Archive for joseph d'lacey

GARBAGE MAN By Joseph D’Lacey – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by stanleyriiks

A year after the miracle of horror that was MEAT, D’Lacey was back with a new novel and I had to read it. Garbage Man was a very different book, but it had that same raw intensity, it had that same passion and an underlining ecological theme. For his second book D’Lacey goes all B-Movie on us and brings us a powerful vision of a future corrupted by humanity and the toxic results! My original review is below:

This book is absurd. It’s ridiculous. And it’s bloody marvellous!

In D’Lacey’s debut novel MEAT he teased us in, providing a stark, gritty realism to draw us into his world, and then slamming us face first into the dark, depraved heart of his brutal, unforgiving, twisted reality.

Well, he’s back!

Shreve is a small mid-England town, a normal enough town with a normal enough set of individuals populating it. Shreve is also home to one of the largest landfill sites in the UK.

The populants of the town are Shreve are a varied bunch, there’s the Smithfields, their son Donald, a young paperboy having sex with one of his married neighbours, and Aggie, the wannabe model and teenage temptress. There’s Miss Ahern the nosey neighbour and religious nut. There’s Kevin and Tamsin, the married couple on the verge of breaking up. Ray and Jenny, two students whose relationship has run it’s course and who may find happiness in the arms of that married couple. And then there’s Delilah, an Earthy goth chick. And Mason Brand, former star photographer and now caretaker of one of the strangest creatures to ever grace the printed page…

In a superbly Frankenstein-esque moment during a lightning storm several piles of rubbish from the landfill awaken into creatures. But only one of the creatures survives as Mason finds it and starts feeding it, with his own blood. The creature, made of rubbish, feeds and grows. This truly gives a new meaning to recycling, as the creature consumes everything given to it, or it can take, and uses it to heal itself, to upgrade itself. It’s like a Transformer made of rubbish and when it eventually feeds on an entire human it starts to get the taste and realises that it shouldn’t be alone, it should be the commander of a massive army of other garbage creatures, and so it sets its army on a path of destruction that will change Shreve and the world forever.

This really shouldn’t work. It’s too ridiculous, except that it’s not. This does work, and it works well. The town of Shreve is set up very realistically, and the characters and their bad habits are all presented to us well before the actual horror starts. And when the horror does kick in it’s hard and fast and furious.

Not only does D’Lacey provide his knack for brutal realism, he creates a creature you care about almost as much as the other characters. The Garbage Man, although certainly a villain, is also something of a hero, and at the end you can’t help but feel a certain empathy with him in an almost King Kong moment.

The final ending is even harsher and more brutal than the attack of the garbage men and deserves mention as one of the spookiest endings I’ve read in a long time, one that will not only leave you pondering the sheer wretchedness of it all, but leaving you aching for more. The last few chapters show us the true power that D’Lacey can unleash.

It’s not a perfect package by any means, our ensemble cast provide little in the way of emotional involvement. The best character is Delilah and she doesn’t appear until the book is halfway through. And Aggie’s adventures in London are cut far too short, and probably could have been quite a decent book on their own.

D’Lacey’s tendency to use pertinent socio-political themes doesn’t detract from the entertainment, it enhances it. You cannot help but smile at the clear message, whilst enjoying the bloodlust and nastiness that D’Lacey uses to such great effect. A bloodlust and nastiness that is akin to Jack Ketchum’s brutality and is highly entertainment for the horror connoisseur.

Garbage Man is ridiculous, but in a good way. It is the skill and subtlety with which D’Lacey tells the story that raises this so far above beyond the ridiculous.

This is what horror should be like, no-holds-barred brutality, nastiness in an action-packed package.


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.

Morpheus Tales #22 Supplement – Out Now!

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Do I need to say more…

Probably not, but I will anyway. This is the reason I haven’t posted any reviews in the last couple of weeks! This is massive, and I put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make this huge magazine (which is free by the way!) for you. Yes, for you! More author interviews than you can shake a stick at, so many reviews I can’t even remember writing some of them! Here’s an idea of what’s in store for you when you read it, and you must, you must read it, you must you must!

67 pages of genre non-fiction, including author interviews with Richard Kadrey, Jay Posey, Joseph D’Lacey, Eric S. Brown, Richard Farren Barber, James A. Moore, Scream Queen Heather Dorff, and Scares That Care’s Joe Ripple. Plus, Jim Lesniak offers opinions From The Catacombs, Edward Drake on The Warrior’s Journey, Simon Marshall-Jones offers his Ramblings of a Tattooed Head column, plus loads of horror, sf and fantasy film and book reviews!

