Category: Articles

Matt Blairstone, Terrestrial Horror & his Green Inferno

Matt Blairstone, Terrestrial Horror & his Green Inferno

By Angelique Fawns

 

What happens when you find a horror writer/ indie comic creator with a passion for saving the planet? You get Tenebrous Press. Matt Blairstone is launching a new anthology this summer called Green Inferno: The World Celebrates Your Demise and it will be chock full of horror stories and unique comics. Blairstone explains, “Literary Horror and Underground Comix collide in a terrifying miasma that we call Terrestrial Horror: tales of terror bound only by the constraints of our angry world.”

Blairstone has created his own pulp comic series Mad Doctors, but this is his first foray into producing a full anthology featuring international writers. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about this green (yet potentially gory) project.

 

AF – How did Tenebrous Press get its beginnings? (more…)

Indie Bookshelf Releases 04/02/21

Click on the book covers for more information. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page – there’s all sorts lurking in the deep.

Got a book to launch, an event to promote or seeking extra work/support as a result of being hit economically by Covid? Get in touch and we’ll promote you here. The post is prepared each Thursday for publication on Friday. Contact us via Horror Tree’s contact address or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

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Events

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Charity Anthologies

 

30th Oct 2020 Tales Of The Lost Volume Two- A charity anthology for Covid- 19 Relief: Tales To Get Lost In A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY FOR COVID-19 RELIEF by [Gaiman, Neil,, Hill, Joe,, Johnson, Eugene M,] 31st Jan Flashes of Hope by [Anna Taborska, Dave Jeffery, Amy Grech, Matthew Davis, John Cady, Emma Lee, Gwen Weir, Ken Goldman, Alyson Faye, Theresa Derwin] 9th Feb  

Latest Book Launches

Horror Tree Sponsor* and Patreon Releases!

*All Horror Tree sponsors are able to claim a spot at the top of our listing during the donation of their sponsorship. Please use our contact form for more advertising pricing.
 
15th March
 

February

14th Hallucinations (Trigger Warning) by [Jane Shipwash, Trisha McKee, Paul McCabe, Reed Alexander, Damascus Mincemeyer, Joe Scipione, Lee Glenwright, Jeremy Megargee, Mark Tulin, Tim Lieder]22nd 23rd Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons26th One, Two, I See You: Nursery Rhymes for Darker Minds by [Stephanie Ellis]

26th It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Dies by [Dawn Shea, Mark Towse, Tim Mendees, Gary McDonough, Bert Edens, Nathan D. Ludwig, Ruthann Jagge, Heidi Hess, Joe Scipione, John Cady]28th 28th A Baptism for the Dead by [Charles Bernard]

March

1st 4th May be an image of text that says "HIS OWN DEVICES "A heady. entertaining techno/cyber thriller that feels very now. Don' Don'tletthe play PAUL TREMBLAY, AUTHOR OF SURVIVOR SONG A NOVEL DOUGLAS WYNNE"4th 10th Home & Other Stories: Collection VI by [P.J. Blakey-Novis]

12th 15th 16th 17th Halloween Land: A Coming of Age Novella by [Kevin J. Kennedy]

19th 19th 22nd The Exercise by [Mark West]26th Eidolon Avenue: The Second Feast by [Jonathan Winn, Crystal Lake Publishing]

26th The Devil's Mistress by [David Barclay] 26th The Night Stockers by [Kristopher Triana, Ryan Harding] 26th Nana by [Mark Towse] 28th Scorpio: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Zodiac (The Zodiac Series) by [Aussie Speculative Fiction, Nikky Lee, Stephen Herczeg, Tee Linden, Mikhaeyla Kopievsky, Sasha Hanton, Helena McAuley, Austin P. Sheehan, Alannah K. Pearson, Neen Cohen]

29th 30th Farallon Island by [Russell James] 30th 30th

April

3rd Murder and Machinery: Tales of Technological Terror and Mechanical Madness by [Cameron Trost, Paulene Turner, Michael Picco, Sarah Justice, Karen Bayly, Kurt Newton, James Dorr, Linda Brucesmith, Chisto Healy, Danielle Birch] 7th Everything's Annoying: A Collection of Dark Fiction & Horror by [J.C. Michael]10th Taken (Arcadia Book 2) by [Mary Brock Jones]13th From Death Reborn by [Kenneth W. Cain]

