Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her previous works include Portraits in the Dark: A Collection of Short Stories, which received a brief mention in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007; and fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in ChiZine; edifice WRECKED; RESPECT International; All Things Girl; and Freshly Squeezed: An Anthology. She is currently the editor of Pen in Hand, the newsletter for the Maryland Writers’ Association, and a contributor to Dark Recesses Magazine. She has a BA in Cinema and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, and she has also attended the Borderlands Press Boot Camp for Writers.
Posted on January 7, 2013 by Nancy
Ellen Datlow is one of the world’s best, most awarded, and most well-known editors. She has showcased the talents of hundreds – probably thousands – of writers over the years. Her anthologies are legendary.
Now, Ms. Datlow has teamed up with ChiZine Publications to bring a new anthology of horror into the world. According to the new Kickstarter page, Fearful Symmetries is set to be a work that brings forth “both veteran talent and new voices.” See more at Kickstarter.com.
Posted on August 24, 2012 by Nancy
RIGOR MORTIS is a zombie-focused zine that is part academic, part fanboy/fangirl. Started by the dynamic Davida Gypsy Breier, it’s one of the best resources for information on obscure zombie films, book and more. Nancy O. Greene recently had a chance to talk shop with Davida about the zine.
Posted on June 13, 2012 by Nancy
Teeth is an anthology of the things that go bump in the night, the ones that have the teeth and the claws to rip your eyes out. It’s a YA anthology, true, but the stories can appeal to adults as well. There wasn’t a story in Teeth that I didn’t like. There were only a few that I felt could have ended better, but other than that personal preference, I would say that each story is well-written, suspenseful, and has excellent pacing. These aren’t all your typical vamps – vampire-like creatures from various cultures grace the pages of this anthology.
Posted on April 30, 2012 by Nancy
A young woman, Celia, undergoes a procedure to have her mental self – memories, thoughts, and her “soul” – transferred to a mechanical replica of her physical self while her body is put in stasis until a cure for her rare condition can be found. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of these bodies. And her wife, Rivka, a very religious woman, chooses to leave her at the most difficult time in her life.
Pelland does an excellent job of weaving current political, religious and philosophical issues throughout the story without beating the writer over the head with the message(s). At the core, it is the story of Celia, a woman that must find her own way after the world has turned its back on her through no fault of her own.
Posted on April 16, 2012 by Nancy
Story: This well-drawn and well-written comic tells a condensed version of the life and rise to fame of one of the world’s best writers. Like other comics by the same company, they worked with the author to tell this story. It includes his life with his mother and brother, after his father left them. The situations that sparked his interest in the macabre. His life at college and his love for his family. His battle with drugs and depression and, of course, the terrible accident that almost cost him his life.
Shockers: While many fans of Stephen king are familiar with the details of important moments in his life, it is something of a shock to the system to see his accident in such visual detail. The artist did a great job bringing the pain and the gruesome reality of the situation to the forefront.
Posted on January 28, 2012 by Nancy
A teenage girl, Tory Brennan (related to the famous –or infamous—Temperance Brennan of BONES) becomes curious about a mysterious disappearance that happened well before her time. With several of her friends (Sheldon, Ben and Hi) they all begin to search for clues. To complicate matters, the kids hang out on an island that is home to numerous scientific experiments. Before long, they stumble upon more than they expect. Due to a series of events related and unrelated to their investigations, they become infected with an experimental virus that transforms them into werewolves – of a sort. Now, instead of being just friends they are a pack, bound to each other through good and bad. There’s a good mix of the scientific and the supernatural in this novel.
Posted on November 27, 2011 by Nancy
Perplexed about what to get, or ask for, this Holiday season? Well, if you or someone you know loves horror, here are a few suggestions:
+Horror Library+, Vol. 1 – 4: These anthologies would be a treat for any lover of the macabre. Packed full of stories by some of the best writers around. See my review of Vol. 3 for a taste.
