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Stan Lee’s Comikaze Review

What started out as a small comic convention held in a parking lot, has finally grown up. Gone is the seedy back alley feel, and it has been replaced...

Whisky Overtakes Vodka as America&#...

Jack Daniel's fans rejoice. Whisky is the official drink of America again. For the first time since 2008, vodka is no longer the drink of choice for m...

keg-vs-bottles

Kegs vs. Cans at Your Party

Throwing a bash and wondering if a keg is worth it? You're in luck, since MCM know's the answer! If money is not an issue, then getting a keg is to...

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I thought we had nothing in common ...

@DeanOkay highlighting some of our favorite ≤140′s from MensConfidence writers and others. If you don’t follow them, bury your head in shame. Then fol...

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Ask Her: Why Smart Girls Are Better In Bed (and how to pick one up)

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Top 10 First Date Tips for Guys

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I thought we had nothing in common until

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Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Clara (Kerry Condon) in Episode 1 Photo by Gene Page/AMC

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Stan Lee’s Comikaze Review

What started out as a small comic convention held in a parking lot, has finally grown up. Gone is the seedy back alley feel, and it has bee...

Stan Lee’s Comikaze Review

logo What started out as a small comic convention held in a parking lot, has finally grown up. Gone is the seedy back alley feel, and it has been replaced by the expectation of future greatness.

This year, Stan Lee’s Comikaze was a positive experience for the first time in its four year history. The talent was higher caliber, and the feel still was somewhat casual. People were able to walk around without the congested feel of SDCC crowds.

We attended the John Barrowman seminar, and he was charming and funny. A far cry from his role on Arrow as Malcom Merlin, or as Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and Torchwood. The best thing about this con is the food however. No… not the convention hall food… the amazing array of award winning food trucks right outside!

Comikaze is a great starter convention. I’d suggest Comikaze over bigger cons like Comicon in SD to first time con attendees. The San Diego Comicon, while amazing and fun, can be very overwhelming as a 1st convention.

This year, the first thing we noticed was the upgraded security. Previously, the security was not as professional and gave that feeling of being staffed by people who hated being there and took it out on event goers. This year, the security staff was courteous and professional.

A new feature this year was the Intellivision area where they had a lot of old school video games that could be played for free. I say a 12 y/o boy that could not be pulled away from a very pixelated wrestling game because he was having such a great time. This area really drove home the point that if a game is good, no matter how old or dated the graphics are, it is still good and can be enjoyed by anyone no matter what their age.comic-book-cosplay-photos-at-comikaze-2012

Here’s some tips to have a better time:

If you’re interested in going, consider going on a Sunday. The atmosphere is more relaxed and you don’t have to beat your way through a throng of people. The only drawback is that the cooler events and panels (ex: the costume contest) are scheduled on Friday and Saturday.

Been eyeballing that con shirt? If you’re going on a Sunday and you know they still have a large quantity of the shirt you want in stock, try purchasing it just before the end of the convention. Prices usually drop at that time – especially for shirts that have the year printed on it.

For the regulars: Bring a first time con goer. Find someone open to new experiences and bring them along. Going to multiple cons may leave you a bit jaded. You can re-live the first time you went to a con by how they react to the experience (hopefully positively).

Lastly, remember that this is a convention. You aren’t the only person who has these interests – that’s why these conventions exist. Quit crying about the lines. I hate lines, but I also understand that being in a line or a crowd of people is part of the experience of going to an event like this. It’s fun to make “one hour friends” while you’re in line. Usually they are really cool people. You guys have similar interests, why else would you both be in the same line?

imagesPerhaps you’ll meet the love of your life dressed as Harley Quinn.

Whisky Overtakes Vodka as America’s Favorite Drink

Jack Daniel’s fans rejoice. Whisky is the official drink of America again. For the first time since 2008, vodka is no longer the drink of choice for most Americans.

The reason may be that our palette has evolved. It is common to detect 5 or 6 separate aromas in a whisky, and not unusual to note over 10.  Whisky is a dynamic, volatile spirit which evolves in the glass and challenges the senses.  Nosing and tasting whisky is an exciting activity which can produce glorious but logic-defying descriptions: “Tarry rope, carrot cake and plastic water buckets filled with seawater”.  It may sound pretentious, but whisky is immensely complex in its chemistry and produces hundreds of very specific memory-prodding aromas.  It baffles the scientists and delights its fans for its unparalleled ability to smell and taste of 10 memories simultaneously.

