All the Sins of the World – A Review of “Hellbound Hearts”

Cover Art for "Hellbound Hearts" Having recently reviewed Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart, I was informed that there were other print stories (none by Barker himself unfortunately). Hellbound Hearts is not a true sequel to Barker’s original tale of sexuality and brutality. Instead it is an anthology of stories from other authors tied into the … Continue reading All the Sins of the World – A Review of “Hellbound Hearts”

The First File – Review of Jim Butcher’s “Storm Front”

Cover Art for "Storm Front" Consider for a moment that magic is real, as real as science, in fact. Now consider the type of person who could or would wield such a power. Such a character would need to be nearly saint-like to avoid abusing such immense abilities. In Jim Butcher’s "Storm Front", we are … Continue reading The First File – Review of Jim Butcher’s “Storm Front”

The Horror of Depravity – A Review of Clive Barker’s “The Hellbound Heart”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0061452882/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0061452882&linkCode=am2&tag=thekingssquar-20&linkId=dcf9bc25ed0ee081b1041076c4f465a6 The line between pleasure and pain is often so thin as to be completely nonexistent. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of sadomasochism knows that receiving and inflicting pain can be a singularly euphoric experience. Few books ever explore this dichotomy as openly as The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker. Barker managers to plum … Continue reading The Horror of Depravity – A Review of Clive Barker’s “The Hellbound Heart”

The Gods Among Us – Review of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”

Cover Art for "American Gods" You can conjure anything based on belief, especially gods and monsters. The central conceit of American Gods by Neil Gaiman is that because humans believe in the gods, the gods exist. Fairies, kobolds, immortal queens and kings, and so forth are real simply because humans sought explanations for their world. … Continue reading The Gods Among Us – Review of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”

Murder and Telepathy – A review of “The Demolished Man” by Alfred Bester

Cover Art for "The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester Speculative fiction works in no small part because of its basis in Socratic questioning. It is a simple exercise: Suppose “________”. Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, first published in 1953 has both an interesting pedigree (this is the book that won the very first Hugo Award … Continue reading Murder and Telepathy – A review of “The Demolished Man” by Alfred Bester

Going on an Adventure – A Review of “The Monster of Marnmouth Valley” by Charlie J. Greene

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/519nIKgE75L.jpg Cover art for "The Monster of Marnmouth Valley" I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not read much children’s fiction as an adult. Growing up, I read voraciously on whatever I could get my hands on (and that my mother would allow me to read). “The Monster of Marnmouth Valley” is a book … Continue reading Going on an Adventure – A Review of “The Monster of Marnmouth Valley” by Charlie J. Greene

Nightmares in the Deep South – A Review of “Seed” by Ania Ahlborn

Cover art for "Seed" by Ania Ahlborn Southern Gothic stories are tricky to pull off. On the one hand, they can be atmospheric in mood and tone. On the other hand, these stories can be the scene of high camp. An example of the latter would be the admittedly tongue-in-cheek Sookie Stackhouse mystery novels. A … Continue reading Nightmares in the Deep South – A Review of “Seed” by Ania Ahlborn

Accepting Your Fate – A Review of “Rerun” by Chris Manteria

If you could see into the future or the past, what would you do with that information? What kind of burden would the visions impose on your life? Would you accept the fate you’ve seen or would you seek to change it? These are some of the questions raised by the premise of Rerun by … Continue reading Accepting Your Fate – A Review of “Rerun” by Chris Manteria

The Madness Spreads – Layden Robinson’s “The Havoc Tree”

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51OFX0SEKmL._SX260_.jpg Madness in literature is as old as the art form itself. From the works of Jorge Luis Borges to Hunter S. Thompson to Clive Barker and Stephen King, the mind of a character fracturing into pieces is a compelling topic for a story. It also makes telling the story that much more difficult. Layden … Continue reading The Madness Spreads – Layden Robinson’s “The Havoc Tree”