My Favourite Monsters A-Z – Zombie

October 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Conveniently, I come to the end of the alphabet, the end of the month, and the end of my posts with what I consider the ultimate monster – the zombie. The zombie is versatile, prevalent, disturbing and – at times – humorous. It can generate sympathy and disgust, sadness and terror. It can cling to its humanity or cast it aside, depending on the nature of its story. It exists as an example of the most current common fear and a strong form of political commentary.

I love zombies. I have had one novelette and seven zombie short stories published. I’ve written three more unpublished zombie shorts and a full zombie novel. I’ve researched and published essays on zombie comedy and the origins and forms of zombies. You can find my blog postings on zombies at:

And I’ll close with an excerpt from “Palliative” that goes with this sketch:

“Greg’s instincts proved correct, and he found her in one of the open ward rooms, much to his great horror. She had already made short work of two of the four residents there, vulnerable, dying and unable to fight back. They were badly mauled, their flesh shredded and bloody, ripped from their sedated forms by her gnarled and crooked teeth. Thelma was coated in their gore and was perched over her third anticipated victim, frothy pink drool lining her lips and pooling at the corners of her mouth. She leaned in towards the sleeping woman, keening quietly as she prepared for the bite.”

I hope that leaves you with a case of the shivers – have a Happy Halloween!

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The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Slices of Flesh

July 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm (horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

Slices of Flesh – Edited by Stan Swanson

You should see my ragtag copy of this anthology of horror flash-fiction. Why is it in such poor shape? -Because I’ve been dragging this book everywhere with me. One of the wonderful things about this book, aside from the fact that all stories were donated and all proceeds are going to literacy charities and funds to help support writers in need of assistance, was that it could be read in snippets, an entire story read in full when I had a couple of minutes to spare. I read the first couple of stories while donating blood, a few while waiting for a bus or on the bus, some curled up in bed, waiting on my daughter at the pool or sitting outside in the backyard with my son while he played on the swings.

“Slices of Flesh” was a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet of terror, an opportunity to sample the work of many extraordinary genre writers, some veterans and many writers newer to publication. If any of the stories didn’t quite match your tastes, the next selection likely would, and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed most of the pieces – the exceptions being a couple that were a little surreal for my liking, but those tales might be your cup of tea.

Picking my favourites from the 90 stories is a real challenge, but there were a few that struck a real chord with me. “Cur” by Shelly Towne was one I enjoyed so much I read it over three times because I thought it was so clever (and disturbing.) Kaaron Warren’s “Blame the Neighbours” caught me off guard and gave me goose-bumps. I got a big kick out of Lon Prater’s “Fresh Air” and I liked the unusual format along with the turning point of the story. And I thought Eric J. Guignard’s “The Prisoner of Andersonville” was creative and delightfully shocking. To do justice to the other stories, there were many more I loved and deserve mention, but I don’t want this review to span pages. The best I can do is recommend that you get your hands on this terrific anthology and read them all for yourself. I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.

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