863 Followers
101 Following
GregorXane

Gregor Xane

I prefer science fiction, fantasy, and horror without the spaceships, dragons, and zombies.

Ten Bookish Questions

I've seen this questionnaire making the rounds and thought I'd join in.

1. What book is on your nightstand now?

The Fireman, by Joe Hill.

2. What was the last truly great book that you read?

The Thicket, by Joe R. Lansdale

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

I would like to interrogate Philip K. Dick.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

There are a few legal thrillers and paranormal romances. I don't read either genre, but books of all types seem to gravitate toward my office. They're all welcome here.

5. How do you organize your personal library?

For fiction, first by favorite author, then by genre. For non-fiction, by subject.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

A Clockwork Orange, although I'm not embarrassed about not having read that one yet.

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker was just awful. I actually stopped reading at the 70% mark. I've read (and greatly admire) all of Barker's major works and I honestly don't believe he wrote that book, at least, not most of it. It should not have been published.

The last book I left unfinished was The Double, by José Saramago. But I've abandonded that one twice now, so I might still go back and finish it.

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I'm drawn to stories about independent investigators getting in over their heads in search of dangerous persons, places, or, especially, things.

I generally avoid romance fiction. I don't look on it with disdain or anything. It's just not my bag.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Every sitting president should have to read this one.



10. What do you plan to read next?

It doesn't matter what I plan to read next, I always seem to just go with what I'm in the mood for at the moment. But I'd like to finish off a number of series I've started over the years. Daniel Abraham's Dagger & Coin, Greg Keyes's Age of Unreason, Will Christopher Baer's Phineas Poe, Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf, to name a few.

My Short Story Month Gift to You

To celebrate Short Story Month, I'm offering my short story Mr. Tucker & Me as a FREE download over at Amazon.

This one isn't a horror story. It falls somewhere on the cusp of science fiction and fantasy. It's about friendship and the importance of meditative Sunday drives.

 

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

 

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Short Story Month Reading Update

I've read a good number of short stories this month. I like to jump between collections written by different authors to keep things mixed up.

Here's what I've read so far in May.

Note: My favorites are marked with an asterisk.

By Flannery O'Conner
A Stroke of Good Fortune
A Temple of the Holy Ghost
The Artificial Nigger*
A Circle in the Fire*



By Israel Finn
Stranded
No Such Thing as Monsters



By Jason Parent
Unseemly



By James Newman
Dirty Black Summer
Bless This Meal, O Lord
Suffer the Children
Always Digging
Keeping Up with the Joneses
A Town Called Hatred*
Holy Rollers



By Craig Saunders
Mr. Wobble
Doubloons
Pour your Beer Slow
People need People...to Eat
Red
The Last Cold Day
Rubble
Playing Favourites
The Dead Have Feelings, Too
The Dream
The Giant Inside*
Edgar Dawn*



Have you been performing your civic duty and reading short stories this month? If so, please feel free to let me know what's good.

May is Short Story Month!

It's May. It's Short Story Month. I'll be reading only short fiction this month. 

 

No, that's a lie. Joe Hill's The Fireman comes out this month, so I'll be reading that, too.

 

Which brings me to this list of recommended short fiction collections. First up is...

 

 

 

 

Note: A Natural History of Hell doesn't come out until July, but it will be good. Jeffrey Ford is one of the best living short story writers. See.

 

Grab a book of short stories.

Download a quick read from your eBook retailer of choice. 

Support the art form.

 

April Reading Wrap-Up

In April, I read enough chapter ones from various books to equal the length of a short novel. I picked at books I've had going for a long while, a chapter or two from one thing, a short story from one anthology/collection or another.

Not much is holding my interest. I think the problem is my general mood, rather than the material I've been sampling. I just haven't been able to figure out what it is exactly I'm in the mood to read.

But I'll read through it. It will pass.

I did manage to finish three books in April.

They are:

Night Squad, by David Goodis - A solid noir read. I'll be picking up some more Goodis for sure.

 



South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami - A good book, but only an okay Murakami.

 



Borderline, by Lawrence Block - Repackaged, old-fashioned sleaze. A serial killer amid sexual adventurers on the US-Mexico border.

 

 

CRUELTY for 99 cents? That thing is excellent and MASSIVE. Grab it!

Book Sale!

Reblogged from Lornographic Material:

 

 

 

Click the image below to shop at your leisure. 


Cover Reveal: TABOOGASM!

Summer 2016

 

Reblogging this for those interested parties who may have missed this post yesterday. You can still grab this at the below-advertised price at both the Amazon US & Amazon UK sites.

The Hanover Block for 99¢ - Kindle Countdown Deal

Reblogged from Gregor Xane:

The Hanover Block is available now (and for another 24 hours or so) for only 99¢ (down from the regular digital list price of $3.99).

 

If you've been wondering what the hell that thing on the cover is, now might be the time to find out.

 

What it's about:

 

Living in the long shadow of a tragic accident, Marion struggles through his solitary suburban life. He's resigned himself to a static existence, to living and dying in a world where every house looks exactly the same. Then he notices changes in his neighborhood. Tool sheds and playhouses are cropping up all over, hastily constructed and set at odd angles. The nutjob down the road builds an outhouse in the middle of his front yard, and the guy right next door is erecting two geodesic climbing domes, one nested inside the other.

People are doing strange things on their lawns.

 

Click to read a sample

(Click the cover to read a sample.)

 

Grab The Hanover Block at the Amazon US site for only $0.99!

 

Snag The Hanover Block at the Amazon UK site for just £0.99!

