Ten Horror Book Recommendations for Self-Professed Wimps

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.I recently talked one of my blogger friends into doing a buddy read with me. ( I have to say, she’s entirely too trusting because she said yes before I even showed her what book I had in mind! ) But even though I’m her ‘Sadistic Teacher’, I’m not truly sadistic, and had picked a book I thought would be the perfect type of read for her self-professed wimpy self. And – luckily! – it was a great book that we both loved!

So, of course, that got me thinking what other books I’d recommend to her, and that turned into a list for everyone when I saw what Broke and Bookish had up for their topic for August 15th.

 

 

Ten Horror Book Recommendations for Self-Professed Wimps

These books embrace the cheese. They give you gore, action, adventure, and giggles all mixed together. There might be strong language, maybe even a bit of sexual situations (though not too many as that’s not something I like to see a lot of), but in terms of ‘scare’, these horror books rate low on the scale. They gradually shift from modern horror to more of a classic feel. The stories there are more in the ‘creepy’ realm than gore-spattering arena (or the gore is balanced with giggles). They’re a safe bet for entertainment, and you can tell your friends you’re reading horror now!


The Haunted Forest Tour by Jeff Strand


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Haunted Forest Tour!

Sit back and enjoy a smooth ride in air-conditioned comfort as your heavily armored tram takes you through nature’s most astonishing creation. The forest is packed to capacity with dangerous and terrifying creatures of all shapes, sizes, and hunger levels, and you’ll get to observe these wonders in complete safety.

-This is the book that kicked the idea for this list off. Stupid funny, non-stop action, and characters you love to love or love to hate, you aren’t going to go wrong here. And oh, my god, the quotable lines.-

 

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The Last Colossus by Michael Hodges

Rugged adventure guide and “player” Ron Combs leads a group of thrill-seekers to an island off Washington’s coast. But when devastating lava flows destroy their boat and overtake the island, Ron and his clients are forced one-by-one into the sea, where a gigantic prehistoric predator awaits.

Trapped between the lava-covered island and the huge jaws of an ancient shark, Ron teams up with his client Rachel to devise a way to keep everyone safe…even if it means sacrificing himself in the process, and finally changing his ways.

 

 

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Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

GROW AMAZING LIVE SEA SERPENTS!

It’s fun! It’s easy! They only cost a measly dollar. Just clip out the ad in your comic book. Then ask Mom to mail it in. A few weeks later, receive a packet of instant Sea Serpent dust. Then:

Just add water . . . and watch them grow!

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

Just ask David and Patrick. Their “instant pets” are instant duds. They don’t hatch, they don’t grow, they don’t do anything. So they dump them into the sewer where Dad pours toxic chemicals . . .

WAIT UNTIL FEEDING TIME.

It’s been years since David and Patrick thought about those Sea Serpents. But now, small animals are disappearing in the neighborhood. Strange slimy creatures are rising from the sewers. And once the screaming starts, David and Patrick realize that their childhood pets really did come to life. With a vengeance. They’re enormous . . . and have a ravenous hunger for human flesh . . .

 

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Monstrum: Bella Monstrum by Ann Christopher

STAY OUT OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

Few places on earth engender as much primal fear as the mysterious and forbidding Bermuda Triangle. With good reason.

A bizarre plane crash at sea leaves Bria Hunter and her high school classmates trapped in a chilling race for survival.

Will Bria and her friends escape from the evil presence before it’s too late?

In the mood for a nerve-shredding tale of horror on the high seas that keeps you turning pages with the lights on all night? Then grab Monstrum today!

 

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Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and baiting his overbearing New Age mother; and inept journalist Lesley McBrien struggles forlornly in the shadow of her famous war correspondent father and the star journalist at the Glasgow Tribune.

When Britain begins a rapid descent into chaos and ministers cynically attempt to blame al-Qaeda, Lesley stumbles upon proof that the government is behind the outbreak. During her bumbling quest to unveil the truth, she crosses paths with Terry and Geldof, and together they set out to escape a quarantined Britain with the evidence and vital data that could unlock a cure for the virus.

Standing in the way are rampaging hordes of animals, a ruthless security agent and an army ready to shoot anybody with a case of the sniffles on the off-chance the virus has mutated.

Three losers. Overwhelming odds. A single outcome: the world is screwed.

 

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The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings

Larry Correia. Kevin J. Anderson. D.J. Butler. Orson Scott Card. Mercedes Yardley.

Would you like to know – I mean, REALLY know – what they’re doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain’t just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.
Of course, you probably already knew that.
But did you ALSO know that…
every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I’M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell books, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It’s not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you’d never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

Luckily, though, you don’t have to guess.

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Property of a Lady by Sarah Rayne

A house with a sinister past – and a grisly power – When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him – even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But it’s not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes . . .

 

 

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But H

Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

 

 

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A Pleasing Terror: The Complete Supernatural Writings by M.R. James

The ghost stories of M. R. James need no introduction. They are widely considered the very best classical supernatural tales ever committed to paper, and a testimony to their quality and universal appeal is the fact that James’s Collected Ghost Storieshas remained in print since its first publication in 1931. James’s ghost stories are a towering achievement, and they continue to dominate the genre more than a century after they first began to appear.

