Sinister Reads ~ May 2010

“No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

Edmund Burke

There’s nothing quite like that first fright. It scars your mind to haunt you through the years. It’s the reason you watch scary movies with the lights on and read horror books  during the day with the dog or cat nearby.

Was it man or monster that crawled under your skin that night? Did it become a benchmark by which you measure every other fright by? Has anything come close to it or does that tattered paperback or classic horror flick still make your heart beat faster just thinking about it?

Would you stand in front of a mirror in a dark room and say their name 3 times before you go to bed to invite them into your dreams?

No?

Then tell us – who or what scares you that much?

We know you remember.

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Special Announcement!

~ Pre-Order ~ Midnight Echo #4

Edited by Lee Battersby

Australian Horror Writers Association

ISSN: 1836 3865

RRP: $13.00 AU (Printed version for non-AHWA members), $10.00 (Printed version for AHWA members), $3.50 AU (Digital versions)

Released date: June 2010

Available from: Australian Horror Writers Association

From the editor:

Everywhere we have travelled, the human race has been shadowed by monsters. They lurked in the shadows just outside the circle of light cast by our fires. They swam in the darkness beneath our keels. When we discovered new lands, and stepped onto white-sand beaches for the first time, they watched us from the bushes. They live in the corners of our eyes; in the silver lining within the cloud; in the cold, scared part of our minds we have spent our entire evolution pretending to ignore.

There are monsters in the pages of Midnight Echo: discovered; dissected, and chronicled by those who are unafraid to look beyond the circle of fire. Stories and poetry from writers like Geoffrey Maloney, Jenny Blackford, and Christopher Green, who have swum in the waters below the human psyche and returned to warn us of the truth they have discovered. That there is only one true monster in the human world, and it lives in your mirror.

Open the pages of Midnight Echo, and see what happens when the mirror stares back.

Lee Battersby.

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Sinister Gatherings

Jason Franks and J. Marc Schmidt will be conducting signings at The Dome, Olympic Park during Supanova Sydney on the 19th & 20th of June between 10am-6pm.

Be sure to check out their new releases listed below.

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Sinister Reads

~ Pre-Order ~ Cthulhu’s Dark Cults

Edited by David Conyers

Chaosium Inc.

ISBN: 1568822359

RRP: $14.99 US

Release date: 27th May 2010

Available from: Chaosium Inc., Amazon (US) and Amazon (UK)

Journey across the globe to witness the numerous and diverse cults that worship Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones. Lead by powerful sorcerers and fanatical necromancers, their followers are mad and deranged slaves. The ancient and alien gods whom they willingly devote themselves are truly terrifying. These cults control real power, for they are the real secret masters of our world. Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu is an endless source of imagination of all things dark and mysterious.

This book is part of an expanding collection of Cthulhu Mythos horror fiction and related topics. Call of Cthulhu fiction focuses on single entities, concepts, or authors significant to readers and fans of H.P. Lovecraft.

This collection of ten stories features the cults which first appeared in classic Call of Cthulhu gaming supplements such as The Masks of Nyarlathotep, The Day of the Beast, Horror on the Orient Express, Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, Secrets of Kenya and others. The collection features stories by four Australian authors, David Conyers, David Witteveen, Penelope Love and Shane Jiraiya Cummings. Leading up to publication, the editor David Conyers is publishing excerpts from the various stories on his online journal.

The Eternal Chinaman by John Sunseri

Captains of Industry by John Goodrich

Perfect Skin by David Witteveen

Covenant of Darkness by William Jones

The Whisper of Ancient Secrets by Penelope Love

Old Ghost by Peter A. Worthy

The Nature of Faith by Oscar Rios

The Devil’s Diamonds by Cody Goodfellow

Requiem for the Burning God by Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Sister of the Sands by David Conyers

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~ Pre-Order ~ The Sixsmiths #1 Comic Book

by Jason Franks, J. Marc Schmidt, Jen Breach

Illustrated by J. Marc Schmidt

Amaze Ink/SLG Publishing

Diamond Order Code: 9781593621971 (order at your local comic shop)

RRP: $1.00 US – No, really!

Release date: July 2010

Available from: SLG Publishing or pre-order in your local comic store.

Check out the promotional 24pp one shot made up of remastered strips from the Sixsmiths website (http://www.thesixsmiths.com) plus an exclusive new story. The Sixsmiths original graphic novel will be available in October.

The Sixmiths are your normal, everyday, suburban family. They go to work, go to school, buy groceries and attend church regularly. The only difference is that, when they go to church they worship Satan and cannot WAIT to experience the joy of living in Hell in the after-life. The Sixsmiths, this is one heckuva comedy and one helluva family.

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Savage MenaceSavage Menace and other poems of horror

by Richard L. Tierney

Illustrated by Andrew McKiernan

P’rea Press

ISBN: 9780980462555

RRP: $35.00 AU (Hardcover) Discount to AHWA/BFS/HWA members.

Available from: P’rea Press, Gavinicuss Books

Poems of delectable horror and exquisite savagery and dread by R.L. “Terminator” Tierney, author of fantasy and the macabre for over fifty years, and wordslinger of hellish proportions. Ghoulish cadences of decadence and fright, and Lovecraft and Howard, all live in this 132-page hardcover volume of 71 poems. Opening the book (front cover) is like opening a tomb door, and miasmal vapours of verse curl out and reach around your ankles. Don’t miss the mystique of this book to shatter illusions and bring despairing non-readers of verse back to the fold. P’rea Press is more than mortally proud to publish this particular poet’s darkest Morphean dreams, in possibly the dark poetry book of the year!

Reviews:

If there is a finer poet in the tradition of Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, I don’t know of one. Tierney has a vision as cosmic and savage as any of theirs, and his expressive skills are enviable indeed.” Ramsey Campbell

Richard L. Tierney has achieved a distinguished corpus of work in the fields of imaginative literature not just as a distinctive fictioneer but equally as a disciplined and unique poet forging ahead in traditional forms. The genre and shape are lyrical but the vision is epic and heroic, not to mention cosmic.” Donald Sidney-Fryer

In his poetry there is not a word out of place, not a line that is other than musical, not a stanza that cannot be considered a triumph of quiet eloquence. In his poems Richard L. Tierney exhibits the quintessence of his multifaceted literary gifts.” S. T. Joshi

There is no other present-day poet in the entire Lovecraftian galaxy who treasures to quite the same extent as does Richard Tierney the fabulous valleys and high mountain peaks of fantasy, or who has captured their splendors with a greater perceptiveness.” Frank Belknap Long

Richard L. Tierney has ramped respect as one of the premier poets of the macabre in modern times. His finesse is spectral, and elegant. He has devoted most of his life to the pursuit and expression of fantastic literature, in prose and verse. In Savage Menace he hits the spot most powerfully.” Charles Lovecraft

This volume of weird verse by an acknowledged master of the genre gathers 71 poems, and abundantly surpasses in content the poet’s acclaimed earlier Collected Poems: Nightmares and Visions (Arkham House, 1981). By turns dark, brooding, cynical and sometimes delicate, the forceful verse of Richard L. Tierney collected here is an essential acquisition for enthusiasts of the fantastic, the weird and the horrific.” Leigh Blackmore, Horrorscope

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The Sins of Mason Thurlow book III: She Lusts

by Adrian Scott

Renaissance E-books

ISBN: 9781615082384

RRP: $3.95 US

It is the early 1830’s and Mason Thurlow is endeavouring to start a new life on a property overlooking Hobart Town. But escaped convicts and the devilish attacks of a pack of werewolves take a hand in his life that threatens to bring him to an early demise.

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RealmShift

by Alan Baxter

Gryphonwood Press

ISBN: 9780982508749

RRP: $9.99 US

Available from: Gryphonwood Press, Booktopia, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Amazon (Kindle), Smashwords

Check out the first 3 chapters free!

Isiah is having a tough time. The Devil is making his job very difficult.

Samuel Harrigan is a murdering lowlife. He used ancient blood magic to escape a deal with the Devil and now he’s on the trail of a crystal skull that he believes will complete his efforts to evade Lucifer. But Lucifer wants Samuel’s soul for eternity and refuses to wait a second longer for it. Isiah needs Samuel to keep looking for the crystal skull, so he has to protect Sam and keep the Devil at bay. Not for Samuel’s sake, but for all of humanity.

RealmShift is an engrossing Dark Fantasy thriller; a fascinating exploration of the nature of people’s beliefs and their effect on the world around them. Magic, action and intrigue, from dank city streets to the depths of Hell and beyond.

