Our Watch Just Once Sci-Fi and Horror Films

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There are lots of great science fiction and horror movies out there that you enjoy and end up purchasing so you can have them around to watch whenever the mood strikes you. But then when you re-watched it the first time you realized that it just doesn’t hold up as well to a second watch. Either that, or you enjoyed it the first time you watched it, but at the same time just knew it was one you weren’t ever going to watch again. This is a list of those films for us.

Our Watch Just Once Sci-Fi and Horror Films

The Conjuring – Director: James Wan – Starring: Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson

My first watch of The Conjuring – in theatres – was amazing. Oh my god! This was an awesome movie. I could not WAIT to see it again!! So I bought it without even thinking twice about it. And then…and then I watched it again, and I discovered the magic just wasn’t there. To be honest, I still put it on sometimes, mostly for background noise, though.

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InceptionDirector: Christopher Nolan – Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I was reluctant to watch Inception, but fairly quickly sucked into it. It was thought provoking, well-acted, and as soon as it was over I knew that I had no desire to ever see it again.

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Jurassic World Director: Colin Trevorrow – Starring: Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Harrow

Jurassic World definitely didn’t win me over until near the end of the movie. And then there were those awesome dinosaur battles that you couldn’t help but fall in love with. However, I’m sad to report that multiple viewings of this film only help you to see the issues in it. Even though I was so eager to buy the movie in the beginning, at this point I can’t even say I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Star Wars: Episode IVDirector: George Lucas – Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Okay, so to be truthful I can’t even say I was gaga over this movie the first time I watched it. (It actually took me a couple of tries to watch it.) However, I eventually got far enough in to get hooked, I had to admit that it was a good movie. However, Star Wars: Episode IV, like the couple of other Star Wars films I’ve watched, never sparked even the tiniest urge to watch the film again. I guess that while I can appreciate that it is a cool universe, I just don’t see the appeal of the films.

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The ShiningDirector: Stanley Kubrick – Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Scatman Crothers

This, like Star Wars: Episode IV, falls in the realm of movies was a movie I didn’t mind watching once but had absolutely no urge to ever watch again. A well-acted movie with some iconic scenes and some characters that you will always recognize, it definitely had its good points. But, to be honest, I was happier watching that ridiculous documentary, Room 237, they did about all the symbolism and whatnot in the movie.

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HushDirector: Mike Flanagan – Starring: John Gallgher Jr. and Kate Siegal

I probably never would have watched this if it hadn’t been for @OddnMacabre’s movie days. Watching it with Twitter made it a lot more fun. I don’t really get into ‘Intruder Horror’ that much so, if left to my own devices, I probably never would have watched it in the first place. Even though the last ten minutes are really, really great I just don’t have any big urge to watch it again.

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The Woman in BlackDirector: James Watkins – Starring: Daniel Radcliffe and Janet McTeer

I saw it. Liked it well enough but I really haven’t had the urge to buy it or watch it again.

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Identity – Director: James Mangold – Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet

This is more in the ‘Thriller’ category but sometimes there’s a lot of crossover between thrillers and the horror genre. There are some movies with twists that you want to watch again but this was not one of them for me. I did like it. It has a lot of great actors but it’s just not one that caught me enough to want to watch it again.

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The Diary of Ellen RimbauerDirector: Craig R. Baxley – Starring: Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand, and Kate Burton

I liked Rose Red well enough (even if it was a bit derivative of The Haunting of Hill House and the Winchester House). The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer adds a bit of backstory and it’s worth watching once but repeated viewings really aren’t necessary.

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The AvengersDirector: Joss Whedon – Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson

This actually goes for most superhero movies. I might watch them once and enjoy them but I rarely watch them a second time.


I’m sure some of you were very offended with our choice of one-watch movies, but that’s okay! As long as you tell us why you thought the movie was so great! (Politely, that is!)

Our Bookish Resolutions for 2018

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This Top Ten Tuesday was to list our Bookish Resolutions for 2018. Now, some of these you’ll have seen in our year end wrap-ups and stuff, but some will be new to you!  Feel free to tell us what your bookish resolutions are as well!

 

 

Our Bookish Resolutions for 2018

  1. We solemnly swear to read more monster books. Because monsters need love too.
  2. We promise to be a bit more outspoken about subjects that bother us when it comes to our genres.
  3. We give you assurance that we will continue to run away screaming at the sight of love triangles and covers with 6-pack abs on them.
  4. We swear a sacred oath to Coolthulhu that we shan’t neglect our small press authors during our quest to relax.
  5. We pledge that we will continue to mock cliches as they so deserve.
  6. We give you our word of honor that we will continue try to find interesting books to include in our Biweekly Bulletin recommendations.
  7. We vow that our desire to have all the books will never overcome our honesty to tell you when books suck.
  8. We guarantee that we’re going to make at least something of an effort to interact more with our bookish peers, instead of being the nerdy wallflowers.
  9. We offer our affirmation that the bad puns and gutter-minded remarks will continue to rise up when you’re least expecting them.
  10. We pinky promise to bring you reviews of an expanding variety of science fiction and horror formats such as webtoons,  and visual novels (not the same as graphic novels).

Well, Top Ten Tuesday has officially migrated over to That Artsy Reader Girl. Thank you, Broke and Bookish, for all the topics you brought us! You gave many of us fodder for a blank Tuesday morning.

What are your bookish resolutions?

What We’ll Be Reading This Winter

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.We’ve already done our upcoming books to look forward to for the last half of 2017. There will be an upcoming post talking about books we’re looking forward to in the beginning of 2018. This may have some crossovers, but not necessarily all.  Instead, we’re going to talk about the books that our on our winter reads list for various reasons. This does not include books that we’re already in the process of reading.

 

 

What We’ll Be Reading This Winter

 

Tipping Point Cover

Tipping Point by Terry Tyler

‘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…

Lilyn: I’ve recently read Patient Zero, which is a short story collection by the author set in the Project Renova universe, and am now determined to read Tipping Point. I was really impressed with what I saw, and hope that it is just as good!

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Symphony by Charles L. Grant

The First Horseman of the Apocalypse is Death. Soon after a preacher discovers that he has the power to heal, he finds he will need all of this new ability to counter the effects of a strange car that arrives in town. The driver is definitely a murderer and possibly a demon. When the preacher reluctantly takes a stand to try to save a young girl, the battle against evil is joined and the countdown to the millennium begins.

