Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a terrific Halloween and have fun with whatever you've got planned. I'm just staying in tonight and watching horror movies - I'm actually watching Halloween as I type this.

What are your plans for tonight?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

T.V. REVIEW: Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXII

Hurray! The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXII is actually airing before Halloween this year! So I thought I should review it since I haven't blogged about anything Halloween-related yet this year (sorry about that!).

In the opening sequence, Marge is a Switch Witch. After the kids eat some of their candy, she takes the rest and replaces it with toothbrushes, dental floss and mouthwash. Then Homer is supposed to drop it off at Candy for Troops, but instead he drives to Candy Eating Peak to gorge himself and falls down a canyon, getting stuck under a rock in a funny spoof of 127 Hours.

This Treehouse of Horror episode was a bit of a disappointment compared to some of my favourites (read a list of my Top 10 Treehouse of Horror Segments here), or even last year's episode (read my review here), but that is probably because I haven't seen any of the movies/T.V. shows  which are spoofed. Here are the segments:

The Diving Bell and the Butterball

In this parody of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Homer is paralyzed by a spider bite and learns to communicate through farting.

This segment is mostly fart jokes, so I didn't find it very funny. Also, not only have I not seen The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I have no idea what it's about and have never heard of it until now. At least with the others, I have an idea of what they're about. But there are still a few laughs at the end when another spider bites Homer and he becomes a Spiderman who shoots webs from his ass when he farts.

Dial "D" for Diddly

Ned Flanders begins murdering "evil" people when he believes God is telling him to in this parody of Dexter.

As I've already said, I've never seen Dexter - I know I should probably watch it, I'm sure I'll get to it eventually - but despite this, I still found this segment to be the funniest of the episode. I especially enjoyed the scene where Ned kills Patty and Selma. He puts a sign on the side of the road that says "Free Cigarettes" and then shoves a boulder on top of their car a la Wile E. Coyote.

In the Na'vi

In the future, Bart and Milhouse are sent to another planet to harvest Hilarium for Krusty the Clown, in a spoof of Avatar.

I found this to be the least funny segment of the episode. Unlike the others, this one just has Avatar-related jokes. I enjoyed seeing what Bart and Milhouse would look like if they were part of Kang and Kodos' race of aliens, but that was the only fun part of this segment.

Overall, I felt pretty "meh" about this year's episode. But it's worth watching for Dial "D" for Diddly and the opening.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BOOK NEWS: Robert McCammon E-Books

Today nine of Robert McCammon's books are being released in e-book format from Open Road Media: Swan Song, Boy's Life, Gone South, Mine, Stinger, Mystery Walk, Usher's Passing, The Wolf's Hour and Blue World.

The books are available from Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Google eBookstore, Kobo Books, OverDrive and Sony Reader Store.

The price per e-book is between $9.99 and $12, depending on which website you buy from.

Watch Robert McCammon talk about writing in this video:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Sale Finds

A few weeks ago I went to a book sale and bought quite a few horror novels and thought I would share my purchases with everyone.

Sins of the Flesh by Don Davis & Jay Davis

The Wages of Sin is Death!

An innocent mound of grass-covered earth. A weathered wooden door. A root cellar, shelter from violent storms, storage for the farm's produce. On Walter Sikes' farm, the root cellar hides a dark and dangerous secret. A monster slumbers there, imprisoned by powerful magics - a monster that once was Walter Sikes' eldest son.

Transformed by a madman's curse, Jesse Sikes is a killing machine. Twenty years ago he cut a bloody swath through the small town of Gideon - until his mother struck him down with her own occult powers. Now Eleanor Sikes is dying. The bonds that hold the monster are weakening. 

Soon Jesse will be free.

No one in Gideon will be safe.

