[Only a few days left to pick up the March issue of Rue Morgue, which features a cover story on horror legend Arthur Machen! To give you a primer on one of the pioneers of horror fiction, Michael Doyle talks Machen with author Laird Barron (who's featured in our April issue, on stands Monday.)]
Few writers have preserved the spirit of Arthur Machen and H.P. Lovecraft with such unerring aptitude as Alaskan-born author Laird Barron. With a critically acclaimed novel, The Croning, and two award-winning collections to his name (a third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, will be published by Night Shade Books this April), the 42-year-old scribe has already established himself as the most exciting and powerful new voice in horror literature. Feted as the heir apparent to Machen and the other great masters of weird fiction, Barron shares his profane passion for The Laureate of Evil with Rue Morgue.
[Alan Kelly dusts off Hell’s Shelves for the column’s first installment of 2013. To win a copy of the featured book, check out the contest at the end of the post!]
Later this month, Jo Fletcher Books will publish celebrated poet and playwright Naomi Foyle’s daring debut cyberchiller Seoul Survivors. It’s a novel that manages to transcend the boundaries of sci-fi, noir, erotica and horror – often to dizzying, vertiginous, terrifyingly transgressive effect – while remaining faithful to both its cyberpunk roots and alt-cult literary heritage.
In the neon-soaked, ultra-violent, sexually charged and technologically advanced near-future cityscape of Seoul, a trio of characters – Canadian good-time girl turned model Sydney, British drug-smuggling drifter Damien and North Korean village girl Mee Hee – are about to discover the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. With an asteroid strike imminent, London decimated by nuclear terrorism and nowhere left to run, bioengineer Dr. Kim – a Tarantino-worthy glamour cat of a villain – extends an invitation to Sydney and Damien: become the King and Queen of her gaming park Virtuworld and help her create a new breed of human beings, a community that will rebuild in the aftermath of Lucifer’s Comet…
They’ve invaded our cities, our shopping malls and our graveyards, but there is one place that has so far escaped the inevitable onslaught of ravenous skinbags: our coffee tables. What may be the last bastion of civilization has fallen, though, with the publication of The Zombook, a glossy, 250-page, full-colour art book, featuring all manner of creative depictions of the zombified undead.
RM writer and copy editor extraordinaire Claire Horsnell gets the skinny on the horror art tome that sends a beastiary of shamblers straight into your living room…
[Alan Kelly checks in with a new edition of his horror fiction column Hell's Shelves. This time, Alan interviews South African writing duo S.L. Grey.]
From the collective mind of S.L. Grey (the pseudonym for South African writing duo Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg) comes The Ward, an ingeniously perverse sequel to the alternate-reality shocker The Mall, in which two misfit teenagers – tough addict Rhoda and emo wimp Daniel – found themselves at the mercy of monsters, grotesque automatons and an evil corporate entity in a mirror realm known as the Downside. This time, more is revealed about the Downsiders and their brutal bureaucracy via a one-way ticket to the Ward, a place even more chilling.
[In the latest installment of Hell's Shelves, Alan Kelly reviews short-form fiction from a trio of British presses.]
Issue #29 of celebrated British horror magazine Black Static (formerly known as The Third Alternative) is still available through TTA Press’ website, and the issue is packed with great content, including brand new commentary/essays from genre luminaries and lots of fiction that is exclusive to Black Static. Packaged in a cool new glossy format – check out the excellent Trickster cover art by Ben Baldwin – this is a must-have for fans of both high-end pulpy weirdness and creepy literary fare.
Edited by Andy Cox and published bimonthly, the British Fantasy and International Horror Guild award-winning Black Static has always done things a little differently and has never been afraid to take a few risks along the way, showcasing some awesome fiction from the best writers in the genre, not to mention an exhaustive overview of what’s hot in horror right now. A new issue (#30) has been published since the last installment of Hell’s Shelves hit the RM site, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to write about the gruesome goods on offer in #29.
[Alan Kelly pops in with a new installment of Hell's Shelves.]
There’s some fresh blood in this instalment of Hell’s Shelves with a hot new novelist whose book will live up to the darkest expectations of the most demanding and demented reader, so prepare yourself for a harrowing trek through Hell. This summer marked the publication of Brighton-based author Lou Morgan’s devilish Blood and Feathers. The first in a new series from SF/fantasy/horror publisher Solaris, already the book has been met with enthusiasm from genre-straddling writers such as Sarah Pinborough, Guy Adams and Michael Marshall Smith.
[Alan Kelly checks in with a new installment of his horror fiction column Hell's Shelves.]
Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry’s true-crime collaboration Helter Skelter, the definitive book on Charles Manson and “the Family,” was the first piece of research that lit Adam Nevill’s fuse and impelled him to write his latest novel Last Days. The British horror master’s fourth novel sees him in top form with intelligent storytelling, an authentic, authoritative voice, and myth-building akin to Clive Barker at his most ambitious.
Last Days is the story of Kyle Freeman, a gifted but desperate filmmaker who is commissioned by the wealthy and eccentric Maximillian Solomon to make a documentary about an infamous cult called The Temple of the Last Days and its murderous figurehead, Sister Katherine. Little does Kyle realise that accepting the offer is tantamount to a Faustian bargain. With strict instructions to focus on the paranormal angle, Kyle unwittingly becomes not only a framing device for the cult’s brutal legacy, but an unwilling participant in the supernatural horror that unfolds.
[In the latest installment of Hell's Shelves, RM columnist Alan Kelly reviews a trio of short-form horror tales.]
British magazine This is Horror is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Since its first incarnation as Read Horror, it has grown at an accelerated pace to encompass film, music, graphic novels, entertainingly in-depth retrospectives, an annual awards ceremony, and even its own original short fiction. The latest arm of the fiendish, multi-platform horror ship is its new Premium Chapbook line. The chapbooks will be published quarterly and are available for order on the company’s website.
[In the latest edition of Hell's Shelves, Rue Morgue contributor Alan Kelly grills Swedish novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist about his latest toxic tale.]
John Ajvide Lindqvist’s (Let the Right One In, Handling the Undead, Harbour) fourth novel, Little Star, sees the Swedish horror writer step outside the realms of the supernatural for a story which is equal parts Grand Guignol Gothic melodrama, unabashedly brutal Bad Seed variant, revenge-fuelled folk tale and scalpel-sharp dissection of our exploitative entertainment industry.
Monica’s Burning Effigy Press just scooped up two Bram Stoker Award nominations!