Wednesday, December 25, 2013

**Chris Milam's When the Shadow Comes was published on Microstory A Week

Chris Milam's darkness-infused, child-centric story When the Shadow Comes was published on the Microstory A Week site. (Those who have seen the 2013 film Mama or any of its cinematic theme-siblings will have be familiar with the scenario of Shadow, but the story has its own flavor.)

This is a special holiday piece for Microstory - I won't be publishing any other authors' works, at least not in the foreseeable future.  Note that I'll continue publishing updates regarding Microstory authors' new elsewhere-published pieces (e.g., stories, poems, books and other writings).

Big thanks to everyone who supported this brief online venture - writers, readers and others.

Check out Chris's When the Shadow Comes!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

(hb; 2009: Book One of The Strain trilogy)

From the inside flap:

"A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead.  All window shades are pulled down.  All lights are out.  All communication channels have gone quiet.  Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC.  Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane.  What he finds makes his blood run cold.

"In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening.  And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing. . .

"So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets.  Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save the city - a city that includes his wife and son - before it is too late."


Good supernatural apocalypse novel with worthwhile characters and plenty of gore and action.  Strain reads like a mix of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Michael Crichton's medical thrillers, del Toro's 2002 film Blade II and Stephen King's better-edited works.  Check it out.

Followed by The Fall.


The resulting television series is scheduled to air sometime in 2014 on the FX network

Corey Stoll plays Dr. Ephraim Goodweather.  Mia Maestro plays Nora Martinez.  John Hurt plays Professor Abraham Setrakian.  Kevin Durand plays Vasiliy Fet.  Miguel Gomez plays Augustin 'Gus' Elizalde. 

Jonathan Hyde plays Eldritch Palmer.  Natalie Brown plays Kelly Goodweather.  Ben Hyland plays Zack Goodweather.  Sean Astin plays Jim Kent.  Robert Maillet plays The Master.

Leslie Hope plays Joan Luss.  Doug Jones has an unnamed (at least thus far) role.  Jack Kesy plays Gabriel Bolivar.  Jonathan Potts plays Capt. Redfern.  Nicholai Witschl plays Ansel Barbour. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

Black Skies, by Arnaldur Indriđason

(hb; 2009, 2012: tenth book in the Reykjavik Thriller series. Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb)

From the inside flap:

"A man is making a leather mask with an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead.  Meanwhile, a school reunion has left Inspector Erlendur's colleague Sigurdur Óli unhappy with life in the police force.  While Iceland is enjoying an economic boom, Óli's relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the department is compromised.  When a favor to a friend goes wrong and a woman dies before his eyes, Óli has a murder investigation on his hands."


More of why-they-did-it than a whodunit, this is a good, solid police procedural from a consistently excellent, crisp-prose penning author.  Some readers, like myself, may pick up on who the killers are, but the writing and the characters - many of them ongoing - are (still) interesting and the story doesn't lag.

Black Skies is worth your time.  Check it out.

Followed by Strange Shores.

<em>Dead Heat with the Reaper</em> by William E. Wallace

(pb; 2015: two-novella pulp collection) Overall review Dead Heat is a masterful collection of East Bay, California stories that are...