Archive | December, 2010

Matt-M-McElroy

Matt looks back at 2010

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

2010 is just about over, where did the time go?

This was a pretty big year for me all around, with my expanded role at OneBookShelf (the company behind DriveThruRPG, DriveThruComics and related sites). If you don’t already know, I’m the Publisher Relations and Marketing Manager for OneBookShelf. I had the chance to work some awesome publishers and travel to quite a few conventions across the country. Recently, we got a print program up and running where folks can order print editions of titles like Descended From Darkness from Apex Book Company, Laws of the Night from White Wolf and King Arthur Pendragon from Nocturnal just to name a few. This has been a busy and detailed process working with some great publishers to get this program up and running and I’m looking forward to seeing it further develop in the new year.

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Flames

This Week’s Hot Horror News for Friday, December 31st

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

FlamesRising News | FlamesRising.comBefore you grab your shotgun and blast 2010 away, you might want to check out our hot news today. We’ve got fiery new releases, a few announcements and more hot, hot links to usher in the New Year.

Got something you want to throw on the fire next time? Send your dark and delectable links to via our contact the editors at FlamesRising.com page.

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alanajoli

From Zombie Celebrity to Author: An Interview with Amanda Feral

Posted on December 30, 2010 by

You’re all familiar with zombie celebutante Amanda Feral from my reviews of Happy Hour of the Damned, Road Trip of the Living Dead, and Battle of the Network Zombies. Hopefully you’re also familiar with her from reading about her adventures themselves. But what you may not know is that Mark Henry, whose name is on the cover of these novels, is actually the ghost writer for the real Amanda Feral. The snarky socialite is also an author in her own right, and her first e-book, Stocking Full of Coal, just released on December 16th. I had the chance to chat with Amanda before her premiere to get the skinny on where she’s at now (but not who she’s eating).

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My Year in Review or How I Learned to Brain a Corpse.

Posted on December 29, 2010 by

This and that and everything …

I hate the New Year.

Ok, I get it, you’re probably thinking “get on with it old man, you hate a lot of things,” but if you’ll indulge me here for a brief moment, then you’ll see that I have something to really say about the New Year.

I really (emphasis is clearly my own) hate the New Year because it forces me to think about the fact that another twelve months of my life has flown by, in what seems to be an ever increasing and perilous amount of speed. It forces me to acknowledge that I am one more year closer to death, one more year removed from the awesomeness/horribleness (not really a word, I’ve slammed two industrial sized Red Bull’s, three pots of coffee and possibly enough over the counter truck stop speed to kill a small battalion of polar bears, so go easy on me) that was my twenties and the foulness that is the onset of my thirties.

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Flames

Preview of The Sentinels by Bob and Geno Salvatore

Posted on December 27, 2010 by

The lightning-paced conclusion to the Stone of Tymora trilogy by best-selling author R.A. Salvatore and his son…

After dueling with a dragon and a demon, Maimun knows he must destroy the stone that has kept him on the run for most of his life. The question now is how. With Joen by his side, Maimun journeys to the Tower of Twilight to beg famed wizard Malchor Harpell for answers. But Harpell’s help comes at a steep price. Friends become enemies. Lost secrets come to light. And deep in the shadows, the sentinels are watching, scheming to save the stone–even if it means someone must die.

Featuring the sage words and signature swordwork of R.A. Salvatore’s best-selling character Drizzt Do’Urden, this final book of the Stone of Tymora trilogy is packed with action, magic, intrigue, and a heart-stopping twist that Salvatore fans won’t want to miss.

Flames Rising is pleased to offer our readers an excerpt from this book by Bob and Geno Salvatore. Be sure to check out our interview with the Salvatores about the Stone of Tymora series here at Flames Rising. The Sentinels is available now at Amazon.com.