13th STERN-web-medium.jpg15th Dispossessed by [Piper Mejia] 15th She Who Rules the Dead by [Maria Abrams]22nd May be an image of text that says "MATTERS MOST MACABRE TYLOR JAMES"

23rd Dark Missives by [Dan Howarth]27th Gulf by [Shelly Campbell] 27th TBA Image

May

7th Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy by [Hailey Piper] 11th May be an image of text that says "THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE JIGSAW MAN GORD ROLLO ROLLO"15th 18th Howls From Hell: A Horror Anthology by [HOWL Society, Shane Hawk, Alex Wolfgang, Christopher O'Halloran, J.W. Donley, Solomon Forse, Amanda DeMel, Lindsey Ragsdale, P.L. McMillan, Grady Hendrix]

25th The Fearing: The Definitive Edition by [John FD Taff, Anthony Rivera, Ray Garton]

June

1st Malignant Summer by [Tim Meyer] 1st

July

1st 20th

Support Indie Creatives – Kickstarter Campaigns

‘We are publishing Out of the Darkness, an anthology of dark fantasy and horror fiction raising awareness of mental health issues with Together for Mental Wellbeing. We are looking for £2,500 to help cover the cost of the book.

We’ve got Kickstarter exclusives on offer, including the chance to have your name in the book as part of the amazing community that supports indie publishing, and an exclusive, numbered hardback edition that is strictly limited to 100 copies worldwide. There are also opportunities to have your work critiqued by the award-winning Unsung Stories team, and bundles of books by featured Unsung authors.

Out of the Darkness challenges some of the most exciting voices in horror and dark fantasy to bring their worst fears out into the light. From the black dog of depression to acute anxiety and schizophrenia, these stories prove what fans of horror fiction have long known – that we must understand our demons to overcome them.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, what began as a mental health crisis has rapidly become an unprecedented tsunami. The Centre for Mental Health has estimated that 10 million people will need mental health support in the UK as a direct consequence of Covid-19, with a staggering 1.5 million of those being under eighteen.

Edited by Dan Coxon (This Dreaming Isle) and featuring exclusive stories by Alison Moore, Jenn Ashworth, Tim Major and Aliya Whiteley, this collection harnesses the power of fiction to explore and explain the darkest moments in our lives.

Horror isn’t just about the chills – it’s also about the healing that comes after.’

The Cosmic Courtship – Kickstarter

Project image for The Cosmic Courtship, by Julian HawthorneWhile most are at least somewhat familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne as one of the great American authors, less well known is that his son,  Julian Hawthorne, was an incredibly prolific writer in his own right. Julian wrote on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from literary analysis of his father’s works to poetry to period romances and adventures. Late in his career, Julian even dabbled in the emerging genre of Science Fiction [Hugo Gernsback had only recently coined the awkward term “Scientifiction” when this story was first published.]

The Cosmic Courtship was serialized in Frank A. Munsey’s All-Story Weekly across four issues, beginning with the November 24, 1917 issue and running through the December 15, 1917 issue. While this story has been in the public domain for some time, it has never been collected or published elsewhere until now.

Cirsova Publishing has partnered with Michael Tierney and Robert Allen Lupton to preserve this story for posterity and ensure that it is not lost to future generations.

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Epeolatry Book Review: Till We Become Monsters by Amanda Headlee

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Till We Become Monsters
Author: Amanda Headlee
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/YA
Publisher: Woodhall Press
Release Date: 1st June, 2021

Synopsis: Monsters exist and Korin Perrin knew this as truth because his grandmother told him so. Korin, raised in the shadow of his older brother Davis, is an imaginative child who believes his brother is a monster. After the death of their grandmother, seven-year-old Korin, blaming Davis for her demise, tries to kill him. Sixteen years following the attempt on Davis’ life, racked with guilt, Korin comes to terms with the fact that Davis may not be the one who is the monster after all.

