Donna Latham’s You Should Have Let Me In is a short flash fiction piece, so I’ll keep my review short as well. It starts with a knocking at the door and a sinister presence demanding entry, but it’s not the front door the stranger is seeking to access. Taking a page from I Know What You Did Last Summer, Latham provides her cruel, gruesome take on when an accident becomes something worse.
This short fiction title was only available by signing up for the D&T Publishing newsletter. You can do so by going to the following site, Since then, the title was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. The link for that will be below as well:
Hell Week introduces us to Tailor, President of the Sigma House fraternity, just as he’s about to cross a line from which he’ll never come back. Let’s face it, though, Tailor was an irredeemable and monumental piece of shit long before he ever approached the line he’s careening toward. You’re sure to feel just like I do, thinking Hoop can’t show up fast enough. Tailor and his inner circle of fraternity brothers pride themselves on degrading women in every conceivable way, but they appear to especially enjoy drugging and raping impressionable and insecure younger girls from their college. Alone with Nicole/Melanie/Pig Dolphin as she’s rapidly losing consciousness, Tailor discovers that taking everything up a notch might be the only way he’ll be able to get off this time. Already a monster, he doesn’t flinch as he passes the point of no return, in the process, destroying multiple additional lives with casual cruelty and disregard for anything approaching humanity. This kid should have been on Hoop’s radar for a long time before the events of Hell Week. Spoiled, narcissistic, cold-blooded, and lazy, the best that can be said about Tailor is that he’s apparently handsome and that he comes from wealth. Thankfully, with Hoop’s intervention, Tailor manages to do something good, unintentionally taking out the trash as he receives his comeuppance. Lewis Kelly is a new name for me, as I’m sure he is for many of you, but his is a name you’ll want to be watching for. I do not doubt that we’ll be seeing a lot of good material coming from this up-and-coming writer. Hell Week is a worthy addition to the Hoopiverse, and Lewis is a worthy author to have been included.
This title is available September 15th, 2021 on http://www.godless.com or through the Godless app, available on your preferred mobile platform. The link is below:
Molly Massacre’s HorrorGasm page on FANdom is successfully drawing subscribers with her horror-themed camgirl antics. She’s generating income at a rate most girls on FANdom would probably kill for, but everything is far from perfect. Molly wants out of the life she’s living with her narcissistic, domineering, drug-dealing boyfriend, Chad. With the assistance of her best friend (and business manager), Selena, Molly has a plan to escape from her boyfriend and to start a new life. For her final HorrorGasm performance, with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-inspired vibrator, Molly raffles off the chance to go on a date with her, and the plan seems to be wildly successful. Unfortunately, Chad’s increasingly erratic behavior and the white knight fantasy of a HorrorGasm subscriber, Dylan, send the plan off the rails. Will Molly Massacre’s HorrorGasm ultimately lead to true horror? You’ll have to read the story to find out. Unlike a lot of Noir’s fiction I’ve read, there is no supernatural/paranormal element to this tale. Horrorgasm is a straightforward thriller with a heavy erotic component. Don’t dismiss this story for the lack of surreal horror. Nikki Noir is no one-trick pony, and she’ll have you speeding through the pages, desperate to see where she leads you.
Horrorgasm is a Godless Exclusive title and you can obtain it for yourself at http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your smartphone, tablet, or Kindle device. The link is below:
If like me, of the two major vampire films released in 1987, you prefer the Kathryn Bigelow directed Near Dark over Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys, Knuckle Supper is the vampire novel for you. The Lost Boys may have had the audience and the soundtrack, but Near Dark had the brutality, originality, and grittiness that befitted the monsters at the heart of the story. Knuckle Supper carries that tradition into 21st-century horror literature. Stepek writes vampires the way one might expect from someone who wants to take the monsters back from the L. J. Smiths and Stephenie Meyers of the world, restoring them to the darkness and underground where they belong. It’s difficult for me to describe what he’s put together in these pages that race past the reader at a rapid-fire pace. Knuckle Supper is, in effect, Anne Rice meets Irvine Welsh, Near Dark meets Requiem for a Dream, and a little bit The Warriors meets 30 Days of Night. If that doesn’t intrigue you, I honestly don’t know how else I can try to describe it without just reading the book to you, and we know I’m not going to do that. We meet RJ and Dez as they’re preparing to murder a pimp in the home they’re squatting in, a steadily depreciating house once belonging to a former child star turned heroin addict. RJ, Dez, and the rest of the Knucklers aren’t your typical Hollywood vampires, even though they live in Los Angeles. Blood isn’t their only addiction. They need heroin to survive. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as spiking a needle into their veins to get their fix. They need blood to carry the high into their starving, desiccated internal organs. Enter the pimp they’re about to have for supper. The (almost) 13-year-old prostitute carelessly tossed into the bathroom is all but forgotten as RJ and Dez make a mess of the place in their desperate chase for a fix. Against his better judgment, and displaying more humanity than his peers, RJ decides not to kill the young girl. This act of uncharacteristic decency is how Bait becomes part of his family. It’s also how everything begins to spiral out of control, ultimately bringing RJ face-to-face with The Cloth, an organization he’d dismissed as nothing but a vampire’s boogeyman, and the painful truth at the core of what RJ actually is. Drew Stepek introduces readers to a Los Angeles populated by a different sort of gang, consisting of a wholly different kind of gangster from what we’ve become familiar with from popular culture. The city is divided up between tenuously allied gangs of vampires, each feeding and dealing on their own turf. Brutal, far from immortal, and impulsive, Stepek’s vampires are prone to massive errors in judgment, and it’s only a matter of time before the flimsy alliances fracture and violence ensues. There’s more to this story than drug addiction and graphic violence, though there’s plenty of both. There’s also a depth and character to this story that underscores the superficial, splattery elements of the narrative.