A free magazine you say? What more could you possibly ask for!

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…

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

BLACK FEATHERS By Joseph D’Lacey – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Printed with the kind permission of Morpheus Tales. This review will appear in the forthcoming (very soon!) Morpheus Tales Supplement!

Black Feathers is the first the first volume in the Black Dawn Duology. A story of an environmental apocalypse…

Gordon Black is born into a world that is starting to crumble. The very Earth is sick, its disease is humanity. Floods, solar flares, famine, financial crises, earthquakes, mudslides. The old saying that society is only 72 hours from falling apart is going to be tested.

The Black family can see what’s happening. They start saving tinned food, hoarding supplies, preparing for the worst. But they can’t prepare for The Ward (a multinational corporation, part police, part military, part government). The Ward takes control of a faltering nation. They “collect” people and their belongings, taking whatever they want or need. They are self-proclaimed saviours of humanity. Gordon’s family is collected and imprisoned by The Ward for hoarding supplies, but the teenage boy manages to escape with his life and sets off to find the mysterious figure called The Crowman: a figure that some say is Satan, and others say is the saviour. While The Ward chase Gordon down, he attempts to find The Crowman.

This is a story of discovery. Gordon and Megan Maurice (who also searches for The Crowman) set off into the wilderness to try to find answers although they don’t even know what questions they need answering. Both are at the mercy of a humanity shattered and broken, as well as rapists, murderers, liars, thieves. Both must discover the truth about the Earth, The Crowman, and what happened to the world.

D’Lacey paints a disturbing picture of the apocalypse, giving hints of the epic dangers and actions that took place, while focusing on the lives of our main characters and telling the story of these epic events through our protagonists. The horrors, instead of the numbing millions, are directly relatable to the terrors that both teenagers face. The human de-evolution due to the crisis is dangerously clear at every stage. Each new face they meet is a potential danger.

This first book sets up the scene nicely, gives us a lot of the background, and sets up a nice cliff-hanger ending that’s left me ready for more. D’Lacey gives us hints of the horrors of the apocalypse, making it a mystery for our protagonists to discover. The story is carefully laid out for the reader to interpret. This is intelligent and subtle, with life-threatening dangers on an individual scale, not an action-filled battle for Earth’s survival. Not yet at least; there may well be some of that in the second book in this duology (and from the author of MEAT, I’m really looking forward to that).

Black Feathers is an original and intelligent apocalypse story. It’s a myth-filled fable of the end of the world on an individual basis. It’s a coming-of-age story set on a cruel and broken Earth.

D’Lacey writes with a power and conviction that is scary. This could well be our future. Bring on volume two! Right now! I need to know what happens next!

Free April MT Supplement – Coming Soon!

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by stanleyriiks

The April issue of the MT Supplement is well under way! Although less underway than we normally are with only a few days till the 1st of launch month! Due to circumstances beyond our control (or me being a lazy slacker) the issue is not ready yet, there’s still plenty of work to do, but it will definitely be ready by Easter weekend!

Here’s a preview of the contents. This is going to be the biggest ever issue of the MT Supplement as it will include a massive preview of 13: Tales of Dark Fiction preview and review section, plus the usual host of reviews, articles, interviews and columns. I can guarantee this is not the final order of contents, I need to do a lot more work before this weekend.

It will be out in early April, although possibly not the first.

Go check out the website for past issues if you can’t wait:

VIVISEPLTURE Edited By Andy Remic and Wayne Simmons
THE FACELESS By Simon Bestwick
The Involuntary Spasm of Writing By Alan Spencer
ROUGH MUSIC By Simon Kurt Unsworth
GIANT THIEF By David Tallerman
THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BODY HORROR Edited By Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan
Ramblings of a Tattooed Head By Simon Marshall-Jones
THE NOCTUARY By Greg Chapman
DESOLATE (Kindle edition) By Robert Brumm Jr.
MILE 81 (Kindle edition) By Stephen King
DEADFALL HOTEL By Steve Rasnic Tem
THE SEA OF FLESH AND ASH By Jeffrey Thomas and Scott Thomas
13:  Tales of Dark Fiction
Introduction to 13: Tales of Dark Fiction
Civil Beasts By Eric S Brown
Dirty Story By Gary McMahon
If You Lay Here Quiet Next to Me By Alan Spencer
Desperate Measures By Stanley Riiks
The Tax Collector By Tommy B. Smith
Organ Grinder By William R.D. Wood
The Machine By Fred Venturini
To Hear a New World By Matt Leyshon
Whatever it takes By Joseph D’Lacey
Wounder By Andrew Hook
Mongrel Days By Andy Remic
103 By Shaun Jeffrey
The Watchers at Work By Gary Fry
13: TALES OF DARK FICTION Edited By Adam Bradley
13: TALES OF DARK FICTION Edited by Adam Bradley
13: TALES OF DARK FICTION Edited by Adam Bradley


13: Tales of Dark Fiction

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by stanleyriiks

13: Tales of Dark Fiction is without a doubt the most important book of the year. Not only does it feature my story “Desperate Measures”, a solid little post-apocalyptic tale, although I do say so myself, it also features my story alongside some of my heroes.