Past wrongs needing to be righted, Korin agrees to a hunting trip with his brother and father. But they, along with two friends, never make it to their destination. An accident along the way separates the hunters in the dark forests of Minnesota during the threat of an oncoming blizzard. As the stranded hunters search for each other and safety, an ancient evil wakes.

I tend to judge a book’s reading potential by its cover. Till We Become Monsters cover design—a rendering of a recognizable antlered skull dripping with danger—earns 5 stars. 

Family history and jealousy are the bones to this monster, the children are its flesh. 

Korin Perrin is a little boy who’s quite aware that monsters are real. So says his grandmother, who is quite the storyteller. Set in small-town Minnesota with a population of just 278, Korin’s older brother Davis is a brat; no spoiler there. Korin had a special relationship with his grandmother. It has abruptly ended. And Korin blames Davis. 

Headlee does a great job setting her account. I feel myself getting comfortable in Grandfather’s leather reading chair. I hear Grandmother’s tone, and her love for Korin. Minnesota’s cold, cold winter, which bodes well for any thriller, made shiver and reach for my blanket.

As with any good story, I was pulled from the comfort of my chair into the dark world of changelings, wendigo, and bears–oh my! A lot happens within this tale that I can’t discuss due to spoilers. There are woods and there are hunters. I will tell you there’s a twist—I do love twists! Headlee’s novel (her first, by the way) is an easy read, and it’s not laden with a huge cast. Good dialogue, and plenty of action to keep you reading. I read a galley copy so I won’t refer to any typos or formatting issues.  

4 out of 5 stars

Available from  Bookshop and Amazon.

Epeolatry Book Review: I Would Haunt You If I Could by Sean Padraic Birnie

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: I Would Haunt You if I Could
Author: Seán Padraic Birnie
Genre: Ghost Fiction
Publisher: Undertow Publications
Release Date: 23rd March, 2021

Synopsis: I would haunt you …

The debut short story collection from Seán Padraic Birnie does indeed haunt. Sown with seeds of sorrow and grief, and imbued with disquieting bodily horrors, the tales in “I Would Haunt You if I Could” are the product of an uncanny and febrile imagination. Birnie’s writing balances on the knife’s edge of the horror and literary divide. Stories that cut and bleed. Stories that linger and haunt.

…if I could.

I Would Haunt You If I Could by Sean Padraic Birnie

The debut collection from Sean Padraic Birnie, is truly a sublime, though disconcerting work. Each story ripe with fresh hauntings and the vestiges of unsettled regrets and memories. Enmeshed with themes of grief, despair, and loss, this will be a collection that will go on to haunt your mind for long after you have read the last story. Simultaneous literary and genre, Birnie straddles many tones throughout this collection, all to great effect, but all successfully bring you further into eerie territory. 

Interspersed between longer stories, such as the title story or “Out of the Blue”, there are smaller fictions that truly increase the uncanny feeling that we have found a place both familiar and unfamiliar–an in-between place that resonates as much as alienates us. Stories “Like a Zip” and “Dollface” unpack themes of regret, like the wife in the former story, who pulls and pulls at a hangnail, to horrifying results. The latter story attempts to reflect on a couple’s miscarriage and how each turn inwards to address or not address that loss.

A favorite for myself was “Out of the Blue” where the narrator’s father is buried, but appears at his doorstep, as if he never died, weeks after the funeral. A story of working through grief, letting go, and the embarrassment of dealing with loss are seamlessly captured throughout this story. Birnie visceral captures those feelings with lines like when the narrator debates telling his wife about his father’s “return”: “Because the second you let another person into a situation like this, the second you begin to talk about it, it becomes real.” And how bitter that reality is.

Time passes, life keeps going, yet the father remains, a silent reminder that looms in the house. Grief is like this and it continues to be like this until you finally deal with it, which the narrator does over the course of the story, at the behest of his wife. 