You can obtain a copy of Knuckle Supper as well as the sequel, Knuckle Balled, by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device: The link to this title on both Godless and Amazon are below:
Brand New Cherry Flavor is a book packed with originality and uniqueness. There’s a potential within this story, a barely suppressed tension and horror seething just below the surface, that sadly never quite reaches fruition. My comment on wasted potential is not to suggest I didn’t enjoy the story because it was surprisingly enjoyable. I feel almost as though the lack of gratification or fulfillment was an intentional stroke by the author. Consider it a page from the Bret Easton Ellis playbook, metafictional and intentionally subverting the expectation of the readers. Lisa Nova is, for the most part, not a likable character. Throughout the narrative, she fluctuates between appearing vapid and slyly witty while perpetually coming across as shallow. Being unlikeable does not, however, make her unsympathetic. Witnessing as her life spins out of control with an increasing cost in collateral damage, it would be challenging to dismiss her plight. We join the tale just as Lisa’s passed over for a promised role as the Assistant Director on a major film project. This position had been promised to her by Lou Burke, the man she’d been having an affair with up until that point. As a concession, her now-former lover sends her to meet with people who will capitalize on her looks by paying her to star in a pornography adjacent film. Lou Burke, or as Lisa repeatedly refers to him, “Lou Greenwood, Lou Adolph, Lou Burke,” is a class act. He deserves to have a fork stabbed into his leg. Incensed, and seeking revenge, Lisa goes to her ex-boyfriend, Code, to inquire about a hitman she’d heard about through him. This leads her to Boro, and the rest of the story evolves in its phantasmagoric way from that interaction. Traveling from Hollywood to Brazil, from Brazil to New York, and from New York back to Hollywood, Lisa discovers that Boro has not only taken the job of destroying Lou Burke–and his family–but is also providing Lisa with the power to shape the world around her in ways many people could only dream of. Psychic tattoos, a mythological white jaguar, zombies (of the voodoo variety), drugs of all flavors and varieties, magical filmmaking, mirrors that show the past, and a garden of human limbs are only some of the more bizarre elements of this story. Though I enjoyed this book a good deal less than I would have liked, I can certainly understand the appeal it has for other readers/listeners. The audiobook narration supplied by Marguerite Gavin made the story more enjoyable than it might have been without such a competent narrator. She certainly managed to fully convey the character of Lisa Nova better than I think many narrators could.
The Doze takes the unrelenting violence and satisfying splash of gore and viscera from the previous two Godless League installments and runs headlong into a concrete wall with it. Of course, this concrete is the fluid manifestation of Jack Slaughterdozer. If you’re trying to figure out just what sort of superhero The Doze might be, think a little bit Sandman, a little bit Green Lantern, maybe a touch of Venom, and a whole lot of Hulk–plus just a smidge of Lennie Small, for those who read Of Mice and Men. The Doze can transform himself from an already dangerous man into a giant formed of living concrete, able to transform himself into seemingly anything he can imagine–and his imagination for causing damage is virtually unlimited. When assholes from Construction Mercenary Union Local 222 show up to demolish Slaughterdozer’s home in the landfill on behalf of Globoshame Construction Corporation, all hell breaks loose in the most graphic, over-the-top manner one could imagine. I’m pro-union, but these guys deserve what’s coming to them. Running counter to the excessive violence and concrete climax, there’s a story of tragedy and pain, with the loss of Slaughterdozer’s family and the painful cost of illiteracy. Stepek takes readers on a rollercoaster of highs and lows that shouldn’t even be possible within such a short tale, but he guides us masterfully through the loops and whirls, and we reach the end exhausted and fighting back tears.
