Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shuan Jeffery Writes Campfire ready horror!

Voyeurs of death by Shaun Jeffrey
Doorways Publications 132 pages

This short trade paperback from the UK’s Shaun Jeffery was a fun read. The most positive aspect about the book that comes immediately to mind is that the stories seem designed less for the page and more for a campfire. That is something I would expect to see more often but you really don’t. I found that aspect refreshing.

I struggled with this review because I came away from the book wanting to read Jeffery’s novel and that should be a good thing right? Jeffery is talented wordsmith who has a lot of wonderful ideas my problems with collection are small but they are enough to prevent me from giving this a glowing review.

I think this deserves discussion. My favorite story in the collection was “The watchers.” It was a beautiful set with a creepy tale about couples who meet in public spaces to have sex and be watched or watch others. Plenty of potential for scares and just when I felt the story was getting going it was over. For me this was the running theme of the book. While many of the positive reviews (I haven’t seen other bad ones) liked the short nature I felt let down.

I liked what was there I just wanted more.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I worked on this book for four years! You can buy it now!

An Anthology of Punk And Horror Fiction

The Vault of Punk Horror
Edited by David Agranoff and Gabriel LLanas
$13.95 ISBN - 978-0-6151-7992-6

Nearly four years in the making, the book features fifteen tales of truly punk rock and horror fiction. With stories from award winning and fist time authors alike it is a unique new breed of horror anthology. And even better it has an introduction from Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister fame.

What’s more, is in keeping with the desire to do more for the world in general, proceeds from The Vault of Punk Horror will be benefiting the Alaskan Women’s Network. A group dedicated to bringing safety and security to the women and children of Alaska. Please support this project as everyone from editors,publishers and authors volunteered their time and effort!

Hitting Streets in January! Go to to pre-order a copy now!

Direct link to the shop:

Introduction by Dee Snyder
The Maenads by Lisa Morton
Gone To Seed by MP Johnson
The Model Citizen by Paul Stuart
Jesus on a Paper Plate by Ryan C. Thomas
Long Dry Season by Eric Turowski
The Bridge by Cari Beltane
Breaking the Chain Letter by Cody Goodfellow
Simulacra by Duncan Barlow
The Call by David Agranoff
The Squat by Sean Logan
Kamakazi Christ by Gina Ranalli
Cutter by Gabriel Llanas
Trigger Variation by Jeremy Robert Johnson
Das Marchen by Stephen Wilson
You Blundering Idiot You ****ing Failed To Kill Me Again by John Shirley

Twisted Sister front man Dee Snyder to write the introduction to a new groundbreaking Horror Fiction charity anthology

Who: Punk Horror Press
When: Release Date August 31st
For more information:

After four years in the making Punk Horror Press is set to release its ground breaking horror fiction anthology The Vault of Punk Horror on August 31, 2007. The trade paperback edition will feature an introduction by heavy metal icon Dee Synder as well as fifteen stories by several award winning and nominated authors with proceeds benefiting the Alaskan Women’s Network. The AWN supports a variety of causes that center around women’s rights in one of the most dangerous places for women to live in the United States.

“Dee was excited by the cause and the line-up of fantastic authors. Underground favorites like newcomers Ryan C. Thomas and Cody Goodfellow turned in high quality stories along with Bram Stoker award wining short story authors Lisa Morton (Short Story “Test” – 2006) and John Shirley (Collection Black Butterflies – 1998) we are proud of the quality of this collection which cover to cover will create a unique experience.” Said Co-Editor David Agranoff.

When editors David Agranoff and Gabriel LLanas first started this project four years ago the concept was simple tales of horror fiction by punk authors set in the punk scene or featuring punk characters. “We wanted to break some stereotypes and give back to both the punk and horror scenes which have been positive outlet for both of our lives. We wanted stories of high literary quality at the same time. So unlike some anthologies that receive five hundred or more submissions we had to seek out authors and work with them to develop stories within the theme. In the end we had to pinch ourselves when we read the book first time, all the way through, it turned out fantastic,” said Gabriel LLanas

Readers interested in getting taste for what is to come in the Vault of Punk Horror need only to visit the Punk horror website. “We have a variety of podcasts, interviews and various works by authors who will be appearing in The Vault. Our E-newsletter also contains news about the various authors and until August will feature interviews with the authors. The interviews with Vault contributers are turning out great. We have lots of musicians, screenwriters and activists in the book that reflect the diversity of the writers. We love that we have the author who practically invented the cyberpunk genre as well as first time authors.”

