Tag Archive | "post-apocalyptic"

Interview With Author Kim Paffenroth

Posted on August 27, 2010 by

What is there that hasn’t been said about author Kim Paffenroth? I mean come on, the guy practically invented the thinking man’s zombie story with his “Dying to Live” series, used the original Romero movies as the main focus for a book entitled “Gospel of The Living Dead,” is a Professor of Religious Studies and his latest work has taken him into the depths of the 14th century poet and author of “The Divine Comedy,” Dante Alighieri’s soul.

How is that for a resume?

But really all you need to know about Kim Paffenroth, is that he is a prolific writer and larger than life figure in the Zombie/Survival Horror genre. A man that, in today’s scene of lumbering unholy living dead, needs absolutely no introduction from the likes of a opinion pusher like me, so let’s get into the bone and sinew of this interview, with author Kim Paffenroth.


Cthulhu Week: Cthulhu’s Reign Anthology Review

Posted on August 18, 2010 by

Sometimes, when I’m itching for a story, I’ll pick up an anthology and check out some of the short stories that lurk within. To me, a good anthology has a broad range of stories; some will appeal to me, and some won’t. Released in April 2010, CTHULHU’S REIGN is a collection of tales edited by Darrell Schweitzer that gives authors like Jay Lake, Ken Asamatsu and Gregory Frost the opportunity to describe what happens after the Old Ones appear.

My interest in this anthology is more curiosity than anything, because so much attention is often placed on summoning Cthulhu or the Old Ones. So what happens after they appear? Well, if these stories are any indication, humankind wouldn’t last long. Such Bright And Risen Madness In Our Names by Jay Lake is a great story that meshes the first person voice so common in Lovecraft’s stories with a post-apocalyptic feel.


Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile Review

Posted on July 22, 2010 by

It’s come to my own personal attention that there are no longer any things in this world that excite me. It’s not that I am some dispassionate postmodern intellectual existential snob, OK-maybe I am, but it’s not as if my world view doesn’t allow for some joy. And when I got the email from Jacob over at Permuted Press, regarding an opportunity to review “Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile” from Zombie fiction legend, JL Bourne, I danced the dance of a thousand joys; which if you don’t know what that is –well, imagine a fully grown man running around flapping his arms like a 12 year old girl who just got to meet “Edward” from the “Twilight” saga.

Yeah- I will hang my head in shame as I write this. But my joy is still there, you can’t take that away from me.


The Suicide Collectors Review

Posted on May 28, 2010 by

So I decided to take a break from my normal routine here, and review a book that doesn’t fall under the realm of “zombie fiction” , I know dear readers- it’s a scary world out there when you decide to jump- but I if you can’t broaden your horizons, even just a little, you are doomed to a life of sedentary devotion, and well- I looked around and saw that the book had never been reviewed which is a shame because it’s fantastic, so might as well, right? Onward ho!

Albert Camus, the mid twentieth century writer and philosopher, who penned the fantastic piece of literary work called “The Stranger” along with the concept of “the absurd” in post modern, existential philosophy also released a book entitled “The Rebel” which was an essay on man in revolt, or at least that’s what the byline says.


Darkness on the Edge of Town Review

Posted on May 19, 2010 by

Let’s start this one by taking a trip in the way back machine about several months ago. While hanging with a buddy of mine, I came across his just read copy of Urban Gothic by Brian Keene. I’d never read any of Keene’s work before, but after reading the back of the book and being given the thumbs up from my pal, I read it for myself. It was a blunt and gritty ride on the horror express that I dug mucho and vowed never to enter a vacant house again. It even became one of my earliest reviews posted here on da’ Flames. Since then I’ve gone on to collect and read a few more of his books and have become quite the little fan.


Serpent Scales: Happiness is a Sten Gun Review

Posted on April 12, 2010 by

I reviewed the Savage Worlds edition of The Day After Ragnarok a few months back. As a fan of bleak settings, Kenneth Hite’s dark little world is a contender. Atomic Overmind Press now releases Serpent Scales, which are meaty bits that focus on a specific (and I mean specific) aspect of that world. In this review, Hite takes on the British Sten Gun, which may be most deadly to its user.

I’m going to combine layout and artwork today. I mostly liked the layout with the exception of a sidebar on page two. The sidebar could have been a bit darker for readers.


Vampire Apocalypse Fallout Review

Posted on February 23, 2010 by

Fallout is the third volume in the Vampire Apocalypse series written by Derek Gunn. This story picks up almost immediately after the previous book, Descent into Chaos, wraps up. Now, the free humans are still recovering from the events of the previous novel, and have new challenges to face. Burdened by a huge influx of rescued people to their hidden community, the main characters have a lot of challenges weaning them off a deadly serum and integrating them into their new lives as survivors and freedom fighters.