Fear by Ronald Kelly

It was a legend in Fear County... a hideous, flesh-eating creature - part snake, part earthbound demon - that feasted on the blood of innocent children in the cold black heart of the Tennessee backwoods.
But ten-year-old Jeb Sweeny knows the horrible stories are true. His best friend Mandy just up and disappeared. He also knows that no one has ever had the courage to go after the monster and put an end to its raging, bestial hunger.
Until now.
But Evil is well guarded. And for young Jeb Sweeny, who is about to cross over into the forbidden land of Fear County and the lair of the unknown, passage through the gates of Hell comes with a terrible price. Everlasting...FEAR!
Darklings by Ray Garton

Are you safe in your house?

Look around you. Is your world familiar? Comfortable? Does it seem the same today as it was yesterday? It isn't.

Something is loose in your world that wasn't there before. Some terrible.

It is born of the devil, nurtured in evil, and set loose to do its vile work. It moves its foul form with a  sleek, sudden malevolent grace. It comes, it touches, it takes over. Then the horror begins. An aging surgeon, a captured fugitive, a pregnant mother, an innocent hospital worker - each is its victim, driven by a grotesque impulse to acts of murder, mayhem, nymphomania, infanticide, cannibalism... Can it be stopped? Perhaps... But the battle will be waged by a few brave, desperate souls on the edge of Hell, while Satan awaits the triumph of his cherished...DARKLINGS.

Nightmare Child by Daniel Ransom

From the silence of the grave...

Jeff and Mindy McKay are young, attractive and willing to stop at nothing to have it all - even if it means murdering Mindy's little sister, Jenny, to collect her part of an enormous inheritance. With Jenny out of the way, Jeff and Mindy can begin to enjoy luxury beyond their wildest dreams... 

Then one day, months after Mindy and Jeff have buried the little girl, they answer a knock at the door. Standing there, staring at them with frightening blank eyes, is Jenny. She has returned -to their house, to their lives - to exact a revenge that goes beyond death.

The Pines by Robert Dunbar


After her husband died, Athena Monroe often wondered why she stayed in the dilapidated old farmhouse, buried deep in the harsh, blighted New Jersey pine barrens. Perhaps it was because her mysteriously afflicted young son seemed to feel such strong ties to the area's primeval swaps and stunted forests - such an affinity for the pines. She didn't guess that his psychic connection was with something evil - until ranting fits and night terrors gripped him in a vise of horror. Athena was afraid her inability to really love the boy was now causing his strange behavior, but the old-timers in the region recognized something more sinister. To them it was an omen of things to come - a sign that the monstrous Jersey Devil was about to reappear...

The Pluto Pact by Guy N. Smith

A black magician screaming curses of hatred...
A fiery object hurtling from the sky...
A patch of earth where no blade of grass will grow...

Centuries have passed since that terrible night of reckoning, but still the dark shadow hangs over a Scottish valley. 
Bob Coyle believes that his home town is menaced by a new centre for disposing of nuclear waste - a lethally dangerous project he calls 'Holocaust'. Yet his efforts to alert the people fall upon deaf - or angry - ears. For them the center means new-found prosperity. 
But a series of strange deaths and brutal killings at last starts to bring home the danger... and if Coyle's worst fears are realized, countless millions will die in agony. 

Then the terrible curse of Balzur will be fulfilled.

The Reckoning by Ruby Jean Jensen


It all started the night of Dalton Walsh's revival meeting... when the earth beneath his tent trembled with a kind of vengeance. It was as if some force from beyond knew about the terrible crimes that had transpired in this little town and finally wanted to reveal the evil that lived there.

Then the sightings began. All those lost, almost forgotten children; kids who hadn't aged a day in all the years since their disappearance - like the teenage boy who still wore the same clothes he'd last been seen in, or the golden-haired little girl who still clutched that same doll.

Reverend Dalton didn't know why the children had picked this moment to come home, but he did know one thing; now was the time for a terrible truth to finally be revealed. Now was the time for...THE RECKONING.

Bethany's Sin by Robert McCammon


For Evan Reid, his wife Kay, and their small daughter Laurie, the beautiful house in the small village was too good a bargain to pass up. Bethany's Sin was a weird name, but the village was quaint and far from the noise and pollution of the city.