Ash-Tree Press has published collections by many of the writers who followed James and sought to emulate him, and is now proud to have published A Pleasing Terror, which collects all of M. R. James’s writings on the supernatural. In addition to the thirty-three stories from Collected Ghost Stories, this volume includes a further three stories, seven story drafts left amongst his papers, all of his introductions and prefaces to his various collections, and his article ‘Stories I Have Tried to Write’. In addition, there are the texts of twelve medieval ghost stories discovered and published by James, all of his articles about the ghost story, and his writings on J. Sheridan Le Fanu.

 

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Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories by Ralph Adams Cram

This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them. This synopsis does the book no justice. It has some very creepy, gore-free stories in it.

 

 

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Thanks for checking out our Top Ten Horror Books for Self-Professed Wimps and let us know your favorites!

 

In the Mouth of Madness – Movie Review

In the Mouth of Madness Synopsis: With the disappearance of hack horror writer Sutter Cane, all Hell is breaking loose…literally! Author Cane, it seems, has a knack for description that really brings his evil creepy-crawlies to life. Insurance investigator John Trent is sent to investigate Cane’s mysterious vanishing act and ends up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb’s End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane’s twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent’s problems.

Release Date: February 3rd, 1995 | Runtime: 1 hour and 35 minutes | MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 5

Starring: Sam Neill, Julie CarmenJürgen Prochnow 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Mouth of Madness Review

Have you read Sutter Cane?

I can’t believe that it took me so long to watch this movie. It has practically everything I love in it: Lovecraft, Stephen King, and a ton of references to look for and spot and conjecture about. In short, I’m very disappointed in myself for not watching it sooner. In my defense, I had no idea it was even about a book, so, there ya go.

I loved the plot to it. It was creepy and took many unexpected twists and turns. Reality itself gets distorted in interesting ways that did not come across as cheatery and contrived. It also raises some interesting questions about readers and the free will of the characters in fiction.

Sorry, a small digression here. Just pretend for a moment that it’s true (c’mon, you can do it, you guys read horror and sci-fi. I know you have imaginations). That a fictional character is aware of what is happening to him or her. They realize this but can’t do anything about it. They are forced to live through whatever unimaginable horror the author can think of to inflict upon them. I can’t imagine anything more horrifying. I’m not really talking about meta-horror, exactly, because to me it’s a different kind of awareness.

Anyways, you didn’t read this to get my half-assed attempt at midnight psychology. You want to hear about the movie. It starts out with a bang and the pace keeps up until the last fifteen minutes or so. It does start to slow down a bit near the end but it’s a necessary slowness so it’s acceptable. The plot stays on point throughout without any digressions that don’t add to the movie.

The effects are top-notch and some really managed to give me the creeps. Some of the creepier ones are also the most simple. Maybe not simple to pull off but in the plot they’re somewhat minor happenings but add to the general atmosphere and general creepiness. The bridge into Hobb’s End. The changing picture. Simple, but very effective. And the creature effects? Excellent.

Sam Neill is very believable as the cocky insurance investigator, totally convinced he is the master of his own, cynical view of the world. Julie Carmen is very able in her role, if a little lat at times but since I’ve never seen her in anything else I’m not really sure if that was an acting choice or her typical acting ability.  Jürgen Prochnow is perfect as the “author” of the end of the world. Oddly enough, this is not the first time Jürgen has brought about the Apocalypse. The first time was in a movie called ‘The Seventh Sign” (which I’ll be reviewing soon). He’s perfect as the elusive Sutter Cane. Even the secondary characters are played well.

And of course, all the references. I’d love to point out as many as I noticed (and I’m pretty sure there’s more I didn’t) but since some are plot points I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I don’t like to assume that just because a movie is older then it’s ok to tell the whole story. Suffice it to say that there are many and Lovecraft and King fans alike will have many happy egg hunts.

There is only one part that I don’t get and it bugs me:

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Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #31

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

08/05/2017 – 08/11/2017

 

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.

August is getting on. Just a few more weeks before the true horror begins…school. So, shall we get in a few more stories around the fire before the shades of fall are upon us?


Odd Jobs Jason A. Tanner

Synopsis:
Chris Tanner has a job to do. He is to meet a certain woman at a certain time. She doesn’t know they will be meeting, nor what they’re meeting for. She is to be executed for crimes committed during a previous life, one hundred years ago.

Review:
Great story and an interesting idea. I think it would make a very good full-length novel and even, possibly, a series.


The Odor of SanctityWilliam Marden

Synopsis:
On the day that two people are to be awakened from cryo-sleep in the future, something has gone wrong. very wrong. A man just awakened has gone insane, welts and burns spontaneously appearing on his body. The second to be awakened, a young girl with a then-inoperable tumour, lies sleeping peacefully. In her presence the cryo-team feels serenity and a calming, lovely smell. It is then that the cryo-team realizes their grave mistake. Would you tear a soul from paradise and would they be happy about it?

Review:
I’ve always loved this story. I’m not exactly religious but it certainly gives the imagination something to work on. Was the first man in Hell? Is that why his skin was scarred and he was crazy? It doesn’t really say but the difference in the two awakenings makes me think so.


