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Black Static


Books Received - An Update

19th Jun, 2009

Author: Peter Tennant

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Listed below are the books received for review since the last update, which was back on 13 May.

Some interesting stuff this time around. I’m particularly intrigued by the Douglas Clegg, as he’s a writer regarding whom, my jury is still out. A long time ago I read a short story collection that didn’t really impress me, albeit my memory is not particularly clear, and everybody else who commented seemed blown away. More recently I read and thoroughly enjoyed his novel Naomi, and so Isis could be my decider one way or the other.  It’s a novella, with illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne, and if the ARC is anything to go by the finished product will be a very nice collectible.

Remove the Eyes is a short story collection, and an example of the kind of self-published work that I consider acceptable for review in Black Static. I’ve shared a ToC with Ralph Robert Moore on several occasions – in Midnight Street, Sein und Werden and Darkness Rising – and he’s a writer with a respectable pedigree. “The Machine of a Religious Man”, which originally appeared in Midnight Street and is reprised for this collection, was selected by Ellen Datlow for one of her Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies. Ralph Robert Moore talks about the self-publishing experience on his website.

The two Charlaine Harris books are the first and latest volumes in her Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries series. Sookie was the inspiration for the hit TV series True Blood, which airs in the UK from July 19th on the FX Channel.  Gollancz are reissuing the other eight novels in the series on July 16th, with a brand new cover look, which can only be a good thing. When I was sent the first three titles for review a few years back, the packaging made me think they were YA books, but what I’ve read since has convinced me the series has a wider appeal.

On the back of The Fifth Victim, which is released from Avon, a Harper Collins imprint, there’s a chart with various symbols – a knife dripping blood for Terror, an Oscar statuette for Drama, a question mark for Conspiracy, and so on – and a circle showing which apply to the particular book. Victim has the symbols for Terror, Thrills and Law & Order. It’s a neat little marketing gimmick, but I can’t help wondering if it presages the introduction for books of film style content summations – e.g. ‘Contains mild threat and scary scenes and one use of mild language’ (Coraline) or ‘Contains moderate violence, language and sexual harassment theme’ (Obsessed). If so, then I can’t wait to see what they make of many of my favourite horror novels, and as for the work of the Marquis De Sade, let’s just not go there.

The Standard Offer and Disclaimer - If anyone wants to query with me the suitability of their book(s) for a review in Case Notes, then I can be contacted by writing to and, as ever, an expression of interest in seeing the book does not guarantee that a review will be done.

September 2009

  • Douglas Clegg – Isis – Vanguard Press hardback (ARC)

July 2009

  • Suzanne McLeod – The Cold Kiss of Death – Gollancz paperback (ARC)
  • Simon Bestwick - Tide of Souls - Abaddon Books paperback

June 2009

  • Ralph Robert Moore – Remove the Eyes – Sentence Publishing paperback
  • Sergio Bizzio – Rage – Bitter Lemon Press paperback
  • Charlaine Harris – Dead and Gone – Gollancz hardback
  • Charlaine Harris – Dead Until Dark – Gollancz paperback
  • Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan - The Strain - Harper Collins hardback
  • Cern Zoo: Nemonymous Nine - Megazanthus Press paperback
  • Jonathan L. Howard - Johannes Cabal the Necromancer - Headline hardback
  • Laurell K. Hamilton - Skin Trade - Headline hardback

May 2009

  • Beverly Barton – The Fifth Victim – Avon paperback
  • W. F. Harvey - The Beast with Five Fingers - Wordsworth Editions paperback
  • Shaun Jeffrey - The Kult - Leucrota Press paperback

April 2009

  • Alex Bledsoe – Blood Groove – Tor paperback


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