) • All of Me: Directed by Susan Koenen (7:34-7:44 PM) • 9 Minutes: Directed by P.J. Wolff (7:44-7:53 PM) • Inside the Mind of the Alchemist: Directed by Kirk Zamieroski (7:53-7:58 PM) • Escape: Directed by David Conte (7:58-8:26 PM) • The Astronomer: Directed by Philip R. Garrett (8:36-8:41 PM) • Son of Man: Directed by Janek Ambros (8:41-8:55 PM) • Lv-225: Directed by Ettore Biondo (8:55-9:00 PM) • The Final Equation: Daniel Abella (9:00-10:15 PM)
The Philip K. Dick Festival of Science Fiction, The Supernatural, Metaphysics and Drama will delight its attendees through its entertaining and visually captivating themes which have made the event a favorable and continued success. The event will take place at Williamsburg’s IndieScreen theater at 289 Kent Avenue at S. 2 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 from Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, 2013. Special closing ceremonies take place from 10:15-10:30 PM on December 8. For more information including full film summaries and ticket sales please visit http://www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com and be sure to stay informed of all ongoing announcements on the festival’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThePhilipKDickFilmFestival and Twitter page at https://twitter.com/PhilipKDickFest. The festival anticipates another successful event, further solidifying the city’s strong and endless appreciation for Philip K. Dick.
About The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival:
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival is the first of its kind to grace the screens of New York City and is organized by filmmakers who understand the difficulties and challenges of telling a unique story in a corporate environment. The inaugural festival from December 7-9, 2012 drew record crowds of over 1,000 participants for the exclusive screening of Radio Free Albemuth which was based on Dick’s 1985 novel posthumously published three years after his death. The Lille, France event from October 25-27, 2013 screened celebrated international films and enjoyed much success in the festival’s first global outing. The festival continues to hold seasonal gatherings across the city and will also pioneer a Spring 2014 cyberpunk festival in Tokyo as original voices and visions in works submitted uphold the phenomenal themes of Philip K. Dick. Lastly, this is a festival by filmmakers for filmmakers.
About Philip K. Dick:
“Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.” – Philip K. Dick Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was one of the 20th century’s most profound novelists and writers within the science fiction community. His exploration, analysis and beliefs led to the publishings of 44 novels and 121 short stories. Dick’s enormous library of works led to several film developments including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003) and most recently Radio Free Albemuth (2010), The Adjustment Bureau (2011) and the successful remake of Total Recall (2012). The film industry is also awaiting the release of King of the Elves in 2014, which will surely be yet another prosperous depiction of Dick’s literary contribution to science fiction. Dick’s enormously effective views comprised of fictional universes, virtual realities and human mutation foresaw an exaggerated version of the current state of government and contemporary life. Though he is gone in the physical form his philosophies live on in the techniques applied to modern stories and films and generate large displays of appreciation and understanding.
For more information please contact:
Daniel Abella, Festival Director Program Office: 917-362-9337
Festival Websites/Social Media Official Website: www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com
Fractured Atlas Donation Page: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/6853
Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw has written a new game and he’s offering the beta version of it to you to download and play. He’s looking for feedback on features to change or to add, so help him out, visit the site, and download the game. Oh, and have fun.
From the website:
The Consuming Shadow is a procedurally-generated horror adventure game with a Lovecraftian theme and gameplay inspired by such things as FTL: Faster Than Light, Eternal Darkness, and the board game Arkham Horror.
The country has been plunged into a mysterious darkness, from which hideous creatures are spawning, spreading chaos from town to town. But these events are merely the herald for the arrival of a terrifying ancient god, due to appear at Stonehenge in seventy-two hours.
You must travel from town to town, exploring dungeons and exterminating the minions of the shadow, in order to gather the four components of the Banishment Ritual, a four-rune mantra which, when cast at Stonehenge, will stop the evil god from entering our realm.
But it’s not as simple as that. As well as the ritual, you must also determine which god, out of three possible candidates, is the invader, as banishing the wrong one will result in failure. And even getting as far as the ritual will mean surviving countless trials with your body and mind intact.
Try not to go mad and shoot yourself. This is important.