The Mort Report!
Book Reviews by Mort Stone
BISHOP: MAN VS MONSTER
By Candace Nola & M Ennenbach
“I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real”
HURT by …
Okay, I have to get this off my chest – the more famous version of this song (and if you don’t know it, unfuck that right now!) is by Johnny Cash. And, while I am a huge Cash fan, I prefer the version by the guy who actually wrote the song. Trent Reznor – listen to the Nine Inch Nails version. And the reason is simple – Johnny sounds defeated, while Trent becomes angry.
On to the book:
Man, there are layers in this story. Deep, emotional layers.
If you are looking for a simple horror story to just entertain you for a few hours, kind of like a popcorn movie, this is not the read for you. This one will leave you with questions on where exactly you stand on the subject of life, death and monsters.
Now, I have read some really good collaborations and I have read some really bad ones, so it is always a risk to go down that road. Because there are difficult questions you have to answer before you even start a project like this:
Will our voices gel together? Will fans of one author be put off by the style and flow of the other author? Will the other author’s handwriting be so bad that the thread of the story gets lost and nobody will ever want to read me again and – breathe, damn you, breathe…screw these panic attacks!
It’s not really that bad. For everybody, anyway.
But the thing is, do you edit the stories to flow so well together that the reader would not know who wrote which part, or do you allow each other the freedom to express yourself the way you know it works for you?
And there is no right answer to that question.
I have read a novel where four authors were involved and I could honestly not tell who wrote which part, and then I have read some where they tried to make it sound like a singular voice, but in the end it diminished both author’s strong parts of their writing.
And I have read collaborations where both authors kept their own voice, but in the end the one was so far superior to the other that it made me like the story less.
But when it works…
So what did these two decide?
Well, there are two very distinct voices in this novel…
Fans of the first BISHOP novel by Candace Nola will not be disappointed by this one. And fans of Mike Ennenbach will get exactly what they expect.
But they made it work, mostly because most of the story takes place in two different timelines, which didn’t make you feel like one author was bending over to accommodate the other…even though Mike might have enjoyed that.
Relax, he has the sense of humor to appreciate that.
Highly enjoyable and recommended to horror fans who can appreciate depth in a story.
By Ryan Harding
What can I say about the collection called TRANSCENDENTAL MUTILATION?
It is something, all right.
Ryan Harding – such a calm looking, soft-spoken guy – can go to places where extreme readers will say shit like:
“I’m done with extreme for a little while…”
Have you recovered yet, my reviewer friend who I shall not name?
Look, this guy can write, there is just no denying that. But he can also repulse you to the point where you might feel the need to just take a shower and smoke a blunt to wrap your mind around the mental images you just had.
This is not a criticism – this is what he does…because he can.
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking he is just trying to gross you out (even though he will), because even with tales like ‘The Corpsefucker Blues’ there is actually a story there. Can you imagine how it must be to be ‘Orificially Compromised’ or what ‘The Seacretor’ might be?
You’re probably right, but it is done with style to the point that you feel like the author must have been wearing a tie when he wrote it. Granted, he may have been naked and wearing a gimp mask, but the tie was definitely there. Man, there’s even a zombie story in there that I liked!
Extreme and Splatterpunk fans, you are going to LOVE this!
Just heed this one warning:
It is not for those who likes to put limits on what they deem to be acceptable – this is balls out messed up.
5 Shamefilled Stars!
By Eve Fell
I will admit it – I got this because someone whose opinion I trust said it was worth the read.
You can’t help but to think, if you read the blurb, that this should be a lot like the movie SAW, but in the end I think this might be much closer to the movie CUBE.
You have two friends trapped in a maze with a bunch of other girls, and they must try to get through it alive.
This was the first thing that I’ve read by this author and I was not disappointed. This story, in my opinion, could have been a little more fleshed out and, while not flawless, keeps your attention throughout.
What is very obvious is that we have a very talented writer here and she is someone you should keep your eye on, because she has the potential to have a huge impact on this genre.
Rounded off to 4 Stars.
