And Hell Followed is an anthology with a premise that is simultaneously obvious and irresistible. The various authors featured have all derived their inspiration from a single text — one filled with depictions of worldwide violence and hallucinogenic weirdness; one ripe with potential for spiritual insights and shameless iconoclasm. That text, of course, is the Book of Revelation.
The anthology opens with Sam West’s “The Whore of Babylon”, a relatively tame story that works as something of an appetiser. While visiting a nightclub, a horror author with the Bunyanesque name of John Christian is approached by a busty blonde bombshell proclaiming herself to be the Whore of Babylon. Is she a gold-digger, wannabe writer, religious fanatic, or the real thing? The story becomes a brisk character study as the novelist has his insecurities and anxieties laid bare by this personification of the end times.
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In the latest part of my Hugo series at WWAC, I’m talking about “Away with the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey and “For He Can Creep” by Siobhan Carroll. Read on…
I’ve got another post in my weekly series on werewolf films up at Killer Horror Critic! This time I’m watching The Undying Monster from 1942, and discussing how badly it botched the Jessie Douglas Kerruish novel it’s based on.
Werewolf of London (1935)
The Wolf Man (1941)
The Mad Monster (1942)
My Hugo Award review-athon continues at WWAC with the first in a series of posts looking at the Best Novelette category. Join me for a trip…
The title says it all, really: each one of the stories in Dig Two Graves involves revenge. How do the assembled writers approach this theme? Read on…
Some of the stories play upon everyday annoyances, as when a sociopathic waiter finds that unpleasant customers are dying one by one in “A Waiter’s Revenge” by Justin Boote. Others are more elaborate and disorienting, as with Feind Gottes’ Saw-esque story “The Forgiven Ghost in Me” in which a man wakes up to find that he has been trapped in a box by an unseen tormenter.
The stories have a varied range of settings. Christine Morgan contributes the historical novelette “Odin’s Eagle”, in which solid characterisation, layers of period detail and brutal violence combine for a gripping story about a teenage Viking and his family seeking vengeance against a rival chieftain. Meanwhile, “Murdock’s Magnificent Emporium” by Sean Seebach is a western-style story set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where a snake oil salesman and his companion end up in the sights of some seriously dissatisfied customers.
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My series on the work of horror writer Charlee Jacob continues with a look at her 2005 novel Vestal. Catch it at WWAC…
In the concluding part of my series on the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, I’m looking at “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography of the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island” by Nibedita Sen followed by “And Now his Lordship is Laughing” by Shiv Ramdas. Catch it at WWAC…
Dead Sea Chronicles is a collection of two novellas, “Weed-World” and “Devil in the Deep”, each set in the universe of Tim Curran’s 2007 novel Dead Sea. Not having read the original book, I came to this follow-up with no particular expectations.
“Weed-World” opens with the private jet of wealthy playboy Marcus Dupont breaking down in the middle the ocean and having to make an emergency landing on the sea’s surface. Marcus and his band – his secretary Ava, his yes-man Brice, his pilot Bisson and the story’s everyman protagonist Ethan – find themselves in a strange area where there is no wind, and the water is coated with dead seaweed of various unusual varieties. It soon turns out that dangerous creatures lurk beneath the thick weed – as Bisson, who tries to swim to the plane’s life-raft, learns the hard way when an unseen monster pulls him below the depths.
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The second part of my series on the 2020 Hugo Awards is now live at WWAC. This time I’m looking at Best Short Stiry contenders “Blood is Another Word for Hunger” by Rivers Solomon and “As the Last I May Know” by S. K. Huang…
My series for Killer Horror Critic on the history of werewolf cinema continues! This time I’m looking at an obscure number called The Mad Monster…
Werewolf of London (1935)
The Wolf Man (1941)