Samurai vs. ROBO-DICK – a free sample

As a kid, the only time I ever wanted to go to the grocery store with my mom was on Saturdays, because that was when the old ladies with the big hair would set out their tables in the aisles and hand out free samples of cuisine perfectly suited for my 10-year old palette. Pizza rolls and little cups of cereal. Crackers with Cheez-Whizzy type stuff from an aerosol can. My first cup of coffee came from a free sample lady at Krogers when I was a wee lad. Free samples hold a special place in my heart, as does 1980s nostalgia.

samurai cover

I haven’t mentioned my latest book from Grindhouse Press much since it was published back in December, so I thought, what better way to do that than by offering a sample from Samurai vs. ROBO-DICK. And not a tiny portion of dried-out Tostinos that’s been soaking grease through a paper plate for an hour sample, but a large, juicy, meaty hunk from the middle of the book, with lots of action and blood and some other fluids sort of offering.

(If you don’t know me by now, the following is most definitely rated-NC-17 material. Fair warning and all.)

So, this free sample comes from Chapter 8, when our (wimpy) hero Benson DuBois is confronted by the Brown Shirts, a neighborhood watch group comprised of a bunch of fascist assholes who run around the gated community of Grand Acres, bludgeoning non-compliant residents with their Peace Keeper batons. They’re led by asshole No. 1, Richard Belvedere, who Benson refers to as Dick, and he doesn’t much like it. Dick has just cold-cocked the girl of Benson’s dreams, the redheaded lovely Maggie Malone, after their secret meeting was discovered by the Brown Shirts. Things look bad for Benson, but then they get weird when the neighborhood Samurai and a wendigo named Kevin join the party…

* * *

“Nice try, Benson, but you’ll never get the drop on me, you spineless fuck.”

Dick stood up and raised his arm over his head.

“I should have done this the day I met you and saved us both the hassle.”

I struggled for air and couldn’t speak, couldn’t plead and beg him to spare me. But that’s not what I would have done anyway. I didn’t even care what he was about to do to me, all I could think of was what he’d done to Maggie. Despite the agony in my guts and the looming bludgeon above my head, all I could see was blood, my vision blotted by fury.

He bared his teeth and was just about to bring that thumper down on my face when a shriek from my right stopped him. He looked and I watched his face drop down, mouth forming an O of shock. I strained to look as well, but from my vantage point, sideways on the ground with the streetlights glaring down in my face, all I could see was the blood. Not those dancing spots of anger in my eyes, either.

A fountain of it, real and gushing and black under the lights, sprayed in the air like an oil rig just come in. One of the Brown Shirts staggered toward Dick, his hands clawing at the missing chunk from his neck, his own blood coating his left side and showering one of the Things as he wobbled past her. Everything stopped, every heartbeat, every lung, even the wind. The entire neighborhood froze in time as he dropped to his knees and pitched onto his face, dead and twitching and hemorrhaging gallons of black ink into the perfectly clipped grass.

The form standing where the dead man had been suddenly came into view. It resembled a human, only much larger – a hulking, huffing, chewing mass of man-like creature. Blood squirted from its lips as it worked on the hunk of neck it had torn from the dead Brown Shirt. It had to be near seven feet tall, broad shouldered and thick-muscled, with a massive, naked, filthy chest coated in grime and hair. Wild, unkempt tufts of black curls sprung from everywhere on its head and face. It flexed tremendous hands with fingers like polish sausages that could encompass my entire head. Bands of muscles rippled along its arms like twisted bundles of rope writhing beneath his skin.

I say his skin, because as I looked down, I clearly made out the thing’s gigantic dick bouncing between its legs, sprouting like a fleshy Peace Keeper out of a tangled mass of black pubic hair. As he chewed and snorted, dripping blood down his grimy front, the monster between the monster’s legs began to inch up, bobbing in time with each chomp. Only when it reared back and bellowed up at the night sky did anyone finally react, and then it was panicked chaos.