Reviews:

“…fast-paced and full of vibrancy, the characters fascinating, and the plot intriguing” Maggie Pragratis – Author

Realmshift is action packed and keeps you wanting more, with a plot that builds to an exciting crescendo… If you, like me have found yourself getting tired of the usual stuff being churned out by well known authors, then give this book a read. You will not be disappointed.” James Frost

the story is fast-paced and engrossing… a book that was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to reading the sequel! 4 1/2 Stars (out of 5)” Linda – Clubreading.com

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MageSign

by Alan Baxter

Gryphonwood Press

ISBN: 9780982508756

RRP: $9.99 US

Available from: Gryphonwood Press, Booktopia, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Amazon (Kindle), Smashwords

Check out the first 3 chapters free!

Three years have passed since Isiah’s run in with Samuel Harrigan and the Devil. He has some time on his hands – a perfect opportunity to track down the evil Sorcerer, Harrigan’s mentor. It should have been a simple enough task, but the Sorcerer has more followers than Isiah ever imagined, and a plan bigger than anyone could have dreamed.

With the help of some powerful new friends Isiah desperately tries to track down the Sorcerer and his cult of blood before they manage to change the world forever.

In this long-awaited sequel to the highly acclaimed RealmShift, Baxter once again keeps a breathless pace and blistering intensity with gods, demons and humans entangled in magic and conflict. This is dark fantasy at its best.

Reviews:

MageSign is a thriller, a mystery, a love story and a thought-provoking examination of the relationship between religion and humanity in all its glory and shame. Alan Baxter takes the reader right to the edge and then pushes us over. And I thank him for it.” Bitten by Books.

difficult to pin to any particular genre … fantastic qualities … horrific at times. “MageSign” is a great addition by Alan Baxter, and I highly recommend it.” William Estep – Clubreading.com

“MageSign by Alan Baxter, is a fast-paced ride through a visceral reality which holds a mirror up to today’s apathetic society.” B. Tomlinson – Horrorscope

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McBlack

by Jason Franks

Illustrated by: Jason Franks (pencils) and Dave Gutierrez (inks)

Blackglass Press

ISBN: 978098051674

RRP: $10.00 AU

Available from: Amazon, Blackboox, Blackglass Press and Minotaur and Classic Comics – Melbourne CBD

Whiteface McBlack used to be a private dick, but he gave it up in order to pursue his true passions: murder, sabotage, theft and arson. So, when the Killer Dame asks him to find her rotten ex-husband, he’s reluctant to take the case. Before long, McBlack finds himself tangling with cyborg biker hippies, Irish paramilitary cannibals, redneck triads, illegal arms dealers, crooked cops, and a former pro-wrestler turned monster truck dealer. But will all of that be enough to hold McBlack’s attention, and if not… well, what happens then?

Reviews:

One of the most insanely great graphic novels to be released anywhere in the World in 2010. Check this one out kids, Jason Franks has gone psycho on our arses!

A tight plot, a lot of imagination, and exceptional writing.

The panels are clean, crisp, and easy to read making the novel an enjoyable experience both from a reading stance and a visual point of view.

10 stars.scaryminds.com

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Ghost Of The Black: A ‘Verse Full Of Scum

by Alan Baxter

Blade Red Press

ISBN: 9780980578249

RRP: $7.99 US

Available from: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Blade Red Press, Smashwords.

Ghost is possibly the best bounty hunter in the universe and he always gets the job done. At least, that’s the reputation that he rides on. When the DAP employ him to track down and capture a rogue Magicker that’s running across the galaxy killing anyone that gets in his way, Ghost realises that this is a job that could cost him his reputation. It’s also a job that could cost him his sanity. An action packed, noir sci-fi novella from Alan Baxter, author of dark fantasty novels RealmShift and MageSign.

Reader Reviews:

“I went through this book really quickly because it was so much fun. There’s lots of action and adventure mixed with noir elements,scifi and a bit of mystery. I genuinely enjoyed the world the author created.” Cathy Russell

“I downloaded A ‘Verse Full of Scum here and read it over a couple of days. I love sci-fi stories and the author’s down to earth, irreverent, cynical style of writing made for a very entertaining read. The book was pacy and left me wanting to read more, so I’ve downloaded the author’s other 2 books.” C. Bell

“I really liked how the futuristic setting took a back seat to the almost crime-noir story and character. It was like Micky Spillaine meets Bladerunner. I could actually go back and read some old hard-boiled detective fiction after this, but I’d have a feeling that this would still be more fun!” E. Patrick Dorris

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Sinister Slices

Lollo

by Martin Livings

Published in: Close Encounters of the Urban Kind

Available from: Apex Book Company

The Valley

by Martin Livings

Published in: Scary Kisses

Available from: Indie Books Online

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