GraciKat: I love Charles. L. Grant’s ‘Oxrun Station stories and books and I have long wanted to read his Millennium Quartet series. What better way to say goodbye to the old year than with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

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Book cover for The Cackle of Cthulhu

The Cackle of Cthulhu

TOP AUTHORS POKE FUN AND PAY TRIBUTE TO H.P. LOVECRAFT’S CTHULHU MYTHOS.

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Cthul.
Cthul who?
Exactly! I’ve come to tickle your funnybone.
Oh, and also to eat your soul.

In 1928, Weird Tales debuted “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft, and the Cthulhu Mythos was born. In the 90 years since, dozens of writers have dared play within HPL’s mind-blowing creation—but never with such terrifyingly funny results. Now top authors lampoon, parody, and subvert Lovecraft’s Mythos. See Cthulhu cut short his nap at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to invade North Korea! Watch the Unspeakable Eater of Souls solve crimes on the pulpy streets of Innsmouth! And speaking of largish Elder Gods, listen to a plastic Elvis doll dispense folksy advice straight from the heart of the Emperor of Dread! Again Ol’ Tentacle-Face is confronted by frail humans who dare defy the Incarnation of Ultimate Evil—but this time not by brave monster hunters and terrified villagers, but by fan fiction writers, clueless college students, and corporate lawyers (okay, we realize it’s hard to know who to root for in that confrontation).

Twenty-three mirthful manifestations within the Cthulhu Mythos from best-selling and award-winning authors Neil Gaiman, Mike Resnick, Esther Friesner, Ken Liu, Jody Lynn Nye, Laura Resnick, Nick Mamatas, and many more!

Guaranteed to leave you howling. Because if you look at it just right, there’s nothing funnier than a soul writhing in cosmic horror before a tentacled maw of malevolence. As HPL himself saith: “From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”

Lilyn: Look, let’s face it, we all know I’m probably going to hate this book. It takes a lot to tickle my funny bone. But, it’s called the Cackle of Cthulhu and it has a horrible knock-knock joke in the synopsis. I can’t say no!

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The 12 Terrors of Christmas by Claudette Melanson

Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers eleven new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon International Best-Selling Author, Lynn Lamb, titled Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine. A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, Mislead, previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned…locks have never been succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays…and beyond.

Terror One: Who is Santa really? Does something sinister lurk beneath the red suit and apple-cheeked visage? More importantly, what does Santa want for Christmas?
Terror Two: It is said that every wish bears a cost…even a wish of good intent. What do Detective Talbot and his son, Mallory, stand to lose when the pair seek to right a wrong on Christmas Eve?
Terror Three: Christmas can be a time for great joy…but also for heart-wrenching regret. Can the magic of Christmas Eve turn back the clock before time runs out for Morana and her family?
Terror Four: Snow falls white and clean, seeming to purify the small town of Moon, Pennsylvania, but the woods behind Vaughn’s home have taken on a sinister cast. The snow keeps falling in record-breaking depths, but does evil lay hidden beneath its seemingly-innocent luster?
Terror Five: As his elves scurry to fill the toy orders for the busy season, unknown terror creeps toward the workshop intent on releasing an evil meant to cancel Santa’s yearly deliveries forever.
Terror Six: A well-meaning elf casts a spell which could inadvertently reveal the dark truth about Santa’s workshop and its inhabitants. The world’s children may end up paying a terrifying price, proving that the path of good intention oftentimes does indeed lead to hell.
Terror Seven: A scary twist on a classic Christmas poem
Terror Eight: Santa’s sleigh plummets to the ground, tearing all hope of a merry Christmas to bits and pieces. Will the elves be able to employ enough magic to stitch together some sort of solution? Or will their efforts only deliver greater horror and loss?
Terror Nine: Trinette is preparing to celebrate her first Christmas in love. Her boyfriend says he found the perfect gift for her but beneath the shiny red paper and ribbon lies a secret he’s kept hidden during all the months of their courtship…
Terror Ten: The world’s population explosion means business is booming at Santa’s workshop, with the need to expand making a difficult excavation below the permafrost necessary. But the elves should use caution lest they dig up an evil best left buried.
Terror Eleven: A special holiday treat for Maura DeLuca fans! Riptide ended on a happy note, but how did Maura’s extended family celebrate Christmas? Could it be that the holiday didn’t quite play out the way the vampires planned?
Terror Twelve: It’s a dangerous time to call oneself a non-believer. Those who scoff at Santa’s existence are melting all over the world. But could the benevolent head elf turn out to be the murderer?

Vampires, ghosts, demons, elves, werewolves, serial killers and a rampaging Krampus are just a few of the monsters creeping amongst the pages of The 12 Terrors of Christmas. Are you brave enough to venture inside to experience the flip side of the typical Hallmark-themed Christmas?

GracieKat: I have had this on pre-order and can’t wait to read it to get me in the right holiday ‘spirit’.

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Book cover for Ender's Shadow

Ender’s Shadow

Welcome to Battleschool.

Growing up is never easy. But try living on the mean streets as a child begging for food and fighting like a dog with ruthless gangs of starving kids who wouldn’t hesitate to pound your skull into pulp for a scrap of apple. If Bean has learned anything on the streets, it’s how to survive. And not with fists—He is way too small for that—But with brains.

Bean is a genius with a magician’s ability to zero in on his enemy and exploit his weakness.

What better quality for a future general to lead the Earth in a final climactic battle against a hostile alien race, known as Buggers. At Battleschool Bean meets and befriends another future commander—Ender Wiggins—perhaps his only true rival.

Only one problem: for Bean and Ender, the future is now.

Lilyn: My love for Ender’s Game is something I frequently talk about. However, I had no clue that Ender’s Shadow even existed. I recently found out about it, and now that I have, I have to read it! Bean was an awesome character, and I look forward to seeing him explored in Ender’s Shadow.

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Hell Girl – Volume 1 by Miyuki Eto

SHE’S COMING FOR YOU. . . .

