Archive for gary mcmahon

MEAT By Joseph D’Lacey – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by stanleyriiks

I originally read MEAT in 2008, it was the first novel by an unknown (to me) writer named D’Lacey. I was actually shocked, shocked, by one scene. I’d never been shocked before, and having read horror for twenty-odd years I didn’t expect to be shocked. I was surprised to be shocked (of course since then I’d read Gary McMahon and Andy Remic!).

I enjoyed MEAT immensely, and have been a fan of D’Lacey ever since, he is a story teller with an agenda, but he never lets that get in the way of a good story. MEAT is being re-released by Oak Tree Press and it’s about damn time. If you want to read a scary book then you need to read this one, it’s sheer brutality is a joy to behold. It’s shocking in a way that very few books can ever be. This is D’Lacey at his brutal best, the original review and I stand by it. Read this book people, read it now!

It’s very difficult to review a book without giving away the basic premise, but I’m going to have to try because it’s such a good surprise that I really don’t want to spoil it for you.

But you should read this book, and you should find out what the surprise is for yourself.

I devoured it in three days, and had to chuck my girlfriend out of the flat so that she would not distract me. And she’s a pretty nice distraction!

Richard Shanti works at Magnus Meat Processing, a huge slaughterhouse that provides all the meat, and through methane processing, the power for the town of Abryne. He’s known as The Ice Pick and he’s MMP’s top stunner, the man who puts the bolt into the brain of the cattle. But Richard starts to think that something is wrong at MMP, something very wrong.

There are various other strands to the plot, including a mad, half-starved prophet intent on ruining MMP whatever the costs, someone trying to find out the truth about the Ice Pick, Magnus himself protecting his monopoly at any cost.

This is so much more than a horror novel, although it contains one of the most horrifying scenes I’ve ever read, and I’m a veteran of the splatterpunk era and video nasties. It’s at once, a horror, science fiction, and morality tale.

Brutal and tender at the same time, MEAT is a highly accomplished first novel from an author who shows a lot of promise.

www.oaktreepress.co.uk

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13: Tales of Dark Fiction – 15% Discount on 13th of May

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Morpheus Tales Publishing is so proud to print a story of mine in their first original anthology (alongside such heroes of mine as Joseph D’Lacey, Gary McMahon, Eric S. Brown, Shaun Jeffrey, Tommy B. Smith, Alan Spencer, Matt Leyshon, and a handful of other great writers [Andrew Hook, William R. D. Wood, Gary Fry, and Fred Venturini] I was less familiar with but equally pleased to be published alongside) , that on the 13th are every month they offer the book at a 15% discount!

Go and get your copy now and read one of my favourite stories, inspired by using the women’s toilets at work when the men was out of action. Post-apocalyptic dystopian misery…

http://www.lulu.com/shop/adam-bradley-and-tommy-b-smith-and-eric-s-brown-and-joseph-dlacey/13-tales-of-dark-fiction/paperback/product-18720432.html

The ebook is also available on amazon for kindle, and through smashwords in multiple formats.

The Function Room: The Kollection By Matt Leyshon – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2012 by stanleyriiks

This is horror pornography. A non-stop and diverse collection of violent and brutal filth. The pages literally drip with ruin. This is horror for horror fans. This is for those wishing to push the boundaries of taboo.

Those familiar with Morpheus Tales will know of Leyshon’s work, the first of the Function Room stories have featured within the magazine’s pages, and these are true works of genius. Uninhibited, utterly sensual in their horroristic descriptions, his stories are thick with atmosphere. Reading the Function Room stories is like watching a snuff movie, hideously depraved and yet so fascinating you can’t take your eyes off it.

But this is just part of the Kollection, although many of the stories are linked and contain familiar characters, there are a few stand-alone, or less obviously connected, stories. There is a wide range here, from the dripping filth of “The Function Room” to mysterious Lovecraftian towns, mass suicides, vampiric creatures, nasty children and loads more. A full bucket of originality, depth, characterisation and atmosphere. Leyshon does not hold back, he is unafraid of exploring the darkness of humanity in the same way Clive Barker or Gary McMahon do.

My favourite are definitely the Function room stories, where his heavily stylised world drips with filth and decay. Leyshon writes stories that are so visceral and dripping with atmosphere and filth you feel the need for a shower afterwards. These stories are written with a knowledge of depravity that makes me smile. Very few stories, and this is especially difficult with short stories, can give you such a feeling of immersion that you feel disgusted and unclean. Leyshon’s twisted vision is sheer genius.

