Encyclopocalypse Publications has done something fantastic in bringing this classic piece of 1980s animal horror back to life. Capitalizing on the fears of the nuclear age–of science gone wrong–Mark Kendall penned this exciting tale of deadly, swarming flies descending on the unexpecting people of New Mexico. From the moment the truck transporting the load of genetically modified flies crashes until the clamorous conclusion, we witness close-up accounts of people, pets, and livestock as they run afoul of the insect menace. Scientific hubris, myopic politicians, and a wholly unprecedented threat combine to create a perfect storm for the horrors to unfold in the worst way possible. At the core of the story, a mother’s desire for revenge propels us along a reckless path amid the devastating events scattered throughout the tale. New faces appear only to be summarily devoured and left as a bloody pulp by the devouring proboscises of the flies. Sean Duregger is at the top of his narration game, lending each character their own distinctive voice, breathing life into even the most minuscule roles within the story.
The Damned Place could be considered the spiritual successor to Stephen King’s IT, transported into the 1990s from the 1960s of King’s pivotal masterpiece. Coming of age tales are a familiar substrate upon which horror authors can build a significant sense of dread and high stakes, relatable terror–after all, we were all children once upon a time, complete with imaginations and an unflappable sense of our own invulnerability. Some attempts are more successful than others, and Chris Miller’s foray into the subgenre is massively successful. Deep in the woods is a dilapidated house with a history so unspeakably awful that almost no one in the nearby town of Winnsboro remembers it exists. When a group of friends stumbles across the house, they unwittingly draw the attention of a monstrous, hungry creature hoping to slip through the border between worlds and into ours. It’s in this place that they also discover their world is more magical and unreal than they’d have ever expected. Miller provides readers with an unflinching, uncensored glimpse of a world populated by bullies, tragedy, and alien beings. With gritty, grimy realism, Miller drags us into the story he’s crafted, forcing us to bear witness to extreme depravity and cosmic horror in equal measure. Gone is the infamous underage sewer orgy of King’s novel, but don’t worry because Miller manages to add plenty of discomforting and unsettling elements to his book. But it’s not all about the terror, The Damned Place is also about the strength of friendship and the courage found in the face of impossible conditions. Daniel Caravetta’s narration captures the accents and speech patterns of the characters in a way that makes them jump off the page for the audiobook edition of Miller’s novel.
Arnold’s mother isn’t doing well, and when his father–for some unknown reason–can’t track down Aunt Dorreen to babysit while he takes mommy away to get her some help, there’s no choice but to enlist Molly’s help to take care of Arnold. Unfortunately, Molly isn’t alone for long, and her friend’s brought along some hard drugs. We’ve all been warned about the dangers of drugs, and Arnold has too. But peer pressure from Jimmy the Chimp might be too much for Arnold to bear, especially when the prospects of becoming King Arnold are rapidly diminishing as he struggles to be a good boy. In this hallucinatory installment of the Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories, Caffrey blurs the line between what’s real and what’s happening solely in Arnold’s imagination, providing us with a tale of dizzying escapades of extreme violence and sexual content. The audio edition provided with the purchase brings the whole experience to life in all its vivid and disorienting detail, lovingly narrated by the author.
You can read this for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device. The link is below:
Arnold desperately wants to attend the school dance, but he doesn’t have a date. While Jimmy the Chimp thinks it’s ridiculous that Arnold even wants to waste his time on something so stupid, he decides it’s better to help Arnold than to listen to him whimpering and being depressed. Attempts to meet a woman in a shopping center or to obtain a prostitute with the winnings from Pork Chop’s dogfighting don’t go smoothly, but Arnold finds a date on his own in Emily, a crippled girl he meets while performing charity at school. It wouldn’t be a Peter Caffrey story if everything came up roses from there, and the story devolves into murder, accusations of molestation, and Jimmy the Chimp leading Arnold on a mission that’s sure to destroy more lives in the process. As always, Caffrey provides his fans with audio narration of this story in addition to the usual digital files for reading, and his enjoyment is clear if you take the time to give the audio edition a listen.