When you thirst for revenge, there’s a surefire way to get it: Simply go to the strange website that appears only at midnight, and enter the name of your enemy. The Hell Girl will appear to drag your tormentor to eternal damnation. But you will have to pay a price . . . your soul!

GracieKat: I want to start reading more manga this year and what better place to start than with Ai Enma. I’m hoping it will give me more to her story than the anime does.

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Book cover for Dead Sea

Dead Sea by Brian Keene

The streets of the city are no longer safe. They are filled with zombies – the living dead, rotting predators driven only by a need to kill and eat. For Lamar Reed and a handful of others, their safe haven is an old ship out at sea. But it will soon become a deathtrap, and they’ll learn that isolation can also mean no escape.

Lilyn: I’ve already read this book, and the ending sticks with me years later. However, I want to give it a proper read through again. Actually, I just want to re-experience Keene’s works again so that I can write them up for the site. He’s a fantastic writer with a talent for disturbing imagery that haunts your mind.

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Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers

Modern masters of the supernatural weave their magic to revitalize the chilling Victorian and Edwardian ghostly tale: here are haunted houses, arcane inventions, spirits reaching across the centuries, ghosts in the machine, fateful revelations, gaslit streets scarcely keeping the dark at bay, and other twisted variations on the immortal classics that frighten us still.

GracieKat: I can never seem to get interested in a novel length steampunk book but I thought a good way to ease into the genre would be ghostly short stories.

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Book cover for Snow Crash

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

Lilyn: I own this, and have owned it for a while. But I’ve never read past the first couple of pages. There’s really no excuse for that. This book isn’t terribly long, and it’s a much-loved book in the genre, so I definitely intend on getting it read one of these long winter nights. 

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Black Cathedral (Department 18 #1) by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims

At an old manor house on a remote Scottish island, six managers of a large corporation arrive for a week-long stay. Within days they will all suffer horrifying deaths and their bodies will never be found. The government assigns the case to Department 18, the special unit created to investigate the supernatural and the paranormal. However this is no mere haunted house. The evil on this island goes back centuries, but its unholy plots and schemes are hardly things of the past. In fact, while the members of Department 18 race to unravel the island’s secrets, the forces of darkness are gathering and preparing to attack.

GracieKat: I read this once, quite a long time ago and really liked it. I had no idea at the time that it was part of a series. Since then I’ve gotten the sequel so nw I want to give the series a go. I’d like to try a few more series this coming year, provided they’re reasonably short of course! Hopefully it’s as good as I remember it.


What about you? What’s on your winter reading list this year?

The Real(ly) Ridiculous Reprobate Rulers

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.We all gripe and moan about Trump, but, honestly, things could be worse. Now, it would take so much more to make it worse that we have to dive into the realm of snark to do this post, but who gives a flying squirrel? (Seriously, I’d love to have a flying squirrel….) Feast your eyes, ladies and gents, on people that would do a great job of putting real terror in the seats of power. The Presidents and Vice Presidents that would surely doom us all.

 

 

 

 

Real(ly) Ridiculous Reprobate Rulers

President: Santa Claus – He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been good or bad so be good for goodness sake. Ah, Santa Claus, the finest creeper of creepers there shall ever be. You think our current Big Brother-esque situation is bad? Just wait until this man gets his jolly buttocks situated in that special chair. All the eyes, all the time. And he doesn’t even need to use your browser history to get y’all. Be scared. Be very scared. Because, you never know, if you tick him off, he might just morph into Krampus. Wouldn’t that just be lovely?…What’s that you say? Santa wouldn’t bother you because you’re a good person? Hmm. Are you sure? No naughty thoughts? No minor moments of mischief?  If you say so…

Vice President: The Easter Bunny – Ah, the Easter Bunny. He seems a nice, friendly sort that gives out free chocolate. But is he really? He sneaks into homes (no one really knows how, at least Santa is forced to use the chimney) and leaves eggs and chocolate. Eggs make the perfect surveillance devices. They’re so pretty and non-threatening and almost impossible to find them all. And, really, Can you trust a creature that gives away free chocolate but eats none himself? Hmm?


President: Delores Umbridge – This toadlike vision in pink could teach Satan himself a few things about what it’s like to be truly evil. And do it with a mean little smile gracing her lips. If she could keep her evil hidden long enough to get elected, we’d all be screwed. But now, see, I’m imagining Mueller as Harry Potter, and this is a problem, people. Most accurately because Umbridge gave Harry hell, and it was really Fred and George who lead the… Okay, I had a wander. Forgive me.

Vice President: Irene Adler – While President Umbridge is behind her big, shiny desk doing what she loves best, creating and putting into effect new rules, I’m sure Irene Adler would enjoy being the public face of the presidency. With her charm, looks and chameleon-like ability to blend into a crowd I’m sure she would enjoy traveling the world on diplomatic, uh, fact-finding missions.


President: Professor Moriarty – Not only is he ridiculously evil, but he’s also blasted brilliant and appears almost saint-like. And the combined means that he would be a force to be reckoned with. Unlike You-Know-Who (No, not Voldemort), it would be hard to prove that Moriarty was something other than what he appeared. Who knows, though, maybe we could get an equally brilliant arserag like Holmes to deal with him. Knowing our luck though? Heh. Yeah.

Vice President: Ebenezer Scrooge (before the ghosts) – Professor Moriarty, while brilliant, is fiscally irresponsible. He will spend a vast fortune to crush one enemy. As in, one person, not even a country. So who better to manage the Federal Budget while Moriarty is thinking up his latest diversion. I can almost guarantee that the National Deficit would be running in the black within a year.


President: Hannibal Lecter – Brillant and evil (I’m starting to sense a trend here in which anyone with intelligence gets a step up). Piss him off and he won’t just denounce and fire you, he’ll have your liver with some fava beans and chianti. Probably in front of his whole cabinet, just to make a point.

Vice President: Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde – Dr. Jekyll might seem an odd choice since he can’t match ultimate wits with Dr. Lecter. However, Dr. Jekyll has an ingratiating personality full of the hypocrisy needed to double-talk the general public. Behind closed doors he has the personality of Hyde to fall back on to cover those bases that would most screw-over that same public.