WHAT GOOD GIRLS DO
By Jonathan Butcher
A few years ago, I wrote a review for THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jack Ketchum, where I said it is probably the best book I’ve read that I can’t recommend to anybody.
WHAT GOOD GIRLS DO by Jonathan Butcher is the second book that falls into that category.
How would someone who has been a sex slave her entire life handle freedom?
This book is heavier than you can imagine and, while brilliantly written, will haunt you for the rest of your life. I honestly don’t know if you will ever be able to do some stuff with a consensual partner without this popping up in your head.
WHAT GOOD MEN DO
By Jonathan Butcher
This book is cruel, rough to get through and an absolute Masterpiece.
I don’t use that word lightly and I don’t use it often, but if you are a horror fan who can stomach the harder side of the genre, this is the book you HAVE to read.
It is an instant Classic, in my opinion, that will be around much much longer than the author – a legacy, if you will.
Just make sure to read WHAT GOOD GIRLS DO first, and you’ll find yourself fully invested in the characters from the start.
And I am going to shut the fuck up right now because I can’t say anything more deserving.
By Matt Kurtz
As an arachnophobe, any cover with a spider will get my attention.
As a kid who grew up in the 80’s, any story taking place in that timeframe will get me interested.
As a horror fan, any stories with oversized insects and monsters runs the risk of leaving the reader with…hmm, it’s been done before.
This is only the second book I’ve read by this author and, though I was greatly impressed with KINFOLK, I managed to miss his releases after that.
And, damn it, if I have to judge by this one, I have been missing out!
This story was a blast to read and I am surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Like a rollercoaster ride that gets the adrenaline up in all the right places, the pace of this story kept me in a state of constant fear/excitement.
There was enough info on the characters to create development and empathy, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t rooting for the guy to actually get the girl alive and well, to be able to save her from an imminent, painful death.
I loved this tale, and I can recommend it to horror fans, even those who are not usually into bugs.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!
By Jeff Strand
Hey, Strand, I’ve got a bone to pick with you, son…
That’s right, I called you “son”, and it’s totally smack talk, since I think we are the same age, so I am about 95% sure you’re not my actual son.
I try to read everything you publish, but I will never claim to be your biggest fan. I am average height at best. Nor would I make ridiculous claims like I would buy anthologies where you are in and, due to time constraints, only read your story and never review it. I almost never do that.
Still, I never ask you for ARCs. It is not because I think you are brilliant and strive to be able to write as well as you some day, to have your fans say: “Hmm, I’m in the mood for a Strand story, but I’ve read everything by him, so let’s try this Mort Stone guy, I hear he’s pretty good, too.”
Such thoughts never cross my mind.
So, the very idea that I am too intimidated to even attempt the contact is just silly.
No, the main reason is because I am not sure if I am spelling ARC correctly and I am way too shy to ask anybody.
Which brings us to the problem we have:
I can’t seem to put a book that I have pre-ordered from you on hold when I get it. And I have other responsibilities, man!
I’m a family man, I have a full time job, I review books for authors, I try to write a few words every now and then, and I am part of Candace Nola’s editing team.
You know Candace, right? Hardest working woman in the indie horror community? Salt of the earth, friend to all, really super human being?
And then you read one of her books and ask yourself: Self, am I going to tell this lovely woman that I can’t make a deadline because I dropped everything to read the new Jeff Strand book and risk fucking with her quan?
And my wife, which you don’t know at all…Well, I am not even going to phrase this as a question, I will simply state:
It is NOT a good idea to pick a fight so you can be left alone for a few days to read your book. You’re a married man yourself, so you know there will be CONSEQUENCES!
Well, no, let’s not sleep this weekend so we can do everything.
And here’s where you need to be more responsible and do your part.
First, I will need your publishing schedule three months in advance so I can plan. You know, write it on my calendar and work the rest of my life around it.