I’ll say from the start that this review will be difficult to write without spoiling something in the story. There is a lot of action in this volume and plenty of twists and turns to the ongoing narrative. So, I’ll attempt to spoil as little as possible in the review, but a few minor bits might slip through in the process…


Grants Pass Fiction Review

Posted on January 15, 2010 by

This review is long overdue. Matt sent me Grants Pass, an awesome post-apocalyptic anthology edited by Jennifer Brozek and Amanda Pillar (more on why it’s awesome below) this past summer. It may have even been late spring. And after reading the introductions on my computer screen (which, on initial read, made chills creep up and down my spine), the anthology languished on my computer. I could not get myself sitting down in front of the screen long enough to read the carefully crafted short stories, couldn’t explore their interconnectedness while looking at them on a monitor. I printed out the whole pdf onto paper — but the formatting was a little odd, and not only was the collection heavy, the font was so large on the print out that it actually made it difficult to read. The three ring binder I put it in traveled from room to room in my house — but it didn’t open. The book languished… until I decided to try out an e-Reader. In less than a week, I’ve accomplished what it took me months to do: finished reading the whole anthology, cover to cover (as it were).


Crystal Rain Fiction Review

Posted on November 20, 2009 by

CRYSTAL RAIN is the debut novel by author Tobias S. Buckell about John deBrun, a fisherman who had lost his memories, who becomes embroiled in a conflict to save Nanaganda against the bloodthirsty Azteca.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up, because the title and the cover art totally threw me. Billed as science fiction, I was surprised to see a swashbuckling guy with a hook holding a gun on an airship. Then I started reading CRYSTAL RAIN, and I was immediately hooked. In my mind, CRYSTAL RAIN accomplishes what I like the most about the science fiction genre. CRYSTAL RAIN explores the consequences of advancements in technology on both the environment and the culture, but it does it in a way that’s integrated with the story, the world and the characters.


Kill Crew Fiction Review

Posted on October 7, 2009 by

When I got my mitts on a copy of “The Kill Crew”, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I’d never heard of author Joseph D’Lacey before and had no idea what to expect from him. The book itself is only a slim eighty pages and most of my experiences with novella’s of this size haven’t been exactly stellar. However, it was as good of a time as any to dig in and see what Mr. D’Lacey had to say, so I did.

At first my expectations began to dwindle in the first few chapters. The Kill Crew tells a tale about a group of survivors dealing with the aftermath of a zombie like plague. All the zombie fanatics out there will find familiar territory in these first few chapters, especially fans of the comic series The Walking Dead. The zombie’s types here are referred to as “Commuters” due to the fact that they only come out at night and because the majority of these things in life were the commuting white-collared desk jockeys and similar professionals still garbed in their professional attire.


Vampire Apocalypse Optioned for Graphic Novel

Posted on September 14, 2009 by

Publisher New Baby Productions announces that a graphic novel adaptation of Derek Gunn’s acclaimed Vampire Apocalypse novel series is in the works. “I’m really thrilled with this new direction as I always felt that (Vampire Apocalypse) really lends itself to this format,” stated Gunn. Vampire Apocalypse was published in September 2006, and has been optioned by producer/screenwriter Richard Finney to be a feature film. A script has already been penned by Finney and Franklin Guerrero Jr. Fallout, the third book in the series, will be released this October from Black Death Books.


9 Movie Review

Posted on September 14, 2009 by

When I went out to see one of this weekend’s newest box office’s offerings “9”, I knew a scarce few details about it. I knew from the trailers it was CG animated, it has robots covered in burlap bags, I knew it had something to do with a post-apocalyptic setting, I knew that the #1 fan of darkness and the macabre himself Tim Burton produced it and I knew it carried a PG-13 rating. With these details I was eager to see it, and to make sure I was covering more bases since I planned to review this flick, I brought along my fourteen year old daughter with me to get her thoughts and insights. I assumed the film might have been more aimed at an audience more her age level than my own. To a point I was right on in my assumption, but in others points I was way off.

Doing some homework after paying 9 a visit, I’ve since learned that it was based off of an 11 minute silent short from new director Shane Acker as his thesis project from his grad school days at UCLA. The short film gave the world a 3-D setting, by that I mean Dark, Desolate & Destroyed.

Review by Steven Dawes


Eclipse Phase RPG now available from Catalyst Game Labs

Posted on August 23, 2009 by

Your mind is software. Program it.
Your body is a shell. Change it.
Death is a disease. Cure it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it.

Eclipse Phase is a post-apocalyptic game of conspiracy and horror. Humanity is enhanced and improved, but also battered and bitterly divided. Technology allows the re-shaping of bodies and minds, but also creates opportunities for oppression and puts the capability for mass destruction in the hands of everyone. And other threats lurk in the devastated habitats of the Fall, dangers both familiar and alien. In this harsh setting, the players participate in a cross-faction conspiracy called Firewall that seeks to protect transhumanity from threats both internal and external. Along the way, they may find themselves hunting for prized technology in a gutted habitat falling from orbit, risking the hellish landscapes of a ruined earth, or following the trail of a terrorist through militarized stations and isolationist habitats. Players may even find themselves stepping through a Pandora Gate, a wormhole to distant stars and the alien secrets beyond.