President: Satan – How many people did we see denouncing Obama as the Antichrist? How many movies have heralded a world leader that will be suave and charming and lead to the destruction of the world? *sad trumpet sound*  Satan is a people-person, a charmer, and able to talk  you into doing things you know are absolutely stupid, if you follow the whole Christian mythology thing (and I’m sure there’s some version of him in most other religions as well.) So, yeah, this is a man that would lead us pied piper style toward the gates of Hades, and we’d be blind until we were about to take the final step.

Vice President: Andrew Woodhouse – What better running mate than his son? A handsome duo with charm to spare these two would conquer the world with their combined efforts. Andy may even set a new fashion trend for hats and I’ve heard that contacts work wonders to cover up any…unusual traits he may have inherited from his father. He may spend a bit too much on manicures (claws are so hard to file down yourself) but in general he’ll be very presentable looking. It would be a father/son duo the world will never forget (provided they don’t accidentally bring about Armageddon).

 

 

 


So, yeah, in hindsight, we could be dealing with worse than the current administration’s belligerent bag o’ bravado.

And before some of you get your knickers in a twist, we must point out again that this post was done in what we hope was obvious fun.

Who would you choose as the dastardly duos to deliver unto us our dystopias?

 

 

Our Favorite Horror Book Covers

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This Top Ten Tuesday is a Halloween Freebie, so we’re going to go visual, and talk about our favorite horror-themed book covers. Notice my wording there, folks. We aren’t judging a book by it’s cover, because in at least a few cases of the actual books in this post, the cover was the best thing about the book. While most of these books are perhaps not completely original, there is still something special about them that invites the eye. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a fine selection of awesome (or maybe awesomely bad) book covers.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Oh, yeah, there might be more than 10. Sometimes you just can’t leave one out!

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover for Just Add Water by Hunter Shea Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

I think it’s that this cover has a vaguely nostalgic feel to it. It clearly indicates it is going to be a monster book, but it looks almost … cute. Of course, coming from Hunter Shea, you know cute isn’t going to play into it. And ain’t that the truth!

Deadlight Jack by Mark Onspaugh

This cover just makes you want to look at it. From the expression in the man’s eye, to the way his hat transforms into the swamp. And with a name like “Deadlight Jack”, it combines to have this mysterious allure.

The Spirit Chaser by Kat Mayor

While the ‘old and ramshackle house’ isn’t exactly what one might call a new idea, the designer who did this cover worked magic with their color palette. The soft, earthy tones should be friendly and evoke pleasant memories. It isn’t anything like the cool, dark blue tones normally associated with this type of book cover.

Alice by Christina Henry

It’s amazing how such a little thing can make such a big difference. The illustration of the rabbit head on top of the suited torso is kind of interesting, but easy to shrug off. Add a few drops of blood, and suddenly it’s a game changer.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

This cover is cheesy. That’s undeniable. But there’s also something fun about it. The creature on the film strip partnered with the name tells you all you really need to know to immediately grab this book and take it home for a read.

 

Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

Well, with a name like Apocalypse Cow, you know that the cover was going to have to have a cow on it in some fashion. However, out of all the directions they could have went, they went with a fairly standard recognizable shot, and turned it horribly wrong. Amazing what glowing red eyes will moo.

 

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

I love the way the whole cover is put together. The old farmhouse, the figure in the foreground. The black and white with just the touches of red. The misty fog gives it a creepy, dreamlike quality that makes it oddly beautiful but sinister.

 

Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear by Terry Dowling

I like the grey/sepia tones, as though it could be an actual picture of a traveling salesman. He looks inviting and trustworthy…don’t you think?

 

 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

I have always loved this cover. It’s moody and makes the main character, Merricat, mysterious and slightly unreal. Ghostly and partly wild, perhaps almost feral. Blue tones get overused a lot (particularly on Gothics) but there seems to almost be a pattern to the shifting blues of the background and who can say what they’re obscuring?

 

THREE by Guy McBryde

Birds and trees in silhouettes are pretty common in horror, as is fog. This caught my eye because the combination of the, well, three, images along with the chessboard-like floor gives it a rather unique feeling of weirdness.

 

Cthulhu Lies Dreaming edited by Salome Jones

What? Did you really think The Great Old One wouldn’t make an appearance? I particularly like this cover because of the suggestion of the iconic Cthulhu visage and the watery blood with the hint of tentacles in it. It’s a great representation of the ineffable nature of the Old Ones and the madness that comes with it.

 

Bad Apples by Edward Lorn, Jason Parent, Evans Light, Adam Light, and Gregor Xane

This might more properly belong on a Halloween list but c’mon! How can you not love an apple that’s rotten to the core? A veritable seed of evil that didn’t fall far from the tree.


There you have it, folks, a selection of our favorite horror book covers. What’s your personal favorite? Of course, if you’re offended that we left a cover off, you’re welcome to let us know what it was! – L&G

Our Favorite B-List Horror and Sci-Fi Actors

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was a bit unsuitable for the site, so we went off again on our own less-traveled path. This time we decided to devote our time and attention to the B-list actors that make some of our favorite movies so very, very watchable. The movies might be bad, but they tend to make them at least bad-good. (True B-movie fans know what I mean!)

Feel free to chime in with your favorites!

 

 

 

Our Favorite B-List Horror and Sci-Fi Actors

 

Keith David is not on this list for the reason you probably assume he’s on this list. Keith David is on here because of the old cartoon show Gargoyles. I have a voice-crush on him. (Is that even a thing?) And so when I found out that this dude actually did movies outside of Gargoyles, I started paying attention. And then I noticed he was popping up in lots of movies I liked, such as The Thing, Armageddon, They Live, and so on. I love this man (well, his voice at least.)

John Rhys-Davies – Okay, so here’s the thing abut John Rhys-Davies, he’s been in some movies that were so bad even I couldn’t watch them all the way through. (And that’s saying a lot.) However, he won my affection in Sliders, so I at least have to try movies when I see his name in the credits list or see his face. Even if I have to groan and shut it off after ten minutes, I’ve got to try. John Rhys-Davies was also the voice of McBeth on Gargoyles

Michael Ironside is an interesting one because I can’t say that I necessarily like him but I like a lot of the movies he has been in. Remember him as the teacher in Starship TroopersSo I’ll almost always check out his movies because it’s a good bet they’re going to be fun.