Second, I will need three notes from you. Sadly, since they will not be going to the same people, you need to write an original one with each publication, but they should be along these lines:
1. Dear Candace, you look lovely as always. Will you please pardon Mort on the following date [enter date here – preferably the entire weekend], where he will be helping out in an emergency to cleanse his soul of all the foul and disgusting things he reads and edits, by reading something that is hilariously foul and disgusting, written by me. He will not be able to perform any other duties during this time, so please forgive his weakness for my words and his inability to pace himself. I promise this will not happen again until my next publication, which will be [enter date here].
2. Dear Mrs. Mort, you look lovely as always. Will you please pardon Mort on the following date [enter date here – preferably the entire weekend], where he will be assisting me in reading and reviewing my latest book, to ensure I will be able to keep food on my table. Not only for us, but for our cat – here’s a nice picture – and I’ve heard how fond you are of cats, and you know it costs a pretty penny to keep them fed and happy. So please allow Mort the opportunity this weekend in assisting this starving artist to at least keep our beloved Chaos alive for another month. Pretty please…
3. Dear Mort’s boss, I am sure you look lovely as always. I am writing to ask for leniency this Monday, since Mort has had a really tough weekend with a personal issue which I can’t discuss, as it is not my place. I want to assure you that Mort was still courageous enough to do some charity work to feed not only the needy, but also their pets. Can you please not assign any new tasks to him for the next day or two, and prevent him from answering any emails, since he is sleep deprived and might say the first thing that comes into his mind. I greatly appreciate your understanding – Mort has only good things to say about you and the company.
There, not so difficult, is it?
Anyway, I probably have to review the book, too. Here goes:
There are some people who achieve great things, yet they do something that is so brilliant, it was like they were born to do that one specific thing.
Like Sir Anthony Hopkins was born to play Dr. Hannibal Lector.
Like Stephen Spielberg was born to direct E.T.
Like John Lennon was born to sing IMAGINE.
Like all the Kardashians was born to annoy the living piss out of me.
So, Jeff Strand was born to write something, which we hope to see someday soon.
Totally fucking with you – this is that book!
Even though I have mostly outgrown my taste for spoof comedy, I have not laughed as hard at anything since seeing AIRPLANE! And THE NAKED GUN as a child.
BEACH BODIES: A Nunchuck City Beatdown
By Brian Asman
This has got to be the most perfect cover for any book, ever, because it basically tells you exactly what to expect on the inside.
Just go into this with zero expectations of taking anything seriously – Brian Asman wrote this story to see how far he can push you. It puts the PARODY in parody.
It is bound to offend people, but like an actor who stays in character throughout the movie, no matter what – think anything Will Ferrell attempts – this author went for it full throttle, no apologies and fuck those who can’t take a joke.
It will not be for everyone, but for those who will allow themselves to be in on the joke, you probably won’t get much better.
In this case, I will say you will either shoot for five stars or one star, with very little middle ground, but I also like to let things go once in a while and just run with the gag, so I am aiming my gun up and giving this one 5 stars.
If parody is not your thing, this will most probably annoy you, but I highly recommend it to those who want to let their hair down for a little while and embrace the silly.
So here’s the thing nobody likes to discuss – and this statement may stir some controversy – but serial killers have problems too.
Now, I am not saying that you should feel sorry for them when they get constipated (not in this story, relax), but there are some real world problems that few people think about.
Not being able to sleep enough, for example. Can you imagine how hard it is to maintain a normal life and having to do your killings after hours? You’re grumpy too if you don’t get enough sleep.
But this is not in this story, either – this opening is just to get the juices flowing, so you will not shut this down as just people killing other people live on the dark web for money.
This story has more than that.
Because as cold and heartless as Raymond and Gel is – and believe me, this is an extreme story packed full of triggers – they also have problems they have to deal with. And then something happens that nobody saw coming…
Well, if you know one thing about my reviews it is that I refuse to give anything away that might surprise the reader – and the author truly did something that I did not see coming, and I loved it!
Extreme and Splatterpunk fans – highly recommend this trip into depravity and only Ash can tell it.
By Brian Berry
Whether it was meant to or not, the cover of this book made me think:
And now there will be millennials scratching their heads saying: “The what-now?”
