They Look Pretty on the Outside…

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…but no so much on the inside. There are formatting errors and the type in the novels is so small as to be unreadable. But we are far from discouraged! We will get it right. In the meantime, don’t buy them.

(Well, you can. If you really want to. I can’t un-publish them at this point. But I’d warn draxfans against it. They can’t be un-published, but they can be improved.)

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Review: SABBATH by Nick Mamatas—Sex, Violence, and Philosophy

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SABBATH | Nick Mamatas | A Tor Trade Hardcover | $ 27.95 | 304 pages

Though I’m uncertain super-scribe Mamatas would agree (given that he mentions in the acknowledgements of his latest novel that he should thank the “meatheads in heavy metal t-shirts” but he won’t), it is however this reviewer’s belief that all true and authentic metal is deeply entrenched in matters of philosophy. I’m thinking of the thunderous epics of Zeppelin and Maiden, real bone-crunching operas that shake fists at cruel fate and indifferent skies. Thus so with SABBATH, with its titular hero Hexen Sabbath, an 11th century warrior who questions nearly every jab of his weighty blade as he cuts a bloody swath through modern day Manhattan in his quest to “track down and kill the living personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins before they bring about Armageddon!” Whew! Sabbath is aided by an “Angel of the Lord” who niftily keeps our hero 21st-century savvy with instant mental downloads, as well as a way-cool illuminated tat of NYC streets that directs Sabbath to his prey. Along for the ride are two perky art scene lasses, Jennifer and Miriam who thankfully “keep things real” and offer not so dry commentary on the mayhem and gore. Mamatas treats this admittedly ludicrous scenario with a deft hand and never allows the material to slide into dreaded tongue-in-cheek, thank god. It’s a heady—and heavy—trip that gallops to blistering heights, and Mamatas pulls it off with a master’s technique. Four out of five stars.

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And In Yet Other News…

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… the paperback edition of DOOMTROOPERS is now available via Evil Amazon. You know you want one! Assuming you don’t mind a few glaring pagination goofs, that is. Repeat after me: “Thank you Amazon Robot Typesetter.”

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In Other News…

ALWAYS APOCALYPSE ALL THE TIME is now available in paperback!

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Makes the perfect (sort of) Hexmas gift!

ALWAYS APOCALYPSE ALL THE TIME now in paper

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On Sale Now: SABBATH by Nick Mamatas

Mamatas_Sabbath_Promo

 

“Like stuffing your face with Cheez Whiz while listening to Iron Maiden, this is the right kind of crazy.” —Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Gods of Jade and Shadow

“A thought-provoking and witty satire.” —Booklist

“Armageddon has never been this funny. Run, don’t walk, to the bookseller of your choice… while you still have time.” —Simon Drax, author of A Very Fast Descent into Hell

 

O N   S A L E   E V E R Y W H E R E

F U L L   R E V I E W   C O M I N G   S O O N

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Happy All Souls, AKA Saturday November 2; HEXES Final Issue Update; Recent Films + Books + More…

spirit-2304469_1920-e1520661783949Photo: Haunted Museum of Nature

Intro!

HELLO, hello! May we please go vertigo? We will accept your silence as an implicit yes so here we go, shuffling through the wrinkled Snickers and Twix wrappers and uneaten candy corn of Halloween, another Samhain come and gone, sad but true but oh babies, don’t you panic! By the light of the night it’ll all be all right, we’ll get you a satanic mechanic…

Entry! HEXES The Final Issue, aka The Final Hex is shaping up to be the thing of things, an issue compiled entirely of original material solicited exclusively for this issue. You might want to re-read that sentence, because it’s quite the break from normal operations in HEXES land. Ya see, the modus operandi usually went like this: The Creep in the Art Department would find an image so compelling he just HAD to turn it into a magazine (or webzine, if we’re splitting atoms) cover, and then it was over to the editor (moi) to scour that week’s internet offerings for an engaging TOC and links, featuring clips of text and very pretty pics, and that was that. There were exceptions, of course, most notably in the “themed” issues, such as THE VAMPIRE SPECIAL and HELL AT LAST and DEATH BY SOUND. But even so, any given issue of HEXES was compiled entirely of preexisting material.

Not so for The Final Hex. The final issue will consist entirely of original pictures and words commissioned specifically for the bid bad swan song. Big artists, Big writers.  Behold, The Creep’s call for cover models…

HEXES Model flyer

Of course it’s internationally recognized! We have readers in the UK, Europe, Asia, Russia. Just sayin’.

At any rate, The Final Hex will be the Bees’ Knees, the Show of Shows. But we already know of at least one feature that won’t be included…

Entry! SABBATH by Nick Mamatas…

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…will be published by Tor later this month. I had originally planned on reviewing said tome in The Final Hex. However, once I began approaching certain artists and writers for the above mentioned original material, I realized they needed a doable deadline (which is December 31st, curious scribblers). SABBATH pubs in a few weeks, so my review will coincide with the release. Perhaps Nick will agree to an excerpt for inclusion in the Swan Song. Who knows? In the meantime, stay glued to these pages…

EH_pevCWwAIhWSvSpecial thanks to Tor for the ARC

Entries! Current (and currently favorite) Book: MOON by Oliver Morton. It’s a masterpiece, and Morton is nothing less than a poet.