Movie cover for Starship Troopers

Greg Grunberg easily made this list, even if I had to look up his name because he’s a ‘that guy’. I first encountered him, as I’m sure many did, in Heroes, but since then I’ve seen him in a few B-movies and they’ve definitely been made that much better by his presence. Specifically, I love him in End of the World (in which he plays a video store owner that’s obsessed with disaster movies and who ends up living through one of those disasters), and in Big Ass Spider (which has Lin Shaye in it!)  I think he’s a fantastic actor.

Lin Shaye is, unfortunately, the only female on my list. I think there are probably more that I pay attention to, but she’s the only one whose name consistently pops to mind. I first noticed her in the Insidious movies, but then after watching them, I noticed she was also in a lot of other movies I liked. Her role in Big Ass Spider is a small one, but oh, my god, she had me cackling. You have to watch Big Ass Spider just for the scene between Lin Shaye and Greg Grunberg.

Lance Henriksen – Uhm, is there a B-movie this man is not in? I mean, seriously! Obviously he’s been in some widely released movies as well (Aliens, for example) but it’s the ones that haven’t exactly gained critical acclaim where I love him.  Movies like Man’s Best Friend and Harbinger Down definitely benefit from Henriksen’s presence. I know he’s a favorite of Gracie’s too. He brings a much deeper level to Pumpkinhead than the movie could have thought of. He plays so well off of the Pumpkinhead you can really believe they really are two halves of the same coin.

Tony Todd – Tony Todd might not get ‘starring’ roles but you cannot deny his screen presence and beautiful, deeply frightening voice. He’s sexy and frightening in Candyman but his role in the X-Files episode “Sleepless” was amazing. I don’t think many people could forget him in Final Destination.

Brad Dourif – You can put Brad Dourif into just about any role and he still looks like Brad Dourif. However, he wraps himself so thoroughly in that role that you don’t really notice. His more memorable roles have been Chucky (Child’s Play) and Grima Wormtongue (Lord of the Rings). My favorite is as The Gemini Killer/Damien Karras in Exorcist III. The interplay between him and George C. Scott is so electric that most of the time you don’t even notice that it’s two guys talking in a room.

Tom Savini – What can I say about Mr. Savini that probably hasn’t been said regarding his amazing special effects work? Probably not much. He certainly caught my eye in From Dusk til Dawn as Sex Machine (and his badass gun belt). There are probably a lot of people who knew this already and I had no idea. I realize that the info is there on IMDB for the reading. I’m getting to that. Yes, i know who they are and their general body of work but I generally leave themselves to themselves. But then I watched his segment on Nightmares in Red, white and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film. I have to admit that his segment drew me in and made me tear up.

Before you notice that we have left one very, very important actor in the horror realm off the list we are adding him as a bonus. He really should need no introduction but it did not feel right to leave him off. The one, the only, the badass…Robert Englund. Most people recognize him with his mask and gloves on but he has been in far more movies than the Nightmare on Elm Street series. And also why the remake (excuse me, reboot) failed utterly. And can I get a glove raised for the short lived but could have been totally awesome television series Nightmare Cafe?

     


This was actually an interesting post to write because when I broached it with Gracie, it was clear it was hard to define exactly what “B-list” is. I”m sure there’s an official definition, but for me it falls in the “Hey! It’s the guy”. They might have some movies that achieve widespread fame, but their roles in them are generally small, or it was a one-off and they sank back into low-budget territory. They can be fantastic actors, but for some reason they’re just not known names, but instead are just very recognizable faces.

10 Horror Graphic Novels to Read in October

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.The prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was supposed to be Top Ten Book Boyfriend/Girlfriends, but it’s October and we’re not doing mushy. So, today we’re going to focus on horror-themed comic books / graphic novels.

The first five are books that we’ve recently come across. Didn’t have a clue they existed, but something about them drew our eye. The Veil and Born in Hell are both horror-mysteries. The Pound looks like it would be a wild ride. Arkham Woods was selected because, well, Arkham. And tentacles. The tentacles definitely had something to do with it. Really don’t have any good reason for choosing the Grim Leaper other than sometimes twisted romances can be fun to read about.

The second set of five are book series that we’ve read some of already and definitely enjoyed.

 

 

The Veil

Written by El Torres | Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Meet Chris Luna, a cheap private eye with a client list of the dearly departed. Chris has the unique ability to sometimes pierce through The Veil between our realm and the unknown beyond. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really pay the rent. Now Chris is broke and has to return home to Maine… and face the darkness that now lurks beneath the surface of her quiet hometown.

Book cover for The Veil

Purchase on Amazon

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The Pound Vol 1

Written by Stephan Nilson | Art by Ibrahim Moustafa

What do two, unemployed, municipal animal control specialists do when their city is infested with monsters? They open a facility, “The Pound,” dedicated to the capture and rehabilitation of unregistered monsters. What they don’t realize is their community service is putting a serious kink in the original four monsters’ plans for all-out Armageddon!

Book cover for The Pound

Purchase on Amazon

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Arkham Woods

Written by Christopher Rowley | Art by Jhomar Soriano

Kirsti Rivers is an L.A. teenager suddenly transplanted to the small New England town of Arkham Woods. Kirsti and her mom, Victoria, are tasked with clearing out and selling the old house left to them by Silas Scadmore, Victoria’s eccentric uncle. But from the hidden recesses of the house, Kirsti and her friends unwittingly unleash and ancient evil that could spell the end of the world — unless they can find a way to stop it first!

Book cover for Arkham Woods

Purchase on Amazon

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Born in Hell

Written by Valentin Ramon | Art by Ferran Xalabarder

By the end of the Thirties, with the world one step close to the most terrible war, three characters, seemingly with nothing in common, find themselves implicated in a complex intrigue which will push them to the very limits of sanity. Joe Colter, a tough private eye looking for an urn, Max Conrad, an FBI agent looking for a missing comrade, and Juiette Smith, a luxury prostitute looking for her missing friend, are the three legs of a story which will lead them to a true meeting in the real kitchen of hell.