On Spending the Night Alone in a Haunted House: A User’s GuideBruce Boston

Synopsis:
A list of very strange and explicit set of instructions as to how to spend the night in a haunted house. If it drives you mad, so be it. That’s the risk you take when venturing into the unknown.

Review:
An entertaining, if bizarre list. The instructions seem to be a bit arbitrary. And odd. But I guess that’s what you get when you take instructions from a madman.


On the Panecraft TrainTom Piccirilli

Synopsis:
A man out walking, looking for his ‘dog’ Topaz. As he walks he studies the possible ruin of the Panecraft Asylum. Meeting up with his brother they study the names of the dead and ride the Panecraft Train back into madness.

Review:
An…interesting story but a little odd. I read it twice and I’m still not sure if they’re former patients, escaped patients or ghosts. All are possible and it makes you wonder. It also makes me think of the Ozzy Osbourne song, ‘Crazy Train’.


One for the Road Judith Post

Synopsis:
A man is doomed to take a ride in his ghostly Camaro each year. Cursed by the woman who’s husband he hit while drinking and driving he now wakes up once a year to prevent the same thing happening.

Review:
Great, great story. Well told and just all the way around excellent. Even though the man cursed well deserves his curse you eve feel sorry for him a bit as well.


One Romantic Evening… Greg McElhatton

Synopsis:
A blind date between a vampire and a human isn’t going so well. He’s a bit boring and things take a downturn when he lunges for her neck. Good thing she has mace.

Review:
A pretty funny spoof on the ‘vampire tells his life story’ trope. And the mix up with the perfume and mace was a nice touch.


One WayHugh B. Cave

Synopsis:
Up in the mountains there is a cave where people vanish without a trace. two local men are guiding a reporter to go see it. A reporter who doesn’t believe them. So of course he has to check for himself. Next time the guides better get their pay up front.

Review:
A funny little story. Short and to the point but a good story nonetheless.


Favorite of the Week:
Oh, this week is going to be a tough one to choose. So many good stories. I loved Odd Jobs by Jason Tanner. I think it would make an excellent series if done right. Or even just a stand-alone novel. The Odor of Sanctity by William Marden was very good, as well. I either remembered this story or another story uses the same theme. But that should show you the staying power of it as this year is the first time I’ve read this book in ages. One for the Road by Judith Post is a haunting (literally) story on the dangers of drinking and driving. But it’s told in such a way that the sympathy goes for almost everyone in the story, including the cursed driver. One Romantic Evening by Greg McElhatton was a funny spoof on blind dates and vampires.


Join us again next week for another round of scary tales told by candlelight Ok, computer light but it’s close!

Twice Upon An Apocalypse (Anthology)

Title: Twice Upon an Apocalypse – Lovecraftian Fairy Tales | Edited by Don D’Ammassa and Rachel Kenley | Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing | Pub. Date: 05/30/2017 | Pages: 284 | ISBN13: 9781640074750 | Genre: Horror/Dark Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: Cannibalism/Child Death (one story) | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received from the publisher for review consideration


Twice Upon an Apocalypse – Lovecraftian Fairy Tales

These aren’t your mother’s fairy tales.

Throughout history parents have told their children stories to help them sleep, to keep them entertained. But we’re pretty sure none of those parents had this in mind. These are the fairy tales that will give you and your children nightmares. From the darkest depths of Grimm and Anderson come the immortal mash-ups with the creations of HP Lovecraft.

Twice Upon an Apocalypse Review

I don’t generally read mash-ups. Every once in a while they can be cleverly done but, as Gary Braunbek states in the Introduction, they tend to work better as short stories rather than novels. The subtitle of ‘Lovecraftian Fairy Tales’ soon caught my eye and I eagerly ofered myself…ok, I may have begged a bit.

I can’t say that I was disappointed at all. The stories are generally good and range from deadly serious to tongue firmly in cheek. There were a few stand-outs but none that made me roll my eyes in disbelief or bored me to tears. Each story, despite having common themes, was it’s own creation and unique. I also enjoyed the fact that along with the more well-known fairy tales some were used which are rarely seen. I have to admit that I fully expected to see many stories by the Brothers Grimm. The Grimm Brothers are amply represented but so also is Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Anderson. There are also a couple well-known stories, even if the authors are not widely known. Even though I partly expected to see at least ‘The Little Mermaid’ show up in an Innsmouth story, indeed how could she not?  I was also pleased to see a few of the lesser known tales. I’m slightly biased towards Hans Christian Anderson’s tales, I’ll admit that right now.

The stories are well-written but with such a narrow framework to write a story within (Lovecraftian fairy tales leading up to an apocalypse) constrains the creativity to a degree. You know pretty much how things will end (or begin) so the only mystery is how it’s going to get there or be described. Some of the better stories made very good use of atmosphere. I’m also unsure of the submission process for the stories but with the wealth of both fairy tale and Lovecraft mythos there seems to be quite a bit of repetition in view. For instance, there are two separate stories about ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.They each go in their own directions but there should really be no need for two of the same story in the anthology. Also, with the amount of different locations mentioned in Lovecraft and the fairy tales themselves seem to limit themselves to fairly confined areas. Innsmouth and Dunwich are particular favorites.