Having read far too many single author collections and anthologies this year (I much prefer novels), there is only one collection that every horror fan should read and that is The Function Room: The Kollection. It will likely disgust some, send others whimpering to their bed, but will also put a sick and disturbed grin on some (including my own) faces.

This first collection from Leyshon promises much and deliveries in filthy, dirty, brutal blood-filled bucket loads. I cannot remember when I felt impure and entertained at the same time. Twisted genius.

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/matt-leyshon/the-function-room-the-kollection/paperback/product-20424435.html

Also available through amazon, on kindle and smashwords.com

BEYOND HERE LIES NOTHING By Gary McMahon – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by stanleyriiks

Review published courtesy of Morpheus Tales Publishing.

 

This is the third and final chapter in McMahon’s splendidly brooding Concrete Grove trilogy.

Reading the first two parts of this story isn’t essential to your enjoyment, as the third novel, like the other two, stands on its own, but they are interlinked, and knowing what’s going on beforehand will greatly enhance your understanding of the Grove and appreciation for the events unfolding therein.

This book has several cleverly woven plot strands, including: Marc Price, visiting the Grove for a funeral and investigating the Northumberland Poltergeist, discovers a lot more than he bargained for while delving into his dead friend’s archive; Eric Best, a gangland thug and  protective ex-boyfriend to Abby, will stop at nothing to keep his ex for himself, including murder; DS Royle is separated from his pregnant wife, who can’t live with him or without him, meanwhile, the policeman is investigating the disappearance of the Gone Away Girls, a series of unsolved kidnappings, and then scarecrows start appearing with photos of the missing girls attached… post-mortem photos.

Beyond Here Lies Nothing has the same heavy, brooding atmosphere of the first two books. It is stifling and you can’t get away from it, which adds to the increasing drama, both human and supernatural. Although the human beings in McMahon’s novels are horrible enough, he doesn’t rest there, inserting some strange and spookily unreal action along the way.

Although this is an ensemble piece and lacks the depth of characterisation of the stunning second book in the series, Silent Voices, it is more ambitious in scale and plot. Both previous books lead in to this catastrophic finale.

Although not as brutal and nasty as some of his other novels, this isn’t quiet horror; it still hurts, and that’s what horror is all about – making the reader feel. McMahon does this by drawing us into his story, creating realistically flawed characters and brutally punishing them.

McMahon has his finger firmly on the carotid artery of modern horror.  No horror fan should be without the entire Concrete Grove trilogy and the Thomas Usher novels.

www.solarisbooks.com

October Morpheus Tales Supplement out this weekend!

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by stanleyriiks

The huge Morpheus Tales Supplement will be out this weekend! I promise! Working hard right now to fit everything in, unfortunately late reviews of Gary McMahon’s Beyond Here Lies Nothing, the final novel in the Concrete Grove trilogy made it in too late to be included, as did the review of Mark West’s What Gets Left Behind from Spectral Press. Both are excellent, and reviews will be appearing here soon.

You want sneaky peaks of the reviews? (Be warned these are unproofed!)

Beyond Here Lies Nothing By Gary McMahon

“This is the third and final chapter in McMahon’s splendidly brooding Concrete Grove trilogy.”

“Although the human beings in McMahon’s novels are horrible enough, he doesn’t rest there, inserting some strange and spookily unreal action along the way.”

“McMahon has his finger firmly on the pulse (the carotid artery) of modern horror.  No horror fan should be without the entire Concrete Grove trilogy and the Thomas Usher novels.”

What Gets Left Behind By Mark West

“I’ve heard the name Mark West, but never read any of his work and not felt the need to pick up either of his novels. After reading this short story from Spectral Press though, West now has an ardent fan, I will be seeking out his work.”

“I can’t remember when I’ve read a short story this good. West has done a grand job and the usually excellent quality of the Spectral Press chapbooks is nudged up to stunning with this.”

The October issue of the MT Supplement will be around 80 pages, and include a massive preview of Matt Leyshon’s The Function Room: The Kollection, which launches on 31st of October. I’ll be reviewing the book around launch time, but from what I’ve seen so far (some of the stories have featured in Morpheus Tales Magazine) it’s going to be amazing!

In the meantime check out the past issues  of the MT Supplement and other free magazines and previews from Morpheus Tales here:

http://issuu.com/morpheustales

HELL TO PAY By Shaun Hutson – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2012 by stanleyriiks

This book from 2004, follows a similar pattern to Hutson’s other “horror’ thrillers of the time such as White Ghost.  Around this time, Huston seems to leave the supernatural horror of his previous books behind and head into this new “thriller” territory. Normally there would still be plenty of violence and disturbing gruesome descriptions (that Hutson’s known for) to up the ante on the usual thrillers out there.