Well, if you are part of the younger generation, the only movie I can think of where you would have seen this actor was R.E.D. (The Willis/Malkovic/Freeman etc) – I think he was either 90 already or very close to it.
But go back a few years, and that generation will tell you he was the guy from the TV show AIRWOLF.
Then go back another generation and they will tell you he was in one of the greatest war movies ever made – THE DIRTY DOZEN.
And then you go back to the generation who thinks cowboy movies was the shit, and…
I am totally getting off the subject. Basically, Google the name Ernest Borgnine (if you don’t know what he looks like) and then try to read this book without picturing him as the main character, Clint Blackwell.
This one is not very long and, in the greater scheme of things if you are a Berry fan, not as gory as some of his work, but there is enough blood, snot and violence to still keep the splatterpunkers happy.
Enjoyed this tale a lot, especially with the ending, and will recommend it to the usual crowd – even though it is not his usual offering.
K: The story of an alien invasion
By Ashley Lister
This one was a little different from me.
Aliens and conspiracy theories does not pop onto my radar all that often. For the most part, I tend to avoid sci-fi when it comes to books – I can handle it in small doses, but the moment we go into technology I don’t understand (and let’s be honest, Facebook makes me scratch my head a lot) and languages that hasn’t been invented yet, my brain just says: Nope, not smart enough!
So my sci-fi is usually limited to the occasional movie – some of which are brilliant – but not books.
As for conspiracy theories, I do find some of it interesting in a distant kind of way, but with the way of the world and the shit-show that American politics has become, I can only handle so much of it before I need to cleanse my psyche by listening to this song:
[If this link does not work, Google: White Nerd Rapper (Is he forreal or just crazy?)]
Now, the fact that this video has been watched 54K times – currently – while good authors struggle their asses off to get people to notice their work…THAT’s the kind of conspiracy theory that needs explaining, in my opinion.
Seriously, though, I have a very good friend who is into all kinds of conspiracy theories, so I have learned to watch my tongue. Because my brain gets tired, so at some point I have to shut it down, and if there’s one thing you have to give these people, it is that they can be very passionate about things.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get to the book.
K is a book about aliens, Karen’s, EMM EYE BEEs and conspiracy theories. People who are into those things, will like this story. There is a fine mist of mystery and a soft hum of humor.
Now, I am about to reveal the biggest secret of all:
(Tum Tum Tummmmm)
Ashley Lister is…
An intellectual! He was actually a housecat, who snuck into his owner’s satchel and got trapped in the laboratory, and when he panicked, he jumped on the shrink-ray machine, switched the button to reverse, knocked it from the table and got zapped just as he stepped on a physics book. This caused him to grow, lose his hair and learn to speak almost instantly. If it had been a joke book, he probably would have been a comedian. If it had been a dinosaur, he probably would have been a paleontologist. If it had been a true crime book, he probably would have been a politician.
In the end, though, he became the evil genius, who can not only watch THE BIG BANG THEORY, but also understand their science. And he decided to bide his time, until the day his evil plan will come to fruition. You think he writes horror and sci-fi? Ha, it is prophecies of our bleak future under his sadistic rule, sprayed with some humor to cause a deflection. Silly humans!
In the end, the day the sun finally sets on our false sense of security, the only thing that might save us is Whiskers and an endless supply of empty boxes. So if you ever see him with his one leg in the air, licking his nether regions, think back on this and know:
You were warned!
Kin of the Fallen
By Carver Pike
There is no other sensation that can quite match driving a motorcycle. Whether it is a Harley or a Vespa, there is joy in feeling the wind all over.
Of course, the flip side of the coin is that you will also feel the rain, hail, snow, swarm of bloodthirsty locusts (don’t ask) or whatever nature can throw at you. Also, I have never fallen and bled while being in a car.
But maybe that’s part of the rush?
Carver Pike wrote a slasher-horror where the biker gang (Kin of the Fallen – who happen to be the good guys) become the victims of an almost inhuman monster. If there are more stories like this, I have not read any, so for me it was a fresh take on the theme.
