Archive for November, 2012

Domain of the Dead

November 24, 2012 - 3:23 pm No Comments

Domain of the Dead
Author: Iain McKinnon
Publisher: Permuted Press
Page count/size: 252pp
Release Date: 23rd Nov 2009
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Featuring an introduction by horror author David Moody, this post zombie apoc novel jumps right in with the action, as lead female Sarah, holed up in a warehouse with a number of other survivors, hears a helicopter, a sign of hope for the disillusioned and starving group. This could be their only escape of chance, so a meeting is held and they decide the only possible way forward is to leave the sanctuary of the warehouse, where only four weeks supply of food remains, and hunt down the helicopter. Some of the group is rescued by the crew of the research ship Ishtar, assigned to find a cure, and they are brought there for safety
Professor Cutler, the obligatory arrogant, chauvinistic and genius scientist believes he has the answer. The character being, to be blunt, a dick, means his actions are somewhat predictable, though he does make the reader raise a wry smile in reaction. Sarah is a strong female lead and McKinnon has a distinctive narrative voice as he delivers an action packed, yet character driven, adventure.
The emotional aspect of this novel is welcoming; this isn’t just about guns against the walking dead (WDs), it’s about survival, loss, grief and companionship. McKinnon, through one of the doctors, also provides logical, scientific reasoning for the virus.
The novel leaves us with a cliff-hanger; though at firsts I was concerned McKinnon had forgotten about a number of characters stuck on the mainland, it appears he was teasing the reader ready for this cliff-hanger. Definitely left open for the sequel Remains of the Dead, which I look forward to reading, this novel is not only fun, it is memorable.

Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas

November 21, 2012 - 4:57 pm No Comments

Look what I’m reading at the moment to get me into the seasonal mood!


Edited by Simon Marshall-Jones
Introduction by Johnny Mains

Christmas – a season of goodwill given to all mankind, and of snowbound winter wonderlands; a time for the gathering of families and friends to share in a bounteous harvest of good cheer, of sparkling decorations and roaring fires lighting up the parlour; and of glittering presents strewn beneath the glorious fir tree, and of excited children full of boundless joy in their hearts. And the time when the ghosts of those long gone, of the restless, the unhappy and the bitter are closest to the living, walking abroad in the frozen landscape outside the cosy living-room window.
Here are thirteen seasonal tales of those lonely, wandering spirits, guaranteed to bring delicious thrills to all aficionados of the ghostly and the supernatural. Inside these pages you will find, amongst others, stories of eerie urban myths, age-old rituals, lost invaders from history, haunted weather phenomena, strange spirits, and creatures of myth and legend, told by some of the finest and most exciting writers working in the field today.
So, this Christmas, stoke the fire in the grate, pour yourself a glass of fine port, dim the lights and settle down in your favourite armchair, then sit back and relax, and prepare to have your spine well and truly chilled by these ghostly seasonal tales!

Introduction by Johnny Mains
John Costello
Jan Edwards
William Meikle
Raven Dane
Richard Farren Barber
Nicholas Martin
Thana Niveau
Martin Roberts
Paul Finch
Gary McMahon
Neil Williams
John Forth
Adrian Tchaikovsy

The 13 Ghosts of Christmas is the first in the Spectral Press Ghost Story Annuals, which will be published every December.
The 13 Ghosts of Christmas, edited by Simon Marshall-Jones, wraparound cover by Vincent Shaw-Morton. 202 pages. Available in a numbered hardback limited to 100 copies worldwide, with full-colour covers, gold foil blocking on titles on front and spine, coloured endpapers and silk ribbon bookmarker. Also available as an unlimited paperback – both will be published in December 2012.
Introduction by Johnny Mains
The 13 Ghosts of Christmas
Publisher’s Acknowledgements by Simon Marshall-Jones
Bonus material: Preview of Whitstable by Stephen Volk (Spectral Visions III – May 2013)
Available from the publishers: Spectral Press, 5 Serjeants Green, Neath Hill, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK14 6HA, United Kingdom.

Vampire Circus

November 20, 2012 - 3:04 pm No Comments

Vampire Circus Author: Mark Morris Publisher: Hammer Page count/size: 344pp Release Date: 4th Oct 2012 Reviewer: Theresa Derwin Working with Arrow Books, Hammer films have expanded on their recent ventures into films by treading water in the horror literature genre. They have started by releasing new novelisations of classic Hammer Horror films introducing some original fiction too. Vampire Circus by Mark Morris is a new, fresh and modern take on the classic film. This edition includes an introduction by film Director Robert Young. The novel starts as two young girls, Jenny and Lynn, enter Mitre House, at a time when local children are mysteriously disappearing. On the road home from school, the two girls meet creepy teacher Mrs Miller who offers one of the girls a ride home. Chris Blaine has been hired to follow Anna Miller, as her husband believed she was having an affair. Blaine is shocked to see Anna taking young Jenny to Mitre House, the local haunted and apparently abandoned building. Ten years later, his memories of searching Mitre House having evaporated, Dr Jon Kersh, friend to Nick (Anna’s widower) notices a strange illness attacking the residents of Shettle, leaving him confused, exhausted and feeling helpless. Nick begins to think that he is losing his mind, after all, he sometimes forgets his wife Anna dies, or even that he had a wife. A miasma of illness swirls around Shettle, as a barrier that stops the locals from leaving town, and outsiders entering town. At the same time, a strange circus has arrived, with calliope music in the air and a dwarf littering the local school with flyers; no-one is able to resist its lure. But what dangers lurk behind the fun veneer? Reminiscent of Funhouse by Richard Laymon, with all the circus tropes present, Vampire Circus lovingly recreates the atmosphere and scenery of the classic Hammer tales, whilst putting a new spin on it. The characters are well drawn, the tension mounts and there are some nicely gruesome bits to please traditional horror fans. Morris has written a truly enjoyable yarn that entertains on every level. This is the future of Hammer.

Post Apoc series from Angry Robot

November 8, 2012 - 3:12 pm No Comments

This press release caught my eye, as I love the post-apoc stuff – the grimmer the better!

Angry Robot Signs Jay Posey in Two Book Post-Apocalyptic Saga Deal


Angry Robot Online [@angryrobotbooks]