Posted on November 17, 2011 by Nancy
David Agranoff’s Hunting the Moon Tribe is an interesting and well-thought out coming of age story that spans the globe. It starts us out in China with a soon-to-be-former Red Guard, Yuen, and his wife, Elsa, at the time of the birth of their son. Without much warning, they are attacked and this sets up the story of a centuries-old war that will eventually lead to California and the life of a young man that is about to awaken to his destiny.
Vampires of a different sort, martial arts, dreams and difficult choices take center stage. Enrich is a bullied American high school student. He decides to learn martial arts to combat the daily attacks, but what he doesn’t know is that he is training for the biggest battle of his life.
Posted on November 9, 2011 by Nancy
A man’s purchase of a used computer leads to an unfortunate discovery. Soon, he’s on a mission to save his fiancee from the clutches of a madman and an insidious cult. But in the small town where she’s held captive, he discovers that nothing is exactly as it seems. Once he crosses paths with a father and son monster-hunting team, his world unravels. Death and dark magicks lurk around every corner.
The characters are pretty solid. Donald, the protagonist, is believable as an ambitious and caring, if somewhat bumbling, man that eventually finds the strength to fight evil.
Posted on November 6, 2011 by Nancy
Speak Out With Your Geek Out week has come and gone. Created by Monica Valentinelli, it was an Internet-wide phenomenon, prompting hundreds of people from all over the world to submit their tales of wonderful geekdom. I missed contributing my own geek-out post, which is a shame because there are a lot of things I geek about. From horror movies of all kinds (zombie movies and 80s cult being among my favorites), to Buffy and Angel, comic books, genre fiction, Anime, and gory foreign films. The list goes on.
Posted on November 2, 2011 by Nancy
Story: A desperate pilot takes a shady job from an even shadier employer. Before long, he realizes that there’s a not-too-pleasant future in store for him. It kind of reminded me of a segment out of the original HEAVY METAL movie. A scared pilot and weird locale = an interesting mix.
Characters: Solid. The dialogue reveals a lot about the personalities of each individual, without being tiresome. Descriptions of mannerisms, etc., are vivid but minimal, allowing the story to flow naturally.
Posted on May 12, 2011 by Nancy
Hiram Grange is a bizarro-world James Bond. So far described as an “extremely ugly” man with “piercing blue eyes and a hawkish nose,” a man that nevertheless “moves with a deadly grace,” Grange can give picture-perfect, shaken-not-stirred Bond a run for his money. Hiram has a way with the ladies and has repeatedly saved the world, despite his predilection for alcohol (particularly absinthe, though Bushmills Irish Whiskey plays a large role in Chosen One). Oh, and he also has an unhealthy obsession with Jodie Foster.
In Chosen One, Kevin Lucia brings to light a different side of Hiram, one less encumbered by his vices and more concerned about saving the girl and the world.
Posted on April 28, 2011 by Nancy
I first met Mr. Braunbeck when I was a grunt at the Borderlands Writers Boot Camp. To Each Their Darkness is his guide for writers and in some ways it expands upon many of the gems he gave to those of us at the workshop. As one of the newest writing manuals on the market it is undoubtedly one of the best, using the personal to impart the practical. Comparable to Stephen King’s On Writing, To Each Their Darkness takes writers on a journey to discovering how to use their own dark experiences in their work, without becoming a slave to that same darkness that can hold one hostage.
But it is more than just a writing guide. And it should be read by more than just those working professionally as writers or those aiming to. Anyone that is interested in the sweat that goes into creating their favorite horror novels, short stories, or movies; anyone that is interested in the process that the writer must often go through before getting the words from his or her head-space and onto the page; anyone in a personal relationship of any kind with a writer — especially a writer of darker works — should read this book.
Posted on January 8, 2011 by Nancy
2010 was the Year of the Zombie (again). In fact, the first 10 years of the new millennium can safely be called the Decade of Apocalyptic Fiction. Movies, books, comics — you name it. There was a surge in interest in the sub genre that has never been seen before. And the interest shows no signs of slowing down.
Movies and television shows have managed to incorporate some form of zombie feature. Whether an alien virus taking over the world (in Smallville) or a demon unleashing a plague of the apocalypse (in Supernatural), writers and directors found something to draw in the zombie crowds.