Book cover for Born in Hell

Purchase from Comixology

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Grim Leaper

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe | Art by Alusio C. Santos

In death, he finally found something to live for. Lou Collins is caught in a cyclical curse of violent, gruesome deaths and new beginnings in the bodies of strangers. With no clue why, Lou desperately searches for a way to break the curse and cross over peacefully to the other side. Then equally doomed Ella comes along. It’s a love story to die for.

Book cover for Grim Leaper

Purchase on Amazon

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

’68 Vol 1: Better Run Through the Jungle

Written by Mark Kidwell | Art by Nat Jones, Tim Vigil

There are zombies in the razorwire. Welcome to 1968– and the end of the world. From the steaming jungles of Viet Nam to the brightly lit campus of demonstration-torn Berkeley, California, ravenous hordes of unstoppable ghouls are changing the face of the Age of Aquarius. Collected for the first time, this 178-page collection re-presents the first four-issue story arc from the ’68 ongoing series, along with the re-colored and re-lettered original one-shot from 2006! Plus, creators MARK KIDWELL, NAT JONES and JAY FOTOS have included tons of behind-the-scenes extras to make this a must-have for zombie and horror fans everywhere!

Book cover for 68 Vol 1

I have no interest in wars, but when you add zombies into the mix, I’m definitely willing to have a look. ’68 was an interesting read.

Purchase on Amazon

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28 Days Later

Written by Michael Alan Nelson | Art by Alejandro Aragon, Pablo Peppino, Ron Salas, Declan Shalvey

The film that changed horror forever continues here! Selena and her new comrades struggle against the infected, the American presence in the UK and themselves. Selena is a survivor but even she must give pause when the mission has her breaking into the land she fought so hard to get out of.

Book cover for 28 Days Later: Omnibus

I loved the 28 Days Later movie, so when I saw this on Comixology, I was half-tempted, half-scared to check it out. Luckily what I read (not all of it was available on Comixology Unlimited) was well-drawn and worth checking out.

Purchase on Amazon

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The Dunwich Horror

Written by Joe R. Lansdale | Art by menton3, Peter Bergting

H.P. Lovecraft is known as one of the key founders of modern horror, cited as a major influence by many prominent authors, such as Stephen King. In collaboration with renowned Lovecraft historian and literary caretaker Robert Weinberg, IDW is bringing you the definitive Lovecraft comics updated for a 21st century audience. This unique series begins by adapting classic Lovecraft tale “The Dunwich Horror” by fright-master Joe R. Lansdale (30 Days of Night: Night, Again) and Peter Bergting (D&D: Dark Sun).

Book cover for The Dunwich Horror

I think I actually started this before I’d tried to seriously read anything else from H.P. Lovecraft. The first volume was definitely creepy and caught my attention.

Purchase on Amazon

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The Twilight Zone Vol 1

Written by J. Michael Straczynski | Art by Guiu Vilanova

From the mind of J. Michael Straczynski, Hugo Award-winning creator of Babylon 5 and writer for the blockbuster films Thor, Changeling, and World War Z! Trevor Richmond is a Wall Street investor who embezzled millions and is about to tank the economy. Desperate to avoid the consequences for his actions, he goes to Expedited Services, which offers to help him disappear and enjoy a life of leisure in a new identity. But what exactly is this new life, how much is freedom worth, and what happens to the old life when someone else shows up to claim it? This captivating first volume will push the boundaries of The Twilight Zone into new and uncharted territory – a journey that will travel into the past and the future, into murder and revenge, and finally into the sunrise of nuclear Armageddon!

Book cover for The Twilight Zone Vol 1

The art isn’t exceptional, but it fits the story perfectly. And the way the story is told does instantly put you right into the Twilight Zone. Think it’s something you must check out if you’re a fan of the TV series.

Purchase on Amazon

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Whispers in the Walls Vol 1: Sarah

Written by David Munoz | Art by Tirso

Somewhere in post WWII Central Europe exists an orphanage where children having survived a mysterious, transformative virus are admitted. Czechoslovakia, 1949. What Evil lurks within the walls of an ancient children’s infirmary? After the brutal murder of her parents, Sarah, a young orphan, is about to discover that and much more. From long-buried secrets to imminent battles, the fate of man, and monster, lie with young Sarah. A gothic tale of horror from David Muñoz (co-writer of Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone film) and artist Tirso.

Book cover for Whispers in the Walls Vol 1: Sarah

This is another case where I wasn’t a huge fan of the art itself, but I liked the way the story was told. The color choice is nice as well. The story opens with a nearly wordless sequence of several pages that sets the mood properly and then leaps right into Sarah’s story itself.

Purchase on Amazon


 

Well, there you have it. If you’re a fan of graphic novels, you might want to consider giving these a try. (And please remember, Sci-Fi & Scary is an Amazon Affiliate, so we do earn a small percentage if you choose to purchase using the buy links. Helps pay server costs and the like.)

What do you think of horror movies getting adapted into graphic novels? I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed 28 Days Later. They kept the main character feeling very true to form from the movie.

Would you be interested in seeing a book like IT get made into a graphic novel?

 

Talk to us! (And feel free to link us to your Top Ten Tuesday posts as well!)

10 Favorite Nonhuman Characters in Horror

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.For this Top Ten Tuesday list, basically everything we tried to do to stick with the assigned topic (Ten Books That Feature Characters_____) somehow seemed to end up being books that would fit in with a diversity posting. After a few false starts though, we started thinking about some of favorite characters in horror and realized that sometimes our favorite characters aren’t really even human at all! So here are our 10 favorite nonhuman characters in horror. They make the books stand out in circumstances while they might normally have not.

As usual, Top Ten Tuesday topics are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

 

 

10 Favorite Nonhuman Characters in Horror

Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn – The entity responsible for the woman in white. While I didn’t care much for the book, I was fascinated by that entity and wanted to know more!

Book cover for Woman in White


The Fireman by Joe Hill – Dragonscale has to be one of the most interesting fungi/spore infections that I’ve seen in horror books. From the beautiful marks on the skin, to the way it yearns for unity, and, of course, the burning.


Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – The store itself was just awesome. Once you enter, you never leave. And the way things get progressively weirder? I don’t remember the characters, but I do remember the store!


