One of the most iconic of British horror films, 1973′s The Wicker Man tells of a police sergeant who travels to a remote community to probe the disappearance of a girl, but finds his investigation hindered by duplicitous locals, who we later discover partake in pagan rites and sacrificial murder.
The film has been highly praised on a number of levels, including its script by noted playwright and screenwriter Anthony Shaffer (Frenzy, Sleuth). But Shaffer also took inspiration from a 1967 novel titled Ritual by a young author named David Pinner, from whom he and star Christopher Lee had purchased the book’s film rights.
Now, nearly 40 years later, Pinner has released a follow up to Ritual, titled The Wicca Woman.
In his latest novel, Butcher’s Road (Lethe Press) Texan horror novelist Lee Thomas has drawn inspiration from a number of sources: magical sects, mafia lore, hardboiled fiction, The Gold Dust Trio and 1930s gangland for a story that is equal parts homage to Depression-era mystery pulp and dark-hearted fantastical noir. It also happens to be a sly subversion of the traditionally two-fisted heteronormative roles and characters that have dominated the pages of hardboiled crime-writing for decades.
The first part of horror fanatic and virology enthusiast Mira Grant’s new pre-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror series Parasite (Orbit Books) examines how corporate science corrals and controls the population by means of The Intestinal Bodyguard – a parasite symbiosis that has eradicated disease, making once-threatening health issues and debilitating illnesses now a thing of the past. However, as is often the case in horror fiction, scientific progress comes at a cost and a human/parasite symbiosis is asking for trouble.
Sinister Seven: Dark Regions Press publisher Chris Morey on Clive Barker’s “The Midnight Meat Train”
Poor Chris Morey – here he is, an innocent publisher in the throes of one of the biggest projects to roll out of his Dark Regions Press this year, and he’s stuck in a dark room with no food or water until he coughs up answers to Rue Morgue’s Sinister Seven. The topic: Dark Regions’ upcoming release of Clive Barker’s The Midnight Meat Train Special Definitive Edition.
Serves him right for hanging out with horror journalists.