HorrorTalk today reviews The Children of Old Leech, saying, “The Children of Old Leech is about paying tribute to a man who has made us be afraid of what lives in the woods in new and terrifying ways, but it also ends up being an outstanding collection of short fiction by some of the best authors out there. Throw in an introduction by Justin Steele and an afterword by Ross E. Lockhart, undoubtedly two of the best dark fiction editors and anthologists, and what you get is a book worthy of being followed into the woods on a dark, moonless night.”
NPR Books’ Jason Heller has reviewed Molly Tanzer’s Vermilion, calling the debut novel “a work of alt-history that finds a fresh kind of magic in the mingling of fact and fantasy,” and concluding “Vermilion is a unique, hearty, thought-provoking romp that rewrites history with a vivacious flourish.” Read the full review at this link, and ask for Vermilion by name wherever books are sold. Or order direct from Word Horde.
Two brand-new bits of Word Horde news for you this Monday:
The Horror Fiction Review‘s Christine Morgan previews Giallo Fantastique this week, calling the anthology “a lavish, sumptuous tapestry of luxurious surrealism and strangeness,” and singling out the stories by Garrett Cook, Nikki Guerlain, and MP Johnson as personal favorites. Giallo Fantastique will be published May 15, 2015, and may be pre-ordered here.
And esteemed author, editor, and filmmaker John Skipp weighs in on Nicole Cushing, author of the forthcoming debut novel Mr. Suicide, saying, “Nicole Cushing comes in smart and hard, skilled and strange times three. Many aspire. But you can’t fake this kind of weird.” Mr. Suicide will be published July 15, 2015, and may be pre-ordered here.
Tanzer’s first novel is a splendid page-turner of a Weird West adventure. Elouise Merriwether is a psychopomp, tasked with escorting newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Half Chinese and half English, with a bizarre job that few people understand, she struggles to find a place for herself in 1870s San Francisco, often vacillating between pluck and self-effacement. When her mother asks her to investigate why young Chinese men are going missing after being offered jobs in Colorado, Lou agrees to turn detective, but she’s bitten off way more than she can chew, especially once she runs up against the mysterious Dr. Panacea and his possibly fraudulent Elixir of Life. This hugely entertaining mixture of American steampunk and ghost story is a wonderful yarn with some of the best dialogue around.
Vermilion is fresh and strange — a dark and sparkling story of magic, monsters, and mystery in the Old Weird West. Gloriously weird and heartfelt, it’s a credit to the genre from start to finish.
“Throughout Books 1 and 2, it was really hard to predict how all the pieces of this puzzle would fit together. But by the time I finished We Leave Together, everything did come together beautifully. Finding out the exact circumstances of Jona’s death and what happened to Rachel (YES! Rachel! You go, girl!) just about broke my heart in the best possible way.”
Read the full review at Kirkus.
Brand-new pre-release reviews are in for our two summer books, J. M. McDermott’s concluding Dogsland novel, We Leave Together (June 15, 2014), and tribute anthology The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron (July 15, 2014).
Here’s what the critics have to say about J. M. McDermott’s We Leave Together:
“McDermott’s third novel set in Dogsland brings closure to the saga of the deceased Jona Lord Joni, whose memory-filled skull yields the narrative. […] Readers will still find Dogsland a grittily imagined fantasy world, with a personality as vivid as any of its residents.” —Publishers Weekly
Read the full review at this link.
And here’s the Publishers Weekly review of The Children of Old Leech:
“Lockhart and Steele collect 17 original stories from some of the shining stars of modern horror, constructing a worm-riddled literary playground from elements of the fiction of horror maestro Laird Barron. The results come across with a coherent feeling of dread, without feeling derivative of the source. […] Hopefully Barron will enjoy this tribute; his fans certainly will.” —Publishers Weekly
Read the full review (including mentions of stories by Molly Tanzer, J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington, T.E. Grau, and Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.) at this link.
“This multifaceted grimoire, and the talent associated with it, is staggering to behold. Its co-editor, Justin Steele, sets the tone in a highly entertaining introduction, one which pits his fictional self against the very ‘carnivorous cosmos’ he so innocently sought to collect. In many like anthologies that focus on the oeuvre of a specific writer, the works themselves rarely rise above pastiche—but this seems to be exactly what the editors wished to avoid when fashioning their tribute to Laird Barron. Steele brings this to the fore when singling out Ellen Datlow’s excellent Lovecraft Unbound as a source of inspiration. Potential readers who are not familiar with Barron’s work need not worry. The tales, while sometimes recalling certain tropes or characters from his fiction, can be enjoyed in their own right; and, I must say, the range of styles on display is consistently impressive.” –C. M. Muller, Chthonic Matter
Read the full review (including detailed mentions of stories by T.E. Grau, Richard Gavin, Paul Tremblay, Michael Griffin, Daniel Mills, Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, Cody Goodfellow, and Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douhit-Nicolay) at this link.
