Monday, October 21, 2013

"More Than Just Blood"

Fellow SASS member Park Cooper sent me a galley recently of a horror novel he's penned with wife Barbara Lien-Cooper, "Something More Than Blood". He asked me if I'd read it and consider it for a blurb. I finished it this weekend, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. He's what I wrote for the blurb:

"Something More Than Blood" is a well-crafted, fast-paced story of a fresh-faced young German farm boy who volunteers to serve his country in the Great War, and get a lot more - and worse - than he bargained for. In the process of going from naive young "soldat" Johannes Fassbinder to becoming an undead B movie actor - stage name Lykan Fuller - we follow a man who wanders through some wild and weird places - Weimar Germany, Depression Era USA, Hollywood - and copes with his unsought fate while surrounded by people who often seem less human than he is.

The writing is tight, the dialogue crisp, the settings pitch-perfect, and the plot compelling. Park Cooper and Barbara Lien-Cooper have written a vampire tale with lot of chills, but also sad insights, and a few chuckles of recognition along the way.I enjoyed it, and you will, too. It's a welcome addition to the horror bookshelf.-

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"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

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- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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