Archive for October, 2011

Review – Death’s Too Short

October 23, 2011 - 12:02 am No Comments

Death’s Too Short: Nine Zombie Short Stories
Author: Lyle Perez-Tinics
Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Page count: 204pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This collection of short stories, all written by Lyle Perez-Tinics have been pulled together as a volume of zombie goodness. As with many e-books there are some typos but these do not detract from the enjoyment.

The volume starts with ‘Vigor After Death’, an interesting take on the zombie genre. And in fact, all of the stories in this volume have something new to offer the genre. I particularly like the introductions Perez offers about this history of the story. In ‘Broadcast of the Dead’ we find out more about the origins of the zombie disease in Perez’s world, in this case Vigor, a Frankenstein-esque serum.

If you like your zombies, this book is well worth picking up. For me, the high light was ‘The Gingerbreads’ a Christmas zombie tale. Christmas and zombies. It has to be done!

If you like the look of this volume pick it up at Death’s Too Short.

Review – Regicide – Nicholas Royle

October 22, 2011 - 11:38 pm No Comments

Author: Nicholas Royle
Publisher: Solaris
Page count: 188pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Nicholas Royle has already earned his writing stripes, with a collection of novels, novella and anthologies under his belt. In the short novel Regicide we meet Carl, the narrator who asks enigmatic Annie Risk out on a date one night. As he trawls through the back streets of London after walking Annie back to her hotel, Carl breaks into an empty house and answers a random phone call to find that the call is for him. It’s a woman asking for help.

As Carl narrates the novel, and his love for Annie and obsession with maps comes forth, the reader is reminded of the unreliable narrator. And that’s what Carl is. As you follow him on his journey to a strange world, the question in mind is; ‘how much of what is happening is real? Is Carl sane or becoming more and more twisted as the story develops?’

Carl is a flawed character and the book is nor perfect, but it is engaging, dark and warped. Read it in the dark if you want, but be careful what you wish for.

If you like the look of this check it out at Regicide.

Review – The Walking Dead novel

October 22, 2011 - 11:12 pm No Comments

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor
Author: Kirkman, R & Bonansinga, J
Publisher: Tor
Page count: 308pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

It is Friday 21st October. Not for a long time has there been such anticipation for a second season of a genre programme. The Walking Dead: Season Two premiered on FX tonight and what a start (yes, this is a book review. Stay with me). Because those clever producer chaps decided to cash in on the network premiere by releasing a tie in book on the same date.

The episode delivered on all counts, drama, gore tension and zombie goodness. What a shame that Rise of The Governor let the side down.

Touted as a standalone trilogy, this novel features the journey of widower Philip Blake, daughter Penny, his brother Brian and a couple of hard as nails old school friends as they try to reach the CDC in Atlanta. It starts three days into the zombie apocalypse and is written, rather distractingly, in third person present tense. The point of view is predominantly Brian, with a dash of Philip. However the whole technique means that the book lacks in emotion where the reader should obviously feel something.

There is no denying the scenes of gore and the vista of despair that is the broken city of Atlanta is stunningly bleak, and the story itself is sound, but there is something missing from this novel. It’s called feeling. It is an unrelentingly grim piece of fiction. If that’s what you like, then great. If it isn’t, watch the series or read the comics instead.

If it is what you like, check it out at The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.

Happy Halloween Book Number Nine

October 15, 2011 - 7:26 pm No Comments










Welcome to my second entry in the Halloween Top Ten book list, listing my personal favourite scary books of all time. You may not agree with my choices which will appear between 10th and 31st October, but give them a try. And note, I didn’t say horror, I said scary.

So peeps coming in at number nine is . . . Fevre Dream  by George R R Martin.

Before ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, there were vampires, and Mississippi Steam Boats.

Written in 1982, I discovered this book at age 17 in 1989.

“Abner Marsh, a remarkably unattractive but highly skilled steamboat captain, is grappling with a financial crisis in 1857 when he is contacted by Joshua York, a rich, soft-spoken gentleman. They become unlikely business partners, with Joshua winning Abner over by promising to finance the construction of a magnificent new steamboat that will be larger, faster, and more opulent than any other riverboat ever constructed: the pride of the Mississippi River.

When finally completed, she is everything Abner has ever dreamed of piloting. The large white, blue, and silver paddle steamer is christened Fevre Dream, for Abner’s previously-failing company, the Fevre River Packet Company;” Fevre Dream – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Beautiful and atmospheric, Fevre Dream is what vampires were like before Sookie Stackhouse came along. I’m cheating here. It isn’t traditionally scary but I don’t care. I had to share this magnificent book with you.




Happy Halloween Film Number Nine

October 15, 2011 - 7:00 pm No Comments






Welcome to my second entry in the Halloween Top Ten film list, listing my personal favourite scary films of all time. You may not agree with my choices which will appear between 10th and 31st October, but give them a try. And note, I didn’t say horror, I said scary.

So peeps, coming in at number nine is (drum roll) <a href=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />(1991).

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti”

“Rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is assigned to get into the mind of notorious incarcerated serial killer Dr Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to get his evaluation on the elusive Buffalo Bill, a serial killer who’s been abducting and killing young women. When a prominent senator’s daughter is kidnapped, it becomes a race against time to find her before she is killed and all the while Lecter is playing mind-games with Starling as well as any help he can provide…” The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – IMDb.   

Directed by Jonathon Demme, and winning an Oscar for Hannibal Lecter actor Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs is the definitive serial killer film. And it is Hannibal’s enigmatic charisma as he plays word games with Agent Clarice Starling that make the film so unique. Also add a tour de force performance by Ted Levine as serial killer ‘Buffalo Bill’ and what you have is pure magic.

There are a number of scenes that stick in the mind and get the pulse raising with fear, but for me it is Clarice Starling crawling backwards in the darkness as Buffalo Bill persues her relentlessly with his night vision goggles. Truly scary and stunning.

Quid pro quo