You can pick up The Doze, as well as the other Godless League titles, by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your mobile device. The link is below:
If you take a dash of Brave New World, toss in a healthy dose of Bladerunner, and blend it all with a bit of sadism, you’ll end up with Sweet Tooth by Matthew A. Clarke. It’s a short story that overall feels like a transcript for an episode of Black Mirror. The ultra-wealthy have finally done away with the poor and undesirable, and they’ve replaced those forgotten and discarded people with Hollows. Hollows are manufactured in bulk to perform the menial tasks and services the ruling class deems beneath them. Candy is such a hollow, designed to be an escort–though not in a sexual sense, as she isn’t equipped with the necessary parts. In tribute to the banality of all existence, we first discover Candy is becoming aware beyond her programming because she’s unhappy about someone else deciding how her hair should look. Other Candy models are disappearing, and there appears to be a man involved in those disappearances. Our Candy finds herself in the predicament of needing to unravel the mystery behind the missing hollows while maintaining her facade of going along with her base programming. In a sense, this is a truly depressing, dystopian vision of a possible future, extrapolating on the income inequality and class warfare we already experience. More than that, it showcases that no amount of weeding out undesirables based on social status will erase the sort of people who become serial killers today. Those types of people will always find a new group of “less dead” as criminologist Steven Egger refers to the typical victims of serial murderers. Clarke captures that grim reality in this story. Is there a happy ending? Is such a thing even possible in a world like that? You’ll have to read the damn story for yourself to find out.
Sweet Tooth is a Godless exclusive title available at http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on the mobile device you utilize for reading digital texts. The link for the story is below:
Byron Sweet is a killer with a signature style. Haunted by the accidental death of his mother, Sweet forged himself into a professional killer, but he’s a killer with a conscience. But, like all assassins–and all men–inevitably do, he’s reaching the point when he won’t be able to perform. Planning to retire, Sweet is called into service one last time with the promise of a massive payday. Will this “sweet shot” be his last? Does this sound like a well-trod path full of tropes and stereotypes? Of course, it does. But Todd Love excels in subverting those tried and tested tropes the story leans into, by filling the interstitial space with so much creativity and sheer absurdity that no amount of catering to preexisting conventions could detract from the tale. Byron Sweet is no grizzled government assassin you’ll find in the pages of pulp suspense novels or big-budget action thrillers. He’s a man you’ll only ever find in the realm where indie horror and bizarro overlap. While a sequel certainly isn’t likely, I would love to read a whole series of novels focused on the life and work of Byron Sweet. I think you’ll feel the same way after you’ve been turned inside out by his “sweet shot” too.
Sweet Shot is a Godless Horrors original short. You can obtain this title for yourself–at no cost–by visiting http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
If you haven’t read Arzate’s Elaine, I can vouch for the fact that it’s not necessary to enjoy I’m a Marionette. I also haven’t read the story that sets the stage for what we discover in these few pages. Amy wakes up in what appears to be an abandoned, run-down hotel room. Surrounded by filth and unfamiliar with how she found herself there, she grabs her purse and makes her way to her car parked outside. The atmosphere is oppressive and unsettling, and Arzate maintains that atmosphere throughout the tale. From that auspicious beginning, we soon discover that Amy, along with her mourning parents, has been searching for information regarding her missing brother, Chris. The last thing she remembers was deciding to purchase a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store before finding herself in the grimy hotel room. I’m a Marionette perfectly captures the fluid dream logic that makes the worst nightmares so challenging to shake. Amy finds herself led along by impulses she only barely comprehends–and certainly does not control–as she meanders through a world that feels only slightly like the real world she expects. We can’t help but witness Amy’s unsteady travel through this surreal, nightmare version of Wisconsin, as helpless as the dreamer when they don’t know they are dreaming. I couldn’t help but appreciate Ben Arzate’s rather different interpretation of a train station, as Amy flips through the apparently empty radio channels only to find one station broadcasting what sounded like the constant thrum of an approaching train. I found myself thinking, “That’s a different sort of train station.” I immediately picked up Elaine after finishing this story, and I suspect you might do the same. If it’s half as captivating and unnerving as I’m a Marionette, it’ll be worth the price of admission for sure. The three poems contained within the Godless exclusive edition feel perfectly in line with the story that precedes them, carrying the same surreal, dreamlike horror beyond the conclusion of the story itself.
This edition is exclusive to http://www.godless.com or from the Godless app, available on your favorite mobile devices. The link is below:
One of the highlights of KillerCon Austin 2021 was the quality of the performances that made the Top 3 in the annual Gross-Out Contest. Strawberry Shortcake was the second-place story written and performed by Daniel J. Volpe. Under normal circumstances, this story would have been the unquestionable winner. There was, however, a dark horse contender who slipped past and snagged victory from the fox’s teeth. Don’t let the cover art fool you. Daniel J. Volpe has written no wholesome tale of cartoonish glee and childlike wonder. Or maybe it is? The protagonist does indeed recall fond memories from childhood desserts as he discovers a delicious and unexpected treat in the port-a-potty at the local county fair. Even our narrator finds himself a bit surprised by just how blessed he is. He even forgets to take a shit. We’ve all been there, right? Strawberry Shortcake is perhaps the closest I’ve come to reading something that can be defined as stomach-churning, which is high praise coming from me. What are you waiting for? It’s short, it’s sweet–if we believe the narrator–and it should surely leave you gagging for more.
Strawberry Shortcake is a Godless exclusive title, all proceeds going to charity. You can pick this title up for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your favorite mobile devices.