It turns out that whisky is healthy for you as well. Some of the benefits include its ability to aid in weight loss, slow down the onset of dementia, increase heart health, prevents and manages diabetes, boosts good cholesterol, fights against cancer, eliminates blood clots, strengthens the immune system. Generally, whiskey is one of the healthiest forms of alcohol available.

We at MCM rejoice in the news, and our home bars are all the better for it.

Kegs vs. Cans at Your Party

keg-vs-bottlesThrowing a bash and wondering if a keg is worth it? You’re in luck, since MCM know’s the answer!

If money is not an issue, then getting a keg is totally worth it. Often people assume that a keg is cheaper in the long run, and if a keg is fully drained, it can be. However, the savings is realistically around 10 dollars. If any beer is left over at the end of the night, you are essentially eating that money.  The reality is most of the time, kegs are more expensive and slightly more hassle than buying cans at the store. Kegs do taste noticeably better however, and are often easier to store for guests. Remember to buy ice to keep the keg cold.

Cans on the other hand are often the cheaper choice. If you have room for an ice chest, cans are easy and hassle free, and don’t require a deposit. They don’t taste quite as good, and require the same, if not more ice to keep cold. In some states you can recycle the cans for money. California runs about 1.65 per pound, and many states have a flat rate of 5 to 10 cents per can returned.  Keep that in mind for a little after party bonus.

In the end, kegs are better tasting, but more hassle, and cans are easy and cheap. If you are unsure of how to operate a keg, you can always hire a professional bartender to oversee the drink flow. You’ll be glad you did.

I thought we had nothing in common until

@DeanOkay highlighting some of our favorite ≤140′s from MensConfidence writers and others. If you don’t follow them, bury your head in shame. Then follow them.

 

If you’re not already, follow @MensConfidence on Twitter.

Check back for another listing by @DeanOkay

 

My 5 Year plan….

@DeanOkay highlighting some of our favorite ≤140′s from MensConfidence writers and others. If you don’t follow them, bury your head in shame. Then follow them.

 

If you’re not already, follow @MensConfidence on Twitter.

Check back for another listing by @DeanOkay

 

I’m no expert…

@DeanOkay highlighting some of our favorite ≤140′s from MensConfidence writers and others. If you don’t follow them, bury your head in shame. Then follow them.

 

 

 

If you’re not already follow @MensConfidence on Twitter.
Check back for another listing by @DeanOkay

Book Reviews (March, 2014)

 

For this month’s reviews, I thought I would focus on the publications of one press rather than those of an era or author. This month’s subject is ERASERHEAD PRESS, the most prolific and energetic voice of contemporary bizarro fiction.

Bizarro fiction is a relatively new genre which is not entirely easy to define. It encompasses elements of satire, absurdism, and the grotesque, along with pop-surrealism and genre fiction staples, in order to create subversive works that are as strange and entertaining as possible.

Bizarro works are truly a mixed bag. Sometimes I’ll read a work and think it was revolting filth and sometimes I’ll read a work and find it to be a beautiful literary and socially relevant gem. Sometimes I’ll think both things simultaneously! What I love most about this genre is that, if nothing else, I will be entertained. The wonder of bizarro is that it doesn’t stoop to worn-out tropes or regurgitated storylines. These authors are hard boiled, willing to experiment, and write ideas that are stimulating, strange and, most importantly, unique.

Eraserhead Press, the premiere publisher of these book, is headquartered in bizarro central, Portland, OR, and championed by CEO, Rose O’Keefe. It also includes a dozen or more smaller imprints set up by associates, such as Deadite Press, Fungasm Press, and Lazy Fascist Press, amongst others.

Erasurehead Press is here: http://www.eraserheadpress.com

My personal favorite author to come out of the bizarro movement is Carlton Mellick III, who writes with the precise craft of any literary voice today, but puts out the strangest titles which are in turns geared toward horror, dark fantasy, alternative history, and science fiction. For EX: Satan Burger, The Haunted Vagina, War Slut and, my top bizarro pick, Zombies and Shit. Carlton is a writing machine, dedicated (mind-blowingly!) to a new book every three months. Generally, overly-prolific authors end up publishing a lot of dreck, but Carlton’s works are crisp, funny, and quite simply a consistently entertaining read.