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Vampire Translation Guide Review

Posted on December 27, 2010 by

This is a fun little book (52 pages/no ads). I can see why it’s holding at number one at Flames Rising RPGNow Shop since its release. It’s a useful little bastard that gives canon material to what gamers have been doing since Masquerade’s end and Requiem’s release. I guessed it would be a book about translating the old system to the new, but it doesn’t play favorites. It goes both ways.

The first three pages detail the similarities and differences between the two lines. For example, the original line ran with the “we’re the Childer of Caine” speech where untrustworthy memories make any origin story suspect in Requiem.

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Flames

Solaris to publish new horror novel from Christopher Fowler

Posted on December 26, 2010 by

Solaris is delighted to announce the acquisition of a new horror novel, Hell Train, by Christopher Fowler, best-selling author of the Bryant & May mystery novels. Fowler says: “This is an unashamed pedal-to-the-metal supernatural thriller that goes back to my roots, and a multi-layered fun ride to the dark side. I’m thrilled to be working with the hottest new publishing house for genre fiction in the UK.”

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris, has commented: “I’ve been a fan of Christopher Fowler for a long time and have always loved his horror stories. So it’s very exciting to be working with him on this rip-roaring supernatural yarn. Christopher brings us something of the British horror film industry at its height, while also stamping his own mark on this thrilling tale.”

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Flames

Interview with Author Gabrielle Faust

Posted on December 23, 2010 by

GABRIELLE FAUST has pursued an eclectic career as an illustrator, technohorror writer, and leading industry entertainment critic. She is also currently the Chair of the Texas Chapter for Horror Writers of America.

In 2005 her poetry collection, Before Icarus, After Achilles, was published. Faust then partnered with Immanion Press in August of 2007 for her cross-genre technohorror trilogy Eternal Vigilance, a post-apocalyptic vampire saga of epic proportions. The first novel of this series, From Deep Within the Earth, was released in April, 2008. The second installment, The Death of Illusions was released in March of 2009 and the third, Bound in Blood was released in September of 2010.

Flames Rising is pleased to present an interview with Gabrielle Faust conducted by author Kenneth Mark Hoover.

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The Walking Dead Season Finale Review

Posted on December 23, 2010 by

Before I go off on how wonderful I thought the season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead was, how the series has changed television, how it may or may not be one of the most relevant social commentaries of the 21st century in media right now, I want to thank all of you who have read and shared these reviews. You make typing these little posts something to look forward to.

Now that, that is out of the way, let’s begin.

So, here we are, we’ve come to the end, that was it, for now. I hope you paid attention. because if you didn’t then this is going to be a little confusing. I want to talk about the “reality” that is portrayed in the series, especially in the the season finale. It’s a sticky subject, reality that is, as everyone produces to a certain extent their own version of it. Not in the way that they can interact with the physical world on a scientific level, you couldn’t interpret the laws of physics in your own way. Say with a suspension in the belief of Gravity, and live to tell about it. No matter how many happy thoughts you think, you’re going to plummet off the top of a building if you jump, you simply can not get around that reality.

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Preview of Campfire Tales 3 for Little Fears Nightmare Edition

Posted on December 21, 2010 by

Hard to believe I released Little Fears Nightmare Edition over a year ago. The initial reception blew me away and you are still picking it up, playing it, and sharing your stories with me. I enjoyed working on the new edition of the classic game but, by the time I finished the book, I was pretty burned out on it. I ended up taking a break from it, working on other projects and recharging my batteries. All in all, the time away did a lot of good as I’m more excited about Little Fears now than I have been in a long time.

This past September, after a hectic summer, I decided to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the game’s release by committing to a monthly series of standalone, ready-to-play episodes called Campfire Tales. I put up the first in October. Beggars Night tells the story of some monsters who are looking for the perfect costume for their waking master. The second, called The Fall Harvest, is set in one of my favorite types of places (an apple orchard) during my favorite time of the year. The Fall Harvest is about a little girl whose love for her grampy’s farm brings all kinds of monstrous trouble to the unsuspecting attendees of the local fall festival.

