Abhorrent Faith by John Baltisberger

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: Jungles of Habbiel by John Baltisberger

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.

The Crimes & Passions of John Stabberger Volume 4: The Second Fall of the Third Reich by John Baltisberger

Immediately after Nazi scum kidnapped his romantic interest, Esther, John Stabberger sets out on a recovery mission that’s sure to produce copious amounts of blood and carnage. This is John Stabberger we’re talking about, after all. With the assistance of a celestial entity of indescribable appearance, Stabberger’s quest for vengeance and rescue leads him straight to the Texas Governor’s mansion–as one might suspect, when there are Nazis involved.
The Governor isn’t the only familiar face readers will encounter on Stabberger’s bloody rampage. He’s hardly the only bigot involved with Texas politics. Stabberger as well will come up against some familiar faces from his past on his way to retrieve Esther from the clutches of the Nazi menace.
Stabberger has faced challenging odds in the past, but will his rage and seemingly inexhaustible surplus of murderous implements be enough to take him through the countless guards, Nazis, and Nazi guards standing between him and his target?
Will there be a surplus of long pig for carnitas in Hell after everything is over?
Will you just read the damn story for yourself to find out?

This and the other Godless League titles are available from http://www.godless.com or through the Godless app on your mobile device. The link is below:

The Crimes & Passions of John Stabberger: Volume 3 The Stabshank Redemption by John Baltisberger

John Stabberger is back, and of course, he’s back with a vengeance.
That’s pretty much his thing.
After thoroughly laying waste to a former punk bar turned neo-Nazi cesspool, Stabberger patiently waits for the police to arrive on the scene. Sure, he could break into prison just as effectively as he could break out of one, but when there’s a chance to slaughter a bar full of neo-Nazis along the way, why wouldn’t he choose that path?
Why does he want to get into a prison, you might ask?
I’ll answer your question with a question.
Why haven’t you been paying attention or reading the previous Godless League titles?
If you’d read Antiva, the second volume in the Stabberger saga, you’d know that his next big target is presumably safe and sound behind bars where Stabberger can’t reach him, or so he thinks.
The Aryan Nation better watch out when John Stabberger joins them on the cell block because he means business, and he has no pity.
Baltisberger fills the pages with so much satisfying Nazi-killing action that it’s a veritable joyride for the reader. Vicarious satisfaction through fiction is probably safer and less legally problematic than going out to slaughter Nazis and alt-right scumbags for ourselves, but damn it if John Baltisberger doesn’t cause a bit of an itch for a bit of the old ultraviolence in his readers.
We have the pleasure of learning a bit more about Stabberger’s history in this installment and Baltisberger sets the stage for the subsequent volume in such a way that it’ll have readers chomping at the bit and wishing it was available now.

The third volume in the saga of John Stabberger was released as the first drop of the new year through http://www.godless.com and you can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

The Unclean Verses: Cantos 1 & 2 by John Baltisberger

Whether you’re a fan of horrorcore rap, brutal poetry, splatterpunk horror, or you simply have an unhealthy obsession with serial killers and the atrocities committed by those degenerates, The Unclean Verses: Cantos 1 & 2 is definitely for you!
I come at this as a fan of John Baltisberger’s poetry–as well as his prose–and this introduction to The Unclean Verses still managed to blow me away.
We’re introduced to a man who feels compelled by demons to perform terrible, violent acts. The descriptive, graphic violence conveyed in verse is so damn impressive, and I’m not just saying that because I volunteered to be one of the victims when Baltisberger was first putting this whole project together. I probably deserved what I got, though, because I feel like I was probably a terrible coworker. I guess maybe I just didn’t have my head in the game.
In a sense, as I wrapped up my reading of Cantos 1 & 2, I felt almost like I’d just read the least remorseful death row confession ever. Imagine, if you will, an unrepentant spree killer or serial killer mocking both the families of the victims and society as a whole by unleashing a hideous, cruel rap detailing his crimes with passionate aplomb. You won’t be far off from what Baltisberger has in store for you with this release.
These first two Cantos will pummel you into submission with the rapid-fire, insidious rhythm by which Baltisberger delivers his barrage of violence and graphic imagery. You’ll quiver with equal parts anticipation and terror, knowing that this is only the beginning.

The Unclean Verses: Cantos 1 & 2 is being released on October 6th at http://www.godless.com as part of the 31 Days of Godless event for October of 2021. You’ll want to pick this one up for yourself by going to the website or downloading the Godless app. The link is below:

The Crimes & Passions of John Stabberger: Volume 2 Antiva by John Baltisberger

Warning: There are minor spoilers included in this review!