Hell to Pay follows the same principles, including the various plot-lines intersecting towards the end for a climactic showdown.

Nikki Reed is in trouble, big trouble. Her and her husband owe the local gangster twenty thousand pounds, most of it spent down the bookies and gambled away, the rest spent on Playstation 2s and similar unrequired accessories. They have until the end of the week to find the money, or they’re likely to be killed by the loan shark, who is already threatening them with violence.

Roma Todd is having an affair. Her husband is virtually estranged, spending all of his time at work and providing little in the way of parental support for their ill daughter Kirsten.

Detective Inspector Fielding is called to another murder. A young boy found washed up by a lake. The third child to be killed. Is it a serial killer they are looking for or a paedophile? Or both? With few clues to follow the police are searching for any lead they can get.

So these three plot lines will eventually intersect, but the climatic action denouement that you would expect ultimately fails to be realised. There is a slight twist, but not enough to satisfy.

One of the great things about Hutson’s novels is the pop-culture references, but reading a book that’s eight years old mean searching through the annals of history. That’s not Hutson’s fault obviously, the fact the book has been lying on my shelf for eight years though is down to the dissatisfied feeling I had after reading White Ghost. That is Hutson’s fault.

Ultimately Hutson is a decent writer who has moved away from what he was good at, writing horror novels, to have a go at the more lucrative thriller market where he does not excel. Nowadays Gary McMahon does urban horror with a much better grasp of the intricacies of modern youth culture, and a better handle on violence and atmosphere.

To write off Hutson as a has-been based on a book written eight years ago is far too harsh. Some of his novels, those that I grew up with such as Nemesis, Death Day, and Relics, are classic British horror. I need to read a more recent Hutson novel to make a more informed decision, and because of his former skill he can’t be written off after a couple of decent, if not impressive, horror thrillers. Decision pending…

Morpheus Tales July Supplement – Coming Soon!

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by stanleyriiks

Right now I’m working hard on the July issue of the FREE MT Supplement! It’s gonna be another big one at around 40 pages! We’ve got the usual excellent reviews and columns, also a slew of new comic reviews, and loads more. The MT Supplement can be downloaded or read on the website:

www.morpheustales.com/reviews.htm

Here’s a preview of the almost finish table of contents:

SILENT VOICES By Gary McMahon
DON’T PET THE SWEATY THINGS By K. J. Hannah Greenberg
HUNTER’S MOON: VISCERAL TALES OF TERROR By R Scott McCoy
DARK NORTH By Paul Finch
ORC STAIN
THE DEVIL’S NEBULA By Eric Brown
A JAR OF WASPS By Luis Villazon
Horror’s New Chopping Block By Alan Spencer
SINFUL By Yolanda Sfetsos
TOXICITY By Andy Remic
SAUCER COUNTRY
THE LEGEND OF RACHEL PETERSEN By J.T. Baroni
How to Write a Book at Gunpoint By Luis Villazon
REVELATION: CREATURES RULE THE NIGHT By Nathaniel Connors
Ramblings of a Tattooed Head By Simon Marshall-Jones
NAZI ZOMBIES
PAX OMEGA By Al Ewing
STRANGENESS AND CHARM By Mike Shevdon
GHOST WRITER (Kindle edition) By Tom C. Underhill
RASL
RAILSEA By China Mieville
DARK ECLIPSE #9 (the Dark Moon e-zine)
EDGE OF DARK WATER By Joe R. Lansdale
vN By Madeline Ashby
DEADLINE: THE HORRIFYING ADVENTURES OF HARVEY BANKS, TABLOID REPORTER By Jochem Van der Steen
THE HAMMER AND THE BLADE By Paul S. Kemp
THE RESPECTABLE FACE OF TYRANNY By Gary Fry
SUSTENANCE By Nate D. Burleigh
From the Catacombs: Graphic Lovecraft By Jim Lesniak
BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON By Larry C. Kerr
HUNTER’S MOON By Charlotte Bond
THE LAST REEF AND OTHER STORIES By Gareth L. Powell
Matt Leyshon Interview
NEW YORK BLUES By Eric Brown
EVA – A GHOST STORY By Mike Emmett
Shaun Jeffrey Interview

See, I told you! Loads of stuff!This might not be the final order, but everything listed above will be appearing in the July issue.

Might even be able to squeeze in a mini scream queen interview. That should probably read scream queen mini interview, not mini scream queen!