Scavengers: Now Available

Scavengers

Amidst a zombie-ravaged city exposed to a toxic terrorist attack, Dejah Corliss discovers she has regenerative powers. When religious zealots capture her, a former Marine defies death to help her escape. Now they must join forces to rescue her daughter, a healer, who has been enslaved to create feasts of flesh in a zombie camp. Illustrating the will to persevere against all odds, this is a powerful story of human emotion and survival.

Authors: Christopher Fulbright & Angeline Hawkes
Cover: Steven Gilberts

Order the Trade Paperback

Scavengers: Now Available

Scavengers

Amidst a zombie-ravaged city exposed to a toxic terrorist attack, Dejah Corliss discovers she has regenerative powers. When religious zealots capture her, a former Marine defies death to help her escape. Now they must join forces to rescue her daughter, a healer, who has been enslaved to create feasts of flesh in a zombie camp. Illustrating the will to persevere against all odds, this is a powerful story of human emotion and survival.

Authors: Christopher Fulbright & Angeline Hawkes
Cover: Steven Gilberts
Release Date: Fall 2011

Order the Trade Paperback

American Horror

I grew up with The Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond, and The Outer Limits. These anthology shows gave us classic stories from the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, and Harlan Ellison. The writing was often crisp and the stories bits of carefully crafted heaven. The episodes didn’t always work, and not all anthologies gave us memorable stories. I think Tales of the Crypt was uneven, and Hammer’s House of Horror was too often derivative.

Still, I love horror and science fiction anthologies and look forward to FX’s upcoming series American Horror Story. I say this even though it is created by the people who gave us Glee, and even though early word of it is that the show goes for shocks over tone and content. So enjoy the trailers, which are well done, and let me know what you think. Maybe Rod Serling is no longer with us, but perhaps this new series can evolve into something worthy of his memory.


 

THE SMALL HORROR

From  Stewart Sternberg–

The Little Beastiary

Lovecraft saw amazing things, and I’m thinking they were real. Except—maybe they were also very, very small. Small as in 1/2 milimeter in size. This picture is of something called a hydrothermal worm. It’s something to think about when  the bedbugs stop being creepy enough for you.

This is from redorbit.com and the photo is credited to Hydrothermal Worm marine organism imaged on a Quanta SEM. Credit: FEI/Philippe Crassous

I Was A Seventh Grade Monster Hunter Review

I WAS A SEVENTH GRADE MONSTER HUNTER
(THE STOKER LEGACY: BOOK ONE)

By A. G. Kent

E-book/126 pages

Review by Chris Welch

A.G. Kent’s I Was A Seventh Grade Monster Hunter is the first volume of The Stoker Legacy books, which are a series of short novels aimed at Young Adult readers.

This series has a fabulous start and promises even more fantastic adventures. This book (and series) draws inspiration from many elements, including literary, movie, and television sources. The book blends traditional YA themes of fitting-in with classmates and self-actualization, as embodied in a strong but occasionally vulnerable young woman, and the action of the supernatural monster-hunting genre, with a proper dose of humor sprinkled in as well.

Kent’s book is a unique mixture of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lovecraftian horror, and the 1970s Saturday morning kids show Monster Squad; there are equal parts middle-school melodrama, frightening but not too-scary monsters, cliff-hanging suspense, and sophisticated goofiness.

The story opens with seventh-grader Hannah finding out from her Grandfather that she is a descendent of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula — but that novel was actually about the “real” monster-hunting feats of Stoker himself; Van Helsing was just a fictitious characterization of Stoker’s own accomplishments.

Hannah’s Grandfather explains  that there has been a family-initiated truce between humans and the classical monsters for decades now. And just before he disappears, her Grandfather instructs Hannah to magically summon the monsters, and each one will bring her pages of a special spell book. She does, and the four primary monsters — an aristocratic vampire, a wise-cracking werewolf, a telepathic mummy, and a “man-made man” named Jigsaw — show up .  However Jigsaw’s pages have been stolen.

Hannah and her new Creature Crew have to figure out a number of mysteries: Where has her Grandfather disappeared to? Who stole Jigsaw’s pages? Are they connected to her Grandfather in some way? What awful entity do they plan to summon with the pages, and perhaps most alarming, will the thieves come after Hannah next since she now has possession of the remaining pages? Plus, there’s a party Saturday night she would like to attend.

While this volume has a complete and self-contained story, there are hints of upcoming conflicts for Hannah and the Creature Crew in future books, which will likely tie-in to a larger story arc. There is a strong suggestion that Book Two will have appearances by creatures of a batrachian nature, for example.

The Young Adult category is the target audience for this book, but Kent makes sure there is enough suspense and humor for readers of any age. Definitely recommend for all fans of the ageless, classic monsters.

ESP Author Signing: Stewart Sternberg

Word has reached us through the psychic aether that  Stewart Sternberg, author of the post–apocalyptic zombie novel The Ravening, will be enjoying a book signing party at The Gallery in Algonac, Michigan.

