I have to give this book five stars. Why? Cause it's got balls. Big, shiny brass ones that bite. Being a monster fanatic, I loved PM Barnes, well-writI have to give this book five stars. Why? Cause it's got balls. Big, shiny brass ones that bite. Being a monster fanatic, I loved PM Barnes, well-written and shocking tales. With actual monsters that instill fear, an apt use of atmosphere and tension building, her horror stories are definite thrillers that had my pulse racing one moment and me holding my breath in the next. PM Barnes does not shy away from the scares or the brutality of chaos, and I really did enjoy her tales. The last one is a bit of a sci-fi mashup and is definitely deserving of a much larger presentation but again those horror-tales were awesome.
There are two stories in the work which were contributed by other authors, and while they were good, I personally would have liked to see more of Barnes brand and flavor of story-telling but with this sampling, I would definitely seek out more of Ms. Barnes work. Not to delve into the details too finely, but the story about a woman who has locked herself away from the world is beyond brilliant to me. Witnessing the horrors of mutation and mutilation from her window and PC...yeah that story blew me away!...more
This was a well-paced short work and I did enjoy it although not half as much as I enjoyed the Slow Burn and Ebola K series. There was a pandemic, andThis was a well-paced short work and I did enjoy it although not half as much as I enjoyed the Slow Burn and Ebola K series. There was a pandemic, and the protagonist was somewhat interesting but this tale didn't really capture my awe and pulse. I think it is the prequel to his new series, so I may have to check out the actual books, but altogether it was a decent read. ...more
Yes. I am a SNAFU addict and I accept that I will just about anything in the brand. Of the several installments however, I think that 'Future Warfare'Yes. I am a SNAFU addict and I accept that I will just about anything in the brand. Of the several installments however, I think that 'Future Warfare' is one of the best. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the others with their standout gems but 'Future Warfare' has to possess a larger percentage and cohesiveness than the other books. Well of course it would as the setting for all the stories is the same. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed. Right out of the gate, the story "Suits" b. blew me away with its homesteader/mech mash up with a dash of last stand. "Kill Streak" b. Samson Stormcrow Hayes a tale about a kid's prowess on video games while a war is raging kind of hit this former gamer were it hurts. Surprisingly, there was even a bit of humor to be found in the tale of "Romeo and Julie" b. Mike Resnik, the only real odd ball in the collection, but one so endearing that I had to let its lack of horror or action slide. You get a couple of recon stories, a few alien invasion yarns, and again they are all highly entertaining. Definitely worth the read :)...more
Having read both the Lord of the Rings and the Song of Ice & Fire books, and more that a few SF sagas of note, so going into the Dark Tower I kindHaving read both the Lord of the Rings and the Song of Ice & Fire books, and more that a few SF sagas of note, so going into the Dark Tower I kinda knew that I would be in for a slow start, a glimpse of something epic through gauzy back story and that's how I felt after reading book 1. Sure the reader gets a glimpse at the larger than life gunslinger (Clint Eastwood0) and the nefarious villain/wizard who is the Man in Black (why do I keep picturing Lee Van Cleef stroking the edges of his mustache) and there are hints to the ominous/cosmic construct known as the Tower, but so early on there is not enough of the details to truly understand the universe/dimension/reality that Roland the gunslinger exists in. The story has a definitive wild west theme and feel to it, but throughout hints and notions from other realities do appear. At one part in the work, a boy stolen from a more modern age appears to accompany Roland on his journey/quest. Mind you like any epic, this book is inclusive of great sacrifices and tragedy...some preventable and some not but by the end of the book, I have to admit that I was not as sold on why the journey had to be made and why the sacrifices were necessary but it was a riveting read for me. The conspiracies and the near magical fireworks that occur every time Roland draws his guns is spectacular. Alas, curiosity and the need to read more about Roland's pistols and poke is gonna send me onto book 2. ...more
The reason why I love anthologies, especially single-author collections is that they give me a good 'feel' for the author's story telling, style, voicThe reason why I love anthologies, especially single-author collections is that they give me a good 'feel' for the author's story telling, style, voice and technique. I discovered this gem at the SoBSF (State of Black Science Fiction) convention, at which the author only had one copy. There to sell other titles, Mr. Russell referred the book to me when I mentioned my love of horror. Telling me that the book contained a variety of stories about different horror staples such as vampires, werewolves, aliens and even ghouls, he also informed me that he could not sell me that single copy he had in his possession. Be that as it may, I hunted down that book immediately after the convention and found a copy on Amazon. I am failing to say that after a lengthy discussion with the author about monsters that I was wildly curious about the tales. This has happened before, but like with the lottery not every gamble is a success.
