February 5, 2015

Chasing Tale [February 5, 2015]: Ballots, Bans, and More Books

Mid-January saw the release of the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot, which is basically their long list before getting down to the nitty gritty of the final ballot. Being a horror hound, this is one of the literary awards I tend to keep an eye on each year. I don't put a whole lot of stock in awards like this in general, but the lists give me some good recs and a reminder that they shouldn't be taken too seriously. A lesson lost on a few writers out there, sadly.

The short-list for the James Herbert Award, which I only just discovered was a real thing this year, came out well. Hey, the more the merrier. Unlike the Stoker Awards, I actually have a couple of these books on my to-be-read pile, and even read another (Nick Cutter's The Troop).

Meanwhile, one of the books I had on my Amazon wish list is now banned on Amazon. XXX Shamus by Red Hammond (Anthony Neil Smith's sleazy pseudonymous persona) was published by Broken River Books, but it was summarily removed from sale after an anonymous complaint over its mature content, despite far raunchier and far more gratuitous works of fiction are still widely available on the site. Fear not though, as Mr. Smith brings word that the book is now exclusively available through FanBacked. Five bucks gets you the ebook, and there are even more buying options akin for a fundraiser that even includes signed t-shirts. So hey, there is life after Amazon for banned books after all. A bit of good news for fans of the written word.

Speaking of books, a slew sneaked their way onto my to-be-read pile over the last few weeks. Have a gander and let me know if you've read any and what you thought, or if there are any that are on your TBR pile or your wish list.

Stinking Rich by Rob Brunet - If you want to keep your barn full of weed safe, maybe hiring a high school dropout isn't the best plan. This madcap crime novel sounds quite promising, and I have an interview with Rob about it in the weeks to come.

Veins and Vipers by Lawrence C. Connolly - Before The Funky Werepig went the way of the dinosaurs, the podcast introduced me to the Lawrence C. Connolly and host Greg Hall's adoration of Veins. Well, it and its sequel came up on sale recently, so I figured I would scoop 'em up. If they're good enough for Greg, they're good enough for me.

Skinjumper by Lincoln Crisler - Ragnarok Publications had a Facebook party a couple weeks back, and I snagged an ebook prize. Woohoo! I have most of the Ragnarok library already, but not this horror novel with a deliciously sinister cover ... until now.

Black Feathers and The Book of the Crowman by Joseph D'Lacey - How 'bout a little apocalyptic action from Angry Robot? These two novels were marked way down on the Kindle Store in January, and I've been meaning to add D'Lacey's work to my TBR pile for years, so done and done.

Red Venus and Deniro Del Mar by Garnett Elliott - Some sci-fi and serial mystery from BEAT to a PULP that I managed to score as freebies a couple weeks ago on the Kindle Store. Sweet.

O.P. #7 by Adam Fenner - This is a review copy of an as-yet unpublished horror novel, which should be up for pre-order in early March. Adam should be stopping by the blog around that time too with a guest post in the lead-up, so watch out for that.

The House of Canted Steps by Gary Fry - A haunted house tale of a sort. I enjoy Gary's work, though I don't get to read it often, so it wasn't much of a quandary when this short novel came up on sale in January.

Carus and Mitch by Tim Major - This is a dystopian novella due out soon from Omnium Gatherum. Tim will be stopping by soon as well with a guest post on the blog too, so keep your eyes peeled.

How to Make Monsters by Gary McMahon - A cheap, short novel on the Kindle Store written by Gary McMahon? How did I not see this before now? Sold.

Angel Manor by Chantal Noordeloos - Before the Kindle version disappeared from Amazon.com, I bought a copy of this horror novel. Nuns and haunted houses. I can't decide which scares me more.

Con Job and Dice Roll by Jason Ridler - I guess 99 cents were the soup de joure for Jason through the month of January, as I have now bought all three books in his Battersea trilogy at rock bottom prices.

Worm by Anthony Neil Smith - Blasted Heath has published the latest Anthony Neil Smith book. What's it about? A giant worm demolishing the city of Tokyo, perhaps? Nope, this one is about a new employee on an oil field, a worm as the other workers call the newbs, who tries to scrape money together to keep his new family afloat.

The Law of Three: A New Wasteland by J. Thorn - I signed up for J. Thorn's newsletter, which I could've sworn I'd already done, and as part of the bargain I received a free ebook. Not too shabby.

Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me by Will Viharo - Someone, I forget who, with good taste in crime fiction recommended this re-published novel from twenty-some years ago. It came up cheap on the Kindle Store, so I got it lickedy split.

The Janus Legacy by Lisa Von Biela - This one looks like a blend of horror and sci-fi, to a point anyway, with a dying man taking over the work of his late, estranged father in leading a groundbreaking new medical technology. I hear good things about Lisa's work and this was a cheapie last month, so no worries there.

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