Brown Shirts scrambled to get away from the beast, which reached down and plucked up the Thing Maggie had called “Marcia”. She screamed but quickly fell silent as it twisted her head around on her shoulders until she was staring cross-eyed back at me. The beast buried its face in the back of her neck and ate, tearing large chunks of flesh and muscle away with its teeth. It yanked on her severed spinal column, snapping off vertebrae and tossing them over its shoulder, literally ripping the woman to pieces. Marcia’s head wobbled loosely on her shoulders, a grotesque bobble-head. As it chewed a large mouthful of gristle, the beast lowered Marcia’s head to its crotch and inserted its huge, mud and blood streaked dick into the hole it had made in the back of her neck. Then it began to pump, hard and fast. Marcia’s lifeless eyes jiggered around in their sockets. Her jaw fell open and blood gushed between her lips, down her chin. The beast huffed and groaned, and when it climaxed, it rammed the back of Marcia’s head so hard, its erupting penis burst from between her teeth, spraying long, arcing ropes of red-tinged semen from her mouth.

That was enough for me. All that macho bravery and anger and revenge shit was pretty much forgotten and it was time to get the fuck out of there.

I struggled to my knees, still finding it difficult to breathe. I was about to stand and join the rest of the fleeing crowd when I noticed that they were all running back toward me now. New screams split the quiet Grand Acres air, along with several limbs. Brown Shirts staggered through the street clutching at stumps that had once been full limbs. One stood in the middle of Peach Pit Pass, wobbling on his right leg and reaching down to grasp the empty space where his left leg had been. He stood straight and stared with shock at the blood on his hands, unable to comprehend his sudden loss. Then his head dropped away from his body and I saw the Demon.

It was the same thing from the other night, the figure that had separated Dick from his right hand. As it strode across the road and up onto the lawn, I finally saw what it was. The horns were attached to a helmet and the scaly, overly wide body made up the armor of what could only be described as a samurai warrior. He didn’t run, but stepped with a purpose as he easily fought off the pathetic counter-attack of the remaining Brown Shirts. His sword flashed and caught a Peace Keeper hurtling toward his head. The impossibly sharp blade sliced through the metal baton, leaving its owner with a useless four-inch hunk of steel in his hand. He gaped at it in shocked awe as the samurai drew his blade straight up to the sky, splitting the man up the middle, from asshole to Adam’s apple. The Brown Shirt crumpled to the street, his guts dropping out first with a wet plop on the asphalt between his feet.

Dick scrambled toward me, the samurai tracking him like prey. I couldn’t move, even as Dick came within a few feet of me. He let out a strange, choked cry and landed hard just inches away. He struggled with his Peace Keeper arm to push his body off the grass and turned to look back at the samurai. As he rolled aside, I saw that his legs did not go with him. Dick flipped onto his back, squealing and kicking the stubs that remained of his legs, which had both been severed mid-thigh. The stumps squirted blood in sheets over the samurai’s red boots and leg armor.

He stood before me with his katana at his side, leaving runnels of blood in the grass as it poured from the gleaming blade. From behind me came a heavy grunt and a huffing sound, and I felt the musty, thick proximity of that immense man-beast as it edged closer. A fog of animal musk, body odor and coppery gore enveloped me, trapped between the two of them. I figured, either by the samurai’s blade or the creature’s teeth, I was a fuckin’ goner.

The beast stepped close enough to spatter bloody drool on my back, but the samurai held up his armor-protected hand and issued a deep, forceful grunt that stopped the beast. The samurai turned and drove his katana into one of Dick’s legs, skewering it like a side of meat. He hefted the leg up and over my head and I ducked as the polished boot passed by, brushing my hair. It landed on the ground behind me. The samurai gestured to the beast, waving his hand as if to tell it to go away, which it immediately did. I chanced a look over my shoulder and saw the thing snatch up Dick’s leg and scuttle off for the shadows between the houses.

The samurai seemed to pay me no mind and instead turned to survey the carnage. We both watched as the surviving Brown Shirts struggled into one of their black GANARCT golf carts. Dick used his baton hand to push himself away, rolling over and over toward his comrades, slobbering gibberish as he went. They pulled the cart near and two one-armed Brown Shirts worked together to lift Dick up onto the passenger seat. The samurai simply stood still and watched.

Dick pointed his baton arm at the samurai and shrieked, “You’re dead! You’re dead, fucker! You shoudla killed me when you had the chance ’cause you won’t get it again!”

The cart sped off down Peach Pit Pass, trailing Dick’s hysterical threats into the distance as they headed in the direction of the Community Center.

I watched them around the curving arc of the avenue until they disappeared. I looked back at the samurai. But as he had done the first time I saw him, he had vanished as if the night had swallowed him.