This one was a jackpot win, however. I got my (second hand) paperback in the mail and immediately dove into the worlds of a consummate story teller. Right after cracking the book open, I was stunned by the beauty of the formatting, unique fonts and production of the work. Among the pages were shorts about witches who lure, ghouls who stumble through life, a vampire whose confidence and soul could use some aid, and a rapper and his wife who have to confront creatures from the deep. Those were phenomenal however, one story in particular really blew me a way. About an alien invasion, Mr. Russell's tale called "That Ain't No Chicken" features a proud ole rooster named Mr. Mudfoot who saves the world from an alien invasion, is one that I will definitely be rereading again! Also of note just for the richness of the prose is the 'Old Men of McDonalds,' which has not only an instant classic appeal in the realms of cerebral science fiction but is a wildly imaginative yarn filled with nostalgia and observation.
Yes there is some gore but also some serious thought put into this collection and while I am unable to find a kindle version, this novel is a definite keeper and treasure if you can find a copy! ...more
There are several reasons why a person might read a book about a serial, killing cannibal. A need for being able to confront things that might scare tThere are several reasons why a person might read a book about a serial, killing cannibal. A need for being able to confront things that might scare the hell out of you is one. It's probably not the reason that Mr. White wrote this work, delving into the alien brain of troubled young man with a penchant for murder, sex and human flesh, but he does try to shake the conscious, I would say. As I read this book, and it did take a minute for me to get through, the copious amounts of sex, extreme violence and gore were shocking but eventually dulled. That the main character considers himself as a superpredator and looks like Superman is often referenced throughout the work is unsettling enough considering that his victims are almost compelled to be his prey. Okay they are. But in this work, you find a lost soul, one with no hope of redemption and no qualities that would be in line with the truly evolved or super. He is sick and those that offer themselves up to him are as well, going about the whole affair as if disease was irrelevant, the laws of nature (superhuman strength, a lot of tackling, and transforming jaws) were not in play. Yes, there is just a gossamer covering over the text alluding to the supernatural, a vibe I get often from Mr. Whites works, but as the protagonist goes on a journey to find a cure for his compulsions, you get the feeling from the very first page that there is none. To say that this book is only for those with strong stomachs and sarcastic demeanors, is putting it lightly. To say that this work inspires the paranoid to keep a keen eye open and stay vigilant would be the truth as no one like the protagonist in this work would ever be more than someone to stay far away from. ...more
It's always a delight to read a new take on a paranormal concept and Mr. Carroll's work was no exception as he took on gargoyles, vampires and werewolIt's always a delight to read a new take on a paranormal concept and Mr. Carroll's work was no exception as he took on gargoyles, vampires and werewolves. He has placed his characters in a modern, urban setting that perhaps has too keen of an obsession with the supernatural, in that protagonist's daughter and friends idolize the concept of vampires without actually having meet them. The projects (the FP's) in which the bulk of the tale revolves around, has a very special janitor in Maurice. Janitor, protector, kick-ass gargoyle, somewhat of a priest and a single father, Maurice keeps his true identity secret from both his daughter and those around him until a gang of vampires intent of mayhem and destruction arrive on the scene.
