The Familiar Volume 4: Hades by Mark Z. Danielewski

51i-fawtotl-_uy250_

“Just one cage finding another. Maybe wider. Maybe bigger. Still cage. All of it. With horizons for bars.”

The Familiar, Volume 4 takes place between August and September 2014. All of the different characters in The Familiar are really starting to come together. Luther and Ozgur see each other at the gun range. Jingjing and Xanther just barely miss each other at the airport. Luther sells drugs to Jingjing. Continue reading

Don Juan Canto 5

8f3a4b7ec03647c2ddabd66e6fc21b9dByron starts Canto 5 by telling us of the dangers of writing love poetry: “Even Petrarch’s self, if judged with due severity,/Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity.” (Canto V, 1) I’d never thought of it like that, but I think he’s right. Love poems (or today’s equivalent–love songs) help facilitate hooking up. To prevent this from happening, Byron assures us that he himself will always attach a good moral message to his poems. Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Continue reading

Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling

ugly-little-things-254x4002xDisclaimer: I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

Don’t you just love that cover? It doesn’t just look cool, but also serves as an introduction to this collection since most of the stories feature disembodied hands, hands reaching out of murky water, hands reaching out of the depths of space, or something like that. Let’s face it. Hands not attached to anything are creepy. By the way, there’s also some nifty artwork accompanying each story within. Continue reading

In Defense of Bad Reviews

judge-john-hodgman-square-mustache_167Some book review websites follow the old rule: “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This is a good idea for a few reasons. One, if you are part of an affiliate program and get a percentage of the sale, you don’t want to discourage people from buying the book. (For this reason, I’m often skeptical of websites that tell you every book they review is the best thing ever written, then encourage you to click on their link to purchase the book.) Continue reading

Weird Tales of Horror by David J. West

51g1wez6qxl-_sy346_

Weird Tales of Horror by David J. West is an entertaining collection of short fiction. Some of the stories you’ll find here include Ernest Hemingway meeting a werewolf, how New York City dealt with King Kong’s body after he died, and soldiers encountering ghouls during Operation Desert Shield. Also, Lovecraft’s Nylarthahotep is worked into the Biblical story of King Solomon. Continue reading

Don Juan, Canto 3

20170702_064853
Online, this engraving by W. H. Mote is named Lolah, but in my copy of Lord Byron’s Works from 1849 it’s titled Haidee. Was someone trying to pull a fast one?

When we last left Don Juan, he had been shipwrecked upon a Grecian island, but was brought back to health by a young woman named Haidee. The two fall in love, however, Haidee keeps Juan’s existence a secret from her father Lambro who is a slave trader. Let’s find out what happens next! Continue reading

Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders

61wfamsxj0l

A solid collection full of excellent stories. Behold! Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano includes both original stories and reprints (although if you haven’t read them yet, they’re new to you). Some of the stories are straight up horror, others are horror-comedy, and still others are straight up comedy. There are also a couple poems, a couple fairy tales, and even a couple stories that I’d classify as literary. Continue reading