* * *

Click here to read the rest of Samurai vs. ROBO-DICK.

King of the Perverts: It’s so close…

King of the Perverts is almost ready, maybe a week or two from being available. In the meantime, pleasure your eyeballs with Matthew Revert’s amazing jacket design:

What are people saying about the book so far? Glad you asked!

“Great, hilarious stuff that also raises a lot of questions about money, fame, gender and, more importantly, the Dirty Sanchez.” – Andersen Prunty, author of Fuckness and Hi I’m a Social Disease

“I get airsick pretty goddamned easily. But I kept reading while I was on the plane. Even through the turbulence. I started at the Dallas/Forth Worth Airport eating a veggie burger in a  TGIFridays and ended whilst descending into Arizona. The unsuspecting woman sitting beside me had no idea. It was awesome. Completely amazing in so many ways. So sick. Oh, so sick.” – Caris O’Malley, author of The Egg Said Nothing

Shit, I’m 37

Today is my 37th birthday. Just three short years from 40 and official creepy old guy status. Despite this troublesome stage of life inching ever closer, I really don’t dwell on my age very often. I don’t think I’m at risk for a midlife crisis or anything, unlike a certain relative who went out and got a BMW convertible once he reached COG age. It’s just not that big of a deal to me. One reason is that I continue to find things to keep myself occupied so I don’t sit around and take stock of my life on a regular basis. I try to move forward and work toward goals, rather than reflect on how few of them I have achieved thus far. Liquor helps me accomplish this.

One of those goals is writing books and seeing them published. I’ve written three new ones since December, one of which will be coming out soon. Last night, I got a cool birthday present: the first round of edits for that next book, KING OF THE PERVERTS. It will be out sometime this summer from Grindhouse Press, and in celebration of getting one step closer to legal curmudgeon status, I thought I would share the first few lines from the book. Here’s a tentative back cover description:

Poor Dennis. He’s a regular sort of guy who’s recently been dealt a shitty hand by life: he lost his job, his wife hates him and wants a divorce, and it turns out she was also cheating on him as well. And the baby wasn’t his. And he’s living on his brother’s couch. Holy fuck, that sucks. Dennis can’t imagine things could get much worse, and that’s why he jumped at the opportunity to take part in a new reality game show: a “sexcathlon” where the first person to achieve 10 increasingly difficult and perverted sexual challenges wins a million dollars and is crowned King of the Perverts. Dennis doesn’t care about the title, he just wants the money, but now he’s not sure he can make it to the end. Enduring a Golden Shower and following through with an Abe Lincoln are hard enough, but he’s losing his nerve and fears what act of perversion will come next. He’d like to drop out, but his Russian bear of a cameraman, Mongo, has other plans for Dennis and that million dollar prize, and he has to decide which is worse: winning the crown of King of the Perverts, or losing it.
And now, a selection from Part I:

THE GOLDEN SHOWER

Hearing the words coming out of my own mouth confirms that I have slipped into some alternate reality.

Up is down. Black is white. Peter Venkman’s voice echoes in my head. Cats and dogs and mass hysteria, all that jazz.

Before me stands, quite possibly, the hottest chick I have ever been in the same room with. She is five-alarm. Tall, dark hair, voluptuously rounded, and best of all, wearing nothing but a sheer lace thong. You really can’t classify them as underwear, more like the rumor of underwear. Like the eerie outline left on the ground following a nuclear blast. Saran wrap covers more skin than these babies.

And I am asking this woman to pee on me.

Her head jerks back like I had connected with a right hook to her jaw. “You want me to do what?”

Fuck me. Do I really have to say it again? Somewhere in the bathroom, my Albanian cretin cohort Mongo has planted at least one camera and quite possibly two or three to get different angles of this big moment. I swear I can hear him in the next room, on the other side of the paper-thin wall of this shithole motel he has found, stifling his laughter. I say a quick prayer, asking that he might choke on that laughter and die, slowly, and in agonizing pain.

I lower my head and concentrate on the scarred, faded bathroom tile under my knees. I wonder how many such acts have taken place in this very spot before I came along. I also wonder how often it has been cleaned after such acts have concluded. By the looks of it, quite a few, and not very often. I say another quick prayer of thanks for the heady decision to keep my pants on.

