Monday, September 25, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 28

Richard Matheson returns to the TFC ring

Buried Talents by Richard Matheson
Masques II, 1987

A guy wins a lot at a carny game. If there was a sinister twist it was too subtle for me to notice.

Dust Devils by Ron Kelly
2 AM, Summer 1989

A girl seeks refuge from her abusive stepfather with desert dust devils.

Outsteppin' Fetchit by Charles Saunders
Masques II, 1987

Peanut Posey, a rival of Stepin' Fetchit, is in a nursing home, haunted by the memory of his revolutionary son. Good premise but ends before it could go anywhere.

Hydra by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, April 1939

A mixture of drugs opens a dimensional gateway to release head eating Hydras. Similarities to From Beyond, and feels like the Stuart Gordon film drew from it. I like most other writers' Lovecraft better than Lovecraft's own, though this perhaps explains a titch too much.

Saunders and Matheson go over the ropes

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Reading Rumble Intercontinental Title Match - Sodergren vs Garton


A close match, but Garton comes up on top as our new Intercontinental Champion and earns a shot at the Heavyweight Championship belt. Will he be Trash Fiction Championship's first double crown winner?

This match has been brought to you by Clockwork Assassin. 

Cyborgs Attack!

From Yakuza ninjas and Mafia snipers in the streets of New York to an army of deadly robotic assassins in a hidden volcano base, hitman Nathan Bendell joins forces with others in his trade in a deadly fight for survival. He’s joined by:

Blane Logan: former MI6 agent turned mercenary

Cynthia Rogers: ninja weapon specialist and bodyguard

Roger Beretta: small arms marksman and vigilante

It’s merc versus machine in an all-out battle for the title of Earth’s deadliest killer!

Available from Amazon

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Maggie's Grave by David Sodergren

Maggie's Grave
by David Sodergren

The spirit of a woman wrongfully executed as a witch haunts a dying Scottish town, looking for her murdered baby. And by haunt I meant tear everyone apart from the inside out.

As opposed to the emotional gut punch of Dead Girl Blues, this felt more in the direction of splatter comedies like Dead/Alive and Evil Dead 2 without going full slapstick, fun without without trying to be funny.

Available from Amazon

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Crucifax by Ray Garton

by Ray Garton
1988, Pocket Books

Hair metal pied piper Mace rolls into Socal, attracting teen castoffs to hang out with him in an abandoned building with his supernatural dope and horde of demon rats.

A couple teenagers, a school counselor, and a disgraced, child molesting pastor team up to prevent mass tragedy. Has a reputation as a splatterpunk classic due to an excised scene appearing in the titular anthology, but even that part is fairly tame, gore wise. Weird that an implied oral abortion was one toe over the line but teen incest is jake.

Great depiction of late 80s LA teen dirtbags, and reveals just enough to make sense without pages of exposition overexposing the mystery.

Available from Amazon

Monday, September 18, 2023

Reading Rumble Intercontinental Title Match - Sodergren vs Garton


This one's for all the marbles. The Scottish Scribe vs the California Calligrapher face off for the vacant Intercontinental Title. The winner also gets a shot at the World Title.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 27

From the unnamable, stygian, cyclopean, eldritch, etc - Lovecraft.

Imprisoned With the Pharaohs by Harry Houdini (HP Lovecraft)
Weird Tales, May 1924

Harry Houdini visits Egypt, is captured, walks around under the pyramids, finds a hippo monster and runs away. Missed opportunity for an escape sequence, he's bound once but just gets out.

Consumption by Ron Kelly
Thin Ice #5, 1989

Giant carnivorous caterpillar.

Come Dance With Me on My Pony's Grave by Charles R. Grant
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1973

A child adopted from a war zone has a special connection with animals. 

Paper Angels on Fire by John Shirley
Sick Things, 2010,

A conman goes through a series of false afterlifes.

The Transgressor by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, February 1939

Time travel quickie, a bit standard now but still haunting.

Mtimu by Charles Saunders
Black Pulp, 2013

Black version of Tarzan, who rescues a pilot from an insane big game hunter. Good set up, though the climax was off page.

Shirley and Lovecraft go over the ropes. Grant is no longer in the ring. Maybe he was never there.