“Oliver Morton explores how the ways we have looked at the Moon have shaped our perceptions of the Earth: from the controversies of early astronomers such as van Eyck and Galileo, to the Cold War space race, to the potential use of the Moon as a stepping stone for further space exploration.” And so much more. This book belongs on every Lunaphile’s shelf.

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Followed by the very best heroic action film we’ve seen in way too many Moons, ALITA, Battle Angel! 

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This movie kicks ass, man, putting all the Marvel shit to shame… Wait, what? What’s that you say? Ah. The answer is Nnnno. I am in no way prejudiced or predisposed to sing Alita’s praises. Yes, I loved the original manga and 90’s era anime, but if anything that love would make me even more critical. Example: I liked this “live-action” version of Alita far more than I liked the 2010 live-action version of Space Battleship Yamato. There are solid reasons for Alita’s potency, as it was directed by Robert Rodriguez with a screenplay by James Cameron, who also served as producer with Jon Landau… um, these guys know what the fuck they’re doing. They deliver the goods.

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And finally

Entry! For all the limp scarecrows.

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For The Men: Featuring “The Binding of the Babe in the Backseat”

Dolly bound and gagged in her sexy lingerie- barefoot!

Model: Dolly / Photography: Restrained Elegance

YES, it’s ink. And I am very very pleased. I really wanted to be included in this anthology, and I am so grateful to Rose Caraway and all her hard work.

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Kindle, audio, and paperback available HERE.

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Great Gallery of Bookish Art From BookRiot

Stories From the Sunworld by Chiara Bautista

Stories From the Sunworld by Chiara Bautista

Kelly Jensen over at BookRiot has assembled a gorgeous gallery of “Bookish Art” culled from the pages of tumblr.

Reading on the Rovos Rail by Faustio Becatti

Reading on the Rovos Rail by Faustio Becatti

The Bookworm by Fiona Marchbank

The Bookworm by Fiona Marchbank

Girl Reading in Lawn by Miles Hyman

Girl Reading in Lawn by Miles Hyman

And much more at the full gallery.

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Very Bad Drax is Back on the Air

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“Mama, Mama! Look at the sad tortured man on the screen!”

“Click away, Muffin. Click away! Bad karma can be digitally contagious.”

YES, it’s been a very spotty month here at the site. I’m tempted to say, “due to the usual factors.” But man, the “usual factors” went into wrap drive this time around, this August truly deserves the appellation DARK. The ever-present crushing financial issue. Health issues. Car issues. Connectivity issues. Cat issues.

And more than once, I was just fucking paralyzed.

But I was saved again and again, and it mattered, a lot: the love and example and reality of my children. The care and concern of friends who dazzled and humbled me by their kindness. Realization of the simple fact that I was still breathing, dammit.

And lo, the mighty magic of Reading.

Literature really can save us. At some of the darkest times this month, my heart was coaxed into continued beats by strings of words on the page. I read whole books in one sitting, and I emerged better on the other side. I’d like to give three writers in particular shout-outs, for even though two of these gents are unremittingly dark, boy, they saved my ass and my brain: Barry Graham (dark), Jordan Harper (dark), and David Mitchell (merely brilliant). Arigato, guys.

I’d like to elaborate on the power of action vs despair, but I’ve got to get up and go, I’ve got to go to work.

For better or worse, we are back on the air.

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HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BLUE-EYED BOY?

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I defy Barry Graham to write a first-person novel told from the perspective of a total wimp.

His heroes are always mega masculine, usually emerging from nightmarish childhood abuse to stand up in adulthood as paragons of self-reliance and defiance against all enemies, willing and eager to resist and fight against what seems to the casual reader unimaginable evil.

Graham does not fail to deliver in HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BLUE-EYED BOY? His protagonist, Andy, has emerged from a long stint in the military, endured homelessness, friendlessness, skirted despair and PTSD. Yet he lands on his feet, secures work as a handyman, writes for the local independent paper, grudgingly plays in a “punk” band, meditates each morning and night before his zen altar, teaches a brutal self defense class—”It is easier than you might think to suck an opponent’s eye from his skull”—yet somehow keeps his wits about him as bodies of his friends fall like cactus needles in the brutal heat of Phoenix AZ America. There’s a killer coming ever closer. And Andy, his blood-colored piss sitting like in the toilet bowl, won’t surrender.

Graham is easily one of the “earthiest” writers who has ever caused me to grimace while reading his sentences, His descriptions of violence put Cormac McCarthy to shame. His sex scenes nearly cross the Rubicon of the pornographic. Yet he never takes the easy path into the realm of cheap sensation. His sentential events are clipped and spare and exact, his plots are irresistible.  HOW DO YOU LIKE YOU BLUE-EYED BOY? is a great fucking read. “Highly recommended!”

BOOKS BY BARRY GRAHAM. Several are free.

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