Carlton Mellick III is here: http://www.carltonmellick.com

Which brings me to my first review:

***

18185144REVIEWED: Quicksand House
WRITTEN BY: Carlton Mellick III
PUBLISHED: June, 2013

Of the six or seven books I’ve read by this author, ‘Quicksand House’ is one of my favorites. It starts off as a mystery, in which two children are essentially locked in their baby room and raised by a nanny through puberty. Machines make their food and the children teleport to school, but they’ve never met their parents which is their dearest wish. The baby room is in the midst of an immense mansion, and scary things crawl in the walls, and myths and fears abound for them, wondering what lies outside the locked door. One day their mechanical life breaks down, and survival forces them to finally leave the baby room, searching through the rest of the house for their parents.

As always, Mellick’s writing is brilliantly imaginative, fast-paced, strange, and satisfying. This book is rather a bit more of an emotional coming-of-age experience rather than action-packed fiction ploy (not to say there’s not plenty of action and thrills included!). But the ending is beautiful and sweet, and swear-to-God, I choked up and a tear ran down my cheek after I closed the final page.

This is really a great book and, with themes such as self-acceptance, fear of abandonment, love, and family values, I think it deserves to find a wider audience than the traditional bizarro crowd. Though the children of Quicksand House encounter wild exploits, the story itself is engaging and relatable and exciting.

Five out of Five stars

http://www.amazon.com/Quicksand-House-Carlton-Mellick-III/dp/1621051005/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394573022&sr=1-1&keywords=Quicksand+House

***

81buGLlINwLREVIEWED: The Last Goddam Hollywood Movie
WRITTEN BY: John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow
PUBLISHED: August, 2013

‘The Last Goddam Hollywood Movie’ follows a group of Hollywood filmmakers who survive a nuclear apocalypse and then band together to create the first ever post-apocalyptic movie which (just as in real life) promises to accurately portray the events leading to the nation’s disaster, but instead creates a highly fictionalized concept which is at whim of finagling, backbiting, competing resources, and lots and lots of drugs. Peter Kornberg is a writer who gets hustled by his nemesis, Julian Harvey, to direct the film, and the novella-sized book follows the conflict between the two of them during the entire radiation and mutant-filled journey of production. Fast-paced and quick-witted, this would seem more fictionalized if it weren’t for the fact that the authors, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, have been involved in Hollywood flicks themselves, and the satirical commentary becomes even more scathing on who peoples the industry and how movies are really made.

Four out of Five stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Goddam-Hollywood-Movie/dp/1621050904/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394568308&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Last+Goddam+Hollywood+Movie

***

18401152REVIEWED: Son of a Bitch
WRITTEN BY: Wrath James White and Andre Duza
PUBLISHED: July, 2012

Intense, foul-mouthed, hard-punching, and wild, this story really is about the son of a bitch. The descriptively-named character is born half demon/ half canine, splitting his dog mother open at birth. Fused with Cuban black magic and the spirit of a local hitman, Warlock, the dog/ monster, goes on a murderous rampage, followed by the hood, Demitrius, who breeds dogs and is witness to the dog joining with Warlock’s soul.

Consider the dog/monster has similarities to a werewolf, albeit one that evolves and is seeking revenge. This is a quick read, at times funny and at times seething with violence. I never felt connected with any of the characters, but the plot kept me hooked all the way through. Lots of action and gore, and the ending was perfect. Good to read when you need to blow off some steam or suspect your family pooch might be hiding something malicious.

Four out of Five stars

http://www.amazon.com/Son-Bitch-Wrath-James-White/dp/1621051145/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394576042&sr=1-1&keywords=Son+of+a+Bitch

***

6897017REVIEWED: Super Fetus
WRITTEN BY: Adam Pepper
PUBLISHED: August, 2009

To say this book is offensive is to say that serial killers may have some personality flaws. Up front, I do not recommend this book to any person with even moderately conservative values or self-expressed ‘taste’ in literature. But for those of you who enjoy a gross-out tale or a redneck battle, ‘Super Fetus’ is for you!