Saturday, December 15, 2007

No gods, no masters and no hunters please...

I believe in anarchism for a simple reason, the only way society could ever be organized and be able to function is with a system of mutual aid. I agree with most green anarchist propaganda that civilization itself is not sustainable. However there is a disturbing trend among anti-civ thinkers who lead these arguments against Vegetarianism and Veganism.

John Zerzan and Derek Jensen are leading anti-civ authors who write books on the ills of civilization. I prefer the work of Jensen who has wonderful things to say on anti-civ and other subject such as zoos. However he is perhaps the most well known defender of the consumption of animals within this ethical belief system. In one of Derek Jensen’s books he spends an entire chapter to detailing the methods he uses to dismember chickens he keeps as food slaves.

Personally I find it hypocritical to write hundreds of pages condemning civilization while still taking part in one of its most brutal traditions. For 10,000 years society has grown into the monster that is, primarily through the exploitation of animals(human and non-human). Animal domination is built into almost the entire fabric of civilization. Few would deny that it was the birth of animal agriculture that gave humanity the ability to leave hunter-gather lifestyle to built cities and nations.

Derrick Jensen loves to talk about the world pre-ritual and how harmonious society was before civilization organized while overlooking the role the relationship human and animals play. I believe we will never solve the problems of sustainability and injustice in this world if we don’t first come to terms with our role as slave master to other species. The only way to reject that role is to be vegan.

How shocked was I when this essay was sent to me by a friend. I had to respond.

here are some excepts and my response.

"However, many vegans/vegetarians have allowed their resistance to become a stagnant moral position, one which is considered morally superior, and one that has blinded them to the destruction and exploitation they are participating in. The choice to go veg can only be made inside of civilization"

Every human being has the choice of what food they eat and how they attain it. The above statement is complete lie. Any person wishing to forego society has the ability to make their own food. They can gather, grow, can their own food. It is certainly more sustainable considering the shrinking wildlands to have a large garden than to go out and hunt animals.

Eating Road kill and food waste(I can and do dumpster vegan food) is parasitic and requires the existence of civilization so it is also not sustainable. I agree the way vegan food is produced to is not perfect it is so much better than mainstream food. A reformed vegansim(with emphasis on local, organic, whole) is the only diet than has a sustainable future that could realistically feed the planet in a peaceful and respectable manner.

The sad fact is that due to habitat destruction there is no sustainable way for the entire planet to re-wild in the short term. You can’t ask the human race to walk forward to into starvation so any anarchist ideal (green or otherwise) must have sustainable plan for how we would re-organize and feed human race. Perhaps that is the difference between Green Anarchism and simply Green Anarchy.

"where thousands and thousands of acres of soybeans and other vegetables are grown to meet their demands. Obviously the farms that grow these crops replace forests and other natural ecosystems, ensuring the deaths of countless animals. As an example, soybeans (for tofu, vegetable oil, and other products) are among the world's top crops, and therefore their excessive production to meet the demand is leading to the excessive destruction and loss of plant and animal life worldwide. These facts are often over looked by self-righteous vegans and vegetarians who take an uncritical look at their own lifestyle."

This is such bullshit. Who is Green trying to fool? This is an arguement for veganism. It doesn’t take a degree in animal agriculture to know that the majority of soybeans, corn or any grains grown on planet earth are fed to cattle and other animals who are turned into food. The author(s) of the Green Anarchy piece have no clue what they are talking about. Every pound of beef requires 16 pounds of grain. Studies have shown numerous times that the most sustainable Animal foods don’t even come close to the least sustainable vegan foods.

“Animals fed on grain and those which rely on grazing need more water than grain crops.[2] According to the USDA, growing crops for farm animals requires nearly half of the U.S. water supply and 80% of its agricultural land. Animals raised for food in the U.S. consume 90% of the soy crop, 80% of the corn crop, and 70% of its grain.[1] In tracking food animal production from the feed through to the dinner table, the inefficiencies of meat, milk and egg production range from a 4:1 energy input to protein output ratio up to 54:1.[3] The result is that producing animal-based food is typically much less efficient than the harvesting of grains, vegetables, legumes, seeds and fruits.”