But Bethany's Sin was too quiet. There were no sounds at all...almost as if the night had been frightened into silence. 

Evan began to notice that there were very few men in the village, and that most of them were crippled. And then there was the sound of galloping horses. Women on horses. Riding in the night.

Soon he would learn their superhuman secret. And soon he would watch in terror as first his wife, then his daughter, entered their sinister cabal. 

An ancient evil rejoiced in Bethany's Sin. A horror that happened only at night...and only to men.

The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson

Inch by inch, day by day, Scott Carey is getting smaller. Once an unremarkable husband and father, Scott finds himself shrinking with no end in sight. His wife and family turn into unreachable giants, the family cat becomes a predatory menace, and Scott must struggle to survive in a world that seems to be growing ever larger and more perilous--until he faces the ultimate limits of fear and existence.

Also contains several more tales by Richard Matheson including Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Button, Button and Duel.

X,Y by Michael Blumlein


Frankie watched herself in the mirror as she danced in the strip joint - it was the only way to get through her act. But then the fat man came into the club, and the siren screamed, and Frankie's world shattered like a thousand shards of glass.


In the morning, she isn't Frankie anymore. She doesn't remember who she is. She knows for certain only one solid truth: that she is a man. As for Terry, her boyfriend, he cannot understand what his little sex object is trying to tell him...


Frankie, trapped and livid, slowly learns to live as a captive in a woman's skin, and learns to rule over her poor lover. She makes him work for her. She makes him wait on her. She uses her stranger's body to torture hi with his own desire.


They are an ordinary couple in their private hell: A man and a woman in changed places; a man and a woman exploring all the cruelty and darkness and horror that once was hidden between a woman and a man.

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin


For centuries mankind longed for a world without suffering or war. The family made that dream come true.

They had triumphed. Programmed, every need satisfied, they knew nothing of struggle or pain.


But for one man, perfection was not enough. For Chip, it was a nightmare. The Family was a suffocating force of evil. His dream was to escape...and destroy!

Afterimage by Kristine Kathryn Rusch & Kevin J. Anderson

He was known as the Joan of Arc killer - a sadistic rapist who burned his victims before he murdered them.

Rebecca Tamerlane had been staring into this monster's face as he hovered over her broken body, the smell of gasoline in the air. But suddenly her body felt completely whole and surprisingly strong...only it wasn't her body.

Rescued at the last minute by a group of shapeshifters, Rebecca had been transformed into the likeness of the last image in her mind before her death. Now she was the image of her killer, with his odious identity and the police on her trail. There was no other way to save herself except to search desperately for this maniac who held the key to the magic restoration of her true body. But among the shapeshifters, a more sinister force had other ideas...

Blaze by Stephen King

Once upon a time, a fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 ("cancer of the pseudonym"), but this last gripping Bachman novel resurfaced after being hidden away for decades -- an unforgettable crime story tinged with sadness and suspense. 

Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., was always a small-time delinquent. None too bright either, thanks to the beatings he got as a kid. Then Blaze met George Rackley, a seasoned pro with a hundred cons and one big idea. The kidnapping should go off without a hitch, with George as the brains behind their dangerous scheme. But there's only one problem: by the time the deal goes down, Blaze's partner in crime is dead. Or is he?

Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe


On Christmas Eve four-year-old Naomi Hillenbrand disappears from her father's side in a crowded toy store; on Christmas day, her mutilated body is discovered in a field. But part of Naomi remains, unwilling or unable to leave this world. Ghostly photographs capture her playing with two other little girls dressed in Victorian garb while a sinister man in black them all. 

Charles Hillenbrand is tormented by grief. When sinister whispers in the night begin to taunt him, he tries to uncover the evil truth behind Naomi's death. But long-buried secrets await him and threaten to take him beyond the brink of sanity, to a place where he could lose his very soul.

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them?