“Um… I said I want you to… pee on me.”

I can’t bring myself to look up at her and instead fixate on her lovely navel, which is quite lovely indeed. She stumbles back a bit and wavers, trying to balance through the fog of four appletinis. I was hoping that would have been a sufficient number of appletinis to keep her from running, horrified and disgusted, out of the room the second I told her exactly what I was hoping she would do to me, but now I fear she isn’t drunk enough just yet. Curse you, shitty Applebees bartender and your watered down, suburban-housewife-strength mixing skills!

* * *

So that’s how KING OF THE PERVERTS begins. More to come very soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to take advantage of my birthdayness to post some links to my stuff that’s currently available, most of which is either free or just a buck on Kindle. Thanks for reading and supporting a creepy old dude.

MUSCLE MEMORY: http://www.amazon.com/Muscle-Memory-ebook/dp/B004TGTFAC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

MUSCLE MEMORY 2: MORE MUSCLE, MORE MEMORY (the free sequel): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80094

MR. FLASHBACK (writing as Son Porter): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YAYVGE#_

WOLVES DRESSED AS MEN: http://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dressed-as-Men-ebook/dp/B004ASNCWG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1288983297&sr=1-1

The Versatile Blogger Award + Two Announcements

Let us begin this post with a disclaimer: I don’t normally do chain mails things. Not if it’s blogs or Facebook status updates that read “… I bet most of my friends won’t copy and paste this to their own status…” Even if it’s about cancer or kitties, or kitties with cancer, I don’t give a shit. I just don’t do them and generally despise reading them.

SAVE TUMOR CAT - Pass this along or you'll go to HELL!

However…

I’m going to break that vow right here, in the name of promoting fellow authors and other shit I like. All of that being prelude to this: my good friend A.J. Brown has bestowed upon me, for reasons that can only lead to a conclusion of brain damage on his part, the Versatile Blogger Award. If it had come from anyone else, I might have just ignored it as Internet nonsense, but I do love me some A.J. Brown, so the exception has been made. Now, let’s get it on.

What the fuck is the Versatile Blogger Award? Dude, click the link above for more info.

What does one do once they’ve won the award? Besides holding a party in their own honor, getting totally shitfaced, and passing out facedown in the bathtub, they’re supposed to do this shit:

* Thank the award-giver and link back to their blog in your post. (check)

* Include a link to the original blog, The Versatile Blogger Award. (checkerino)

* Share seven things about yourself. (I’ll always talk about myself. See below)

* Pass this award along to fifteen blogs you enjoy reading. (er, no)

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. (still undecided about this part as it seems pretty lame…)

* There is no deadline for responding, although I would imagine that being “fairly prompt” would be the polite thing to do. (DON’T YOU FUCKING TELL ME TO BE POLITE, I GOT POLITE RUNNING OUT OF MY ASS, I’M SO OVERSTUFFED WITH POLITE YOU SONOFABITCH!)

Before we go further, I already know I can’t name 15 blogs I enjoy reading, whom I would also pass this thing along to, nor would I do that anyway. That would be the chain-mail aspect about this that makes me break out in a rash. But I will contact the person whom I name as my Versatile Blogger (if I end up doing that) and let that person do with this as they wish. And besides, most of the blogs I like have a large readership and are probably inundated by similar stuff all the time, and I have no interest in spamming them with this. But I will link to them and spread the word and the love around like it was fucking peanut butter. Oh yeah, baby, peanut butter love…

First, I’ll share seven things about myself that you, Captain Reader, may not know:

1. I hate oranges. Hate those fuckers. Can’t stand the taste, can’t stand the smell, don’t like orange juice or orange soda or orange candy or orange julius. Add some vodka and make it a screwdriver? You just ruined perfectly good vodka. Nice going, ass.

2. In January, I self-published a novel under a pen name. I’ve been trying to decide how to market the thing since it’s, you know, published under a pen name, but I might as well announce it here. It’s most decidedly not bizarro, which is why I didn’t put it out under my own name, and I confess to being curious about the whole self-publishing deal. I thought I’d try it myself, if for no other reason, than to get a better idea of a different facet of the publishing world besides just the writing side. The novel is Mr. Flashback by Son Porter (and it’s $0.99 for the Kindle here on Amazon). Don’t ask where the name came from, there is no real significance to it. It’s just easy to remember.

