Shock Totem #10 (Jan 2016)
- Closing for Submissions
- Shock Totem Returns!
- Apex Publications Acquires Shock Totem Book Line
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 8
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 7
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 6
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 5
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 4
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 3
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 2
Like what you've read here or in the magazine? Please consider donating.
Tag Archives: Ghosts
It’s been a long time coming, but the limited hardcover edition of Zero Lives Remaining is finally finished and ready to ship. It took almost a year longer than anticipated (rookie mistake; sorry about that), but we hope it’s worth the wait.
It took a lot of hard work from a lot of talented people, notably Frank Walls (artwork), Yannick Bouchard (additional artwork), Nick Gucker (illustrations), and Mike Lombardo and Reel Splatter Productions (film, photography), and we think this is one of the best limited editions ever released.
Robby Asaro is dead.
He’s a ghost in the machine, keeping a watchful eye on the arcade where he lost his life two decades before. And the afterlife is good. The best thing ever to have happened to him. But when the conscious electric current formerly known as Robby Asaro makes a decision to protect one of his favorite patrons, Tiffany Park, from a bully, he sets loose a series of violent supernatural events that can’t be stopped.
Trapped inside the arcade as the kill count rises, Tiffany and a group of gamers must band together to escape from what used to be their favorite place on Earth…and the ghost of Robby Asaro.
From the author of Tribesmen, Video Night, and The Summer Job, Zero Lives Remaining is a masterful mix of horror and suspense, dread and wonder, a timeless ghost story that solidifies Adam Cesare’s reputation as one of the best up-and-coming storytellers around. This is Adam Cesare firing on all cylinders—and he’s just getting started.
Strictly limited to 100 copies, the hardcover itself is made to look like a VHS tape, which is housed in a classic VHS case with full wraparound “80s horror film” artwork and photography exclusive to this edition. Nick Gucker provides exclusive interior illustrations, and there is also a bonus short story. A special insert features additional artwork and photography, plus an interview with “B-movie legend” Adam Blomquist. And finally, there are six autographed “movie still” cards featuring the entire cast (from the trailer) and director, Mike Lombardo.
Check out these photos (apologies for the less than stellar quality):
Click to Enlarge
We expect this edition to sell out very quickly, so order now if you want to secure a copy. When all 100 are gone, they’re gone for good. There will be no future hardcover pressings. Paperback and digital editions will be available soon.
If you have any questions, please ask.
Click to Order.
(Special thanks to Mike Lombardo and the Reel Splatter Productions crew for the brilliant trailer!)
Everything you have heard about the crazy book is true.
Everything you have heard about the crazy book is a lie.
I could have easily ended this short review with the above statements and been one-hundred percent honest. Because Haunt is like everything and nothing you have read before. Laura Lee Bahr has created a unique beast of a debut.
On the surface it is a noir-shaded mystery which revolves around the possible wrongful death of a pretty young lady.
Deeper in, it is a story that features a flawed and heart-hurt journalist/detective/killer in his quest for the truth. If we can get all the portents aligned to discover just exactly what the hell that truth may be.
It is also the tale of a Dick. That Dick is you or me, the reader. And he/we are being haunted…maybe.
The lovely Ms. Bahr has taken those Choose Your Own Adventure books as her template and disemboweled it, turned it on its remaining ear (she tore the other off Van Gogh-style), and then set the thing on fire. When the ashes dried she used tears, sweat, and hard work to mold something ferociously original and quite bizarre.
With her adventure in seediness you can choose to drag a couch into your apartment from the curbside trash pile or give head for the clues you seek to solve the mystery. Nothing is what is appears to be, but the signs are everywhere. They’re written in neon signs and blood and jizz. They are as obvious and as fleeting as the turn of a page.
Haunt thrilled me. It also gave me a headache. High praise.
Bahr’s style is fluid and sometimes breathtaking. She drops pop cultural spatter amidst the backdrop of haunting slipstream existence.
She makes the characters strong and damaged—just how they ought to be.
She is one to keep an eye on.
Are you up for it?
I would like to start and say I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of “series” novels. I have too short of an attention span to commit to that sort of thing, usually. I would now like to thank—and damn—Gary McMahon for making me eat those words.
I have recently read the two books comprising his Thomas Usher series, and can only hope for more. With a series, character is key, and Gary gives us some incredible examples.
In the first of the pair, Pretty Little Dead Things, we meet Thomas Usher, a broken man reeling from the loss of his wife and daughter. He survives the accident that claimed his family with a gift—or a curse depending on your perception. He can see the recently deceased, and it ain’t pretty. Trying to remain on the periphery of society, he does odd psychic investigative work and crosses paths with some seedy and unpleasant people. He wears a uniform of tattoos: a list of names of the dead he feels he has failed.
When he lands a job trying to find the culprit behind the strange murder of a gangster’s daughter, it changes him forever.
His gift proves to be his strongest weapon and weakest link, as he walks the blurred line between our world and a much darker fringe dimension. Where evils, both human and cosmic, are on his tail and where things are decidedly not as they seem.
Dead Bad Things picks up months after the Pretty Little Dead Things’s conclusion, and cleverly features sideline characters from that first novel and brings them forward for deeper scrutiny.
Our reluctant hero begins this chapter of the series in a London slum, waking up to the ringing of the telephone in a haunted house. A robotic voice directs him and starts him on a sloping path of horrific crimes and disturbing visions. Someone is killing children, drilling holes in their heads. People are not as they seem. Usher will discover many things along the way, nasty vile things.
Now, I gave away very little, because to do so would be a blasphemy. You must read McMahon’s engaging words, his descriptive flair for painting dreary and haunting visions behind our eyes. His rundown neighborhoods and scumbag dives are so repulsive, I felt the fleas crawling on my skin. The baddies are really bad and the good guys are sometimes bad as well. Nothing is ever really what you seem to think it is, and when you think you’ve got it sussed, you’re wrong. I love that.
I was at work, on lunch break, when I was finishing this book. A kid asked me what it was about, and as I started explaining his eyes began to glaze. I knew I was losing him, so I said, “It’s like an unholy cocktail of The Sixth Sense, Memento and Wire in the Blood…with an ounce of Hellraiser.” I got the impression that was lost on him as well. Sigh…
Both of these titles are available from Angry Robot Books.