Since there are too many stories to go into them as deeply as I’d like I will sort them from best to least liked.

Madness-Inducing (Best):

The Pied Piper of Providence – William Meikle
The Three Billy Goats Sothoth – Peter N. Dudar
In the Shade of the Juniper Tree – J.P. Hutshell
The Most Incredible Thing – Bracken MacLeod
Let Me Come In! – Simon Yee
The Fishman and His Wife – Inanna Arthen
The Gumdrop Apocalypse – Pete Rawlik
Curiosity – Winifred Burniston
Sweet Dreams in the Witch House – Sean Logan
The Legend of Creepy Hollow – DonD’Ammassa

Mind-bending Angles (Good):

The Horror at Hatchet Point – Zach Shephard
Follow the Yellow Glyph Road – Scott T. Goudsward
The Ice Queen – Mae Empson
Once Upon a Dream – Matthew Baugh
Donkeyskin – K.H. Vaughn
The Great Old One and the Beanstalk – Armand Rosamilia

Slightly Skewed (Meh):

Little Maiden of the Sea – David Barnard
The Little Match Mi-Go – Michael Kamp
Cinderella and Her Outer Godfather – C.T. Phipps
Fee Fie Old One – Thom Brannan
The King of the Golden Mountain – Morgan Sylvia


Even the stories that didn’t thrill me were still pretty good. Oddly, I just noticed that despite my love for Hans Christian Anderson, those seem to be the ones that I rated lowest. Perhaps I couldn’t separate the originals from the mixture. Because they were mixed well, I just couldn’t get into them. Others may like them more so I would not discourage anyone from reading them. For those interested in Lovecraft or fairy tale mash-ups there is a lot to be liked here. So kick back and get ready for some familiar and comfortable cosmic horror. Although that may be an oxymoron.


4 Skulls Out of 5

      

Interview with Terry Tyler, author of ‘Tipping Point’

Interview with Terry Tyler Tipping Point banner

Author Pic: Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler has published fourteen books on Amazon, ranging from family dramas and a novella about three writers, to a serial killer thriller and her current post apocalyptic series; what they have in common is that they are character driven and based around her interest in all things psychological.  She is an avid reader and book reviewer, loves The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and is a newly converted vegan who is still trying to work out what she can actually eat, apart from hummus and vegetables.  She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

Terry reviews books on her blog  http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

and writes for a popular TWD fansite http://twdfansite.com/author/terry-tyler/

 

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Talking with Terry Tyler, Author of Tipping Point

Sci-Fi & Scary: How much has your writing style changed between the first book you wrote and your newest release?

Terry Tyler: My actual style has scarcely altered; I don’t think I could change it if I tried.  My subject matter and the way in which I approach the process has evolved, but the style itself is the same in the first novel I wrote in 1993 as it is now.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What’s your support system like?

Terry Tyler: Writing is a solitary occupation, and I certainly don’t need any help to get motivated; what I really need is more time and two pairs of hands.  My husband is hugely supportive of everything I do, and my sister (who is also my proofreader) is a great help, too.  As for the bad days, when you’re convinced everything you write is rubbish—well, they’re just something you have to work through!  I don’t talk much about my books while I’m writing them but I have lots of lovely writer, book blogger and regular reader friends who are a great help once they’re published.  I hope I give back in equal measure.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What’s your writing routine? (If you have one.)

Terry Tyler: Open laptop, open document, get on with it.  I give myself deadlines.  Sometimes other commitments mean I can’t meet them, but I like schedules.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Why writing? What made you want to be a writer?

Terry Tyler: I just wrote stuff, from quite an early age, and the natural progression was to move on to novels. I don’t know; it’s like anything creative.  Playing music, painting, writing – you just do it because you feel the need to.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What is the biggest influence in your life when it comes to your writing?

Terry Tyler: I thought a lot about this question and still don’t have much of an answer!  I think it’s a cross between whatever’s going through my head that I want to write about, and my readers, who let me know what they like about my books (and what they don’t).

Sci-Fi & Scary: How did you come up with the premise for Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: I’ve been wanting to write about a virus causing the collapse of civilisation as we know it, for ages.  I love reading books and watching films and TV series on this subject; if I see the words ‘global pandemic’, I’m there!  But I wanted it to be about more than a random disease.  I find theories about targeted depopulation most interesting (though some are ludicrous), so started constructing a plot by which I could combine the two.

Sci-Fi & Scary: I know from reading the Goodreads page on the book that you have a trilogy planned, with Tipping Point being the first book. Did you have everything for the trilogy sketched out before you even wrote book one or did things develop as this story did?

Terry Tyler: I’ve already written the sequel, Lindisfarne, and I’m getting the plot for Book 3 sorted in my head.  Before I began, I decided that the first book would be the build-up and the immediate aftermath of the outbreak, and the second would be about the psychological effects of the disaster, how my characters would change, grow or fall apart—and the reality of living in a lawless society.  As for Book 3, I knew how it would end, but I hadn’t got a clue how I would get there.  Then I decided to include a storyline from the other side, ie, the people who were behind the pandemic.  That was when it all started to come together, as the two converge. If it works out, and people do want to read it, it might carry on to other books.