This story is about a (you guessed it) fetus growing inside the uterus of a trashy, burned out woman who’s already a mother of three and cannot fathom raising a fourth brat. She decides to abort it, but the fetus has prematurely developed and is self-aware of his placement. Simply put, he ain’t coming out! Super Fetus fights all manner of abortion proceedings and even causes his mother to throw up any unhealthy foods. “Only salads and healthy foods for me!” He does pushups and punches back at anyone reaching in to pull him out.

It’s a crude and foul-mouthed tale, at times hilarious, at times terribly shocking and sad, but ultimately a fun and quick read, clocking in at only about 87 pages. Though the story could have been a lot more, it’s successful on its face value. I would have loved to read a bit more back story about the mysterious ‘father’ with no face, as to who he was and the potential of Super Fetus. But the ending is perfect for a follow up, so perhaps someday there may be Super Toddler!

Four out of Five stars

http://www.amazon.com/Super-Fetus-Adam-Pepper/dp/193392988X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394568121&sr=8-1&keywords=Super+Fetus

***

RisingREVIEWED: The Rising (author’s preferred edition/ uncut)
WRITTEN BY: Brian Keene
PUBLISHED: September, 2013 (first published March, 2003)

Simply put, this is a zombie book. More than that though, it’s an adventure thriller and a classic in the resurgence of undead in popular culture. To underscore this point, as I read ‘The Rising’ I thought, “Gee, yet another linear zombie story. Main character searches for his son, meets motley survivors, and crosses lots with paramilitary groups, all the while blowing away killer zombies.” But as I thought this it also dawned on me that Brian Keene was one of the first authors to write this type of action zombie story, and the reason it seems so formulaic and familiar is because there have been a horde (pun!) of writers who have copied this idea and wrote their own zombie apocalypse tales, inspired by the likes of Keene. Besides books, Keene’s influence is also found in video games, comics, movies, and other media.

The edition of this review is the ‘extended cut,’ i.e. the author’s preferred edition, published ten years after the original, in which Keene returns about 35,000 words cut from the debut. The story is a page-turner and follows the paths of several different characters as their lives intersect in the quest for survival. Some of the main characters seemed rather flat (Jim and Frankie), while I found myself relating and rooting for more of the lesser/ secondary characters (Baker and Skip).

The one unique element in this book which is not usually seen is that these zombies (Potential PLOT SPOILER) are actually host bodies for demons, and so retain consciousness and can perform normal human activity such as driving cars, opening doors, and <gasp> fire rocket launchers. In addition to human zombies, the survivors must contend with animal zombies, which adds a whole new layer of fear, fighting off zombie rats, birds, and lions.

The Rising promises on zombie battle and delivers on that promise wholeheartedly. Overall, it’s an exciting read, filled with violence, gore, and many, many surprises.

Four out of Five stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Rising-Authors-Preferred-Edition/dp/1621050920/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1394568213&sr=8-1

***

Midnight cheers,

Eric J. Guignard

_________________________________

Eric J. Guignard writes dark and speculative fiction from the outskirts of Los Angeles. Assorted stories and articles that bear his byline may be found in the disreputable publications reserved for back alley bazaars. As an editor, Eric’s produced the anthologies, Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations and After Death…, the latter of which won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award®. Read his novella, Baggage of Eternal Night (a finalist for the 2014 International Thriller Writers Award), and watch for many more forthcoming books, including Chestnut ’Bo (TBP 2016). Outside of the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, Eric’s a technical writer and college professor, and he stumbles home each day to a wife, children, cats, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles. He’s a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Of America, and the International Thriller Writers. Visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.

 

 

The Sub-Genres of HORROR – PART V

 

This is part V in the categorical explanation for THE SUB-GENRES OF HORROR.

For an introduction, and PART I of this series, please begin here: The Sub-Genres of Horror – Part-I
PART II is here: The Sub-Genres of Horror – Part-II
PART III is here: The Sub-Genres of Horror – Part-III
PART IV is here: The Sub-Genres of Horror – Part-IV

Part V is below!

*****

Psychic Abilities

The use of Psychic Abilities (also known as extrasensory perception or sixth sense) are familiar storylines in horror fiction. Such abilities include: Telepathy (mind reading), Precognition or Postcognition (seeing events in the future or the past), Mind Control (forcing someone to act against their will), Telekinesis (ability to move objects by willpower), or any other power credited to the brain which is generally not considered possible in humans. Elements of witchery or paranormal may also share in this category.