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Dracula: The Dead Travel Fast Review

Posted on December 21, 2010 by

I didn’t know what to expect with this book right off the bat, ha I said bat. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be just another vampire book or going off how I interpreted the item description, an update on the classic story. I read this book as more of the later, and I was not let down. Actually I never read the Bram Stoker version, just seen the movie, but this came across in the same kind of vain. However it was updated to the 1930’s.

The artwork was just fantastic. It has a nice dark and gloomy look to it, that really sets the visual tone for the story very well. The pages actually come off to me as these great digital paintings. Lets just say that I like the look of this book.

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Megan

CthulhuTech Core Book Review

Posted on December 20, 2010 by

Enter a world rich and strange – even the cover art suggests this even before you read a word! But it’s stranger – and scarier – that you might imagine. The opening piece of fiction sets the scene: a heady mix of warfare, implacable enemies, fighting machines… and yet at the core human beings, maybe a bit different but still real people who care, who love, who hate… and have nightmares afterwards.

Then Chapter 1 bids us Welcome. Welcome to a near-future alternate world in which giant mecha, magic, technology and unspeakable horror are melded together mixing That Which Should Not Be with hopes, harbored by all who go to war, that better times are just around the corner. It begins by explaining unfamiliar terms, both those of role-playing and those specifically for this setting. Now obscure references in the opening fiction become clear – not, alas, the sidebar text, small black text on a strident and messy dark pink background is not conducive to clarity: rather a shock in a work where excellent design is otherwise evident. Many of the references are familiar if you happen to read Lovecraft – Cthulhu himself, and many of the cults and dark gods that lurk around – and others if you care for anime and mecha in general.

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Flames

This Week’s Hot Horror News for Friday, December 17

Posted on December 17, 2010 by

FlamesRising News | FlamesRising.comIt may be freezing outside, but it’s hot here at FlamesRising.com. We’ve donned our firefighting gear and have braved the fiery internet to rescue some hot horror news. From winning free stuff to horror flicks, check out this week’s hot links and a smattering of new releases. This week, we’ve got news about John Kovalic, Clive Barker, Charlaine Harris, Harry Potter, Bruce Campbell, John Cusack, DeadSpace 2 and a whole lot more.

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Flames

Patrick D’Orazio tells us about Comes The Dark

Posted on December 16, 2010 by

Our author design essay continues with Patrick D’Orazio telling us about his new novel Comes The Dark, which is published by Library of the Living Dead Press.

Six weeks have passed since the virus ravaged the world’s population and in that time most of humanity has passed into shadow, turning into corrupt, rotting flesh eaters that known only pain and hunger as they attempt to destroy the remaining members of the human race.

Comes The Dark, which is my first published novel, is my humble entry into the zombie genre. I wasn’t necessarily interested in recreating or morphing the zombie into something new or different with my book, but wanted to focus on the dynamics between human beings thrust into a horrible situation, being forced to do things they would otherwise be unwilling to do and deciding if surviving is even the right choice when all they have ever known and loved has been annihilated.

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Flames

Sirenia Digest 58-59 Review

Posted on December 16, 2010 by

Sirenia Digest is a monthly subscription PDF-zine released by author Caitlín R. Kiernan. The stories are solidly weird fiction, with healthy infusions of erotica and Lovecraftian horror. (The adult-only warning on the website stems from both the themes of the works and their illustrations.)

I’ve been a subscriber for two months, now. My first readings were hurried, so I took advantage of the holiday downtime over Thanksgiving break to do a second reading of two recent Sirenia Digest issues (#58 and #59), to give each story my full, undivided attention. This time, I read them alone in a silent, darkened room in the wee hours of the night, with a giant picture window behind me, and silhouettes of writhing tree branches splayed across the floor.