You can pick up all of Peter Caffrey’s Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
Scoutmaster Tim Riggs should have postponed the Troop 52 camping trip to Falstaff Island off the coast of Prince Edward Island when he heard that a storm might be heading their way. If only he’d done so, the tragic and horrifying events that followed could have been avoided. Of course, if that had been the case, what would Nick Cutter have written instead of The Troop? The book begins with an emaciated, starving man, sick in appearance and erratic in behavior, venturing into a diner where he struggles to satisfy his intense and unrelenting hunger. Filled to bursting, he leaves and ultimately makes his way to the shore of Falstaff Island, where he takes the hideous and insidious life teeming within him on a collision course with Tim and the five boys of Troop 52. With no way to escape, a storm brewing on the horizon, and an unseen threat looming beneath the sick man’s skin, no amount of scout know-how can prepare the boys for the nightmare that is about to devour what should have been a fun and adventure-filled camping trip. Intensely disquieting body horror meets man-vs-nature in an absolute masterpiece that combines Lord of the Flies with an almost Cronenberg-style narrative of infection and parasites. As Ephriam, Max, and Newt struggle to survive, they tap into resources they didn’t know they had and learn more about themselves and each other than they’d ever expected. It’s not only the microscopic peril brought to the island by its host but also the unbridled machismo of Kent and the serial killer-in-the-making of Shelley that pushes the boys past their limits. Interspersed throughout the narrative are supplemental reports and investigative elements that fill in the blanks for the reader, adding to the discomfort as we learn more about what awaits the boys than they know for themselves. There is harm done to animals throughout this book. That can be uncomfortable to read, but it serves the narrative well and never feels gratuitous. In particular, the experience with the turtle is poignant, and it reminds us that these are children we’re following on this harrowing and torturous odyssey. Corey Brill’s narration of the audiobook is fantastic. He does an excellent job of providing each of the boys with their own distinctive voices and cadence, never forcing the listener to keep track of who they’re listening to at any given time. While I loathed the character, Brill’s performance of Shelley was the stand-out portrayal, instilling the skin-crawling sensation that boy would surely produce.
Arnold’s wanted a dog for some time, especially since he and Jimmy the Chimp murdered the cat–along with the rest of the neighborhood cats. When he and Jimmy meet the resentful service dog who never gets to have any fun, they decide that they’re going to take Pork Chop out for a night on the town. It’s a win-win situation. Arnold gets to enjoy having a dog for a while, and Pork Chop gets to experience being treated like a pet rather than a slave. Everything goes about as smoothly as one should expect from a Peter Caffrey bedtime story. The adventure descends into a place of madness filled with death, gypsies, dog fighting, gambling, murder, and toothless oral sex. If you’re curious about how all of that falls into place, you’ll have to check it out for yourself. Once again, audio narration is provided by Caffrey, so you can enjoy the sensation of having him read you this lovely addition to his bedtime stories series as you drift away to a nightmare-plagued slumber. I made the mistake of listening to this at the gym while running on the treadmill, and I was grateful that I had the place to myself because I started laughing out loud at various points.
This–and the other bedtime stories–can be picked up from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device. The link is below:
Arnold’s parents have a honeymoon to celebrate, and they’re leaving for the weekend–what Jimmy the Chimp insists will be a “dirty weekend.” Arnold and Jimmy are thrilled to imagine a weekend left to their own devices while their usual babysitter casually ignores them while sneaking into the sauce. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s in store for them. Instead, Arnold and Jimmy are carted off to spend the weekend with Arnold’s aunt Dorreen, a new age hippy with a vegan diet and a vastly different idea of fun from what Arnold and Jimmy the Chimp have in mind. A surprising session of naked yoga is the last straw, and the rest of the weekend becomes a rollercoaster of death, dismemberment, and debauchery. Caffrey continues to entertain with the antics of Arnold and Jimmy the Chimp while creating bedtime stories that only the least qualified parent would share with a child. Thankfully, he provides audio narrations of each of these stories, so you can settle in and let him read these amusing tales to you just like mommy and daddy did before they were hauled off by Child Protection Services and incarcerated.