14 by Peter Clines – Inadvertently continuing with the building thing, the apartment building itself is just neat. While it doesn’t have any real personality of itself, the fact that it’s a giant Lovecraftian buildling is awesome. Part of me thinks I’d love to just explore it. The rest of me thinks I’d be terrified, even if it was in a safe mode.


Monstrum from Ann Christopher – It’s been like a year since I read this book, and I still remember the monster from this book. It seemed so gleefully evil that even though it doesn’t do anything but kill, it left a long-lasting impression on me.


The Shining – Stephen King: The Management – A great many ghosts act as go-between with Jack and The Manager. So it makes me wonder…Just who is The Manager?


Ghost Story – Peter Straub: Alma Mobley, Anna Mostyn, Anna-Marie – from the names she gives she sounds perfectly human. But she’s not. She’s ancient and evil. She calls herself several different things throughout the novel but they all seem to be terms that she’s playing with, not using as actual descriptive terms. But rather than being a scary generic Big Bad she has a playful sense of humour that interests me.

Book cover for Ghost Story by Peter Straub


Nightmare Seasons – Charles L. Grant: In the first story (Part 1: Spring, 1940 – Thou Need Not Fear My Kisses, Love) Samantha has a suitor. She tries to give him the brush off but he’s very insistent with flared hair, dusky, patterned skin and a reptilian gaze. Basically the dude’s a were-snake. Not a common were-animal and it makes me wonder how he became so. A bite? Born that way? It never says and I’m very curious.


Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin: Rosemary’s Son, Andy – True, he’s at least half-human but I still think he counts. I have always been curious about how he grew up. Did he follow in his daddy’s footsteps or Rosemary’s? Did his horns and pearly little claws make him stand out from the other kids or did they think it was neat? And, yes, I’m totally disregarding the ill-conceived (pardon the pun), phoned in crap that was the sequel.

Book cover for Rosemary's Baby


House of Leaves – Mark Z. Daniewlewski: The Navidson Tapes/Manuscript – Since the narrator is possibly unreliable it makes me wonder…are the tapes real? If not unreliable then why make them up? It’s a fascinating question, I mean why? Why become so obsessed with a set of videotapes and a manuscript that is entirely made up? It’s almost as big of a character in the book as the narrator himself.


What about you? Are there any creatures, buildings, objects or other that really ignited your interest or imagination while you were reading a book?  Share with us below!

10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Oh, lookie, another chance to talk about the books we want to read but will probably actually never get around to. Well, we’re not gonna lie and say we’re going to actually get around to reading these, because that would be wrong. And delusional. And they don’t make a pill strong enough yet to help self-admitted bookworms with that “I can read all the books!” self-delusion.

However, these are 10 sci-fi and horror books on our Fall TBR. Some of them we might actually read, others we’ll look longingly at, and the rest we’ll probably forget about as soon as another book with a shiny cover twinkles our way. (Or waves the promise of a blood-splattered gorefest at us. Don’t judge.)

By the way, Top Ten Tuesday topics are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

If you’re looking for upcoming science fiction and horror books for 2017 (well, what remains of it), look here at our More 2017 Science Fiction and Horror Novels to Look For (July-Dec).

 

10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR

(Lilyn)

Doctor Arnoldi by Tiffany Thayer – Tiffany Thayer, who was prominent in the Fortean Society, wrote many unusual novels in the first half of the 20th century but DOCTOR ARNOLDI is one of the most elusive. Now, for the first time since its initial publication in 1934, it’s available. The story is an old one — what happens when death is defeated — but no one has ever written about it as Thayer has.

I just recently came across this one in an article I was reading, and it intrigued me. Especially the scene they talked about where a guy was ran through a meat grinder and the meat came out still moving. I need to read this. I also need the gumption to spend 15+ on the book since my library can’t get it. So, it might wait a while.

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The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith – You feel ecstatic! Until you kill yourself. – The Happy Chip is the latest nanoengineering wonder from the high-flying tech company, NeoHappy, Inc. Hundreds of millions of people have had the revolutionary chip injected into their bodies to monitor their hormonal happiness and guide them to life choices, from foods to sex partners. Given the nanochip’s stunning success, struggling science writer Brad Davis is thrilled when he is hired to co-author the biography of its inventor, billionaire tech genius Marty Fallon.

That is, until Davis learns that rogue company scientists are secretly testing horrifying new control chips with “side effects”—suicidal depression, uncontrollable lust, murderous rage, remote-controlled death, and ultimately, global subjugation. His discovery threatens not only his life, but that of his wife Annie and their children. Only with the help of Russian master hacker Gregor Kalinsky and his gang can they hope to survive the perilous adventure that takes them from Boston to Beijing.

The Happy Chip, an edge-of-your-seat thriller, spins a cautionary tale of unchecked nanotechnology spawning insidious devices that could enslave us. It dramatically portrays how we must control our “nanofuture” before it’s too late.

I liked Dennis Meredith’s Wormholes well enough, and the concept of a happy chip isn’t too far-future, neither is the misuse of it. I’m curious to see what the author could do with it. Its terrestrial sci-fi, and sometimes that’s just what I’m looking for. 

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Mars One by Jonathan Maberry – Go on the adventure of a lifetime with a teen and his family after they are selected to colonize Mars in this thrilling new novel from multiple Bram Stoker Award–winning author Jonathan Maberry.

Tristan has known that he and his family were going to be on the first mission to colonize Mars since he was twelve years old, and he has been training ever since. However, knowing that he would be leaving for Mars with no plan to return didn’t stop him from falling in love with Izzy.

But now, at sixteen, it’s time to leave Earth, and he’s forced to face what he must leave behind in exchange for an uncertain future. When the news hits that another ship is already headed to colonize Mars, and the NeoLuddite terrorist group begins threatening the Mars One project, the mission’s purpose is called into question. Is this all worth it?

I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series. His other work? Ehhh, hit or miss. He’s definitely not an author that’s on my ‘must buy’ list. However, he is talented, and I’m really really curious to see what he can do with a straight up science fiction novel. Especially a young adult one. 

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Counting Heads by David Marusek – Counting Heads is David Marusek’s extraordinary launch as an SF novelist: The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete. Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries. Loyal mentars (artificial intelligence) and robots do most of society’s work. The Boutique Economy has made redundant ninety-nine percent of the world’s fifteen billion human inhabitants. The world would be a much better place if they all simply went away.