“When someone close to you dies and the most private aspects of their life evaporate with the cessation of their minds, other parts spill out into the world, and it falls to you to gather those things, moving through the hidden spaces of their life, suddenly and rudely privy to some of their innermost mysteries.” 

The story is a remarkable meditation, if not forbidding, tale of what becomes of our loved ones when they pass and how we are left behind.

The real hero of this collection is Birne’s breathless poetics that give life to each story. Each are filled with their own existential dread, yet falls upon your ears with gentle beauty. Much like the far away rumble of a distant thunderstorm.

A brilliant collection from an author that seems to only have potential for more, I WOULD HAUNT YOU IF I COULD is a release not to miss this spring or really any part of this year. Literary, existential horror, and weird readers should rejoice, but anyone who wants an exploration of their deeper darker selves would be rewarded for picking it up. 

My thanks to Michael Kelly at Undertow Publications for providing the e-ARC to me. 

Available from  Bookshop and Amazon.

The Horror Tree Presents – An Interview with R.B. Wood

The Horror Tree Presents – An Interview with R.B. Wood

By: Ruschelle Dillon

 

Ruschelle: Thank you for taking time from celebrating the release of your forthcoming novel from Crystal Lake Publishing, Bayou Whispers, on April 29th.  How about we pour ourselves a finger (or two) or bourbon and chat about all things booky, beasty, and boooozy, shall we? Your novel, mostly, takes place in New Orleans. Did you set out to write a story set in NOLA or did the story come first and NOLA just seemed to be the perfect backdrop?  

 

R.B.: NOLA was always going to be the setting, but what I started with was a very different idea for Bayou Whispers. Initially, I was going to write a more historical, purely Southern Gothic Horror story. Some of the horror elements are still there, as are some of the initial characters (modernized, of course). But there is something so special about New Orleans that I had to make it my “locale of choice.”

 

Ruschelle: Many authors would love to visit the locales of their novels or they write what they know and pen their tales from a view from out their own backdoor. Were you lucky enough to hang out with Papa Legba while researching the bayous, culture, parishes and beignets? Mmm…beignets. 

 

R.B.: Sipping a Blackened Voodoo while enjoying some of the best seafood is not a wrong way to research a novel. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans back in the days I traveled for business. Work hard and play hard was my motto, and if I was anywhere near a good airport, playtime meant NOLA.
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Guest Post: Cosmic Restoration Blues

COSMIC RESTORATION BLUES

BY ROBERT ALLEN LUPTON

I’ve never written an article about restoring and publishing a “Lost” novel. There’s a reason. I’ve never participated in a project like this before.

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine, Michael Tierney, publisher of “Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 Year Art Chronology,” posted the cover illustration of a 1917 issue of “All-Story Magazine.” The illustration by Fred W. Small was for the first installment of “Cosmic Courtship,” a novel by Julian Hawthorne, the son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of “Tanglewood Tales’ and “The Scarlet Letter.”

I was intrigued and tried to find a copy of the novel to read. I contacted Michael for help. We discovered that the novel had never seen print since its appearance in the now crumbling pages of 104 year old pulp magazine, where it had been serialized in four consecutive issues.

A little correspondence back and forth and we decided to save the novel by publishing it in book form for the first time. We partnered with ‘Alex’ P. Alexander, publisher of Cirsova Magazine and divided up responsibilities. Alex had previously restored and published the John Stark novels and stories by Leigh Brackett.

So here are the steps we took and the lessons we learned – presented in an order that hopefully make sense to the reader.

Obtain Rights: In this case, the novel, ‘Cosmic Courtship,” was in the public domain. Be sure that you have rights before you proceed. Don’t do the work for nothing. Verification of public domain availability can be complicated. I am not an attorney; I only watch them on TV, and therefore, make no recommendations about this step. Just simple advice – do your homework. Here’s a link that discusses this issue:  https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/#:~:text=If%20a%20book%2C%20song%2C%20movie,domain%20because%20of%20old%20age.