These powers are not always portrayed with the intent to cause fright, but frequently are used by the protagonist to overcome a seemingly undefeatable opponent. Naturally the element of “evil” in psychic abilities is also abundant, and often multiple characters may have powers which they use to battle each other. Often, children are seen as the wielders of strange faculties. Psychic abilities may be explained by genetics, learned behavior, sorcery, or technological/medical experimentation (including comic-favorite ‘side-effects of radiation’).

Book Examples:

Firestarter by Stephen King
False Memory by Dean Koontz
Darkest Powers (series of books) by Kelley Armstrong

Psychological Horror

Psychological Horror is best characterized by the fears that come from within our psyche, rather than from external sources such as monsters or serial killers. It’s a form of narrative that builds tension through the character’s perception of events, causing them (and the reader) terror or mental/ emotional instability. Often this subgenre is considered successful by what isn’t revealed rather than by what is told, and is generally considered to be more complex than those forms of horror which rely on violence or gore. Affects of the human psyche include such undesirable elements as: mental conflict, doubt, guilt, phobia, insanity, suspicion, distrust, etc.

Book Examples:

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Unloved by John Saul

Religious Horror (including: Demons and Possession)

One of the oldest themes of horror draws upon the fears, consequences, and manifestations of evil found in religion. Although organized religion may be a focal point in the story, any belief system can be utilized such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Tribal Worship, or rites, mythology, or doctrine of any of the other countless world denominations. Most commonly, these tales will portray a variation of Satan as the ultimate evil/ villainous antagonist which corrupts or outright attacks an unsuspecting innocent. Other unsettling considerations include demon possession and exorcism, spirit worship, witchcraft, or any communion with evil spirits, including agreements, willing habitation, or general relationship. Even stories revolving around fictional religion (i.e. invented strictly for purposes of the plot) may also fall into this category. The worship of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos is an example of this.

Book Examples:

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Rosemary’s Baby
by Ira Levin
The Omen by David Seltzer

Revenge

Some of the most compelling stories are those dealing with well-deserved retribution. The vengeance may be as righteous as bloodletting of a supernatural deity (demons, monsters, aliens) or as mundane as rallying against a corrupt financial institution. Revenge can haunt some people and it can heal others, but either way it is cause for vigorous emotion. After all, ‘Getting even’ is one of man’s most basic desires. Most people do not regularly act on it, especially in grand scale, but the satisfaction of relating to someone who does is often a thrilling, if not guilty, pleasure. Whether blood-spattered torture, psychological trauma, financial ruin, or simple dismissal, tales of revenge is a notion that every reader can empathize with in some form.

Book Examples:

Carrie by Stephen King
Red by Jack Ketchum
Death Wish by Brian Garfield

*****

MORE TO COME IN MY NEXT BLOG POST! Stay tuned soon for The Sub-Genres of HORROR – PART VI

Part I Describes: Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic Horror, Bizarro Fiction, Body Horror (Biological Horror)

Part II describes: Dark Fantasy (AKA:Fantasy Horror), Environmental Horror, Erotic Horror, Fairy Tales and Dark Fables

Part III describes: Gothic Horror, Historical Horror, Humor (AKA: Horror Comedy), and Killer Animals

Part IV describes: Lovecraftian Horror (Cthulhu Mythos), Media Tie-In, Monster Horror, and Paranormal

Part V describes: Psychic Abilities, Psychological Horror, Religious Horror (including: Demons and Possession), and Revenge

*****

Thanks to notes on this topic accumulated from the following websites:

http://www.cuebon.com/ewriters/Hsubgenres.html

http://www.goldenagestories.com/news/2013/01/04/the-dark-the-dark-the-history-of-horror-fiction/2602

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_fiction

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-horror-genres.htm

*****

Midnight cheers,

Eric J. Guignard

BIO:

Eric J. Guignard writes dark and speculative fiction from the outskirts of Los Angeles. Assorted stories and articles that bear his byline may be found in the disreputable publications reserved for back alley bazaars. As an editor, Eric’s produced the anthologies, Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations and After Death…, the latter of which won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award®. Read his novella, Baggage of Eternal Night (a finalist for the 2014 International Thriller Writers Award), and watch for many more forthcoming books, including Chestnut ’Bo (TBP 2016). Outside of the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, Eric’s a technical writer and college professor, and he stumbles home each day to a wife, children, cats, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles. He’s a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Of America, and the International Thriller Writers. Visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.