Sci-Fi & Scary: I know from your website that you play Plague, Inc. (I love that game!) Did it have anything to do with your decision to try to wipe out the world with a virus in Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: Ha ha!  No, the book idea came first; my love for the game is just part of my interest in the subject.  The game is actually mentioned in Tipping Point!  (btw,  isn’t it awesome?  I love starting Nano Virus in somewhere like Korea or Iceland, to make it really hard!)

Sci-Fi & Scary: Social media is obviously a big part of most people’s lives, but what made you decide to make it a key point (pardon the pun) in Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: Part of the plot concerns government intelligence agencies’ analysis of personal information provided online by the population, and, nowdays, much of this comes via social media sites.  Watch the film Snowden!  It’s more a case of the plot requiring it, than me deciding to make it a key point.  The shiny new social media site is all part of the dastardly plan!  Later, my main characters follow the progression of the virus via uploaded videos (and video diaries) on YouTube.  It’s important, when you’re writing about characters born later than, say, 1980, to understand that social media sites are a part of their everyday life, much more so than for people my age.  It’s about plot and character feasibility; my books often feature use of these sites, simply because you can’t write realistic characters without it.  I don’t think ‘ooh, I think I’ll put Facebook in my novel’ ~ in ‘You Wish’, for instance, I had a girl stalking an uninterested lover.  In 2010, she would do this via FB, not by letter or phone.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What research did you have to do to write Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: I’ve been doing it for years, with all the films, TV series and books!  I also read books about people living in dedicated pre-industrial age communities, and found out how diseases spread.  And read truth seeker websites.

Sci-Fi & Scary: How long did it take you to actually write Tipping Point from first words on the paper to final draft?

Terry Tyler: Three months for the first draft, another three for the subsequent ones.  I did six drafts.  I made notes andthought about the plot a lot before I actually started writing it, though.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Any of you in your main characters in Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: I should think so, but it’s not something I think about, or do consciously.  Vicky, the main character, isn’t ‘me’.  She’s much nicer!

Sci-Fi & Scary: Was there any scene that was particularly hard to write? What made it hard?

Terry Tyler:  I find it hard to write any scene in which someone witnesses a murder, or discovers one.  It’s ‘out of my comfort zone’, a bit; until the last two books, I’d mostly just written about relationships.  I got a bit ‘darker’ in The House of York, and then my serial killer drama, The Devil You Know.  It’s taking me a while to feel confident about writing such horrors; I’m getting there, but it’s still difficult.  The psychopaths, on the other hand, I find easy to write.  Should I be worried?!

Sci-Fi & Scary: What about the characters?  Is Tipping Point a plot driven or character driven novel?

Terry Tyler:  My novels are always all about the characters.  I have an endless fascination for human relationships, and the way we react, what motivates us to make the decisions we make.  There’s a fair bit of relationship stuff in Book 2, because people carry on loving and cheating on each other, even when the world’s gone to hell….

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Lilyn, and I hope this has been of interest to your readers!


 Tipping Point Excerpt:

This excerpt takes place around 10 days after the first outbreak of the virus, in a small seaside town  in Norfolk, England.

 

Bob Newnham no longer stood in his garden having a rant to anyone who would listen; all the curtains in his house were closed.

I hadn’t seen Linda Thomas since Wednesday, either.  Linda, who’d been so worried about getting her roots done in time for her friend’s wedding.

I knocked on her door, but no one answered.  I’m guessing the wedding never happened, either.

The dead wagon took body bags out of number three, next.  That was where the Hanns lived; Brett, Susannah, and their daughter Celia.  I wondered who’d called the number to report the deaths.  Perhaps they rang themselves, when they knew there was no hope.

I went back inside to YouTube.

It had become the only site I looked at, and I did so constantly.

The latest Bat Fever video made me gasp in horror.

A shaky film, only thirty seconds long, had been taken on a phone in a large outbuilding outside a hospital in North London.  One huge room, piled high with bodies wrapped in black polythene or sheets.  I played it over and over, freeze-framing; it appeared that at first the bodies been laid out on the floor in body bags with space around each one, and name tags, but then the space had run out and they’d just been piled in like rolls of carpet, wrapped in bin liners or sheets, one on top of another.  Twenty-five seconds into the film, a voice shouted, “Get out of there.  You!  Out!”  Then the screen jumped all over the place and went black.

The video had over six million views.


Tipping Point Cover

 

Tipping Point Synopsis

‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’

The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.

A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.

Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.

In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…

This is the first book in the Project Renova series; the second, Lindisfarne, is due to be published in September 2017, with the final instalment in the middle of 2018. A collection of outtake short stories, Patient Zero, is in progress, and should be available around December 2017.

 

 

Please support an Indie Author and consider purchasing Tipping Point now on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074LSCX5M

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074LSCX5M

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #30

 

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

07/29/2017 – 08/04/2017

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.

 

 

 

 


Night Train Bob Morrish

Synopsis:
Willie has been riding the rails for a very long time. Dodging yard bosses, grabbing work when he can. Tonight he might finally be a legitimate passenger. For a very long time.

