Last night, I decided to make use of one of the handful of subscriptions I have that I too often neglect (I blame all the new indie stuff coming into my mailbox, as well as all the stuff I hope to get to before I keil over upon finally discovering a perfect horror book). DarkFuse puts up content at a rate that keeps me forever behind, so rather than start a new novel, I tackled the latest of each section of the magazine (I don't think I missed anything...).
Everyone’s Out to Get You, Mother Rucker (Cult of Kill #35) by Patrick Kill – Absurd is the word and oh what a sinfully delightful read. I suppose if you’re touchy, or just touchy about God, or gods, you’d best steer away from Mr. Kill’s story. However, if you have a sense of humor and dig supernatural oddity, this thing is all kinds of fun. It’s fast, it’s nasty, and it’s got a pretty good punchline.
The Oath (DarkBorne Muse #8) by D.R. Smith – A pure horror. A comeuppance tale of warning. Though somewhat predictable in nature –not honoring a deceased loved one’s burial wishes, tisk-tisk– the follow through is a big ball of terror. Quality stuff.
Hotel Naamah (Erotikos #2) by Sandy DeLuca – A hotel that seems much more like a brothel, and a relationship that invokes a spectral third-wheel. It is more a pair of connecting scenes than it is a traditional beginning-middle-end story, but it is intriguing, and it’s over before you know it.
Fly Swatter (Featured Fiction) by Jon Lasser – Family fun night will never be the same again! This is like a miniature monster tale. The suspense is surprising and engaging. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and the fact that everything kind of peters away doesn’t hurt the story at all. A great read.
Seen and Not Heard (Horror d’oeuvre #66) by Barbara A. Barnett – Ha! This one could be subtitled Mansplained No More. What a fun plot twist, another comeuppance tale of the supernatural.
Mr. Cables (Serial Novella) by Ronald Malfi – Reminiscent of Stephen King’s Secret Garden, which in its own way is a bit of a funny thing, this story concerns a theft and getting right. It’s an absolute gem. Start to finish I was intrigued and enthralled, although –not so far from the story itself– little went on. The mystery is vast and hints at the supernatural. Suspense lurks in the shadows and the characters are fantastic, human.
As far as subscribing to DarkFuse, for me, nothing comes close to the serials and this one is one of the best ones I’ve read yet.
-Note, I always cheat on these and wait to read them in a sitting 'cause I'm a rebel.
Full Circle: My Love/Hate Relationship With The Horror Genre & Book Collecting (Son of a Niche! #8) by Shane Staley – This is the non-fiction portion of the magazine. A feature section I read start to finish several weeks ago. It’s interesting and informative, doubly so since I’ve begun a fledgling operation of my own. This quick read gives a look back, a snapshot of the now, and an opinion of the future, as well as putting work into the perspective of life.
Past Tense (Ushers of Darkness #7) by Greg F. Gifune – Here’s a story that’s been told in one form or another for probably as long as people have told stories. The youth vampire, the soul sucker, it works because down to the bare bones of existence, time is the only thing we all have and will all run out of sooner or later. Wanting for more is the plaything traded, ready or not, for a dream fulfilled (or for Connie, for what she assumed would be a John’s fare). This is a heavy presentation with a good amount of grand scale terror held by a single evil man. Gritty, nobody’s playing nice here.
Mail Order (DarkFuse Presents #2) story by Jack Ketchum, film by Eric Shapiro – A bit of torture, a bit of sex. I don’t think I’ve read the corresponding tale, so it’s impossible for me to judge adaptation against story, however, the film itself –about fifteen minutes– is pretty good. It moves quickly and the actors do their jobs without any obvious blunders. Perhaps the flash-backed fella and the silly wig were tough ones to fall for, but overall, this twisted little tale worked.