 

 

Book Reviews (January, 2014)

 

Book Reviews! Each of the following books may be purchased through any large book store or online through www.amazon.com.

***
12441448

REVIEWED: Deadfall Hotel
WRITTEN BY: Steve Rasnic Tem
PUBLISHED: April, 2012

Deadfall Hotel is a rather sweet, at times sad, at times scary, novel which is more fantasy than horror. It includes the familiar monster tropes, but they are all fused with human pains, made believable in whatever condition ails the character, sending them to convalesce and, most likely, eventually perish in the namesake hotel. I wouldn’t call this book a “page-turner” as it is slow and sentimental, but that is what I enjoy about this author; he captures the subtleties of emotion – fear, sadness, hope – as masterfully as any “literary” writer, while at the same time building a compelling supernatural environment. A few of the sections seemed to go on for too long, such as the King of the Cats, while other sections, I wanted to learn more of, such as the actual history of the house, the pool that only occasionally appears, and the several of the other background “inhabitants” that make brief cameo appearances, but never again materialize. Deadfall Hotel is best read in a leisurely pace, ideally in a windowed nook with gloomy rain falling outside, and a nice mug of chamomile tea.

Four and a quarter out of Five stars

***

16144329

REVIEWED: Deadman’s Road
WRITTEN BY: Joe R. Lansdale
PUBLISHED: October, 2010

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Each self-contained tale revolves around the exploits of a central character, the gun slinging Reverend Jebidiah Mercer. There’s not a lot of literary depth to this book, but the stories are all fast-paced, action-filled, and pulp-esque fun. Rev. Mercer is quested to roam the old west, destroying evil in the name of God, whom he mostly despises, as penance for his sins. Each story pits him against a new enemy, mortal and supernatural alike. Mercer, cursing the whole way, does battle with whomever he is set against, including zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and kobolds. Joe R. Lansdale is really a master at creating excitement in his writing as well as crafting funny, meaningful dialogue. Know what you’re getting into before starting this: Deadman’s Road is violent and crass, but perfect when you need a pick-me-up after power-reading Camus or Dostoyevsky.

Five out of Five stars

***

17742131REVIEWED: Village of the Mermaids
WRITTEN BY: Carlton Mellick III
PUBLISHED: April, 2013

Village of the Mermaids is about an Island town surrounded by carnivorous mermaids, which the local citizens are not allowed to kill, under threat of execution, per the Endangered Species Act.

Biting government satire, survivalist thrills, mystery, and horrible, horrible man-eating mermaids, this novel is not for the weak-of-heart, but IS for those who appreciate reading something strange and beautiful that they would not find anywhere else.

It’s a funny, fast-paced story. Like all of Mellick’s work, I enjoyed this, though I wouldn’t consider it one of his best novels. That being said, it’s quite fine on any level. The talent of Carlton is that he can take the most ridiculous-sounding premises and, in a unique and smart maneuvering, craft very entertaining tales that are both outlandish and highly literary.

As an aside, the opening prologue is a chapter which was removed from the book as it didn’t “fit,” but is the strongest element of the book overall, emotionally tragic. Reading it in advance gave me character insight into the doctor’s character.

Four out of Five stars

***

Midnight cheers,

Eric

_________________________________

Eric J. Guignard writes dark and speculative fiction from the outskirts of Los Angeles. Assorted stories and articles that bear his byline may be found in the disreputable publications reserved for back alley bazaars. As an editor, Eric’s produced the anthologies, Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations and After Death…, the latter of which won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award®. Read his novella, Baggage of Eternal Night (a finalist for the 2014 International Thriller Writers Award), and watch for many more forthcoming books, including Chestnut ’Bo (TBP 2016). Outside of the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, Eric’s a technical writer and college professor, and he stumbles home each day to a wife, children, cats, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles. He’s a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Of America, and the International Thriller Writers. Visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.

 

 

TWITS – This Weeks Interesting Tweets

A weekly series, highlighting some of our favorite ≤140′s from MensConfidence writers and others. If you don’t follow them, bury your head in shame. Then follow them.

 

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