"Welcome to Count Gore De Vol's Tomb of Dark Delights. I'm J. L. Comeau, horror writer and resident Tomb Keeper. I have been charged with the daunting task of sorting and cataloging the Count's vast library of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Take a torch from the wall and follow me down the stone stairway into the darkness deep beneath the Dungeon. It's cold and damp down here--perfect for the kind of reading we're going to do. Never mind the shambling figures in the shadows, they're probably just some friends of ours looking for a good book. If you click on the cover, you'll be taken to a wonderful place where you can buy the book.
Now, let's reach into the musty stacks and see what we can find..."
(Clicking on the covers gives you more information and prices from Amazon.com and other outlets.)
My search for excellence in horror literature continues this week with two fine offerings from specialty publisher Chômu Press!
DRACULA PAPERS, BOOK 1: THE SCHOLAR’S TALE by Reggie Oliver
This is the first installment of a projected four-volume mega-novel that details the trajectory of an insignificant Balkan aristocrat who becomes the infamous king of vampires. In a fictional introduction, Mr. Oliver recounts the discovery of arcane documents collected by Abraham Van Helsing that describe the life of the 17th century man who would become Count Dracula. There follows a foreword by Van Helsing himself, written in the year 1894, following the terrible events related by Bram Stoker in his novel, DRACULA, in which Van Helsing asserts that THE DRACULA PAPERS is a true and accurate account. The account itself is written by Renaissance-era scholar named Martin Bellorious, who was employed as a tutor to the sons of the King of Transylvania. In 1632, Bellorious writes his autobiography, recalling “certain incidents” in his life in which the reader is made privy to formerly unknown information of the future Count Dracula in claustrophobic Gothic prose reminiscent of the great M. R. James. Opening the tale with an atmospheric journey across Europe, Mr. Oliver casts an ominous, overarching atmosphere that draws the reader deeply into the narrative. From the dark shadows of the grand Transylvanian castle keep to the oppulent palace of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul, the first volume of THE DRACULA PAPERS describes a surreal path that culminates in the ascendancy of the greatest archetypical monster of all times.
I WONDER WHAT HUMAN FLESH TASTES LIKE by Justin Isis
This masterful debut short story collection from Justin Isis stirs the senses with interconnected tales of strange, chilling experiences, both sensory and metaphysical, set in contemporary Japan. Using metaphor and artful imagery in minimalist narratives, the author conjures a mindscape of the bizarre, concentrating upon encounters with the unusual and taboo such as cannibalism, exotic sexuality, determined cruelty, and the grotesque in many guises. In these stories, Mr. Isis describes in exquisitely sharp focus a teenager raised by strict vegetarians tempted to taste the most forbidden meat of all; a dull, unimaginative middle-aged man finding rapture in his idolization of a transvestite; college students grapple for selfhood through sexuality; a boy’s reacts to the purposeful drowning of a dog; the act of suicide is transformed into a spiritual art. In this world, all journeys lead to extraordinary destinations. Written with astutely provocative language and assertive style, Mr. Isis strikes out into anomalous topographies of human experience with stunning prose replete with disturbing textures of shuddering unease. Iconic author Quentin Crisp offers a perceptive introduction to Mr. Isis’s superbly crafted short stories. For more about Justin Isis, please visit http://justinisis.blogspot.com/.
Many novels are written for and marketed to tweens and teens, and many of
them are well-written and engaging enough to interest youngsters of all
ages, like me! Here two wonderful youth-oriented novels that everyone in the
family will enjoy.
FREEK CAMP by Steve Burt
Here is a multiple award winning first novel from Tomb favorite Steve Burt, whose short stories have been delighting children, teens and adults for many years. The FreeKs referenced in the title are special teens who possess paranormal powers, and there are two vans carrying five kids each to summer camp—“Free Camp”, whose sign someone has altered with a red pen to read “FreeK Camp”. The teens in one van make it to the camp, but, somewhere along the way, the other van has disappeared and those kids never make it to their destination. Although they’ve just met one another, the kids who’ve arrived at camp must band together to rescue the teens who have been abducted and, using their psychic and paranormal powers, they work together to solve the mystery. Mr. Burt has constructed a powerfully entertaining scifi/horror thriller that features one of the scariest villains ever! FREEK CAMP is cunningly written and plotted in a manner that is never childish or absurd or preachy. The characters are so wonderfully drawn that you’ll find yourself rooting for the FreeKs from first page to last as they use their paranormal powers as well as their innate brainpower to find out what has happened to their missing compatriots. This is a perfect novel for kids and their parents to share and enjoy! For more about Steve Burt, please visit www.BurtCreations.com.
ENTER THE ZOMBIE: NATHAN ABERCROMBIE, ACCIDENTAL ZOMBIE by David Lubar
Kids love gross stuff, and here is the gross and wildly imaginative conclusion to a popular series for middle-graders. Things are tough for ten-year-olds, and extremely tough for Nathan Abercrombie, who never wanted to be a zombie, but, well, stuff happens. After a science experiment turns poor Nathan into a zombie, his life as school becomes quite problematical. Although Nathan realizes that BUM (Bureau of Useful Misadventures) has extended his survival by hardening his bones (let’s face it, zombies have a short shelf life), he would rather avoid them and get on with his secret un-life, which includes athletics. Sadly, Nathan has been leaving the odd body fluid and body part on the playing field, drawing the attention of Rodney, a schoolyard bully. Nathan begins to realize that BUM is never going to restore him to normal life, because a zombie can be a powerful weapon against the evil organization, RABID, which is currently recruiting at Nathan’s school. While questioning which organization is more evil, BUM or RABID, Nathan must navigate his way through school as a dead kid who now has the school bully, Rodney, to contend with. Kids and their parents who enjoy zombie fiction will adore Nathan and his grossifying adventures. Mr. Lubar provides crazy fun and much icky grossness that will delight his intended audience and their parents. For more about the author and this zany series, check out www.DavidLubar.com.
To get even more information about these titles, including some of the best prices on the Internet, just click on each of the book covers and you'll be connected to
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name.
About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories.
To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!