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Black Static

Dark Fiction & Film BLACK STATIC ISSUE 61 OUT NOW!

Gone, But Not Forgotten - Part 1

10th Dec, 2010

Author: Peter Tennant

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As I may have mentioned before, I get a lot more books sent to me than I can possibly review, and so every so often I like to do a post in which I sign off on those books that didn't make the cut, at the same time linking to somebody else who did manage to give them the once over.

I haven't done one of those posts for quite some time now (I am a bad person), so this might stretch over several blog entries while I bring us all up to speed.

They That Dwell in Dark Places (Dark Regions Press paperback, 346pp, $18.95) by Daniel McGachey was issued way back in November 2009, and was one of four short story collections I got sent by Dark Regions Press. I reviewed the other three, but never got round to this one, which was a pity as it looks like a very promising assemblage of supernatural tales in a traditional vein. Sorry Daniel. Fortunately Mario Guslandi was on hand to pick up the ball and run, and you can read what he has to say about the book over at the ever reliable bookgeeks.com.

From the same month we have Skin Trade (Headline paperback, 608pp, £7.99) by Laurell K. Hamilton, which I originally received as a hardback in June 2009, then rescheduled for November when the paperback edition came out and still didn't get round to reviewing. It's the 17th book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, about which I'm still ambivalent. I like the series in the abstract but find it a lot more hit and miss in the particular. I review Flirt, the 18th book in the series, in Black Static #20, and I'm ambivalent about that one too. Click on the link below to find out what the reviewer at SciFiGuy.ca has to say about the book and, incidentally, I'm guessing that's the US cover: the UK one is much more svelte.

Avenging Fury (Forge paperback, 384pp, £7.99) by John Farris is almost certainly the oldest unreviewed book I have in the TBR pile. The ARC I received way back when was for the July 2008 hardback, and then got reallocated to the November 2009 paperback edition, but still not reviewed. It's the fourth and final volume in a series, the first of which, The Fury, was made into a film in 1978, starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Brian De Palma. Stephen King speaks highly of Farris in Danse Macabre, if I remember correctly. I've seen some stories by him that I like well enough, but wasn't impressed by the novel Catacombs. I believe I have at least one other book by him sitting about waiting for a read (it's not just review copies that have to wait for a window of opportunity). Embarrasingly, I can't seem to find a review online, except for the usual amazon stuff which you can check out for yourself if interested.

There was a time when I read a slew of Jack the Ripper books as research for a story of my own, and I was intrigued by Saucy Jack: The Elusive Ripper (Ian Allan Publishing paperback, 272pp, £14.99) by Paul Woods and Gavin Baddeley, but nothing ever came of that feeling, alas. My story was called 'The Whitechapel Follies' and in it Jack's five victims formed a girl band (I was besotted with The Spice Girls at the time). For those who like synchronicity, last night I was watching a tape of a C5 documentary titled The Vampire Killers that I recorded in 2002 or 2003, and one of the contributors was a Gavin Baddeley. You can find a review over at Mudkiss Fanzine.

Edited by Ian Conrich, the impressively titled Horror Zone: The Cultural Experience of Contemporary Horror Cinema (I. B. Taurus paperback, 306pp, £14.99) is the last of these titles that ended up on the cutting room floor, a collection of wide ranging essays about various aspects of modern horror cinema. And thinking about this title and the previous one, I'm reminded that it has been quite some time since I last did a non-fiction feature in Black Static, a couple of years at least. Perhaps it's time we had another one, though these two won't be part of that. There's a detailed review over at the website of The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, a site that appears to be well worth a look for a plethora of other reasons.

 

 

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