Review:
The story was pretty nice, actually. You really felt sympathetic for Willie and I was a little pleased that his story ended well.


NightmaresLinda J. Dunn

Synopsis:
Jenny keeps having dreams of her ex-husband. An abusive alcoholic. Jenny also dreams of being still married to him. Today she’ll find out which is a dream. And which is the real nightmare.

Review:
An excellent story that managed to pack two twists into a two-page story. And they’re good twists.


Nikola, MoonstruckLisa Morton

Synopsis:
With the murders that keep happening, Nikola is convinced that there’s a werewolf to blame. His neighbors laugh at him, telling him that it’s the twentieth century and wolfmen don’t exist. They’re right. There isn’t a wolfman.

Review:
A fun little werewolf story, even if it is a little obvious from the start just who the werewolf really is.


No PainLyn Nichols

Synopsis:
There’s a new drug that Lonny is dying to try. The dealer promises ‘No pain’. But what happens when you feel no pain…at all.

Review:
A bit creepier than I had anticipated. Usually it’s the drug itself that is the horror, not it’s side effects. And bugs should never go into people. Ever.


No Strings AttachedDavid Niall Wilson

Synopsis:
All the children want to see Miss Lily’s marionettes. If she’s sometimes cruel to the dwarf who takes the tickets that’s his business. But things behind the stage curtain are not always what they seem. Sometimes you can’t always see the strings.

Review:
Oh my god what a creepy story. Marionettes are always a little freaky but this story actually prickled my scalp a bit.


NoviceA.M. Dellamonica

Synopsis:
Requiem Chaos is a bar where the dead and undead, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and zombies can relax and have a drink. And on Halloween there’s always the possibility of a newcomer.

Review:
Great story! I would love to see this as an actual book. But the short story works well, too. It packs a bit more of a punch and gives it more of an eerie feel to it.


The Number You Have ReachedBrian McNaughton

Synopsis:
A man keeps getting wrong numbers all morning. Finally, he rips his answering machine out of the wall and threatens the life of his phone. His phone decides to get even.

Review:
I’m honestly not sure about this story. I liked it at first, the guy’s answers to the wrong numbers were very entertaining. But the end…I’m really not sure if he died, got trapped by his phone or is going crazy.


Favorite of the Week:
Most certainly and most positively No Strings Attached by David Niall Wilson. It actually gave me the creeps. For a more fun selection though, it would have to be Novice by A.M. Dellamonica. I’m tempted to look up this writer and see if they expanded on this idea at all or faded into Writer Oblivion. I’ll keep you posted.


Thanks for joining us and come back next week for a round of spooky tales to keep you up at night!

July & August 2017 Horror Reading Challenge

Welcome to the next check-in for the 2017 Horror Reading Challenge! Lots of you are doing fantastic on your reading challenges, and some of you aren’t doing as well as you might have hoped. That’s to be expected.

Just keep going, and you’ll get to the end of it eventually 😉

If you floundering, what has kept you from succeeding?  If you’re having trouble finding books you think you’ll like in the horror genre, just hit me up @scifiandscary or Gracie @areyouscaredyet on Twitter for some suggestions. We read a lot of different horror, so we’ll surely be able to point you at something!

We’re going to try something new this month. While you’re still going to list your July reads in the linky below, it will be open all month so that you can list your August books as you read them.

Oh, and as August 1st has passed us, sign-ups for the challenge for this year have officially closed.

 

How are you doing so far this year?

Neophyte Badge for The 2017 Horror Reading ChallengeNervous Neophytes: You signed up to read up to 7 books.

 

 

 

 

Initiate Badge for The 2017 Horror Reading ChallengeIntrepid Initiates: You signed up to read 8-15 books.

 

 

 

 

Oracle Badge for The 2017 Horror Reading ChallengeOmniscient Oracles: You’ve signed up to read 20-25 books.

 

 

 

 

Linky!



Finally, an announcement; I’m cancelling the Sci-Fi Challenges. They don’t have nearly the participation, and I’m honestly just stretched too thin to try to bolster it up and give it the attention that it deserves. Anyone currently participating in it is free to continue at their own pace with the list, but the official challenge is over.

If you signed up for either of the sci-fi challenges and you’d been participating, you can enter the rafflecopter drawing for a gift card to Thrift Books below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is Sci-Fi, Issue 16: The Dark Tower, Noumenon, and Acadie

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & Scary

This is Sci-Fi, Issue 16  is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

This is Sci-Fi’s Weekly Quote:

“A writer is very much like the captain on a star ship facing the unknown. When you face the blank page and you have no idea where you’re going. It can be terrifying, but it can also be the adventure of a lifetime.”
― Michael Piller

Science Fiction Movies

Opening This Week (August 4th):

Movie cover for The Dark TowerThe Dark Tower Synopsis: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black

Starring: Idris ElbaMatthew McConaugheyTom Taylor

Runtime: 1 hr 35 minutes

Rating: PG 13

Watch the trailer on Youtube.