If you’re able to shamble over on Sunday, May 22 from 2-4 PM, do yourself a favor and enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and frivolity with Stewart; he’s funny, approachable, and he’s had all his shots.

(Stewart Sternberg pictured with the ever-delightful Lois Gresh)

Still Waiting For Godot

Sony’s Playstation 3 network is down and around the world online gamers are drying their tears.  But not all gamers; XBOX Live is doing just fine. That being said, I’d like to offer a little solace for you who live and die for the world of Sony online gaming. Or to put it differently, what can you do until the network is back up?

—Find an old dial-up modem and try and download a large file. Those of us who have purchased a new game for the PS3 and enjoy the long download times for the endless updates are jonesing for that never ending progress indicator. Of course, when the network reboots, I’m sure we’ll be enjoying the mother of all updates.

—Sometimes it’s better to share misery. May I suggest a face-to-face with those who you might otherwise share an online gaming experience. You can talk, which is a form of chatting, but with your mouth. Or you can play a game with something called a board, or cards, or other accoutrements. It’s radical,  but you might enjoy it.

—For those wondering how they can maintain their lightning reflexes and thumb-to-hand coordination, one can try thumb wrestling with a neighbor, engaging in a twiddling marathon, or try texting Moby Dick from memory. “Call me Ishmael…”

And Speaking of Rachel Gray…

What To Do When You Meet Cthulhu: A Guide To Surviving The Cthulhu Mythos has received a wonderful write up in the San Francisco Book Review. According to critic Glenn Dallas: it’s a “guidebook so desperately needed to navigate the highways and byways of sanity-shattering terror he [Lovecraft] introduced to the world.” And thankfully, Dallas continues,  Gray’s book “offers your best chance at eluding the Elder Gods and their grotesque minions… if only for a little while. ”

God Bless you, Mr. Lovecraft.

And God Bless YOU, Rachel Gray.

Look for the following Elder Signs Press authors at this year’s Penguicon, located at the Troy Marriott hotel in Troy, Michigan.

STEWART STERNBERGThe Ravening [@ssternberg](panels: Writing Groups, Using Social Networking for Promotion, Is It Steampunk Yet?)

RICK MOOREHigh Seas Cthulhu (Contract Negotiation for Writers, Plagiarism—How Do I protect Myself?)

CHUCK ZAGLANIS High Seas Cthulhu (Writing Groups, Attack of the Plot!, Art of the Critique)

CHRISTIAN KLAVER: The Anthology of Dark Wisdom (Attack of the Plot)

CHRISTINE PURCELL, author and acquisitions editor (The Art of Critique, And Let It Be Said!, Come Out And Play With Big Brother, Is It Steampunk Yet?, and Big House-Little House-or-Self Pub?)

And ESP may be represented by others as well; we’ll keep you up to date….and you never know, the infamous Rachel Gray, co-author of What ToDo When You Meet Cthulhu: A Guide To Surviving The Cthulhu Mythos may be in attendance. One never knows. Never.

New Season

The first day of spring—thank you.

Not only should we be grateful for the changing weather, at least those of us in the Midwest (and probably the Northeast), but with the warming temperatures comes the first wave of new films. At one time studios usually held back motion pictures for release until close to Memorial Day, however around the early 80’s it was discovered that March could be a lucrative box office season, or at least warm audiences up for the popcorn fest to follow. Of course August and January are still reserved for the worst of the worst, but let’s take a look at what’s happening out there this year…at least from a genre perspective.

The most obvious films to draw  our  attention are Battlefield, Los Angeles, Suckerpunch and Source Code. You might overlook Bonnie and Clyde vs. Dracula, but save it for late night rental. And if you were smart, you’d give Battlefield, Los Angeles a miss as well.

As special effects get easier to produce, you’ll see more of these films with astonishing effects (Skyline), but which are absurdly written and cobbled together with a cast in the middle of a production which might become a career killer. Hopefully, Aaron Eckhart, star of Battlefield: Los Angeles will be able to redeem himself. This is a far cry from the role of the tortured D.A. Harvey Dent, A.K.A. Two-Face in Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

It’s not that this film is that horrible, it’s just that it doesn’t grab the audience.Several startling images are dangled in front of you and you are appreciative, but it isn’t enough. The characters aren’t engaging and the storyline doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat. Perhaps there’s a message somewhere about illegal aliens, but it isn’t worth wading through fluff.

Source Code, on the other hand, has Jake Gyllenhaal. He is an actor who manages to find depth in characters where none may have existed in the script. Here he is a soldier suddenly in the body of Chicago commuter. Tripped through time and space, he is confronted with the challenge of averting a disaster, to keep the train he’s on from being blown up. Set for release for an April 1st release, it has already begun receiving several favorable reviews. Of course, if you can’t wait until then, there’s always Sucker Punch.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the man who gave us 300 and The Watchmen, you know you’re going to get something visually exciting. Sucker Punch looks like a bit of Japanese  anime with a grindhouse mentality. The early reviews are mixed, but given the Snyder’s cult status and the trailer, I’m betting this will be a surprise success this spring.