This volume collects the issues which make up one of the most well-known stories in X-Men history. Though the story tends to meander a bit in the beginning, it ramps things up in a big way in the last few issues. I remember watching the adaptation of this in the ’90s animated series and being incredibly moved, despite not quite understanding all the nuances of the story. It was fascinating to revisit this tale in its original incarnation. Even 40 years after its publication, it remains a highlight of Marvel’s catalog.
For nearly a decade and a half, you couldn’t talk about female violence in literature without mentioning the name Gillian Flynn. Going forward, you won’t be able to do so without mentioning Samantha Kolesnik. With her debut TRUE CRIME, she firmly cements her place in the canon. TRUE CRIME is bleak, nuanced, and frankly, just beautifully written. TRUE CRIME may wear its influences on its sleeves, but it transcends them, becoming something far more interesting. It’s a meditation on the shadow self, full of literary allusions, heartbreak, and passages that made me have to stop reading, just so I could fully digest what I’d just taken in. It’s the type of debut every author dreams of: like McCarthy’s CHILD OF GOD, it displays an author who has already realized her potential, and isn’t honing her craft in public. In the hands of a lesser author, TRUE CRIME could’ve easily devolved into a preachy manifesto or episodic violence, but Sam is so much better than that. The future of dark fiction is in good hands.
*Note: This review refers to the 2019 Deadite Press edition, which also includes the story Smirk.
As one of the founders of the bizarro movement, Gina Ranalli proved herself to be one to watch and with her newest release she shows exactly why.
The titular story is a lot of fun and so strange, it begs you to keep turning the pages. I could easily see it expanded into a full-length novel a la The Swarm or one of James Herbert’s classic works of gross-out horror.
The second story Smirk shows an author at the peak of her powers with descriptions so vivid, you’re planted right in the action. I pictured events unfolding in my local Whole Foods. And that ending… so satisfying.
It’s time we start recognizing Gina Ranalli as a master of the genre. The two stories here are only small examples of why we all should be reading her.
I read this collection after an entire month of reading almost nothing but Richard Laymon and Bryan Smith. Amid all that bloody good pulp, it was nice to read something meditative, personal and moody. The collection opens with an introduction that contextualizes the stories and lets us know upfront that it won’t be an easy read. Nearly all the pieces contained within this collection explore loss and its many dimensions. My favorite of the bunch is probably “Nature Unveiled,” though they all punch pretty hard. The tales also veer into pulp territory–there’s even a mash-up of Edgar Rice Burroughs and William S. Burroughs–and while a lesser author would let these genre trappings pull him away from his central theme, this isn’t the case here. As someone who’s time and again found solace in horror and transgressive art, I found these elements enhanced the narrative, existing as fantasies with which the narrator seeks to escape the true horrors of existence. Grief hovers over each paragraph. The too-huge void left in the wake of a deceased loved one dwarfs the antlered gods, Martians, and zombies found within these pages.
Chandler Morrison’s Until the Sun is full of pain, beauty, and some of the best prose I’ve read all year. His words evoke a wide range of emotions: Horror yes, but also joy, sadness, longing and bleak cynicism, often on the same page. If this is the new bar, the rest of us need to work a lot harder.
This collaboration between Ford and Hayward is a spooky Twilight Zone worthy tale gleefully infused with a heavy dose of dark humor. I fell in love from the first line and finished the book happy. The authors perfectly captured the nuances of a father-son relationship, laid the atmosphere on thick, and crafted some truly memorable scenes.
I will try to be better about putting my reviews here on my blog from now on. In the meantime you can View all my reviews on Goodreads.