Eleanor K. Starke, one of the world’s leading citizens is assassinated, and her daughter, Ellen, is mortally wounded. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother’s financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, if she, herself, survives. Her cryonically frozen head is in the hands of her family’s enemies. A ragtag ensemble of unlikely heroes join forces to rescue Ellen’s head, all for their own purposes.

 Another terrestrial science fiction novel, this one looks like it could just be off-beat enough to intrigue me. I mean, it’s Mission Impossible to rescue a *head*.  I know it’s the first book in a series, so it makes me a bit wary, but… good things? And it’s old enough (but not too old!) so that my library should have it! Found this one just recently through random browsing.

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Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan – It’s the twenty-fifth century, and advances in technology have redefined life itself. A person’s consciousness can now be stored in the brain and downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”), making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Onetime U.N. Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Resleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.

I’m not actually a huge fan of massive conspiracies because I tend to sort all that out way too quick, but this one has too many recommendations for me to not at least think hard about giving it a try. Got it whilst googling “Best hard science fiction novels of the 21st century.”

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(Gracie)

Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s – Grady Hendrix: Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of the 1970s and ’80s . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. It’s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of two iconic decades, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. You’ll find familiar authors, like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, and many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

I love covers and the ’70s and ’80s had some great cover art. Hopefully, if it’s successful, they continue through to the present day. Although I fear it will add greatly to my TBR list. Oh well, the more the scarier!


Haunted Nights – Edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton: Sixteen never-before-published chilling tales that explore every aspect of our darkest holiday, Halloween, co-edited by Ellen Datlow, one of the most successful and respected genre editors, and Lisa Morton, a leading authority on Halloween.
In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and trick or treating in the future, Haunted Nights also offers terrifying and mind-bending explorations of related holidays like All Souls’ Day, Dia de los Muertos, and Devil’s Night.

I love Halloween and short story collections. What could be better for a fall read than a short story anthology with stories based all around the Big Three of the October holidays?


Halloween Carnival, Volume 1 – Edited by Brian James Freeman: Robert McCammon, Kevin Lucia, John R. Little, Lisa Morton, and Mark Allan Gunnells put the horror back in Halloween with a quintet of devilishly delightful tales, curated by acclaimed author and editor Brian James Freeman.

Yup. More Halloween themed short stories. I hope. It looks to be a series that will be released all through October, one each week. I’m interested to know if it will be sold as a collection after the different volumes are released and if there will be a wraparound story or if the stories stand on their own. 


Madness on the Orient Express – Edited by James Lowder: Trains embody the promise and peril of technological advance. They unlock opportunities for wealth and travel, but also create incredible chaos—uprooting populations and blighting landscapes. Work on or around the rails leads to unwelcome discoveries and, in light of the Mythos, dire implications in the spread of the rail system as a whole.

A certain path to uncovering unwelcome truths about the universe is to venture beyond our own “placid island of ignorance” and encounter foreign cultures. The Orient Express serves as the perfect vehicle for such excursions, designed as a bridge between West and East. Movement into mystery forms the central action for many stories in this volume. The only limitation placed upon writers for this collection was that their works somehow involve the Orient Express and the Mythos.

The last warning whistle has blown, and we are getting underway. Have your tickets at the ready and settle in for a journey across unexpected landscapes to a destination that—well, we’ll just let you see for yourself when you arrive. We promise this though: murder will be the least of your problems on this trip aboard the Orient Express!

There’s something about trains, don’t you think? It could be assumed that I’m adding this because of the movie coming out but Agatha Christie ain’t got anything on Lovecraft and I’d rather read about Cthulhu stalking the rails rather than a commonplace murderer.


2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush – Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and John McFetridge18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds 

The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio that is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.

Enduring stark dystopian struggles or testing the limits of the human spirit, the characters populating 2113 find strength while searching for hope in a world that is repressive, dangerous, or just debilitatingly bland. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts . . . with wonderful results. This anthology also includes the seminal stories that inspired the Rush classics “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones,” as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to the groundbreaking Rush album 2112.

Lilyn brought this one to my attention back in the spring and it’s been hovering on my periphery ever since. Anyone who comes to the site often is probably well aware (too aware, some might say) of how much I love music. I do like stories based on songs (and songs based on stories) because I like to see how that particular author interprets the song. I may not always agree but it’s always interesting.

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So, there you go. Our theoretical list of reading material for fall (that doesn’t include all the new releases).

How are you with these type of things? Do you ever actually read most of the books you put on your lists?

Like us, link us, and talk to us!

10 Books We Keep Going Back To

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.So this Top Ten Tuesday was a throwback freebie from Broke and Bookish. Since the site hasn’t been around long enough to dredge up ‘old’ books that we loved, we’re taking this in a slightly different direction. This Tuesday we’re talking about the books that we keep going back to. Books that hold an evergreen appeal for us. It doesn’t matter that we’ve re-read them a thousand times (okay, more like five hundred), we will gladly read them again. Some we found in our childhood, some we just recently discovered.

Feel free to chime in with your evergreen reads! We know with everything that has been happening lately (Harvey, Irma, Katie, Jose, wildfires, earthquakes, etc), we all need a comfort read.

 

 

10 Books We Keep Going Back To

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

How many times I think I’ve read it: 5

 

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another

How many times I think I’ve read it: 4-5

 

 

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) from Dennis E. Taylor

The book cover for We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

How many times I think I’ve read it: 3

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

Book cover for The Martian

How many times I think I’ve read it: 10

 

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

How many times I think I’ve read it: 8

 

GracieKat

Hell House – Richard Matheson

How many times I think I’ve read it: 6

 

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

How many times I think I’ve read it: 10

 

Ghost Story – Peter Straub

How many times i think I’ve read it: 3 – 4

 

The Shining – Stephen King

How many times I think I’ve read it: 4 – 5

 

IT – Stephen King

How many times I think I’ve read IT: 2 – 3


We hope you and your loved ones have been safe, and continue to be safe through everything that has already happened and is lined up to happen. We can’t do much, but we have donated to the Red Cross, and now we’re reaching out with the only comfort we know how to offer. Talk of books.