Vegans have every right in the world to feel proud and self righteous about the environmental impacts of our diet. Unless green anarchists want the human race to choose starvation (hey I’m down but I don’t think they will) we need to come up with diet that can feed the people in the most sustainable way. I agree a system of food production and distribution based on mutual aid is needed but without the sustainable and ethical nature of veganism it could not be truly effective.

If people interested in re-wilding are worried about disappearing wild lands they better get on board with promoting veganism. The meat, dairy and egg industries are a wrecking ball to the planet. We have no time to spare the wild lands are going quickly, while your leading trapping workshops, were taking daily actions(three times a day) to stop the destruction. The world Fish population is on it’s way to a crash, the world’s fresh water is disappearing fast. Human beings continue to breed. Veganism is the best and most comprehensive solution to all these problems. Veganism is also a more realistic option for most people compatible with their lives – I agree that is not enough for the long term but we are in a crisis now.

Gatherer-hunters were not vegetarians.

While a high amount of there diet was vegetable and plant based (around 70%), they still consumed wild meat. There are certain nutrients that humans need that are found only in animals. Among these are omega- 3s and vitamin B- 12 (vegetarian and synthetic sources are available, though not in a sufficient quantity).

This simply is not true. There are several sources of B-12. If someone wanted to go off the grid and grow there own food there vegetables would come out of the soil rich in B-12. Growing hemp to grind and put on salad is one great source of omega’s, but there are even more. The author of this piece is again stretching, talking about issues they do have to research to understand.

As an animal species, it is only natural that we are omnivores. While the consumption of domesticated plants and animals is highly unhealthy, especially because the relationship between us and our food becomes mediated and alienated, the consumption of wild plants and animals is healthy and is more closely attuned to what we are meant to eat, as our bodies are still designed as if we were living in the Paleolithic. A diet such as this puts us in direct connection with our food and thus the plants and animals in our world.

We share more physical traits with herbivores than we do omnivores* however that issue is irrelevant. We can’t go into the future denying the impacts that eating animals (enslaved or wild) would have for the future. If you are going to promote a belief system and proclaim that is best for the planet it should work for the whole planet and not just for a group of ideological elites and crusty punk kids.

Re-wilding is perhaps the most dangerous of all radical environmental ideas. Imagine if huge numbers of humans decided to re-wild in few remaining polluted wild lands. Humans have almost destroyed every shred of wild land on the planet the solution is not for humans to continue to invade the last shreds. We need to find solutions that transform society and balance sustainability into the future. A solution for one person doesn’t mean shit. What happens if we re-wild and civilization comes to destroys our habitat or makes the air unbreathable? It is not green solution. A green solution must take into account that we have one ecosystem that must function for all life.

We support vegetarianism as a personal choice, but we understand that when given the chance, a diet based on wild plants and animals (hunted or scavenged) is a far wiser choice, and one which acts outside of civilization. While a natural and ancestral diet is becoming a fad (Paleodiet, Neaderthin, etc.), it is nonetheless a more healthy choice, for us as humans, and for the planet itself.

It’s funny that this author(or authors) Call vegans self righteous and then proclaims that their lifestyle is far wiser. The facts don’t support a paleodiet, not in a world of 6 billion people and disappearing habitat. There is not one strong argument defended by facts for how a Paleodiet could feed anything more than a small part of the human species. The sad fact is that these arguments are used to grease a slippery slope that leads to all kinds of diet compromise. Re-wilding while it might sound fantastic in a kneejerk way doesn’t stand up to critical thinking. Anything short of a massive population crash** will prevent it.

Hunting in the wild is different for human beings who can make choices without instinct. We can choose to take part in an act of domination or make another choice. Anarchists love to say “No gods No masters,” But these green anarchists don’t have problem assuming the role of master in their own lives. Hunting animals in wild while alternatives exist that are non-violent and do not include an act of domination is to accept the role of master over another life. A vegan diet is natural extension of Green anarchism. It is the most important piece of a puzzle that could make a green anarchist future possible.


* <
Also this piece by Milton R. Mills, M.D

** As painful as it would be for most humans, possibly people I love and care for I think a massive population crash would be fantastic for the future.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Vacation by Jeremy Shipp is a strange and awesome trip!