Tales of Jack the Ripper has been pulling in some outstanding reviews. Not bad for a book that’s only officially been out for less than two weeks. Here are just a few of the reviews…
FEARnet.com‘s Blu Gilliand begins his review by asking the question, “is it okay to base a piece of entertainment on a real-life serial killer?” To find an answer, Blu takes an in-depth look at the anthology’s stories by Orrin Grey, Alan M. Clark & Gary A. Braunbeck, Joe R. Lansdale, Patrick Tumblety, and Walter Greatshell, then concludes, “What Lockhart has done with this anthology is to show that the Jack the Ripper story has grown far beyond who- or whatever murdered those women all those years ago. It’s become a myth, grounded in fact, and the reason it continues to hold power over us today is because we still don’t understand what happened, or why, and we likely never will. Stories like that are the stories that continue to frighten us, and until we can banish those shadows forever, there will always be writers wrestling with them on the printed page. Tales of Jack the Ripper manages to walk that fine line between entertainment and exploitation with real finesse. It’s a gripping group of stories about one of our most enduring mysteries, and well worth your time.” Read the full review at FEARnet.com.
At first concerned that he may not know enough about Jack to fully appreciate the anthology, SR Jones of Martian Migraine Press examines closely the tales by Ennis Drake, Pete Rawlik, Stanley C. Sargent, Ramsey Campbell, T.E. Grau, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Laird Barron, E. Catherine Tobler, Joe R. Lansdale, and Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. Admittedly thrown off by some of the anthology’s more experimental pieces, Jones awards Jack a five-star review, saying, “Editor Ross Lockhart (Book of Cthulhu and Book of Cthulhu 2, Chick Bassist) has done a stand-out job with Tales of Jack the Ripper. This one’s going out to certain names on my Christmas list, that’s for sure. You know the ones. With their ‘funny little games’. Recommended.” Read the full review at Martian Migraine Press.
Shock Totem‘s Mason Ian Bundschuh writes “There is a definite ‘weird tale’ edge to many of the stories (and poems) in the anthology, which in this reader’s opinion is a GREAT thing. It might even be expected from Lockhart, who also brought you The Book of Cthulhu and its follow-up, The Book of Cthulhu 2. This doesn’t mean you can pigeonhole Tales of Jack the Ripper.” Bundschuh singles out stories by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ramsey Campbell, and Mercedes M. Yardley for their chilling excellence, concluding, “you need to get up off your lazy duff and buy this collection.” Read the full review at Shock Totem.
The Arkham Digest‘s Justin Steele ponders our societal fascination with serial killers and the Ripper’s legacy, finding insight in Orrin Grey’s tale “Ripperology.” Other stories considered and ruminated upon under Steele’s eye include those by Ramsey Campbell, Alan M. Clark & Gary A. Braunbeck, Joe R. Lansdale, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ennis Drake, T.E. Grau, Ed Kurtz, Edward Morris, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Pete Rawlik, Stanley C. Sargent, Mercedes M. Yardley, and Laird Barron. Steele concludes, “Tales of Jack the Ripper marks a strong debut for Word Horde. Lockhart, in usual fashion, has managed to put together a strong, multifaceted anthology that explores the Ripper legend at length. If this book is indicative of what’s to be expected from his new press, than readers have much to look forward to.” Read the full review at The Arkham Digest.
The Arkham Digest have also just featured Steele’s interview with Tales of Jack the Ripper editor and Word Horde publisher/editor-in-chief Ross E. Lockhart. This interview includes not only insights into Lockhart’s aesthetic and goals in putting together Tales of Jack the Ripper, but a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Word Horde’s origins and future. Check out the full interview at The Arkham Digest.
This post is brought to you by Tales of Jack the Ripper, an anthology of seventeen stories and two poems examining the bloody legacy of the most famous serial murderer of all time. Ask for Tales of Jack the Ripper by name at a bookseller near you, or order the Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack from Word Horde.
The first Amazon reviews of Tales of Jack the Ripper have started to appear, and it seems that people like our little book. Here are just a few of the things readers have said:
“…a truly spellbinding collection…”
“A must have for all Ripper scholars.”
“…what this anthology truly has going for it is its relentlessness.”
“Blood starts to seep from the pages (yes, even on the Kindle), and pools around the words.”
“The ‘Must-Read’ Jack the Ripper Anthology”
“Jack the Ripper stories that will keep you up at night reading (or hiding beneath your covers).”
“These stories will have you feverously flipping pages in a hungry suspense–each holding that ‘one more page’ grip that established readers search for.”
“I suggest cutting into a copy as soon as possible…”
What can we say but, “Wow!”
Even though our official street date isn’t until August 31, Tales of Jack the Ripper is now available to order in Trade Paperback from Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, Powells, and The Book Depository. A Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack is available directly from Word Horde. Tales of Jack the Ripper is also available as an ebook for Kindle and Nook.
Thanks for reading. And if you enjoy the book, please tell your friends.