Quite, I hope. At least if all goes according to plan. We’ll find out. Watch this space.
Two packages arrived in the mail today. You can see the contents on the left. At the upper right is Richard Chizmar’s massive collection, A Long December. With a title like that, I’ve got to read it this month. Richard Chizmar is the publisher of Cemetery Dance, but this collection was published by Subterranean Press.
The other items are part of the Warriors of the Wildlands Kickstarter. This was a little project Jim Cornelius put together (see this post). It’s a book containing short biographies of a dozen frontier partisans. I pledged the level that got me three signed books (one personalized; thanks, Jim!), a patch, the poster (which has books on the corners to keep it from rolling up), along with downloads of three songs performed by Jim’s musical group, The Anvil Blasters. If you’re not reading Jim’s blog, Frontier Partisans, you’re missing out.
Anyway, Santa came early today, and I’m looking forward to getting grades in so I can dive into these books.
Cemetery Dance has over the last few years published a number of Halloween themed short stories in ebook form. (They all have the same cover illustration you see here with different text.) I reviewed some of them a couple of years ago and enjoyed all the ones I read. Richard Chizmar, in addition to being a top-notch editor, is also a writer.
The night before Halloween is known in many parts of the country as Devil’s Night. In the story of the same name, a small town high school teacher is alone in the parking lot of an abandoned rural post office on Devil’s Night. He’s worrying about things and is taking advantage of the solitude to think. Then a car pulls up in another part of the lot.
The Phantom of the Opera gets out, throws up repeatedly, then takes a body from the trunk. After disappearing into the woods for a brief time, the Phantom returns to his car and leaves, completely unaware that he’s been observed. Continue reading →
And good riddance to it. But before I get to that, here’s a quick rundown of the publishers I thought had the best overall lines in 2014. Rather than do multiple posts across all the blogs, I’ll list everything here.
I received more review copies than I was able to read this year. I would like to thank everyone, large publisher or individual, who sent me something to review. I apologize if I didn’t get to it. Personal factors also cut into my reading more than I would prefer. Still, I managed to read quite a bit from a number of different publishers. What follows is a list of who had some of the best overall material in 2014 with a brief commentary. These are trade publishers, not indie publishers. In most cases, I’ll not discuss individual titles. Nor will I do a best books list. I wasn’t able to read as many titles as I wanted, and as a result there are some glaring omissions in what I did read.
Dark Screams Vol. 1
Brain James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
ebook only, $2.99
publication date December 9, 2014 preorder
I’d like to start off this review by thanking Brian James Freeman and Hydra/Random House for the review copy of Dark Screams Vol. 1. I had originally intended to review the book closer to the release date. I finished the first story while waiting for my son to get back from All Region Band tryouts and kept going. It turned out there were almost twice as many students trying out than were expected, so after 2 1/2 hours of waiting past the time they were supposed to be back, I had finished the book. I decided to write and post the review while the stories were fresh on my mind.
As you can tell from the title, this is the inaugural volume in a series. There are currently five volumes planned, with more to come if sales and reader response are positive.
If the first volume is any indication, this should be a long-running series. The editors have stated that each volume will have a variety of different types of horror from some of the top names in the business. Continue reading →