This book is an exciting page turner with plentiful action and intrigue, however at times it oscillates between being a gripping thriller with heavy gore, a mystical yarn that delves into Egyptian gods and spirituality and um...a YA (or is it new adult) novel focusing on young love and troubles. Altogether a delightful paranormal read. ...more
Continuing to make my way through the SNAFU brand of military scifi, I believe that this installment really packs a punch, not just for thrills but foContinuing to make my way through the SNAFU brand of military scifi, I believe that this installment really packs a punch, not just for thrills but for originality and creativity. I'm not saying that the others aren't brilliant, but this one has several unique tales that stick to the palette. One of the most profound is "They Own the Night," a truly terrifying wartime yarn by B. Michael Radburn who stirs the imagination with creatures that almost puts zombies to shame...and they hop! Jack Hanson's story from his Cry Havoc universe is awesome. I read about the universe before in another Ripper and Brokehorn short in the SNAFU series, but my memory fails as to if the stories were the same. Still, how can a futuristic tale about prehistoric monster outfitted with war tech and fighting against aliens not be hella cool?! "After the Red Rain Fell," is a short but hard-hitting treat regarding soldiers going against a mutating, organism from which there is little escape. Over all, this page turning anthology is worth the ride, guaranteed to get the blood pumping as it moves throughout time, involving warriors of all natures and bringing the pain!...more
I think that I am on the fourth installment in the SNAFU collection of anthologies, maybe fifth, but anyway its obvious I am addicted and enjoying theI think that I am on the fourth installment in the SNAFU collection of anthologies, maybe fifth, but anyway its obvious I am addicted and enjoying them. With this latest one however, I am not giving it five stars without finding fault. The first two stories I had actually read before in different SNAFU anthologies (or it might have been the Sampler), so I breezed over those to get to the new material. Note, however if 'Wolves' is the first book you delve into then you will not have this issue. If however you devour everything SNAFU, you may be a little miffed. Anyway, into the third tale, I was off on a roll of fur, fangs, claws and ammunition. There are quite a few tales in the anthology that keep the interest and get the blood racing, I will admit but the last story....Okay, so the SNAFU collection introduced me to James A. Moore as a fabulous writer, sparked the interest and what not, but his story "The Wild Hunt" blew me away. In the other stories you find some chills and some horror but in that last story you get shaken down to the core. I could never have guessed which way the narrative was headed and he didn't exactly make it easy. Detailing revenge, the nature of a hunter, the nature of a psychopath, the meaning of justice and brutality, Mr. Moore is the classic example of how to hook readers into your brand through shorts and anthologies. This is by no means a discouragement to the other authors in the book. The other stories were very much engaging, well written and enjoyable to read...the last story however is still gnawing at my brain and causing me to tremble. ...more
You know how you come across an iconic character in a wondrous environment and you want to know more about him? That urge is what drives you hungrilyYou know how you come across an iconic character in a wondrous environment and you want to know more about him? That urge is what drives you hungrily to every book he appears in, looking for more of his badassery, his quirks and interactions. Well, that character is what Ms. Royce has created in Feast, the protagonist in her Containment series. In a futuristic world where ghosts are used as fuel, Feast, a quarter demon started as a nightwatchman in the Spectral Power plant before rising to management in book 2. Going up against a bevy of fiends, presented with the revelation of a destructive new drug, plagued by a past assault and slightly obsessed with a father that he never knew, Feast has a lot on his plate. Ms. Royce gives out pieces of his tale filled with promise and guaranteed to pique your appetite but as she also keeps the narrative bouncing from one h'orderve to the next. As a reader, I found myself enjoying a scene so much and then onto another tasting and another. All were delishe, but with no resolutions, I felt a little bereft. After I had some time to think about (and get something to eat) it dawned on me that Containment is a serialized story and that tasting plates will be brought back out again, just not as fast as my greed wants. Altogether this is a fascinating series and you will want more!...more
The sequel to Dark Intelligence is no less riveting and complex than the first in the Transformation series. Asher is still playing with the deconstruThe sequel to Dark Intelligence is no less riveting and complex than the first in the Transformation series. Asher is still playing with the deconstruction and evolution of being, what it means to exist, to act and overcome for Humans, Prador (the crab-like alien race) as well as A.I. entities. Through Penny Royal, a dark (possibly insane) A.I. the destinies of characters introduced in the first book continue to be manipulated. Is it for peace, is it out of guilt, is it out of benevolence? The motive for Penny Royal's actions aren't clear, not even to perhaps its closest victim, the human, Thorvald Spear.