 

 


 

In Theaters Now

Spiderman: Homecoming

War for the Planet of the Apes (review)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Wonder Woman (review)

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Science Fiction Books

3 New Releases (July 19th – August 4th)

Book cover for A Man of Shadows

A Man of Shadows – Jeff Noon – August 1st, 2017

The brilliant, mind-bending return to science fiction by one of its most acclaimed visionaries

Below the neon skies of Dayzone – where the lights never go out, and night has been banished – lowly private eye John Nyquist takes on a teenage runaway case. His quest takes him from Dayzone into the permanent dark of Nocturna.

As the vicious, seemingly invisible serial killer known only as Quicksilver haunts the streets, Nyquist starts to suspect that the runaway girl holds within her the key to the city’s fate. In the end, there’s only one place left to search: the shadow-choked zone known as Dusk.

Book cover for Noumenon

Noumenon – Marina J. Lostetter – August 1st, 2017

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind’s greatest ambition—to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy—is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated “Convoy Seven”) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie’s mysterious star and explore its origins—and implications.

Book cover for Children of the Divide

Children of the Divide – Patrick S. Tomlinson – August 1st, 2017

No matter how far humanity comes, it can’t escape its own worst impulses…

A new generation comes of age eighteen years after humanity arrived on the colony planet Gaia. Now threats from both within and outside their Trident threaten everything they’ve built. The discovery of an alien installation inside Gaia’s moon, terrorist attacks and the kidnap of a man’s daughter stretch the community to breaking point, but only two men stand a chance of solving all three mysteries before the makeshift planetary government shuts everything down.

Goodreads Science Fiction Giveaways: (Some may be ending soon, so make sure you enter now if you’re interested.)

Book cover for Acadie

Book cover for Afterlife

The Empress

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sci-Fi Zone

Those Crazy, Crazy Kaiju

Kaiju are very cool, very big monsters. Looking up the literal translation it seems to translate as either “massive rock formation” or “strange beast”. I think the latter version is the particular translation we’re looking for. Strange Beasts are certainly what the traditional Kaiju are. Not only in size but in plot and their powers. Some are just downright weird. They’re fun, usually bizarre monsters that can either help or hinder (and by hinder I mean ‘squish’) humanity. So, I’ve picked a few of my favorites to share with you!

1. Godzilla: Probably one of the most famous of these monstrosities, literally having the title of ‘King of the Monsters’ and having fought most of the other big monsters. sometimes his actions are a bit ambiguous. Sometimes he’s the terror of Japan while later he’s more often portrayed in a protector role. American remakes have not been kind to poor Godzilla. To future Godzilla movie makers – More Godzilla! Less people. He is also the only one with the honour of having his own song: ‘Godzilla’ by The Blue Oyster Cult (“Oh, no, there goes Tokyo, go, go Godzilla! History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man, Godzilla!”).

2. Gamera: Truly the first Mutant Ninja Turtle, Gamera has a few…odd abilities. Abilities which include a blast from his stomach and the ability to pull his extremities into his shell and fly like a demented, deadly Frisbee. On one hand I’d love for my turtle to be able to do that. On the other hand I’m not sure how I’d like a careening, laser-shooting turtle flying about the living room. He also has fought his fair share of enemies but we have yet to see a Gamera vs. Godzilla match-up outside of a YouTube video.

3. Rodan: A flying pterodactyl type creature that looks like a cross between a pterodactyl and a dragon. His main features are his sonic waves and windstorms from the beating of it’s gigantic wings. He also made an appearance in Stephen King’s ‘IT’ as Mike Hanlon’s fear. This version of Rodan is a lot more bird-like.

4. Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster – A golden three-headed dragon from space. It’s evil presence propels Mothra into trying to negotiate peace between Godzilla and Rodan, in order to protect Earth. They’re quite uninterested. So, Mothra bravely faces the golden beast alone but eventually Godzilla and Rodan put aside their differences (temporarily) to help Mothra out. Combined, they overwhelm Ghidora and save the world. While I can’t remember Ghidorah’s exact abilities but he’s pretty cool looking and that makes up for a lot!

5. Mothra: One of the few outright stated female Kaiju, Mothra awakens because an evil villain has kidnapped the tiny little women who sing to Mothra to lull it to sleep. After they are kidnapped, despite their warnings, Mothra awakens from it’s cocoon. Godzilla also shows up briefly near the end.

Tiny singing women, golden three-headed dragons, Godzilla and a princess whom is possessed by a martian. How can you not love these movies? Yes, they’re cheesy. But at least you can actually see the monsters. Because really, in regards to giant monster movies, the latest Godzilla was a cut-off, dark, disappointment. Next time we want to see the monsters. I’d even pay more for an excellent (well-lit) Ghidorah movie with the three (or four if they decide to include Gamera)monster brawl without all of the unnecessary human drama.

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Science Fiction on the Web

The Darklights (Sci-Fi Horror)

Title: The Darklights | Author: Michaelbrent Collings | Pub. Date: 06/05/2017 | Pages: 333 | ASIN: B072MGD1NC | Genre: Sci-Fi Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Source: Received from the author for review consideration


The Darklights

I am a FixIt.

When the Company has a problem – a factory gone under, books that need auditing, or a rebellious planet to be destroyed – I’m there, and I take care of it. I’m the most successful FixIt in Company history, and I have NEVER failed to punch a ticket.