3. Speaking of books, I will have a new one coming out soon. Grindhouse Press will publish my novella King of the Perverts sometime this summer. I can’t tell you how stoked I am about this book, and also about working with Grindhouse. They put out great pulp horror and bizarro and their books look, and are, utterly fantastic.

4. For you horror fans, I make this admission: I absolutely hated Richard Matheson’s book Hell House. Just hated it. I found it to be dumb, cheesy writing and not at all scary. I spent the whole book yelling at the idiot characters. Flame away.

5. That’s two things I hate, so I better list something I love: severe thunderstorms. It doesn’t matter if the tornado sirens are going off, branches are flying through the air, rain is pelting my face, lightning is exploding all around – I’m that dumbass who stands out in the middle of a thunderstorm, hoping to glimpse for myself a tornado. If I had the money, I would take one of those tornado chasing vacations in Kansas or Oklahoma.

6. The first thing I ever wrote was a fully-illustrated fanfic of my favorite cartoon when I was about 6 or 7, Battle of the Planets (G Force). I loved their spaceship, the Phoenix, and always wished I could have found a toy version of it. I never did, but it apparently does exist.

7. I spent nine months of my childhood inside an iron lung.

OK, that last one is not true. I’m actually just a big fat liar.

Now, on to the blogs I regularly check out:

1. AJ Brown’s Type AJ Negative: Lots if introspective stuff about writing and fatherhood, being a husband, and juggling all those things. And as I mentioned, AJ and I have a little long-distance bromance going on, so… (blush)

2. John Skipp is Yer Pal Skipp!: No, this has not been around long, but the few posts Skipp has up so far have been so inspiring and helpful over the past month that I find myself checking regularly to see if he has a new post up yet. That’s why it’s here.

3. John Scalzi’s Whatever: I can’t not read whatever Scalzi posts, because more often than not, he writes exactly what I’m thinking about a particular subject. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, SCALZI!

4. The Cubs-centric baseball blog Bleacher Nation: I’m gonna throw a change-up here (PUN!) and add a sports blog, because goddammit, I gots me some roots in sports writing. And this is my list, so blah.

5. The something of Andersen Prunty, Lowered Expectations: Not exactly updated regularly, but when it is, it is always interesting and entertaining. Currently, he’s holding a contest for readers to create a cover for his upcoming book, Fill the Grand Canyon and Live Forever.

6. Nathan Bransford: More of an occasional read for me, but regularly updated with interesting news and insights into publishing and writing. Worth the time.

7. JA Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: The always interesting but equally annoying Konrath expounds on sticking it to the man through self-publishing. I like his transparency and willingness to share numbers and info, but am equally enraged by his insistence on posting in the third person. That just bugs Lowe.

8. Caris O’Malley’s Hipster Librarian: There is never a time when Caris fails to make me laugh. A great majority of that time, I’m laughing at him, but still, you can’t argue the results!

9. Kirk Jones’s bizarrojones: Kirk likes to examine bizarro and horror art and literature through a scholarly, professorial lens. I like to read Kirk and pretend I’m smart like him.

10. Redneck bizarro robot genius, David W. Barbee: Goofy fun from a bizarro son of the south. God Save Us, George W. Foxworthy!

11. College football fun from EDSBS: OK, one more sports blog. If you’re not a college football fan or observer, you probably won’t get much of what’s here, but if you are, and you do, then this shit is gold, more often than not.

12. Um… hmmmmmmmmm… There are other blogs I occasionally read, but I think I’ll stop this list here. I will reserve the right to come back and add to this list when I inevitably remember the ones I forgot to include.

If you made it all the way through to the end of this, then I now have one question: why? If you can answer that question in no fewer than 200 words, I will email you a free copy of Son Porter’s dynamic debut novel Mr. Flashback. Send your essays to: lowe435@gmail.com

OK, bye bye!

Muscle Memory for the Kindle only $0.99

Everybody loves a sale, right? For a limited time, the Kindle version of Muscle Memory will be available for only $0.99. I’ve marked it down for the rest of May at least, to hopefully kick start sales so I can make a nice donation to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (click here for the details of this promotion).

