Archives for: July 2010
Review: Is There Such a Thing as Intelligent Zombies?
This review is courtesy of the Graphic Novels Blog.
Deadworld: Slaughterhouse by Gary Reed and Sami Makkonen
Summary: Many humans find themselves trapped in a world of the walking dead and the living who will do anything to survive. The promise of "Safe Haven" reveals a much darker and sinister purpose, when victims find themselves in a medical facility, a "Slaughterhouse," which will stop at nothing to combat the zombie plague, including using humans as guinea pigs. Survivors find that the greatest horror may not be the zombies, but their own kind.
May's Review: One of things that appealed to me about this graphic novel was the promise that these zombies were not the mindless stupid creatures we are accustomed to. Instead, these creatures are highly intelligent, cunning, and above all, very sadistic. In short, this graphic novel looked very promising.
However, I never quite got into the novel. I usually try to avoid jumping into a series midway through. Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I think fans of the saga got a lot more out of the story than I did. For one thing, I don't know the main characters as well so I really had difficulties trying to follow what had gone in the past and what some of them were doing now. It probably also didn't help that I wasn't a huge fan of the artwork. Many of the panels are shaded black or gray which sets the tone of the work but made it very difficult to distinguish some of the characters at crucial times. I get the point that in this storyline, no one is good or evil. Everyone has shades of "gray" but I think it would be helpful if the reader could at least figure out who was talking or being killed!
I might take another chance and revisit this series, but for now, I will have to content myself with getting caught up with Kirkman's zombie series The Walking Dead. As always, comments about this review are always appreciated.
Wanna go for a joyride?
Joyride (Leisure, 2010)
by Jack Ketchum
I love Leisure Books and here's why -- as publishers they rescue some of the best horror out there from oblivion (the hard to find stuff where the original publication was for maybe 350 copies) -- and re-release it as mass market paperbacks. Now authors who you might never have discovered are easy to find at your local bookstore -- and library!
Authors like Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Edward Lee and last but never least ... Jack Ketchum. Like Laymon, Ketchum is not for the faint of heart. His books are white-knucklers that go straight for the jugular. But if you like your horror horrific, then you simply must give Ketchum a try, especially his classic The Girl Next Door.
Joyride (2010) was previously published as Road Kill (1995) Summary: Hoping to escape from her abusive ex-husband, a woman and her lover successfully carry out their plot to murder him, only to find themselves at the mercy of an obsessive, twisted stranger who witnessed the crime.
2009 Shirley Jackson Award Winner for Best Horror Novel
The 2009 Shirley Jackson Awards winners were announced on Sunday, July 11th 2010, at Readercon 21, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts. The award honours outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.
The winner for best horror novel was:
Big Machine by Victor LaValle
Summary: Ricky Rice was as good as invisible: a middling hustler, recovering dope fiend, and traumatized suicide cult survivor running out the string of his life as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York. Until one day a letter appears, summoning him to the frozen woods of Vermont. There, Ricky is inducted into a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard The Voice: a mysterious murmur on the wind, a disembodied shout, or a whisper in an empty room that may or may not be from God.
Evoking the disorienting wonder of writers like Haruki Murakami and Kevin Brockmeier, but driven by Victor LaValle’s perfectly pitched comic sensibility Big Machine is a mind-rattling literary adventure about sex, race, and the eternal struggle between faith and doubt.
Some New Horror Books to Whet Your Appetite...
Blood Groove by Alex Bledsoe
Summary: When centuries-old vampire Baron Rudolfo Zginski was staked in Wales in 1915, the last thing he expected was to reawaken in Memphis, Tennessee, sixty years later. Reborn into a new world of simmering racial tensions, the cunning nosferatu realizes he must adapt quickly if he is to survive.
Feed by Mira Grant
Summary: The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.
Vampire Maker by Michael Schiefelbeir
Summary: Victor Decimus has been a vampire for over 2,000 years. Once a Roman Legionnaire, for millennia Victor has remained a step or two ahead of rivals, would-be executioners, and the mysterious Dark Kingdom, which sets the rules for vampires' existence. Having left New York and his lover Paul Lewis - the vampire he made then abandoned to escape the vengeance of the Dark Kingdom, Victor sets himself up again - with his thrall - in New Orleans.
Red Snow by Michael Slade
Summary: A raging winter storm and a team of mercenaries have cut Whistler Mountain off from the rest of the world. Bent on bloody revenge, Mephisto attacks the members of Special X—the psycho hunters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police—and that's just the start of his horrific plan. Let the games begin!
Dark Matter by Peter Straub
Summary: The charismatic and cunning Spenser Mallon is a campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his young acolytes. After he invites his most fervent followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body—and the shattered souls of all who were present.
Some Victorian-Inspired Horror Novels...
For those of you who like their horror stories set in the past, you might want to check out these two books:
Drood by Dan Simmons
Summary: On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?
Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes edited by Charles Prepolec
Summary: Between the shadowy realms of fear and the unforgiving glare of science lies a battleground of unspeakable horror...Faced with his worst fears, Sherlock Holmes has his faith in the science of observation and deduction shaken to the core in 13 all-new tales of terror from today's modern masters of the macabre!