Sunday, September 29, 2013

**One of my poems, Habit rip (Abel Ferrara mix), was republished in Smashed Cat

One of my abstract, nervier poems, Habit rip (Abel Ferrara mix), was republished on the Smashed Cat site on September 17th, 2013. (Big thanks to E.S. Wynn, who published it!)

Visually speaking, Habit rip isn't one of my better pieces, but it's different and experimental (for me, anyway) - and it was inspired by the cinematic works of director Abel Ferrara.

Check this poem out!


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This poem originally appeared in one of my single-author anthologies, Almost there: poems (which can be purchased via Lulu and Amazon).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Crowley's Window, by Gord Rollo

(pb; 2012: novella)


From the back cover:

"Abby Hawkins was never normal.  Born with a birth cowl. . . a rare birth defect thought to predict future psychic abilities. . . she is haunted by horrible visions.  Shortly after her thirteenth birthday, Abby's parents call in the mysterious [Marcus] Crowley to help their daughter.  His interventions rid her of her visions. . . and her eyes.

"Now a beautiful young lady, Abby Hawkins works as a blind fortune teller in a travelling Carnival.  When she receives a powerful vision. . . one depicting the abduction of a little girl - she becomes the sole witness to the crime.  Only a young police officer believes her bizarre story, and with his help she embarks upon an investigation that will ultimately reunite her with the madman from her past and bring her to the hellish threshold of Crowley's Window.

"Special bonus inside:  The short story, Memories of a Haunted Man, a dark tale about a family in desperation written by Gord Rollo and Everett Bell."


Review:

Crowley's Window is a good, entertaining horror novella, one that made put me in the mixed mindset of a Seventies horror film (e.g., The Devil's Rain and The Fury), Robert Wiene's 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and a 1980s horror novel, because of its elements of Satanism, psychic phenomena, carnie life (Caligari has a carnivalesque visual aspect) and stripped-down storyline and writing style.  There's not one wasted word in this gem of a B-flick novella.  Not only that, the effective, fun end-twist is simultaneously cheesy and smile-inducing (it felt like a knowing wink from Rollo).

In this book, Rollo also included a post-Crowley, thematically-similar tale of familial dysfunction, Memories of a Haunted Man, one he co-authored with Everett Bell.  It's a good fit for Crowley, and, like its attached novella, an entertaining (if sad) read.

Between these two works, Crowley's Window is a worthwhile purchase.  Check it out.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dark Secret Love: A Story of Submission, by Alison Tyler


(pb; 2013: erotic novel - first entry in the Story of Submission series)


From the back cover:

"Dark Secret Love is a modern-day Story of O, a 9 1/2 Weeks-style journey fueled by lust, longing and the search for true love.  Inspired by her own BDSM exploits and private diaries, Alison Tyler draws on twenty-five years of penning sultry stories to create a scorchingly hot work of fiction, a memoir-inspired novel with reality at its core.  A luscious and literary experience of authenticity.  Dark Secret Love is a romance for readers who desire sweetness edged with danger and a kinky fairy tale with a happily-ever-after ending."


Review:

Romantic, edutaining (educating and entertaining), nuanced and hard to set down, Dark is an excellent novel that has characters that are not only interesting but matter (beyond the cuffs and the floggings), whose emotional journeys will likely haunt this reader.

Alison Tyler is one of the best working erotica writers today.  Check out - buy - her work wherever you may see it, so that you might not only be entertained but learn from it (whether it be for her writing style or her characters' intriguing carnality).

Followed by The Delicious Torment: A Story of Submission.

Monday, September 09, 2013

A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin

(pb; 2011: Book Five of A Song of Fire and Ice)


From the inside flap:

"In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance - beset by newly emerging threats from every direction.  In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death.  But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her.  As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the quen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

"Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys.  But his newest allies in this quest are not the ragtag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who would undo Daenerys's claim to Westeros forever.

"Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone - a structure only as strong as those guarding it.  There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night Watch, will face his greatest challenge.  For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice."


Review:

Dance, like A Feast for Crows,  is a transition book - in the sense that it's not as fast-moving and action-brutal as the first three Song novels.  Because of this, Dance sports many of the same faults of Feast (e.g., its emphasis on secondary characters who are less intriguing). 

On the plus side, though, there are a plenty of character-based moments in this fifth Song book where I experienced the same sense of thrill that I felt while reading the first three books.   These moments made Dance a worthwhile, if overwritten, read.

Not as great as the first three books, it - like Feast - is still a more impressive read than most fantasy series I've read.  Check it out from the library.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

**Peter Baltensperger's Fugue for Numerous Violins was published in Black Heart Magazine

Peter Baltensperger, whose Nocturnal Tableaux* graced the Microstory A Week site in October 2012, has had another microstory published: Fugue for Numerous Violins, in Black Heart Magazine.

Fugue details a late autumn, perhaps winter, day in a busy, windy park.


Check this story out!


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*Nocturnal Tableaux also appears in Baltensperger's story/vignette anthology Inside from the Outside.