But while we’re on the subject, this is actually a great time to try some new fiction without spending much money at all. There are a number of outstanding titles available for $0.99 on the Kindle. And remember, you don’t need an actual Kindle to be able to read Kindle titles – if you have an iPhone or Droid, there are Kindle apps available. I’ve read several of these books on my iPhone and it’s not nearly as cumbersome or tough to see as I thought it would be. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Several of these books below are short, only around 100-page or less novellas, so it’s not like you’re trying to slog through a huge novel on your screen. (And again, at only $0.99, it’s more than worth it to give it a try.)

Also available for $0.99 are the following (click the cover art to go to Amazon):

The Egg Said Nothing, by Caris O’Malley (Eraserhead Press)

read my review of this book here

The Brothers Crunk, by William Pauley III (Grindhouse Press)

read my review here

The Sorrow King, by Andersen Prunty (Grindhouse Press)

read my review here

Fuckness, also by Andersen Prunty

Mother Puncher, by Gina Rinalli (Eraserhead)

(Gina has a bunch of $0.99 titles, check them all out)

Nightjack, by Tom Piccirilli (Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital)

Katja from the Punk Band, by Simon Logan (ChiZine)

An Occupation of Angels, by Lavie Tidhar (Apex)

A Russian Prostitute’s Guide to Pakistan and Other Tales of Grit and Valor, by S. Sommerville (House of Bizarro)

Vampires in Devil Town, by Wayne Hixon (Grindhouse)

Please note that this is, in no way, a complete list of all the great $0.99 Kindle books available. If you want to share more, leave a link in the comments.

Book review: The Sorrow King, by Andersen Prunty

To those who might read this review,

To make matters worse, Mr. Prunty is selling this for just $0.99 on the Kindle right now, cheaply spreading his madness across the globe!

This is not Steve, this is his widow. Yes, that is correct. Steve is dead. His last wish, which he pinned to himself before he took his own life, was for me to post this review for him. I do so begrudgingly.

And I lay the blame for my beloved husband’s death at your feet, Mr. Prunty. It was your book, The Sorrow King which drove him to this madness. Your skillfulness in capturing the mindset of downcast, suicidal teens and their daily angst so thoroughly depressed my husband that it sent him over the edge.

The depth given to your down-in-the-mouth main character, who I might also point out was named STEVEN, was so complete, and the sadness and depression of being a teenager again, experienced vicariously through this story, so intense, it was too much for my poor husband. Being from a smallish Midwestern town himself, he was intoxicated by your portrayal of a dying Gethsemane, Ohio, where the body count mounts as teens are driven to what appears to be a number of suicides. But then you piled on the awful, sinister truth of what was truly behind all of that sorrow and grief.

You, Mr. Prunty, you are the Sorrow King. I hope you feel the shame of a murderer, because that is what you are. You’ll be hearing from my attorney soon.

Signed,
The Grieving Widow of Steve Lowe

Book review: The Horribles, by Nathaniel Lambert

I’ve tried to write this review three times now, and something keeps interrupting, so I’m going to speed review this sucker before we get an earthquake or something…

I read this on the Kindle for iPhone. It pleased me very much

OK, so Sheldon is an agoraphobe – he’s afraid to go outside because of what he thinks is out there, which are these Horrible little dudes that he saw kill his parents at a young age. (Sheldon was at the young age, not his parents… that could have been explained better… Oh well! No Time! Onward!) I personally don’t have phobias and struggle to even fathom what it would be like to be so scared of something that affects every aspect of your existence, but Lambert does a crack up job of getting me in Sheldon’s head and making me feel as nervous and uncomfortable as Sheldon does anytime someone comes to his front door.

This is what makes this book a success and a good read. Sheldon is a good protagonist who I care about, so when a parade of these Horrible little bastards come motoring into town on their hogs and the body count shoots up, I’m rooting for Sheldon and his buddy Evan all the way. The Horribles are a unique “monster” that plays on the Terminator idea of bad machines with human tissue, and the only critique I have is that we never really find out exactly where they came from or why they’re here, being all Horrible and stuff. This could have easily gone on another 124 pages.

So, good book, I suggest you check it out, and it’s a good price for the Kindle if you have one of those doo-dads. Read it, dog.

Book review: The Brothers Crunk, by William Pauley III

(This review was originally written in Japanese, but was hastily [and poorly] translated for the sake of rushing it to English speaking markets to capitalize on the explosion in popularity of hastily- [and poorly-] translated book reviews.)