Also, the bikers are all family members of victims that have been killed by serial/spree killers. I found some of those references really hilarious – which sounds completely sick, I know – but if you have a decent knowledge of slasher stories, you will catch a lot of references that never gets a direct mention.
And I don’t really want to tell you too much more – this is a gory, extreme, sexed-up horror books with a good pace and an author that seems to be hitting his stride.
Recommended to Splatterpunk/extreme horror fans!
Joey Leonard's Last Horror Movie Marathon
By Kevin Lucia
For those of you who have never watched a movie on a video tape, here’s how it used to work:
You went to the video store. The movie you wanted to watch has been rented by someone else, so you go through everything else they have. You discover some movies you never knew existed, rent them and regret it. Most of the time. The older movies got these distorted lines and sometimes you missed a pivotal moment because of this.
Now, gents, most of the time it was the moments of nudity that you really wanted to see, and whether it was from being paused too much (which was a trick if you had an older model VCR, because it didn’t pause immediately, but that half a second it went on was usually too far to see what you wanted to see, so you had to rewind and try again until you got it right) or just good old-fashioned wear and tear. And, if you watched a LOT of movies, you’ve learned the trick by now to unscrew the top of the VCR and use a tissue or piece of toilet paper to try to clean the “heads”. Sometimes it helped and sometimes it didn’t.
But, every now and then, you would discover that diamond in the rough, the one that made all the bad shit you had to sit through seem worthwhile. For me, the one that comes to mind immediately, is IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS.
Oh, how I miss those days, where we still had to work for our entertainment.
So this story is about Joey Leonard, who managed the last video rental store in the Adirondacks. Since becoming single, he had these movie marathons over the weekends, where he would watch too many movies and drink too much booze.
With all the horror movies of the closed store in his possession, he discovers a strange home-recording.
Hmm…this does sound like THE RING, doesn’t it?
Well, things go off the rails from there, as you might expect. But this is not a remake of THE RING at all, so things start happening to Joey. Is it the booze, though?
The start of the story felt a little slow for my personal taste, but the direction it went was not what I expected. And while this is still a horror story, it had more of a BLACK MIRROR/TWILIGHT ZONE/OUTER LIMITS feel toward the end.
Kudos for that cover – got my attention immediately – and a story that I can recommend to the more patient horror reader, who doesn’t rely on a lot of gore.
The Unicorn Killer
By Candace Nola
Do you know the story about Mr. Fluffy Bunny Feet?
He was a serial killer who was dubbed “Jack the Slipper”.
His story is completely unrelated to this one by the hardest working woman in indie horror, Candace Nola.
And it is not cartoonish, if that is what you are worried about. Some killers just need a gimmick to make them stand out, you know.
And she avoided the catchphrase: Horny and out for blood!
A fast, short read with a high body count and lots of gore.
By Jospeh Monks
Well, people, some of us are born with adventurous souls, that seeks to explore unseen places and experiences unknown rituals and customs, who has the urge to know and feel that which is hidden.
And when I say “us”, I mean humanity in general, or to be more precise, “you”.
You see, I have done a lot of things in my younger days, for which I feel blessed, but I am also older and, hopefully, a little wiser.
For me, no good things can come after the words:
“Let’s go camping!”
Allergic to grass, get hay fever, suffer from arachnophobia and get stage fright when I have to pee in front of others.
Busted head more than 40 years ago, still have the scar, got attacked by bees when I was six, still allergic, and destroyed a couple of brand new sneakers in a day when the car broke down in the middle of nowhere and I had to go look for help, stopped keeping track after 20 miles of walking.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. But if I ever go down as a precautionary tale, it will be because that shit came to me, I didn’t go look for it.
Think of it this way, my death will probably make a good Alanis Morissette song if it is not from natural causes.
And that, my friends, is how you review a book without giving anything away.
I liked the story, even though it wasn’t perfect, and keep an eye on the author for the future.