The Eclipse Phase RPG is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.


Day After Ragnarok Review

Posted on August 21, 2009 by

It’s a world where jetpack-toting heroes combat Fly-By-Nights (a combination of toad, bat, and gorilla). It’s a world where a 200-foot tall tidal wave decimated the North American East Coast. It’s a pulp setting full of Communists, Klansmen, Norse myth, and much more. It’s a world that comes from the twisted mind of Kenneth Hite, and it’s worth staking out. The Day After Ragnarok (DAR from here on out) is a new savage setting for Savage Worlds that takes place in a world where the line between World War II and Norse myth blur, permitting Jörmungander, the Midgard Serpent, entrance to our reality.

DAR’s layout proves Spartan. Cleanliness lends to divinity though in that the finished product looks smart. Instead of the usual two-column format, DAR primarily favors a single column. Neatly placed sidebars work to make an exception to this.


A special message about JOHN DIES AT THE END

Posted on August 20, 2009 by

Hello Flames Rising readers,

Below is a very important message from David Wong, author of the soon to be re-released John Dies at the End. Please read it carefully as your life may depend upon the information it contains…

My most terrifying experience reading a novel was when I opened my copy of White Fang and a dead spider fell out.

I’ve always felt like that’s what a good horror novel should do. That is what I told Jacob at Permuted Press when it came time to put John Dies at the End into print a couple of years ago. My idea was to rig each copy with a plastic spider that would jump out at the reader when they opened page 42. It was as simple as cutting a compartment into the middle pages and rigging some kind of spring mechanism.


Romero’s Survival of the Dead Trailer

Posted on August 19, 2009 by

As the sixth installment in George Romero’s zombie film series, Survival of the Dead offers a new storyline and (of course) more zombies. Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in mid-September, the film’s announcement has been met with mixed results. Some zombie lovers are groaning at the thought of another film in the series; others are interested in the story about a group of survivors who leave their island to find a cure and save humanity.

There are a number of stills from the movie that have recently been released through the TIFF website.


Ergo Proxy Anime Review

Posted on March 18, 2009 by

Anime has come a long way since Astroboy and Voltron, as is evidenced by even the merest glimpse of Ergo Proxy. This visual delight, though perhaps not the latest, is – in this reviewer’s opinion – one of the greatest anime series to come out in recent history.

Delightfully dark, Ergo Proxy revolves around two main characters: Re-l Mayer and Vincent Law. Re-l, privileged Citizen and Security Bureau member of the post-apocalyptic eden-dome of Romdo, becomes rapidly obsessed with a bizarre series of murders committed by AutoReiv androids.

Review by Aly Condon


The Rising Fiction Review

Posted on March 3, 2009 by

So to be perfectly honest, I’ve been going back and forth on whether on not I actually wanted to write this review. It basically came down to ‘not burning bridges’ in a very small universe, or being honest with my readers. (I know, all three of you.)

When I weighted it out, I decided a bad review treated fairly and note based on gut reaction might be better for the internet as a whole then a blank space. Plus, that way, as new readers show up, (I’ll welcome you, reader number four,) they can feel secure that I’m reviewing for honesty and not just for links.

Review by Filamena Young


API Worldwide: Canada – Coming Feb. 2009

Posted on January 21, 2009 by

Canada CoverFace the Dangers that Lie Beneath

Regardless of what you may think… Canada is neither boring nor safe. There are untold dangers around every corner, and few of our kind to fight. We will strike back with determination and wit. We will be triumphant… because there is no other choice.

…And Stay Ready for Anything

API Worldwide: Canada is the first regional sourcebook for Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. It is a complete guide to playing in or running adventures set in the Canadian region. Details on the dreaded entity known as the Thing Under the Ice and the plans of the Circle of Ten’s Great Strategist, along with new races, magic, creatures, and equipment await within.


Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. RPG Review

Posted on January 6, 2009 by

I was excited to receive my review copy of this corebook. There are genres that I enjoy and there are genres that I love. Preventing Apocalypses falls into the latter category. In fact, I hoped it could provide the mechanics for a two-year old campaign I have been running.

The idea of agencies combating the supernatural, while not original, remains a wide open field. There are several facets of the genre that can be explored, be it comedy, splatterpunk, or Lovecraftian horror. The game’s subtitle–An Action, Horror RPG . . . with a twist of Humor–relates the focus of API. This is a lighter look at the supernatural, something along the lines of Hellboy.

Review by Todd Cash


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