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Flames

Preview of Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #1

Posted on December 15, 2010 by

On sale December 15, 2010 in comic shops is MOUSE GUARD: THE BLACK AXE #1, launching a brand-new volume of the popular MOUSE GUARD series by David Petersen.

The Eisner Award-winning MOUSE GUARD returns with THE BLACK AXE, a third volume of the critically acclaimed series. Set in 1115, this prequel to MOUSE GUARD VOL. 1: FALL 1152 fulfills the promise the wise oldfur Celanawe made to Lieam the day his paw first touched the Black Axe: to tell the young warrior about the mouse who first wielded the deadly weapon. The arrival of distant kin takes Celanawe on an adventure that will carry him across the sea to uncharted waters and lands, all while unraveling the legend of Farrer, the blacksmith who forged the mythic Black Axe.

Flames Rising is pleased to present a Preview of MOUSE GUARD: THE BLACK AXE #1:

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Billzilla

Amortals Novel Review

Posted on December 15, 2010 by

What would you do if you found out you had been killed? Further, what if the new you had to track down the old you’s killer?

This is the odd dilemma facing Ronan Dooley, Secret Service Agent and Amortal. The Amortals Project is a program that keeps people alive long past their normal lifespan, and is a sort of insurance policy against anything lethal happening to the rich and powerful. Ronan has been granted Amortal status because of his usefulness in protecting other Amortals – including the President of the United States. So when Dooley ends up murdered, his first assignment – once his new body is up and running – is to track down the ones responsible; they may pose a threat to other Amortals, and besides, killing Dooley in such a high profile manner – broadcasting his death scene – gives the Project a black eye and unwanted bad publicity.

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Flames

Kate Bernheimer’s introduction to My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me

Posted on December 13, 2010 by

The fairy tale lives again in these forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction.

Neil Gaiman, Michael Cunningham, Aimee Bender, Kelly Link, Lydia Millet, and more than thirty other extraordinary writers celebrate fairy tales in this thrilling volume-the ultimate literary costume party.

Spinning houses and talking birds. Whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins, gathered from around the world by visionary editor Kate Bernheimer and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Match Girl” to Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and “Cinderella” to the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino. Fairy tales are our oldest literary tradition, and yet they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature. This exhilarating collection restores their place in the literary canon.

Flames Rising is pleased to present the introduction to this new collection by Kate Bernheimer.

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Signs of the Moon RPG Review

Posted on December 13, 2010 by

Signs of the Moon takes a look at one of the few aspects (pun intended) I love about the Werewolf (both of them) lines. The Auspices appeal to me because it always seemed realistic, as realistic as a game about shapeshifters can be. People are pulled by the moon in ways we barely understand. Just as sure as a hot August day can statistically cause a homicide rate to rise, the moon too plays a role in our little dramas. Why not write a book about it? This is a hefty 227 pages of new gifts, rules, filler and more.

The artwork to the book keeps to the feel of the line. It’s a visceral, tribal style that is so much stronger than what the original line offered. My personal fave is on page 207. I usually shy away from talking about layout in a White Wolf book because, well, they set the standard for high quality.

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Jason Thorson

Zombie Week: The Indie Filmmaker and Zombies

Posted on December 11, 2010 by

We have a new essay for Zombie Week here at Flames Rising. Reviewer Jason Thorson tells us a little bit about indie films and the zombie/survival horror genre.

Horror and low budget filmmaking have always had a symbiotic relationship. But when it comes to really low budget filmmaking, the type that employs guerrilla tactics, stars your friends and acquaintances, and is shot in your mom’s backyard, well that’s zombie territory. Micro budgeted indie horror and the walking dead go together like guitar lessons and Smoke on the Water – the ends require modest means.

The reasons for this cozy relationship of convenience are pretty obvious, mostly involving the “bang for your buck” ratio. With no resources, including money, equipment, and experience, what would the scope of your story be if you decided to shoot a western, for example? What would your costumes look like? Locations? Guns? Horses?

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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