You can find this, and the other titles in the series, by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The link is below:
The Professor has previously deconstructed, distilled, and devastated classic literary prose with his magnificent and monstrous homages to some of the great writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This time he’s set his sights on something far more primal…a well-loved fixture of North American cryptozoology…Bigfoot. Two campers amid passionate playtime in their tent are interrupted by a startling roar that incapacitates them in preparation for the monster coming their way. Cruel and sadistic, the creature takes pleasure in torturing his prey as he builds up to a climax of cyclopean proportions, and The Professor keeps us right there, in the center of the action without relenting or taking any more pity than the beast itself does with its prey. Envisioning the sasquatch as a carnal clamoring colossus, The Professor joins the ranks of those–like Lucas Milliron–who transform the beast from the friendly, secretive forest dweller of Harry and the Hendersons into a vile, sexually aggressive predator. A cautionary tale about the risks associated with camping, and especially against having sex while doing so, Spunk of the Sasquatch paints a revolting portrait of the elusive beast. By the time his rumbling roar is resonating within your bones, it’s already too late. Just remember, all he wants is a little head. Naturally, The Professor includes an audio edition of this thrilling tale. I recommend settling in as the man himself caresses your ears with the vile and visceral details conveyed through his voice.
You can obtain this for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
Arnold and Jimmy the Chimp are up to no good yet again as Christmas approaches. The school is preparing their annual Christmas performance, and Arnold initially believes he’s being left out, without a role to play. When Arnold is tasked with handling the donkey for the nativity play, it’s only a matter of time before everything goes wrong. Problems with erectile dysfunction from his father provide Arnold and Jimmy with all the inspiration they need, and Terry the donkey has the excitement of his life ahead of him. As a prank becomes an unforgettable nightmare for the students and family in attendance, Christmas will never be the same again. As with all of the Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories, Peter Caffrey provides us with audio narration of this delectably depraved tale that is unsuitable for all but the most emotionally and psychologically scarred children and the adults they grow up to become. The quality of his narration is no less impressive than many of the professional audiobook narrators on the market, so readers/listeners have no cause for disappointment.
This title was released through http://www.godless.com as part of the AntiChristmas event for December of 2021. You can obtain a copy for yourself by going to the website or downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
As much a collection of world-building elements as a story, The Raven Tower contains the same depth of political intrigue, examination of social structures, and mythological explorations one should expect if they’ve read other books from Ann Leckie. Much of the narrative is taken up by historical musings and the interactions of various gods, in particular The Strength and Patience of the Hill and The Myriad, two ancient gods who watched as humanity evolved and developed cultures and language. Relayed to us by that ancient god, The Strength and Patience of the Hill, The Raven Tower is the story of Eolo, a soldier and the aide to Mawat, the next in line to serve as Lease to the Raven, God of Vastai. Upon being called back home from the conflict at the border, Mawat discovers that his father, the previous Lease, has disappeared when he should have sacrificed himself upon the death of the most recent incarnation of the Raven. In his father’s place, Mawat’s uncle is sitting on the bench belonging to the Lease, proclaiming himself as such, in defiance of both custom and Mawat’s wishes. While Mawat mourns the father he believes to be dead and seethes with anger at his uncle’s presumptuousness and betrayal, Eolo sets out to solve the mystery of how any of this could have transpired. The truth, when revealed, might be too costly for those involved and far too dangerous for the kingdom of Iraden. As interesting as the story of court intrigue, murder, and betrayal happens to be, I found myself wanting to hear more about the gods, their machinations, and the history of this world the deeper I delved into the story. Leckie has a knack for creating worlds that beg for the reader’s attention, drawing us in and making us crave more. The Ancillary books had a trilogy that allowed for greater satisfaction of this need, and I’m hoping that this won’t be the last time we visit the world she’s created with The Raven Tower. The casual acceptance of Eolo as a trans-masculine character was a nice touch, without ever seeming shoehorned in or forced. This should come as no surprise to anyone who read the Imperial Radch trilogy, in which it was obvious that Leckie has a knack for exploring non-binary identities and cultures with the same deft hand that Ursula K. Le Guin brought to The Left Hand of Darkness. There are sure to be readers who dismiss this book because of that. But those are the same people who proclaim that they don’t want politics in their fantasy or science fiction, so it’s a simple thing to dismiss their opinions as uninformed, historically ignorant, and irrelevant. Adjoa Andoh’s narration captures a wide breadth of characters and accents with seeming ease, though there were times when certain accents initially seemed a bit silly or cartoonish at first. As the audiobook continues, those accents seem less pronounced as the listener adjusts to hearing them and becomes acclimated to the environment cultivated within the narration. I certainly prefer this over the alternative, where every character sounds approximately the same, and there’s no variation where cultural differences should exist.