 

 

The Hanover Block for 99¢ - Kindle Countdown Deal

The Hanover Block is available now (and for another 24 hours or so) for only 99¢ (down from the regular digital list price of $3.99).

 

If you've been wondering what the hell that thing on the cover is, now might be the time to find out.

 

What it's about:

 

Living in the long shadow of a tragic accident, Marion struggles through his solitary suburban life. He's resigned himself to a static existence, to living and dying in a world where every house looks exactly the same. Then he notices changes in his neighborhood. Tool sheds and playhouses are cropping up all over, hastily constructed and set at odd angles. The nutjob down the road builds an outhouse in the middle of his front yard, and the guy right next door is erecting two geodesic climbing domes, one nested inside the other.

People are doing strange things on their lawns.

 

Click to read a sample

(Click the cover to read a sample.)

 

Grab The Hanover Block at the Amazon US site for only $0.99!

 

Snag The Hanover Block at the Amazon UK site for just £0.99!

 

 

My next book is dedicated, in part, to the man playing piano in this video.

March Reading Wrap-Up & Book-of-the-Month Selection

I only finished reading three books in March. Pretty lame.

 

Here's what I got through:

 

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King - The publisher did this collection a disservice by marketing this has a horror collection. It's not. You'll likely enjoy what's inside if you know going in that it's a mixed bag of story stuff. My favorites were "Ur" and "Herman Wouk Is Still Alive."

 

 

Fig, by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz - The writing in this book was excellent, engaging, layered and enviable for the first 75% of its length. Then it dipped down to just being okay for the last 25%. I'd still recommend it to those not turned off by a harrowing tale of a young girl growing up with a schizophrenic mother.

 

 

Bloodeye, by Craig Saunders - Another fine novella from Mr. Saunders. Again, I was impressed with the stripped-down, poetic prose. This one also had some very cool concepts and wicked imagery.

 

 

My March pick for Book-of-the-Month? I'm going to have to go with Bloodeye for the tight writing, vivid visuals, and the story that performed from beginning to end.

 

 

 

February Reading Wrap-Up & Book-of-the-Month Selection

Hey, here's what I read in February, folks:

The Thicket, by Joe R. Lansdale - I listened to the audiobook edition of this novel and loved every minute of it. This book seemed custom built for my enjoyment and instantly achieved 'all-time favorites' status.

 

 

The Chemickal Marriage, by Gordon Dahlquist - This is the third and final book in a series that started with the fantastic The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. Was it, too, fantastic? No. But it was a hell of a lot better than the structurally flawed second book in the series, The Dark Volume. For those who like steampunk, I highly recommend The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. It can be read as a standalone, too, if anything I've written here has put you off.

 

 

Sunglasses After Dark, by Nancy A. Collins - I've had this book waiting in the wings for a while now, and when I saw that someone had declared February Women in Horror Month, I decided to give this one a go. And it was pretty damn good. This has to be one of the primordial works of the wildly popular Urban Fantasy genre (kick-ass female characters beating the shit out of supernatural creatures). I looked it up, and it predates Laurel K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures by about four years. Sunglasses After Dark is a much better book. It is heavier on the horror than Hamilton's first Anita Blake book AND it's not dull. If you like Urban Fantasy, give it a go.

 

(Note: The Kindle Edition published by Open Road Media is pretty shitty. It's an OCR conversion nightmare with what amounts to at least one error on every page. This isn't the first Open Road book I've read with this problem. They seem to have a serious quality control issue on their hands.)

 


 

Margins & Burrito, by E. Lorn - (Full Disclosure: I beta-read these two shorts for my pal, E.) I'd recommend these to those fans of Edward Lorn the book reviewer and blogger guy who may not be fans of the horror genre.

 

 

The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle - A great novella from one of my favorite authors. Mr. LaValle, who happens to be a gentleman of color, has a love/hate relationship with H.P. Lovecraft, but instead of wholly dismissing Lovecraft over his well-known racist beliefs, LaValle decided to play in the old racist bastard's sandbox and make it his own. Highly recommended.

 

 

In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair, by Cate Gardner - This surreal novella has some cool imagery and neat ideas, but a lot of the humor fell flat for me, and the surreal geography wasn't explained clearly enough to keep me from scratching my head from time to time. I'd read another by this author. She's got a novella about Mr. Punch I'd like to get my hands on.

 

 

The Return, by Bentley Little - This is the second book I've read by Mr. Little, and I must say I like his style. His treatment of the supernatural invasion is grotesque and surreal and often downright silly. I'm glad that I've got a bunch more of his queued up on the old Kindle.

 

 

What is my pick for February Book-of-the Month? Hands down, The Thicket. I can't recall the last time I was so thoroughly enchanted and entertained by a work of fiction. Highest possible recommendation. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Joe R. Lansdale is a national treasure!

 

 

How to Become a Bestselling Author (and mislead the general public)!

Bram Stoker Awards 2015 Final Ballot Revealed

The Horror Writers Association has revealed the final ballot for the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards.

 

Check it out!

 

Congratulations to all the nominees!

 

Celebrating Women in Horror Month!

— feeling bloody

 

I'm reading the Bram Stoker Award-winning Sunglasses After Dark, by Nancy A. Collins, to celebrate the 7th Annual Women in Horror Month. If anyone would care to join me in reading this novel, which is considered a modern classic of the vampire genre, you can grab it on Amazon in Kindle format for just $1.99. 

 

If you're all set for reading this month, you should still check out what Women in Horror Month is all about. There are tons of events tied to the celebration and a massive blood drive.

 

See what Women in Horror Month is all about!

 

Grab Sunglasses After Dark for $1.99!

 

 

 

 

Horror Microfiction

 

read more »