13: Tales of Dark Fiction is a marvellous book, and I’ll tell you why…

It starts off with a Bigfoot story set during the American Civil War by Zombie/Bigfoot master Eric S. Brown. Bigfoot plus war equals great fun, the story packs a punch and a half.

The second story, entitled “Dirty Story”, is by Gary McMahon. Do I need say more? McMahon is a genius. His stories are brutally honest, heart-wrenching, and hurt like no one else’s. His stories are darker, more disturbing, more menacing than anyone’s except may be Stephen King on his best day, and deeply wounding to the reader. McMahon is my hero, and always will be for the masterpiece of horror fiction that Pretty Little Dead Things.

Alan Spencer has been a regular contributor to Morpheus Tales since the beginning and he always produces good solid fiction. With his story in 13 he has outdone himself. “If You Lay Here Quiet Next to Me” is a masterly tale, subtle and spooky, with an underlying menace that lingers long after you finish reading.

Next comes my story. I can’t say much, just read it for yourselves.

“The Tax Collector” by Tommy B. Smith reminds me of Jonah Hex and Joe R. Lansdale’s stories, which is high praise indeed. This ghostly western is tense and atmospheric. Tommy edited both the Dark Sorcery Special and the Urban Horror Special (in which he published my story “Shoot Out”) and like Alan has been published in Morpheus Tales magazine several times.

William R.D. Wood’s “Organ Grinder” is a fun tale of death and brutality. There’s a level of intelligent nastiness here which is creepy. You’ve gotta love it! I will never see to the circus/fun fair in the same light again.

I was massively impressed with Fred Venturini’s novel The Samaritan. It is an incredible story which tugs at the heart-strings, and makes you read on to find out what disturbing and twisted thing is going to happen next. His story “The Machine” returns to a classic theme of dangerous science. Clever ideas and a good amount of tension make this story difficult to put-down.

Matt Leyshon is working on a collection for Morpheus Tales. His stories are thick with atmosphere, and his writing is heavily stylised, his world drips with filth and decay. “To Hear a New World” wraps you up in the music, twists and spins you into insanity.

“Whatever It Takes” By Joseph D’Lacey is a story every writer can understand. The author of MEAT and The Garbage Man offers a unique and insightful perspective on the horrors of writing, and what writers are prepared to do to get where they want to be. Another tales that lingers.

I first became aware of Andrew Hook from his exceptional small-press imprint Elastic Press, which published some great collections, including the amazingly memorable Gareth L. Powell’s The Last Reef. Sadly Andrew closed down Elastic Press, fortunately it was to concentrate on his writing. “Wounder” is a very smooth and subtle addition to the book, a twisted urban fantasy that creeps under your skin.

“Mongrel Days” by the powerhouse that is Andy Remic is a twisted SF story. As you would expect, there is full-on (FULL-ON!!!) action and adventure, with a dark underlying menace just beneath the surface. Remic is a demented genius, seemingly at home writing thrillers, horror, SF or fantasy. It is for his fantasy trilogy the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, and particularly Kell The Legend, that I will always love him (in a manly non-sexual way!), for making me feel as excited as a four year old again.

Shaun Jeffrey’s novel The Kult is a cracking crime/thriller/horror novel. For his contribution to 13 he provides a nasty story of greed and revenge.

The final story that makes up 13 is Gary Fry’s “The Watchers at Work”. I first read Fry’s Spectral Press chapbook Abolisher of Roses, a subtle and engaging story. “The Watchers at Work” is the longest story in the book, but Fry knows how to make every word count. He builds the tension and atmosphere like a conductor with an orchestra. Expertly written, it makes you feel exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. A great story to end an impressive collection.

13 has been a labour of love for its editor, and the passion shines through. 13: Tales of Dark Fiction is a remarkable anthology, and I am ever so grateful to be a part of it alongside some great names and amazing stories.

 13: Tales of Dark Fiction

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