We rejoin John Stabberger as he gleefully slaughters a pregnant neo-Nazi. How else would one slaughter a neo-Nazi than with glee? Upon extracting the baby from her foul womb with perhaps less than surgical precision, he has to figure out what he’s going to do with the infant. As single-minded as Stabberger might be, he recognizes that the newborn isn’t guilty of the mother’s evil.
Unfortunately, there are Nazis everywhere, including the hospital where Stabberger attempts to unload the baby on a buxom nurse. In fact, the hospital is less a hospital than a laboratory environment where awful human experimentation is conducted. Will John Stabberger finally meet his match in the unanticipated battle ahead of him? Well, of course not! He’s John Fucking Stabberger!
Questions are answered:
As sharp as an SS uniform might appear, is it anywhere near as sharp as a scalpel?
How many razor blades can one fit into the wrenched-open jaws of a Nazi scientist?
New questions arise:
What is John Stabberger’s secret past?
What happens when the blade spawning Nazi Annihilator encounters a target who is out of reach, with 24-hour protection and surveillance in a maximum-security prison?
This installment of the Godless League takes no prisoners. Do any of them? Taking aim at anti-vaxxers and Nazis alike, John Baltisberger delivers a tense, exciting thrill ride through hospital corridors and basement laboratories like a B-movie hero on steroids.

This is the first book available as part of the Godless Halloween event: 31 Days of Godless. You can pick up a copy for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Texas Horror, Edited by David Doub

A friend of mine brought a Kickstarter campaign to my attention months ago. Upon checking it out, I absolutely had to get on board. It was to be a graphic novel showcasing a variety of Texas-based comic and literary talents in an anthology setting. Since a lot of my favorite indie authors and small presses are based out of Texas there was no way I wasn’t going to support this campaign.
My digital edition of Texas Horror arrived just a few days ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We begin this anthology with Kitchen Witches: Origin of the Ramen Witch, brought to us by Halo Toons. A late-night visit to a convenience store becomes something unexpected as a cup of ramen in the microwave behaves in a way that defies any conceivable safety precautions.
Aerobicide: Blockbuster night, written by David Doub with art by Terry Parr, takes on a harrowing adventure that arises from a simple attempt to return some videotapes. You’ll find references to horror video rental royalty throughout this brief but entertaining escapade.
Demons In the Darkness: Part 1, written by David Doub, with letters by Daniel Chan and art by Dominic Racho, tells the story of a group of outcasts getting together for a night of tabletop role-playing after a rough day in school. As the story unfolds, an in-game ritual to purge some of the negativity from the real lives of the players might turn out to have some real-life consequences.
The Texas Horror Writers Showcase brings us flash fiction from some of my favorite writers in the industry today. John Balitsberger shares a tale of the famed Goatman’s Bridge and the sacrifices people will make to unlock secret knowledge. Lucas Mangum tells us the story of a camping trip gone terribly wrong in a story of beautiful flowers and mental illness. Wile E. Young brings us back to the world of Salem Covington (of The Magpie Coffin) from a different perspective. And finally, Max Booth III brings us a strange tale of gardening and family that will leave you wondering “What the fuck,” just as much as the father in his story.
Luna Vino, written by Mike Howlett and drawn by Howard Kelley, takes us to a manor where, no matter how unexpected the night might turn out, losing one’s favorite wine might be the worst thing that could happen.
Finally, Mask It or Casket, written by David Doub with art by Miguel Angel Hernandez, shares a poignant tale of the current pandemic. In this violent clash of ideological perspectives taken to extremes, it’s difficult to consider even one’s own side correct, though it’s hard not to sympathize with the antagonist’s frustration.
All in all, this is a great sampler of the fantastic horror-themed art coming out of Texas. It’s certainly added some names to the list of creators I’ll want to keep an eye on.

Though the campaign for this project has been over for a while, readers might be interested in some additional details. I’ll include the link to the Kickstarter below:

Son Of the Right Hand: Book of Ze’ev 2 by John Baltisberger

John Baltisberger takes everything great from Treif Magic and amplifies it with this sequel. As a result, Son of the Right Hand feels simultaneously more intimate and far more epic than the earlier installment in the story of Ze’ev.
Months after the intense conclusion of Treif Magic, Son of the Right Hand picks up after Ze’ev has had time to recuperate. With remnants of the cult scattered into the wind at the end of Treif Magic, Ze’ev has been hunting them down and bringing them to justice. As we follow Ze’ev into what he believes to be the hideout of the final members of the cult, he discovers something far more hideous and terrible than simply a couple of cultists.
Just when Ze’ev thinks he’s earned a well-deserved break from the darkness, an old friend reaches out with terrible news of a gruesome tragedy. Time is running out as another girl has gone missing, and Ze’ev doesn’t know if he can bear the weight of another failure. His struggle to do the right thing and bring his friend some closure brings him face-to-face with a monster from deep in the history of serial killer lore.
If that’s not enough, the past isn’t through with Ze’ev, as his superiors present him with what might be the greatest challenge he’s faced so far. Sandy, the young woman he saved in the previous book–kicking off the events that nearly ended his life–is to be taken into his care. Her brief encounter with the darkness coexisting within our world has tainted her in the same way Ze’ev was tainted as a young man. Now, it’s up to him to teach her how to navigate the world as she now recognizes it.
As everything collides in a tumultuous–and possibly fatal–climax, Ze’ev makes a deal that has consequences he may not be able to live with.
Fans of John’s religious horror masterpiece, War of Dictates, will be pleased to see some crossover from characters in that epic poem as Ze’ev crosses the boundaries that separate our world from the worlds of the things that live in the shadows. That scene alone is worth the price of admission. If you haven’t already read the Splatterpunk Award-nominated War of Dictates, then you need to address that shortcoming post haste.
Notable, within the narrative, we get to act as stand-in students as Ze’ev ruminates on what and how he will teach Sandy. This is brought to greater fruition as we experience her first lesson. The expositionary dialogue is fascinating and internally justified within the story, at no point detracting from the flow of the story.
It’s a damn shame that the next book isn’t already out because this one absolutely leaves the reader wanting more, and impatient too.

This title is also available through http://www.godless.com or via the Godless app on your favorite Apple and Android platforms. I recommend checking Godless out at the earliest convenience. It’s the new home for indie horror. The link is below:

Abhorrent Siren by John Baltisberger

I had the extreme pleasure of reading this book a few months ago. I immediately procured a copy once it was available on sale through http://www.godless.com because I sincerely believe that Baltisberger deserves all the support the indie horror community is able to provide.

Abhorrent Siren takes Baltisberger’s love of kaiju and elevates it to a new level beyond what readers had witnessed from previous titles like Blood & Mud and the epic poem, War of Dictates. This book is truly the love letter to the body horror and giant monster genres readers didn’t even know they needed.
It’s all too easy to get excited watching kaiju movies while never conceiving of the desperation and terror of those in the path of whatever horrifying monstrosity is lumbering their way. All too often, we witness those tales from the perspectives of individuals at a safe distance or the larger-scale perspective of the monsters themselves. Abhorrent Siren is not one of those stories. This book is Cloverfield rather than Pacific Rim. We are not on even footing with the creature slithering its slimy way North across Texas. We are not at any sort of remove from the horrific events taking place, at least not for long.
This is not to say that we aren’t provided with some perspective from those analyzing the situation and struggling to find both an explanation and a solution. Following the scientists, as they race against both the clock and the toxic mist exuded from the monstrous axolotl, to share their findings with those who might be able to do something is fascinating and rife with harrowing experiences along the way.
As we receive intimate, first-hand experiences of the body horror happening at ground level in advance of the creature’s arrival, we find ourselves equally horrified and disgusted by the transformations taking place both in mind and body. As readers, we are never allowed to forget the afflicted–while malformed and misshapen in every conceivable way–were once human beings. That constant reminder that these were once people serves to make the events all the more awful.
The author wasn’t satisfied simply to write a violent, breakneck-paced monster story. As with other material from Baltisberger, there are layers of subtext and social commentary laced within his viscerally poetic imagery. Embedded within what is a captivating–sometimes alarming–tale of grotesque, splattery horror, one will find a scathing meta-commentary on the opioid epidemic plaguing America. As we witness Barbara’s inability to escape the nightmare unfolding around her in her attempts to distance herself from the clinic, the commentary becomes all the more poignant.
Just wait until you reach the point in the story when Barbara comes home to Owen. It’s all downhill from there in the most gloriously, gratuitously disgusting way–especially after she brings another partner back with her.

The Crimes & Passions of John Stabberger by John Baltisberger

If you’ve ever seen Green Room–a fantastic flick–you’ll recall the thrill you probably felt as the fictional band, The Ain’t Rights, begins performing “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” (covering the epic Dead Kennedys track) from the stage of a neo-Nazi skinhead bar. You’re going to feel the same sort of thrill reading the scene at the trailer park as John Stabberger carves his way through a crowd of skinhead punks. Unlike Green Room, the story doesn’t go sideways for the protagonists, and Stabberger keeps on ramping up the violence until he’s–literally–ramping a motorcycle up a crane to board a fucking dirigible to slaughter more Nazi pricks.
Like a golem fashioned from flesh and blades, Stabberger is single-minded and fueled by rage, not to be deterred from his bloody business.
As the first installment of the Godless League series of stories, this one hits it out of the park in a big way. This story is full tilt, no holds barred, unrelenting violence perpetrated against the most deserving victims.

You can pick up your own copy from www.godless.com at the link below. I absolutely recommend that you do so.