If the work isn’t in public domain, find out who owns the rights, contact them, and hope for the best.
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Epeolatry Book Review: Best of R. A. Lafferty by R. A. Lafferty

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: The Best of R. A. Lafferty
Author: R.A. Lafferty
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor Trade
Release Date: 2nd Feb, 2021

Synopsis: Acclaimed as one of the most original voices in modern literature, a winner of the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, Raphael Aloysius Lafferty (1914-2002) was an American original, a teller of acute, indescribably loopy tall tales whose work has been compared to that of Avram Davidson, Flannery O’Connor, Flann O’Brien, and Gene Wolfe.

The Best of R. A. Lafferty presents 22 of his best flights of offbeat imagination, ranging from classics like “Nine Hundred Grandmothers” and “The Primary Education of the Cameroi” to his Hugo Award-winning “Eurema’s Dam.”

Introduced by Neil Gaiman, the volume also contains story introductions and afterwords by, among many others, Michael Dirda, Samuel R. Delany, John Scalzi, Connie Willis, Jeff VanderMeer, Kelly Robson, Harlan Ellison, Michael Swanwick, Robert Silverberg, Neil Gaiman, and Patton Oswalt.

Lafferty’s newest short story collection includes introductions by other notable science fiction writers, such as: Neil Gaiman, Samuel R. Delany, John Scalzi, and others.  

Raphael Aloysius Lafferty, from Tulsa Oklahoma, was known as the Bard of Tulsa. He worked as an electrical engineer, and his friends called him Ray. Upon retiring at 45 years old, he became a professional writer. A Catholic and an alcoholic, Ray says, “When I was younger I got a lot of pleasure and companionship out of drinking, but probably no creative impetus. Drinking has influenced my writing all in the wrong direction.”

“Day of the Glacier,” (sadly, not included in this anthology) was Lafferty’s first published science fiction story. He was 46 years old. “It didn’t put me on easy street, but it put me on easy alley,” said Lafferty of his writing. “I was moderately successful.”  Lafferty is what I would call a foundation writer. An influence on more famous writers but not a household name like Rodenberry, Asimov, or Gaiman.  His works draw from Irish and Native American tales to the writings of St. Theresa.

Lafferty’s distinctive style — he loves proper names and alliteration. Basil Bagelbaker, Maxwell Mouser, Willy McGilly, and Arpad Arkabaranan are but a few tongue twisters encountered in these stories. Lafferty employs tall telling, using deadpan humor and adding the surreal. Consider this passage from the “Narrow Valley.”

“He’s getting better at it, Mr. Dublin,” Mary Mabel said. “He was a twin till last week. His twins name was Skinny. Mamma left Skinny unguarded while she was tippling, and there were wild dogs in the neighborhood. When Mama got back, do you know what was left of Skinny? Two neck bones and an ankle bone. That was all.”

“Poor Skinny,” Dublin said, “Well, Rampart, this is the fence and the end of my land. Yours is just beyond.”  

“Is that ditch on my land?” Rampart asked.

“That ditch is your land.”

One thing I like about a book like this — it satisfies my itch for science fiction stories, and my writer’s itch. I love books that include the authors thought process, commentary, and in this case why and how these stories influenced them on their writing journey. This anthology also contains Lafferty’s Hugo winning story “Eurema’s Dam.”

Terry Bison said, “For Lafferty is that most tender. wretched, and essential of creatures, the writers’ writer: celebrated by, beloved of, but mostly visible only to his own proud, primitive tribe.”  I would encourage you to add The best of r.a. lafferty to your collection. 

I give this book 4 out of 5

Available from  Bookshop and Amazon.

Interview with Mat Clarke, founder of The World Writer’s Collective

Interview with Mat Clarke, founder of The World Writer’s Collective
By Angelique Fawns

Mat Clarke is providing a place for new writers to learn, share, and get involved in a supportive community. The best part? Much of it is free, or costs only a nominal fee. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Clarke is creating an international destination for contests, editing, and writer promotion. His community provided me with my first contest win, my first author webpage, and my first taste of helpful short story feedback. Contest winners can have their work published in an anthology. The first edition is available on Smashwords called Melbourne Writers Social Group Anthology: A Winter Selection of Short Stories.
I sat down with Clarke to learn more about his vision and future plans.
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