TF-653 is different. The staff and crew of a terraforming installation on a planet so strange it cannot be described have disappeared. It’s my job to go there, to find the problem, and to stop it. Or kill it.

But some things can’t be killed. Because some things are already dead.

And some things… are even worse. Because some things can only be seen in THE DARKLIGHTS.

I was warned beforehand that The Darklights was unlike the other book I had read by Michaelbrent Collings (The Longest Con). I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect and I have to admit that the cover really didn’t draw me in very much. But you know the old saying about books and covers so I settled in to see what Mr. Collings had to offer.

It started out like your basic sci-fi story with a touch of creepiness. It took an unexpected turn that surprised me and made me pay a bit more attention. Then we were introduced to Mr. Fix-It (he has a real name but my mind kept calling him Mr. Fix-It) and it got more interesting. Much more interesting. In fact, the pace picked up very quickly and kept it up until the very end. I can honestly say that it does not slow down at all. There were no chapters that I was tempted to skim through.

For being a Fix-It Company Man, the main character was very likable. I was interested in Gerrold, felt for him, and actively rooted for him. The story takes quite a few twists and turns but never loses the reader. It had just enough sci-fi to make me really believe the world they live in and not so much where my eyes were glazing over with overly described machinery and how it all works. Quite honestly, I’m not really sure if it totally counts as science fiction because The Darklights has it’s feet firmly planted in the horror terrain.

Some people might be put off by the constant time shifting. I enjoyed it a lot which is saying something because I don’t usually care for it. However, in The Darklights it is handled very smoothly and does not jar at all. That’s usually why I don’t care for that particular storytelling method. It’s usually handled in a jolting way (whether on purpose or not) and it’s easy to get lost in which is past, present or whatever. That is not the case here at all.

The Longest Con has been the only other book that I’ve read by Michaelbrent Collings but I’m going to have to rectify that. I enjoyed The Darklights much more than I really expected to. I don’t know how graphic his other books are, or how scary but The Darklights hit all the right notes for me. It’s not in-your-face gory but it sustains a chill level far beyond some books that spew enough blood to paint a barn with.

The Darklights, in it’s creepiness and quickened pace, put me in mind of the movie Event Horizon and the video game Dead Space. Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s not a copy of them. Just in the same insane family.


4 out of 5 Skulls

      

Asylum Review (Ghost Story Horror)

Title: Asylum | Series: Affterlife Investigations Trilogy | Author: Ambrose Ibsen | Pub Date: 2017-6-4 | Pages: 232 | ASIN: B072QBDSQ9 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kinde Unlimited.


Asylum

What lurks within Chaythe Asylum?
College professor Stephen Barlow needs cash. Badly. When a student asks him to head a new campus organization that centers around paranormal research, he puts his skepticism aside and signs on in the hopes of scoring a fat bonus.

Enter Chaythe Asylum—a long-shuttered and controversial institution where patients were allegedly subjected to unethical experiments. Closed in 1989 after a series of grisly murders, Stephen deems the old building as good a place as any to explore the possibility of the supernatural and arranges to take a tour with his students.

But it turns out that the asylum is not as abandoned as it seems. There is something sinister in the building. It has watched and waited for nearly three decades, and when Stephen and his students enter, they find themselves at the center of a nightmare 28 years in the making.

ASYLUM is the first novel in the Afterlife Investigations trilogy.

Book cover for Asylum

 

Asylum was a fairly typical story, but that didn’t keep it from being entertaining. I mean, you know from the first line of the synopsis alone that at some point scary stuff is going to happen. “What lurks within Chaythe Asylum?” tells you everything. So you buckle up, and settle down in preparation to hopefully get the crap scared out of you. And I nearly did get the crap scared out of me. By the end of the novel, I had assumed the ‘scared little bookworm’ position on my couch. Even as I was eagerly reading, I was thanking all things winged and tentacly that it was still light outside. 

The only real problem i had with it was that Aslyum was definitely a slow burn story. You are just past the fifty percent point before they even get inside the Asylum. However, it’s still not an easy book to walk away from. I think this slow-burn is probably what contributed to me getting as happily scared as I did at the end. The other problem was a simple one. I wanted to smack the ever-lovin Cthulhu out of both Jake and Elizabeth. Especially the snotty little twit who was too curious for her own good! Seriously, she exhibited a complete lack of common sense. Had this been a horror movie, she’d have been voted “First to die”!

The dialogue is okay, the action (once it gets going) in Asylum is great. Ambrose Ibsen exhibits his usual talent for telling a solid story here. In terms of ‘scare factor’, Aslyum is probably the best one I’ve read from him. I think the line below is where I truly gave in to the “Okay, yep, this is getting freaky.”

“The whispers I’d heard hadn’t been coming from the phone at all, but from the other side of that counter… ” Asylum, by Ambrose Ibsen

I think the scare factor comes from his ability to make you instantly visualize the creepiest part of some of the ‘haunted house’ type movies you’ve ever seen.

If you’re a fan of Ambrose Ibsen, I think Asylum is a must read for you then. And if you like a good ‘ghost story’, you definitely need to check it out. It’s quick and creepy, but without extreme amounts of violence or gore. (Which probably makes the few scenes containing it that much worse!)