Multiple Stab Wounds
By Daniel Volpe
Words association horror readers:
First book that comes to mind when I say:
2. Trapped in a field
5. A father who can’t accept the death of his son
You will be forgiven if some (or most of them) was written by a King.
But these are all unique, fresh and told by a man who has a very bright future in the horror industry.
Not going to say anything more. Loved all of them.
This is Where We Talk Things Out.
By Caitlin Marceau
I am going to trust my gut on this one – and if I am way off, my apologies. But my mind is funny sometimes – it makes these connections that I cannot always explain, but more often than not makes sense in the end. At least to me.
So, this story is about a dysfunctional relationship between mother and daughter. And the reason I started this review the way I did was because of the comparison I am about to make:
Can you imagine FATAL ATTRACTION without the sex?
No, this is not one of those incestuous stories, before you run off that idea. But as I read this, I kept having these flashes of the movie FATAL ATTRACTION – which I had seen about three decades ago. It is not about the sex, it is about this uncomfortable feeling I experienced when I watched it. This impending doom that you know is coming, the way you feel inside that this is really not going to end well. That pressure that builds when Glenn Close is on the rollercoaster with the kid…
I don’t know if this review will make sense, but that is the best way I can describe how this story made me feel.
Impressive and recommended to those who likes realistic horror…without the sex.
by Megan Stockton
Are there any good, old fashioned macho men out there who still believe women can’t hang with the boys in the horror genre?
Well, let me paint a picture for you: This book is the equivalent of Andre the Giant getting stung by a bee on the middle finger, and after it has swollen to twice its normal size, shoving it straight up your ass and finger-fucking your stupidity out.
In a homage to the HOSTEL movies, this book takes you to the dark and dirty underground of depravity beyond your wildest nightmares, to a place where torture and murder is very real, and very, very scary.
Megan Stockton just rode in on her extreme horse and outshot the gunslinger, outdrank the town drunk and outgambled the card hustler. There is no make-up that can cover up these wounds, and this lady does not hold anything back.
Much like the movies I mentioned, this is one that is not there to entertain in the conventional sense. It sucker punches you in the ovaries (yes, it will make your testicles shrink to the point of embarrassment if you are a fella) until you want to vomit out your disgust in an eloquent tirade, because of the classy writing.
Shit – pardon me, but it is late at night and this book has cost me some sleep, so if nothing else makes sense about this review, know this:
If you are an extreme or Splatterpunk fan, you need to check this shit out as soon as possible.
Well fucking done, madame!
Anthology by Maenad Press
I like to be surprised. For something toward the end to just throw me off and make me say “I did NOT see that coming”.
And even though AMERICAN CANNIBAL has a stellar line up of talent, I was a little worried when I started reading it that I would become bored because, in the end, it would just be a cannibal story.
Shame on me!
Starting with Roanoke in the 16th century, these stories work their way up to the year 2000, and they all deal with American history.
This is an amazing anthology. Usually, when I read something like this, I will point out the highlight for me, which is usually a story or two that stood out.
In this one?
That does not mean the others are bad, but if I had to pick my “favorite” story, I cannot decide between these:
WENDIGO DREAMS – Owl Goingback
THE HUNGRY WIVES OF BLEAK STREET – Gwendoline Kiste
AND THE WINDOW WAS BOARDED SHUT – Elizabeth Massie
THE FLANNIGAN CURE – EV Knight
ALL EARS – Clay McLeod Chapman
Y2K FEAST – Jeff Strand
THE LOST DIARY - Candace Nola (and for the record, I very rarely point out my “best” stories in an anthology when it was written by a close friend, but I dare you to prove me wrong. This story is absolutely superb.)
5 STARS easy!
By Jeff Strand
It is a story as old as time, so let’s do this review with a musical soundtrack.
This is Corey. Just a normal guy.
“Here’s a little song I wrote,
You might wanna sing it note for note,
DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY by Bobby McFerrin
He meets Quinn at work and falls in love.
“What started out as friendship has grown stronger,
I only wish I had the strength to let it show.”
CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING by REO Speedwagon
But she is in an abusive relationship.
“Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?”
HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO by Bonnie Tyler
And, even worse, he’s a serial killer!
“I will drive past your house,
And if the lights are all down,
I’ll see who’s around.”
ONE WAY OR ANOTHER by Blondie
But what can an average guy like Corey do?
“That’s the terror of knowing what this world is about.”
UNDER PRESSURE by David Bowie and Queen
Well, there’s only one thing to do: Kill him!
“Because I’m hyped up, out of control,
If it’s a fight, I’m ready to go,
I wouldn’t put my money on the other guy,
If you know what I know that I know.”
YOU’RE GOING DOWN by Sick Puppies
But there’s only one problem…the husband doesn’t want to die!
“I get knocked down, but I get up again,
You are never gonna keep me down.”
TUBTHUMPING by Chumbawamba
And now it’s too late to turn back.
“Please forgive me,
I know not what I do.”
PLEASE FORGIVE ME by Brian Adams
And from there, I can’t say anything that won’t spoil it.
“Getadelt wird wer Schmerzen kennt
Vom Feuer das die Haut verbrennt
Ich werf' ein Licht
In mein Gesicht
Mein heißer Schrei
FEUER FREI by Rammstein.
I loved everything about this. Strand at his absolute best!
“I’d say that I picked up my pace, but I was already running at full speed, so I kept running ast the same speed but with more urgency.”
By Matt Duchossoy
What is an incel?
Nope, not someone who is incarcerated. Nor an intelligent celebrity. Or even the inner part of a molecular structure that can only be seen microscopically with Indian ink staining under a x100 lens, like Cryptococcus neoformans, for example.
To be honest with you, I had no idea. I thought it was just a modern insult, like ‘nerd’ was in my day, but it actually represents a lot more. And, before this story, I have never heard the term “foid” or knew anything about “the blackpill ideology”. And this story, though it is fiction, gives you quite the education about the thought processes and world perception of this fringe group. Which should tell you that the author went the extra mile to do the research.
But what the fuck does incel mean?!
Stop yelling, it is time for your inside voice.
Incel is a shortened version of “Involuntary celibate”. Now, I do feel a lot of sympathy for people who can’t get any (I mean, ever) and for those who are socially too awkward to find a bond with others – I have never done well in social situations, though I manage my way through it for the most part, so I can understand the difficulty.
And it does bring up the question:
How much is society to blame for creating their own monsters?
Of course, I am not about to go on a rant here, but I finished this book a few days ago and decided to give it some time before I write the review. It stays with you, which means the author has done his job well, and it certainly ticks most of the boxes.
While the psychology plays a large part in this story and it might feel like a slow burn to some (I think it is short enough not to be too bothersome to most), it gets really dark, really fast toward the end.
This was the first time I have read this author, even though his name has been on my radar for a while, and he impressed me greatly.
I recommend this to horror lovers who likes the psychological aspect, as well as the character aspect, with enough gore at the end to make it worthwhile for most.
And, as a final note to the author, the first person worked brilliantly – you did well not to change it to third.
When You Become A Body
By Michelle von Eschen
Now, we are all going to die.
But there’s no reason to threaten your loved ones with a seemingly endless supply of lasagna.
So what if…hmm, are you into DIY, perhaps? Do you prefer to get shit done at home, rather than going out and having to deal with…well, people? I mean, why wait, right?
You can get everything delivered these days, you know. So why make it any more difficult on yourself or the ones you love when you pass? If they follow all the instructions, they can have half the day to themselves. Take an afternoon nap or whatever.
They won’t even have to worry about food – everything will be taken care of.
This was unexpected – I thought this story was brilliantly told, especially considering the subject matter. And the humor!
Keep your eye on this author’s work.
By Daniel Volpe
Look at that KillerBunny on the cover of the latest Daniel Volpe story!
So much lube…um, blood…and smut may make you want to steer clear of this gory, extreme novella. I know your standards are so much higher than that. Just go ahead, feast your eyes on something more worthy.