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.
Just as the nightmarish and unfathomable events of Abhorrent Siren are reaching their feverish conclusion in San Antonio, the events of Abhorrent Faith begin. An inclusive, interfaith potluck hosted by a local Rabbi is interrupted by a hideously transformed–and transforming–monstrosity and the rabidly bigoted evangelical preacher seemingly controlling it. As the world outside the synagogue devolves into chaos and madness, a different sort of madness is on display in the defiled sanctuary. Baltisberger packs this follow-up to his previous novella with just as much perversity and horror but a different brand of social commentary. The scathing indictment of the opioid epidemic is still present, but that takes the backseat as he focuses his ire on bigotry, nationalism, and the anti-semitism embedded in altogether too much of society–and human history as a whole. Calling out the inherent hypocrisy, scriptural ignorance, and mental gymnastics embedded within right-wing Christianity, one can’t help but feel a thrill each time Ari stands up to Adrian King. At the same time, one can’t help but feel the almost tearful frustration and anger at Ari–or anyone–having to contend with the level of ignorance and hate given unworthy life in the story’s antagonist. It doesn’t take long for the reader to recognize that the monsters aren’t all outside, and I’m not talking about the infected, mutating members of Ari’s interfaith circle. Altogether too much of this narrative is non-fiction, in the sense that these abhorrent acolytes of intolerance and acrimony are everywhere one looks, and the anti-semitic sentiments are alive and thriving wherever people like that are platformed and given attention. Baltisberger is angry over this, and that anger seethes beneath the surface of his spectacular storytelling in this follow-up to Abhorrent Siren. The discerning eye might recognize a certain similarity between the cover art and a certain evangelical nut known for unhinged rants and barely suppressed bigotry. This is not an accident.
This title is available through multiple avenues, but you can pick it up for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The link is below:
Bel, The Last Dragon begins in the Land East-of-Nod, a dizzying and unreal metropolis populated by beings that defy easy description. Not altogether dissimilar from Barker’s Midian–though the nature and scope of this story is far more grand than Cabal–there’s a certain flair and beauty from which one definitely feels a Barker-ish flourish as Bel wanders the streets of this hidden city. Bel, long believed dead, believed himself to be deceased as well. During the American Civil War, he’d sacrificed himself in the centuries-long War of Dictates between the Sheydim and the Watchers (fallen angels bent on molding the human world to their twisted whims). Following that sacrifice, Bel’s fellow dragons sacrificed themselves in retaliation, each falling in turn, though the tide of the long war only marginally swayed in the direction of the Sheydim. No longer solely the first, Bel awakens outside the Land East-of-Nod as the last dragon. Enraged and distraught by the loss of his brethren and the minimal benefit gained by their sacrifices, Bel wants revenge. Advances and knowledge gleaned during his centuries of restorative slumber have provided Bel with a chance to obtain the revenge he seeks. A series of islands existing in a strange tangential space separate from the human world is ruled over by Watchers who seek dominion, independent of their brethren. Here, the Sheydim and their allies have a chance to strike profound blows against the power of the fallen angels, to gain strength and the expertise necessary to ultimately assault the Watchers divying up the human world. In this place, Bel will mete out the bloody, fiery vengeance that drives him as he learns to work with those who have fought this war while he slumbered in near-death. The first target is the jungle island ruled over by Habbiel and his forces. Whether you’ve read the epic poem, War of Dictates, you’ll benefit from diving into this tale of cosmic horror and fantasy crafted by Baltisberger. If you’ve had the pleasure of reading War of Dictates, you’ll be pleased to see familiar faces in a format more conducive to truly getting to know them. If you haven’t read the poem, this can be your introduction into the realm of War of Dictates and a primer of sorts that can make your journey through that twisted and violent epic all the more complete.
This title comes out in May of 2022. A link will be added once it becomes available.
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.
Ash Ericmore’s Daddy confirms that the Smalls brothers came by it all honestly, everything from their knack for stumbling ass-backward into situations they’d have sooner avoided to their peculiar sense of nobility and morality. Between Mumma and Daddy, we’re forced to admit that the Smalls siblings turned out as well as could be reasonably expected. When film buff and criminal, Daddy Smalls, is offered a job driving a truck filled with drugs up North, he’s more than happy to oblige. It’s only after he learns that he’s transporting something entirely different that he’s driven to teach the buyer a lesson. Quick-witted, unflappable, and prepared for violence, Daddy will need to call on all of his resources–including that borderline supernatural luck that the whole Smalls clan benefits from–as he discovers himself face-to-face with a sadistic, monstrous, and perverse opponent in a house designed to prohibit escape. And yet again, somehow the Eastern Europeans are involved. They’re like cockroaches. If Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie had taken a stab at writing a script inspired by either the Saw or Collector series, this is approximately what Ash Ericmore has channeled in crafting this exciting installment in the ongoing Smalls adventures.
You can purchase all of the Smalls Family stories by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device. The link is below:
Waking up can be a bit disorienting. Waking up to a large room full of people attending your funeral would be vastly more confusing and horrific. For Gregory Laine (Gory), this is how it all begins. It’s only natural for a zombie to eat, but Engkent goes one step further and offers both a motivation and a purpose behind that constant drive to consume. With a mouthful of his girlfriend’s breast, Gory is captured by agents working for iASK, the Institute for Abnormal Scientific Knowledge, before he’s carted off to a secret facility where the institute hopes to study the properties that have resurrected him. In this miraculously undead specimen, the keys to various scientific and metaphysical mysteries could be revealed–if only the dead man would cooperate. Can anyone be prepared for the changes Gory is undergoing? What surprising revelations does he have in store for those hoping to monitor him, his former friends, and himself? Garry Engkent provides readers with an often-overlooked perspective within zombie fiction–the perspective of the dead–and he does so in a way that sets itself apart from the work of David Wellington, George A. Romero & Daniel Kraus, and others who ventured into this territory.
You can obtain this story as well as the other Emerge titles by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
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: