I blurbed this one! Here's what I wrote: "AFTER PIE is a rollicking, freewheeling, hilarious, and suspenseful adventure that ranks up there with StefaI blurbed this one! Here's what I wrote: "AFTER PIE is a rollicking, freewheeling, hilarious, and suspenseful adventure that ranks up there with Stefan Petrucha's best work. What a trip! I guarantee you won't forget Shelley and Beep anytime soon!" -- Nicholas Kaufmann, author of IN THE SHADOW OF THE AXE and 100 FATHOMS BELOW...more
"We play fucking metal! I don't want to sing about your sad feelings! I want dragons."
Grady Hendrix's WE SOLD OUR SOULS may wear the skin of a road-tr"We play fucking metal! I don't want to sing about your sad feelings! I want dragons."
Grady Hendrix's WE SOLD OUR SOULS may wear the skin of a road-trip horror novel, but at its heart it's a love letter to metal, music, creativity, and never selling out. It's heartfelt and, at times, as brutal as any modern horror novel, yet it's also filled with in-jokes and references for readers who listen to the right kind of music. (Not all of it is metal. If you're a fan of Joan Jett's early band the Runaways you're in good company here.)
I can't speak highly enough about how authentically Hendrix has written about being in a band and, more poignantly, the bleak period that comes after, when you're no longer making music and are forced to take crappy, low-skilled jobs and move back in with your parents. The dark side of the rock-and-roll dream -- what happens when you don't make it big -- is rarely explored in fiction, but in Hendrix's novel it cuts like a knife. The supernatural elements are compelling and smartly underplayed, but horror fans will still love it. So will metal fans. But WE SOLD OUR SOUL's true strength lies in its character study of Kris Pulaski, the guitarist who almost made it big but, right on the cusp of greatness, lost everything. The other members of her band, Dürt Würk, are also extremely well drawn, but this is Kris's story, and Hendrix brings her to life so well I felt like I've known her for years. WE SOLD OUR SOUL is a fun novel, but it's also special one for anyone who has ever faced the trials and frustrations of trying to be a creative artist.
By the way, Dürt Würk's TROGLODYTE sounds like a great album, and I would absolutely listen to it if it were real!...more
Catching up with our favorite, all-too-human D&D monsters, STEVE LICHMAN, VOL. 2 finds the characters dealing with petty jealousy, peer pressure,Catching up with our favorite, all-too-human D&D monsters, STEVE LICHMAN, VOL. 2 finds the characters dealing with petty jealousy, peer pressure, misguided 1980s Sunset Strip fashions, porn addiction, an organized crime syndicate run by a talking frog, a keytar-playing Bard, all-out war between dungeons, and the perils of ordering too much Meat Lover's Pizza from Pizza Hut. Along the way readers will find hilarious riffs on everything from THE LOST BOYS and Stephen King's IT to Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and Francis Ford Coppola's DRACULA.
Rapoza and Warren's humor is as sly and knowing as ever, and the art perfectly captures both detail and emotion. The storyline that has Ben the Beholder being pursued by a child molester was a little too much for me, but other than that I loved STEVE LICHMAN, VOL. 2 as much as VOL. 1. I just wish that A) these volumes came out more frequently, and B) they were widely available to the general readership and not just to Kickstarter donors. I personally know a lot of people who would love to read about Steve the big-hearted Lich King, Flay the sarcastic Mind Flayer, Ollie the deeply insecure Owlbear, and the rest of the gang if only they could find these books in bookstores!...more
David Demchuk's beautiful, hauntingly written novel THE BONE MOTHER is told in a series of monologues by the inhabitants of an Eastern European town oDavid Demchuk's beautiful, hauntingly written novel THE BONE MOTHER is told in a series of monologues by the inhabitants of an Eastern European town on the cusp on World War II, as well as their descendants in the modern day. But these are no ordinary characters -- many of them are supernatural beings, creatures out of folklore who live there in relative peace and prosperity, sheltered from the outside world and working at the local thimble factory. Think Edgar Lee Masters' SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY meets Clive Barker's CABAL. But as World War II breaks out across Europe, a special force known as the Night Police comes for the residents of the town, persecuting them, rounding them up, and killing them. It put me in mind of the treatment of the Jews and other so-called "undesirables" by the Nazis, and I'm sure that's no accident. Demchuk's writing is exquisite, as one might expect from an award-winning playwright, and his imagination seems boundless. THE BONE MOTHER is a deeply powerful and touching novel that will leave you forever changed....more
A great collection of short comics in support of a great cause! Editors Joe Corallo and Molly Jackson have commissioned and assembled a striking, effeA great collection of short comics in support of a great cause! Editors Joe Corallo and Molly Jackson have commissioned and assembled a striking, effective comics anthology from dozens of writers and artists, including Neil Gaiman, Dennis O'Neil, Amber Benson, Rachel Pollack, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Keith R. A. DeCandido, and many more. It's astonishing how many good short, powerful comics are inside these pages! Because this is a fundraising anthology for Planned Parenthood, many of the comics focus on the subjects of personal choice, the need for access to health care, and religious or societal adversity, but a few move beyond to talk about how important Planned Parenthood is to the gay and trans experiences, especially in the early days when there were few other places to find a sympathetic ear and factual information about AIDS, safe sex, and transitioning.
It's hard for me to choose a favorite among all the comics, but I have a soft spot for Stuart Moore and June Brigman's "Captain Ginger in Unplanned Parenthood," because it involves cat-people in a spaceship (Sergeant Mittens!) and refers to the now-extinct humans as "feeders." That one was right up my alley. There are so many stories in this anthology that you're sure to find one that's right up your alley, too. Highly recommended, not just for the good cause but for the sheer, overwhelming amount of talent on display....more
Another incredible novel from Paul Tremblay, an author whose talents only seem to grow with each subsequent book! CABIN is a short novel that reads veAnother incredible novel from Paul Tremblay, an author whose talents only seem to grow with each subsequent book! CABIN is a short novel that reads very quickly; Tremblay doesn't waste any time before putting his characters into their impossible plight. But the simplicity of the plot is deceptive. There's a lot going on beneath the surface, onion-like layers that reveal deeper questions, such as whether essentially decent people can still do something terrible if they think they have to. There's an old saying that villains see themselves as the heroes of their stories, and while that is certainly in play here, even that layer can be pulled away to reveal new, deeper questions like: Who are we when we abdicate control of our lives and actions to another, presumably higher power? Can we ever truly know how our actions affect everyone else? How far do those ramifications spread, like ripples in a pond? Is there a higher power out there, and is it better than us or worse? There's a reason Tremblay is one of my favorite contemporary authors, one whose work I always read as soon as it comes out. He's an exceptional writer with big, bold ideas. THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD fulfills the promise of his previous novels while also raising the stakes for whatever he writes next....more