Archive for ghosts

Morpheus Tales Christmas Horror Special Issue

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2011 by stanleyriiks

The Morpheus Tales Christmas Horror Special Issue is out now!

Featuring some great Christmas themed fiction:

Merry Christmas By Wayne C. Rogers

Christmas Rising By James Gabriel

Santa’s Tenure By Alan Spencer

On Christmas Eve By Iain Paton

Shop ‘Til You Drop By A.D. Barker

Christmas Mourning By Greg Chapman

Last Of The True Believers By Mark Zirbel

Christmas Yet to Come By Jeff Suess

Ye Merry Gentlemen By John S. Barker

All of the Other Reindeer By Peter Rawlik

Happy Christmas By Stanley Riiks (That’s me!)

Mary’s Boy-Child By Wayne Simmons

Morpheus Tales Magazine is published quarterly in January, April, July and October. Because of the publishing schedule seasonal material is rarely used, but the first story in the collection inspired editor Adam Bradley (my brother from another mother) to publish this completely FREE magazine. Work started on the issue in December last year, opening to submissions shortly after until 1st of September.

The cover, by artist Gareth Partington (whose work has been featured on Morpheus Tales covers before), was originally a Christmas card.

I wrote four stories with the Christmas theme over the summer, finding it difficult to think of snow, fat men with beards, gingerbread biscuits, and presents, with the sun shining, the windows open and the heat wafting in along with the smells of barbecues. Christmas has always been a happy time in my family, despite the stresses and strains of the year, we come together to celebrate and spend time together until we get sick of each other (normally boxing day, 26th December!), so it was just as difficult to think of a nasty situation to pair up with Christmas. Horror comes in many forms, and the Christmas theme certain brought out a good range, including murder, zombies and lots more.

The magazine is completely free of charge to view, download and distribute. Send it to a fiend for Christmas!

You can read and view the Issuu version of the magazine or download it here:

http://issuu.com/morpheustales/docs/christmashorrorspecial

You can download a pdf copy here:

http://www.morpheustales.com/christmashorrorspecialissue.pdf

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to all!

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DEAD STREETS By Tim Waggoner – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by stanleyriiks

You might have thought that our hero and narrator, Matt Richter, Private Investigator, having his head cut off would be the end of the story. But this is Nekropolis, and Matt’s a zombie, so having his head cut off is just the start of his problems. He then finds out that his body has been stolen.

This is, literally, the beginning of a series of events that drive us towards the obvious conclusion, deftly swerved by Waggoner.

To give you any more of the details would be a disservice, and it’s the richness of the exploration of the mystery, as well as the brilliance of Nekropolis, that keeps you coming back for more.

This second book in the Nekropolis series focuses more on plot, whereas the first book with a mystery wrapped inside a guide book to everybody’s favourite strange city of the dead, the strange, the alien.

For anyone who has never read Nekropolis, the first book in the series, the mystery of a stolen artefact offers our zombie detective Richter the opportunity to explore the magically twisted city of Nekropolis, and gives us a back history of this underworld and our hero/narrator. Not the greatest novel ever written, it’s the city of Nekropolis that makes the book. It’s difficult to describe, but a dark adult version of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas might be the closest you could get. It’s inhabited by wizards, vampires, ghosts, werefolk, zombies and all manner of dark and mysterious creatures.

The second book moves on with the relationships and the world first explored in Nekropolis and moves it all forward. The plotting is better here, but there is still a distinct lack of tension, probably because Matt is already dead and that struggle for life is over. The mystery isn’t so much of a mystery, until the end, but it’s the getting there rather than the result which is the important part.

This is a fun book, it’s enjoyable for the very idea of the city, further explored here to great effect. But with a decent plot and some added tension, this would have been an amazing novel. There’s still the third book to hope for, but I’m not even sure Waggoner of capable of blowing us away.

BAG OF BONES By Stephen King – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Michael Noonan is a writer suffering hideous writers’ block after the tragic and unexpected death of his wife. But the block, resulting in all manner of symptoms including migraines, stomach cramps and vomiting, seems to disappear entirely when Michael heads to Sara Laughs, his holiday home on the lake.

There, Mike meets Kyra, a three year old girl, walking down the centre line of the high street in town. And shortly thereafter he meets Kyra’s mother, a teenage widow who is in the middle of a custody battle with a billionaire father-in-law who will stop at nothing to grab her child away. Without meaning to Mike gets caught up in the drama and decides to help out.

What Mike gets himself into will turn all of their lives upside down.

Only King could get away with the first hundred pages of the novel just warming you up, hardly anything happens and yet he still manages to keep you attention. The book builds slowly, developing towards the epic finale which continues in intensity, depth and astoundingness the further into it we get.

King always feels the need to put in some kind of supernatural entity, and here, like in Rose Madder, it feels like its being forced. This could have been a shockingly horrific action thriller, without the supernatural element. But King refuses to deny his roots (normally such a good thing!), and produces not only bad ghosts but good, friendly and helpful ghosts too. A stretch too far perhaps?

Of course, even bad King is good. And this certainly isn’t bad, it’s one of the better novels, although slightly over-the-top in terms of the supernatural, and a little long-winded, but what King novel isn’t. It’s too easy to pick criticisms when you have such a great deal of choice and such a wide range of novels, but some of those criticisms are certainly justified. On the whole Stephen King is a story-teller who grips the reader, entertaining us wholeheartedly, and providing lifelong memories.

Bag of Bones is one of King’s better novels, which puts it towards the top of any pile of horror novels. It sucks you in and makes you feel, and really, what more could you ask for.