Monday, June 27, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Carnacki: The Lost Cases ToC

Next month, Ulthar Press will be releasing a new collection of Carnacki the Ghost Finder stories. These 'lost' cases' are based on adventures that Carnacki mentioned but never got around to telling. Some of the top occult detective writers (and me) in this one. I'll put up a link when the book becomes available.


CARNACKI: THE LOST CASES is on schedule to be released next month! Here's the table of contents:
THE DARKNESS by A. F. KIDD
THE SILENT GARDEN by JASON C. ECKHARDT
THE SHADOW SUNS by JOHN HOWARD
THE STEEPLE MONSTER CASE by CHARLES R. RUTLEDGE
THE MOVING FUR CASE by PAUL R. McNAMEE
THE DELPHIC BEE by JOSH REYNOLDS
A HIDEOUS COMMUNION by JAMES GRACEY
THE DARK TRADE by JOHN LINWOOD GRANT
THE GRUNTING MAN by WILLIAM MEIKLE
THE DARK LIGHT by ROBERT M. PRICE
THE YELLOW FINGER EXPERIMENTS by JAMES BOJACIUK
THE GREY DOG by JOHN LINWOOD GRANT

Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Little Ochre Book of Occult Stories

Karl Edward Wagner once said that his stories about his hero-villain Kane were really horror stories with just enough action to make them qualify as heroic fantasy. For the new KEW collection 'A Little Ochre Book of Occult Stories', editor Stephen Jones has chosen two of Wagner's most chilling Kane tales. In fact, for my money, UNDERTOW is the most flat out horrific Kane story of all. The last page stays with you long after you've finished the story. The other Kane yarn, REFLECTIONS FOR THE WINTER OF MY SOUL is definitely in my top five stories about Kane.
In addition to these stories, you also get Wagner's most famous and most reprinted story, STICKS, plus a few other short tales, some verse, and a never before published essay. All of this in a beautiful and well made little book. My pal Cliff Biggers and I were lamenting the days of the small press when publishers like Arkham House, Mirage, and Donald M. Grant turned out hardbacks of all sizes and shapes. You don't see nearly as much of that these days, but this small book from Borderlands is definitely the same sort of thing you'd have gotten from August Derleth back in the day. For fans of Karl Edward Wagner and for lovers of books, this collection gets my highest recommendation for style and content. Limited to 500 copies and available now.



Monday, May 30, 2016

Know Your Supermen

You say that DC REBIRTH has you dazed and confused? That you can't keep up with the different versions of Superman without a score card? Well here's a handy chart. Believe it or not, this is as simple as I could make it.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Available for Pre-order for the Kindle



Look what's available for pre-order for Kindle. A big anthology with stories by Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon, Richard Lee Byers, James A. Moore, some guy named Rutledge, and a whole lot more.  The trade paperback will follow the ebook. Mutant animals go berserk! The story by Jim Moore and me features a crossover between Jonathan Crowley and Carter Decamp.





https://www.amazon.com/SNAFU-Unnatural-Selection-Christopher-Golden-ebook/dp/B01GBOFMK6?ie=UTF8&keywords=SNAFU+Unnatural+Selection&qid=1464550888&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1




Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Christopher Lee!

Happy Birthday to Christopher Lee, shown here as The Duke De Richleau in my favorite of Lee's films, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

DC REBIRTH: First Thoughts

WARNING. THIS IS NOT A SPOILER FREE REVIEW. ENTER FREELY AND OF YOUR OWN WILL.

A few months back, when I was lamenting the whole Grim & Gritty tone of the current DC Comics universe, someone asked me what I would do to fix the problem. Since I felt that DC had lost its way five years ago with the reboot of their universe known as the NEW 52, and since that continuity was set in motion by a mini-series called FLASHPOINT, I said that I would write a mini series called FLASHBACK which would undo what the NEW 52 had done.
This week, DC Comics is pretty much doing what I suggested. The continuity altering mini-series is called REBIRTH, but it seems to be treading just the path I outlined, and in a weird metafictional twist, they’re actually acknowledging that their comics have become too grim and that there’s an internal reason for that. Someone with an incredible amount of power was actually influencing, corrupting, and changing the DCU. And that someone appears to be Dr. Manhattan from Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN.
Those of us who have been reading comics for the last five decades can remember the seismic shift in comic books that occurred in 1985 because of two comic mini-series, Moore’s WATCHMEN and Frank Miller’s DARK KNIGHT. Both painted grim, street level views of the super hero world. They were amazing and ground breaking series. Problem was, other creators, with far less talent than Moore and Miller latched on to the basic concept of a more ‘realistic’ take on super types, which ushered in the grim & gritty age.
So for DC to take WATCHMEN and integrate it into their current continuity as the villain of the piece, almost seems like a slap in the face to Moore. On the other hand, it’s a very clever and knowing thing to do.
The 80 page REBIRTH special, which kicks off the reboot, is written by Geoff Johns, and so of course it begins with The Flash. Johns is well known for writing some of the most popular adventures of the Scarlet Speedster, and Flash is a particular favorite of the writer. It’s tradition too, as some version of the Flash always seems to serve as a catalyst for change in the DCU. The Barry Allen version of The Flash was the first of DC’s ‘new’ heroes who ushered in the Silver Age of comics in 1956. He discovered the heroes of EARTH 2, introducing the concept of the DC Multiverse. He gave his life to save what was left of that Multiverse in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. He set the events of FLASHPOINT in motion.
This time, The Flash is Wally West, who began his career as Kid Flash, but took over as The Flash after the death of Barry Allen in the Crisis. Wally’s continuity was more or less wiped out after FLASHPOINT, and he shows up in REBIRTH as a sort of phantom from another reality, trying to break through and show the DC heroes that their world was fundamentally and INTENTIONALLY changed without their knowing it.
As Wally shifts in and out, trying to contact old friends and comrades, only to find that none of them remember him, we get to see the various DC heroes, many of who sense that on some level, they have lost something. In many cases what they have lost is love or friendship. Green Arrow and Black Canary miss one another without knowing that they were once a couple in another reality. Aquaman and Mera manage to reconnect. In the end it is friendship that brings Wally West back into the here and now.
What Johns seems to be saying is, “We know you missed these characters and these relationships. We screwed up. Let’s see if we can fix it.”
I also liked Johns’ take on Batman, reminding us that far from being a psychotic vigilante, Batman is still ‘the world’s greatest detective’ and if anyone can figure out what’s going on in a shifting reality, it’s the Dark Knight.
And Superman? My favorite DC hero? See my next post for Superman news.
Anyway, some of my more cynical friends don’t want to cut DC any slack or let them mend any bridges. They say that REBIRTH is just another reboot and they don’t think the company can change. Me, I’ve loved DC Comics since I was ten years old. If they want to try to get back the magic, then I’m sure as heck going to give them a chance. I’ll be blogging more about REBIRTH over the next few weeks. Let’s see where it goes.