Corpulent populations of kudos regard to the constructor of the published book materials nomenclatured THE BROTHERS CRUNK assmbled by letter arranger William Pauley the 3. Containment of emotion regards to material found upon perusal most extraneous of aforementioned word groupings, eyeballers of book this most difficult will find. Excessive celebration penalties abounding.

Of familiarity to fantastical old-timey gaming contol systematics, recommendations gush forth, plus double good excitablility for literary genre “bizarro” suggested from this reviewer. Please for to extend the thankful yous upon letter arranger William Pauley the 3 for most estimable and honorable calculations toward enjoyable leisure hours laid on doorstep of handsomely presented masterpiece bearing moniker THE BROTHERS CRUNK. (Also, making of special notations, purchasing of this book story tale for the Amazon Kindle rates small monetary increments of $0.99!! Super fantastic sale for short duration!! Inquire swiftly!!)

Book is this receiving of heartiness “Two opposable thumbs thrust upward!”

(To unlock original Japanese version of this review, please key in the following: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start)

Book Review: ‘Morning is Dead’ by Andersen Prunty

Andersen Prunty’s night people in MORNING IS DEAD are an intriguing breed. They are fornicators and wretches, consumed by violence and sex and all manner of vice. As they “process” deeper into the night, their hopelessness grows and their humanity dims. What makes Prunty’s night different here is that it is populated by radioactive people called “rades”, all-night abortion clinics and its overwhelming clientele, covert technicians who wire homes to detonate, and a police force more dangerous than the worst thugs on the streets. The Dayton, Ohio depicted in MORNING IS DEAD is ruled over by a monolithic company called the Point, which seems to be behind every bad thing that happens to Dayton and its inhabitants, including the protagonist, Alvin Blue.

Alvin and his wife have grown apart and as this realization begins to dawn on him, the night suddenly decides to take him in to be processed, meaning he will never see the daylight, or the morning, again. With no job and no ability to conceive children, Alvin’s usefulness to society seems to be all used up, leaving only his skin, which is valuable to the Point for reasons that won’t be revealed here, lest too much of the story be spoiled.

What most interested me about MORNING IS DEAD is the notion of an alternate reality within the night. Drive through nearly any downtown in America and you see dark places – alleys and corners and buildings that seem different at night. In between these cracks lies another world where many dark things exist, which is what makes Prunty’s night feel all too real and unsettling. What would happen if someone who lives a daytime existence – work from 9-5, normal interactions with others, an employed family man or woman – was suddenly thrust into this other reality, where drugs and prostitution and vice is a way of life? This book examines such a scenario, and does so to dark, imaginative and entertaining results.

The other intriguing theme in MORNING is the town of Dayton itself, a Rust Belt city in Ohio that grew up around manufacturing and the auto industry. Just a couple years ago, GM plant closings near Dayton were called a “death knell” to the town because of how intertwined the company was in so many aspects of life. That vibe is echoed in MORNING and its fictional company, the Point. Though this is not directly discussed in the story, it shows up in clever ways, such as the scene where Alvin inspects the home of a “sleeper” or a person who never wakes during the night. The sleeper, who lives in the daytime and is (presumably) still a productive member of society (no doubt employed by the Point), is what Alvin used to be, but on closer inspection, Alvin sees that the man has begun to rust. He soon discovers he is rusting as well.

All aspects of life tend to ebb and flow through the Point, as is common in manufacturing towns where huge companies can employ as much as half the population, while a great many more are employed indirectly. The same holds true with the Point, which is insidious in its ways of using, and using up, the people of the town until there is nothing left. This is, of course, my opinion of what Prunty was going for here, or at least what I got from it. I could be way off on his intentions with this story, but if nothing else, at least he got me thinking, which is what I love about and look for in good fiction.

MORNING IS DEAD is a dark, disturbing glimpse at an alternate reality that, upon closer inspection, does not seem so farfetched, which makes it all the more unsettling. This was my introduction to Prunty’s work, and I look forward to more from him. His writing is crisp and intelligent, and MORNING IS DEAD is a great example of unsettling horror that relies on ideas and imagination rather than shock value and gimmicks to impart its message and leave a mark. But there’s still plenty of shock and blood and shoot-‘em-up violence in here to make it a tense page-turner, as well. I highly recommend it.