There have also been numerous articles trying to explain the appeal of the zombie culture. Deep sociological analysis, fun fluff pieces, and even courses on respected college campuses.
Posted on November 22, 2010 by Nancy
Kevin Lucia is the author of Hiram Grange and the Chosen One, book four of the popular series. He is also an editor and reviewer for Shroud Publishing. In this guest post he talks about what sparked his interest in the horror genre.
I remember when I first became interested in horror. The summer of 1996, I spent lots of time with my friends bumming around Otsego Lake, NY. My best friend’s grandmother owned a cabin there, so we spent all our weekends riding the boat, eating and napping on the dock.
One weekend we got bored. Which country boys tend to do. This usually means trouble. We were lying around on the dock when my friend Joel remarked, “We should take Kevin to the Devil House.”
Posted on November 22, 2010 by Nancy
The 2010 New York Comic Con and New York Anime Festival (NYCC/NYAF) took place at the Javits Center over three days. I had a blast at my first NYCC/NYAF! There was a lot to do and a lot of other fans and professionals to meet. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to, but there was more than enough to keep everyone (myself included) entertained.
One of the biggest treats at a convention like NYCC/NYAF is getting to talk to the people behind the scenes about what’s going on, what’s coming up, and what fans can look forward to. Here’s a few brief highlights and interviews:
Posted on October 31, 2010 by Nancy
Flames Rising Reviewer Nancy Greene offers up a brief overview of Halloween. She shares a bit about Samhain and a few links to fiction and zines that are definitely worth checking out!
Halloween is a time for mythological creatures, figures of fantasies and nightmares. They walk the streets; they invade every corner of ordinary life. And over the past few years the popularity of the holiday has risen like a zombie out of a poorly-dug grave.
Here are some popular creatures of the holiday, as well as some brief (probably already well-known) info on the origins:
Posted on September 24, 2010 by Nancy
Boom Studios started publishing Cthulhu Tales as a series in 2008. The first time I came across these comics, a little over a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that each story within an issue (of the ones I’ve read so far, at least) is contained and delightfully bizarre.
Issue #11, which came out in February of 2009, features four tales that range from the insanely funny to the apocalyptic. The first story — written by Christopher Sequeira, artwork by W. Chewie Chan — tackles the corporate world. In “Incorporation,” money-hungry and power-hungry Glenda can’t wait to start pushing people off of the ladder as she climbs her way up the ranks at her new employer, Wilcox-Gammell. She soon finds that the job is tougher than she thought and the perks aren’t exactly as advertised. The artwork is good. Nothing that really stands out, but it delivers the story well. There’s some creative use of the panels, especially toward the end. It’s a good read and not exactly the cautionary tale that it appears to be at first glance.
Posted on September 8, 2010 by Nancy
Dear Cthulhu, Have a Dark Day: The Collected Columns, Volume One by Patrick Thomas is a collection of humorous advice. Taking on the persona of the Elder God, each piece of guidance is based on the concept that Cthulhu is actually very conservative. He abhors those that like to break rules. He discourages cold-blooded killing, because killing is “a right which should be Cthulhu’s alone” or at least saved for official sacrifices.
There are a lot of funny letters contained in the volume. For instance, a young woman writes in to ask for advice regarding peer pressure to give up her virginity. Cthulhu’s response? She should keep her virginity, because “it is better to be a leader of men than a follower.”
Posted on August 6, 2010 by Nancy
The BERSERKER comic series is a violent thrill-ride. It sets up a world where power is found only in destruction, and the conclusion is not likely to be a “pretty” one. Heroes get slaughtered and there are numerous super-villains and secret societies vying for control of the future. Through it all, ordinary people with extraordinary abilities are trapped in the middle and used as pawns. (Sound familiar? The BERSERKER comic does things a bit differently. One major super-human ability [so far], more blood, more guts, and more chaos – all with a base in Norse history and mythology.)
The cover art for each issue is, once again, amazing. Dale Keown, Jeremy Haun and Dave McCaig really bring their A-games to the various covers with just a few choice images and colors. Violent, of course, but with careful details that seem to convey more than just a gorefest.