What I really like about this book (and mind you Asher is my favorite author) has always been his world building and nuanced characters. Never before has he delved so far into the Prador biology; their mating habits, dietary needs and social behavior. Considering that they are the frequently used brutal protagonists in his books, this was an insightful treat only made better by the appearances of a few unique prador, one such who even dabbles in...art!
Also, unlike his other works, the humans definitely take a back seat to the god-like manipulations of A.I., not even including Penny Royal. The Brockle makes his appearance as a player in the great game of destiny. As an A.I. that is just as terrifying as Penny Royal, if not more, this Prison Warden/Interrogation A.I. becomes obsessed with bringing the rogue Penny Royal to justice, even at the threat of incurring the wrath of the main Polity protector, Earth Central.
Artificial Intelligences aren't the only ones to steal the show though, as really, the Prador are the most fascinating characters in the work. Sverl, the mutated tripartite being (part human, part Prador, part A.I.), Cvorn, the cyber-augmented Prador vowing to hunt Sverl as a pawn to take over the Prador empire, Sfolk, the gutsy upstart renegade, Bsorol and Bsectil, Sverl's emphatically evolving first children and the ever elusive, mysterious King of the Prador. Each one of their narratives shine on the page!
The usual, spectacular Asher staples are present throughout the work, with masers, CTDs, rail guns, planet busters, gaitling guns, hardfields and U-space tech. There are intense space ship battles, heart-pounding action and shocking deaths and destruction, but also as usual the story attacks the brain as much as the action hits the pulse.
As I finish this book and eagerly await the 3rd, I will admit that I have no idea where the story is headed, but I eagerly look forward to finding out as the ending of this book was not exactly easy to get over. ...more
If you are like me and believe that there is very little that will gross you out, scare you or just upset your reality for a while then this may be thIf you are like me and believe that there is very little that will gross you out, scare you or just upset your reality for a while then this may be the book that proves that you may be wrong. This book actually gave me the chills and an upset tummy as the squick level is high. A woman possessed by a harvest demon...the trapped husband that has to deal with his wife and the fate of their unborn child...yeah, this is most definitely Mr. Curran's most grotesque work. Was the narrative captivating and did I turn the pages, I did...and wow......more
Another brilliant installment of the SNAFU series. Yes I am reading them out of order (This is book 5) but so far each one that is an enjoyable journeAnother brilliant installment of the SNAFU series. Yes I am reading them out of order (This is book 5) but so far each one that is an enjoyable journey into the territory of terrifying, heart-pounding military-themed terrors. Once again, James A. Moore steals the show with his brilliant anti-hero James Crowley but among a collection of really good tales, there is also another author who I was quite impressed with. Patrick Freivald's tale "Bonked," really captured my imagination with its augmented heroes and horrors. If you're looking for thrills, chills, ammo and bravado against at times nearly impossible odds and through various times in history, past, present and future, then get ready for a thrill ride! ...more
I am really digging the SNAFU line of military horror and scifi. While this installment was not as thick as the others and it does contain a story I hI am really digging the SNAFU line of military horror and scifi. While this installment was not as thick as the others and it does contain a story I had read before (In the sampler I believe). Seriously though, I really didn't mind because "War Stories" by James A Moore is a kick ass tale. The only bad thing is that it is perhaps the strongest of the set. How do you say 'devil in uniform against the Nazi occult machine...' yeah its that awesome. Anyway the other stories did prove enjoyable as well and if you like heavy artillery and elite fighters you will so devour this series as I have! Moving on to the next with glee!...more