September 1, 2010

Chasing Tale in August: Louise Bohmer, Brian James Freeman, Pill Hill Press ...

After hearing about Dorchester Publishing's decision to scrap Leisure Books' mass market paperbacks in order to switch to trade paperbacks and e-books, I feel like I should cherish the bookstores in my area while I still can.

In my hometown, its lone bookstore has long been little more than a couple of shelves with select local titles and a turnstile stand with bestseller paperbacks. The rest of the store--the majority of the store really--is a gift shop and tannery. Further up the valley is another independent bookstore, situated in the mall, but the last couple of times I went there it was eerily absent of customers. I don't know about you, but I find it a wee bit unsettling to be the only one inside a bookstore while browsing the shelves. It feels like grocery shopping at 2 A.M.

Hardly any horror titles appear on those shelves as it stands, aside from the latest Stephen King book. And with Leisure Books, which is arguably the biggest publisher of horror titles, scaling back their print division I get the feeling there will be even fewer horror authors with books on shelves. E-publishing is looking more and more like the wave of the future. And for a caveman like me, it feels like I'm the last in line for the Triassic period. "Sorry, troglodyte. Get a Kindle or get lost."

For now though, I can still get my hands on real books, so let's see what I got in August.

The Black Act by Louise Bohmer - I killed three birds with one stone by getting my hands on this novel. I supported a Canadian author, a debut novelist, and small press publishing. But what I really wanted was to read a dark fantasy novel that involves a very non-Disney revisiting of faeries and other folklore. I first heard about this book via the Funky Werepig podcast and Choate Road, and finally scooped it up via Book Depository.

The Painted Darkness (e-book) by Brian James Freeman - The author and his publisher, Cemetery Dance, put on a promotion that encouraged readers to download a free copy of the e-book. As I already mentioned, I don't have an e-reader but I have read e-books on occasion. And a free book is a free book. It's a little over 200 pages, so maybe I can risk my retinas by reading it on my CRT monitor. If you're interested in downloading a copy for yourself just hop on over to

The Wild Vine by Todd Kliman - I don't read a lot of nonfiction, and when I do it's usually humor. But when I was contacted about any interest I might have in reading and reviewing this nonfiction tale about the history of winemaking in America, I thought the subject matter was interesting enough to warrant a look-see. You can read my review of this book here.

Darkness, Tell Us by Richard Laymon - Ty Schwamberger is the author who turned me towards Richard Laymon when I won a book giveaway he hosted last year. Since then, I've read a couple more novels and I've been scooping up the used paperbacks when I see them in my neck of the woods. I've heard a couple of authors describe this one as especially horrifying, so I grabbed it.

The Box: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson - This is the movie tie-in collection, which is fine by me so long as it contains Matheson's short stories. I didn't particular care for the film adaptation of his story "Button, Button" called The Box, but I've practically put that movie out of my mind. If you're interested though, you can read my review of the film here.

Zero Gravity: Adventures in Deep Space (anthology) edited by Alva J. Roberts - My contributor's copy of this anthology arrived in the mail, and I must admit to getting one of those warm, fuzzy feelings when I saw my byline in print for a second time. That's just a nice little moment for an aspiring author--the money was better, but seeing my name in print was pretty darned good too.

Well, that's my haul for August. What books of interest did you scoop up this past month?

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