Vacation by Jeremy C. Shipp
159 pages, Raw Screaming Dog Press

Vacation is the tale of Bernard Johnson, a teacher who leaves his boring life to go on a year long corporate sponsored trip. Shortly after leaving he falls for a transsexual who he discovers was one of his most hated students back when she was a boy. Sound strange? We have not even touched the tip of the iceberg. Bernard is captured by terrorists and is drafted into secret drug war battles. The book has the label Science fiction from the publisher on the back cover, it is however much stranger than your average Science Fiction. It has elements of horror for sure, Humor, politics and is provocative.

Jeremy C. Shipp has done something truly fantastic. I love the growing Bizzaro movement; the world needs a literature underground with stories about post nuclear warriors in cockroach suits* and time travelers being vomited through time by Giraffes**. I enjoy the off-the wall nature of the books. Most of the genre has its tongue planted firmly in cheek and the humor is one of the things most exciting about Bizzaro. This book takes the genre to a whole new level.

That is not to say it hasn’t been done before in Bizarro. No two Bizarro authors are alike it is not enough in this genre just to write something original daring and different to se yourself apart. No one writes like Gina Ranalli but her. No one writes like Jeremy Robert Johnson but him. So what sets Shipp at the top with this novel?

Jeremy Shipp is not filling space he has written an original fine tuned freak fest that has many levels to it. He is a talented writer who has written a whacky novel that is not only Bizzaro but it rises to the level of literature. I don’t mean this as an insult to anyone in the genre but this is a book that could break out of the underground ghetto.

While the pages go by you will find reality bending in the same way that the best of Phil K. Dick’s novels do. You will not only be wondering about what is coming in the story but the nature of the reality you engulfed in. One thing is for sure this book is worth the money.

When you close the book for the last time you may not feel as though you can put every piece in the puzzle but the picture you do have will be fascinating. This is a book that begs to be re-experienced each time you dive in and peel a layer off the onion you’ll get a different flavor.

*Extinction Journals by Jeremy Robert Johnson
** It came from Below the Belt by Bradley Sands

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Barker returns to the genre he never left!

Photo: is of my partner Cari and I with Clive at the 2005 Stoker awards in L.A.

New Clive Barker novels are always a cause for celebration, and considering the Halloween release of Mister B.Gone we horror geeks were stoked. If the Harper Collins marketing is to be trusted Mister B.Gone would hail the return of Clive Barker to horror. This is a dark and brutal book but if you were looking for the more straight forward style and tone of the Books of Blood this new book is not what you are looking for.
I should be clear, I enjoyed Mister B.Gone and yes the book is indeed horror. So were most of the books Clive had written since the Books of Blood. The Great and Secret Show and Everville had metaphysical fantastic elements but were certainly horror. What genre would Coldheart Canyon and Sacrament be if they were not horror?

Many traditional horror geeks have been turned off by Barker’s recent novels because he charted a more fantastic path since he published Weaveworld. While Mister B.Gone is a great little novel it is more of a horrific dark fantasy than Coldheart Canyon or Sacrament.

Those two novels have much more to do with the Books of Blood than this new novel that starts out in hell itself and is narrated by a lower class demon.
Mister B.Gone is worth your time, it’s beautifully packaged to resemble an old rotting book with an interactive narrative that jumps from first to second person and makes the reader themselves a character in the story. At first the repetitive warnings to the reader to burn the book got annoying but in the end the pay-off Barker was building to made it all worth it.

I think the return to form many fans are drooling over is still yet to come. After years of teasing us in interviews the latest rumor is that Barker will release the Scarlet Gospels in August 2008. the rumors began with Barker hinting in interviews that recent Asian horror films had inspired him to gone back to writing short horror fiction. We were told to expect a new collection whose title short story would be the Scarlet Gospels a story said to include the death of Pinhead.
Barker annoyed by the unending pillage of this character in endless Hellraiser sequels decided killing his abused creation seemed like a fun project. That would be cool enough but then he told us that the story would include Harry D’Amour who appeared in the art novels as well as his last film Lord of illusions. This deepening of the Barker mythos is very exciting for his fans who have stuck with him.

Considering the intersection of all these elements it shouldn’t be a surprise that this short story got out in front of him and ended up as a 230,000 word novel. Word! Come Clive I love Mister B.Gone but we need the gospel according to Clive!

Lets not forget the Book of blood and Midnight Meat Train are before cameras right now. Welcome back Clive...even though I know you never left.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

This is Awesome!

I don't have much say except Hell yeah!