Blog Archives


The annual October horror read continues with John Steakley’s Vampire$. Steakley (1951-2010) was not a prolific writer. He had two novels to his credit. The other is the well thought of science fiction novel Armor (1984). Vampires was first a Roc/New American Library trade paperback in late 1990. The mass market paperback followed in 1992. […]

Sgt. Hawk: Tiger Island is the fourth novel in the series. Originally published by Leisure Books in 1982 and just reprinted by Rough Edges Press. The Marines have landed on the island of Rechnung but the push inland is halted. There are rumors that a company of Marines have disappeared altogether. The Japanese are testing […]

Leslie Turner White (1903-1967) started out writing for the pulp fiction magazines in 1930. He wrote mostly for the detective pulps in the 1930s, appeared in Argosy, Adventure, Short Stories, and Blue Book in the 1940s. He did manage to place a few stories in the slick magazines Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Liberty, and Country […]

Who likes to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel? A lot of people do. Maneaters: Killer Sharks in Men’s Adventure Magazines from New Texture is a recent offering in their fine line of books. Maneaters is an anthology of sixteen pieces culled from men’s adventure magazines from the 1950s to the 1970s. Some were […]

Karl Edward Wagner (1945-1994) is a figure that still casts a shadow. I discovered him in 1983 when Warner Books reprinted the five Kane paperbacks and also the horror collection In a Lonely Place. I have fond memories of reading Wagner, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Leiber in the summer of 1983 while listening to the […]

I wrote that William R. Forstchen’s One Second After was the scariest book I ever read. Dies Irae: Day of Wrath, a novella from 2014 by Forstchen is right up there. In the introduction, Forstchen writes: “I did not want to write this [book], but, as I expressed to friends, I feared that if I […]

Cosmic horror is one of the forms of horror fiction. It is also often cliched and hackneyed. The Brain Leakage blog alerted me back in January to Matthew Pungitore’s The Report of Mr. Charles Aalmers and Other Stories. I am usually up for good cosmic horror and ordered this book when available upon publication. The […]

A year ago, I wrote about C. J. Chivers’ The Gun. I just read another book about the AK-47 assault rifle. This one being Larry Kahaner’s AK-47: The Weapon That Changed the Face of War. This is the earlier book (2008), while Chivers’ book came out in 2011. AK-47 begins with the assault on Baghdad […]

We now come to the last four stories in The Philip K. Dick Reader. These are also stories all made into movies. “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” (F&SF April 1966): The story that became the movie Total Recall. Douglas Quail is an office worker with an obsession of going to Mars. The wife […]

Racial memory/ancestral memory/genetic memory– a concept used in fiction for fantastic effects for 140 years. H. Rider Haggard used the idea in The Ancient Allan, Jack London in The Star Rover, Edwin Lester Arnold’s Phra the Phoenician, and Robert E. Howard’s “James Allison” stories. Someone in the present remembering a past life of an ancestor. […]

I have looked at three of four novel by Marvin Albert writing as “Ian MacAlister:” Skylark Mission, Strike Force 7, and Valley of the Assassins. I had some luck at the end of summer finding the last, Driscoll’s Diamonds. I have been enthusiastic about Albert’s novels. Some consider Driscoll’s Diamonds the best of the lot. […]

The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy honored the best in fantasy fiction and artwork as chosen by the readers from 2009 to 2018. The awards were for traditional, heroic, epic, and high fantasy genres. There were some accompanying book anthologies of fantasy fiction: Legends (2013), Legends II (2015), and Legends 3 (2019). I just found […]