Tonights paring is brought to you by Egeus Press and @bigmuddybeer. We have a – limited first edition – collection of short horrors, “Murder Ballads” to read while we sip on some local #craftbeer, smore and stout .
A collection of seventeen dark tales & novellas, in which some of today’s finest weird story writers provide previously unpublished work inspired by traditional murder ballads. The results are sometimes enigmatic, sometimes witty, sometimes desperately grim; just like the songs they often appear to belong outside – either before or after – recorded time, in some malleable epoch of blood-drenched mythology. They channel not only these ballads, but also that certain brand of outmoded publication which once revelled so joyfully in all manner of luridnes.
This Hell Fest scored a 3 out of 5 hatchets from Horror Author, A.R. Braun. The Following movie review was written by dark fiction author, A.R. Braun, to be released on the Ritual Blog for Mind on Fire Books.
The slasher film is my least favorite horror sub-genre, but there are exceptions: Black Christmas, The Last House on the Left (the original), the first two Halloween movies (plus the Rob Zombie remakes), the first Friday the 13th film, Mother’s Day—the original, not the remake—and I Spit on Your Grave, the original. To me, most slashers have little going for them, and my IQ drops fifty points every time I watch one. There’s no plot, just a guy in a mask running around killing people, and a sexy woman who picks a flashlight instead of a weapon.
Hell Fest is no exception.
But at least the characters are intriguing. Hell Fest is one part Halloween haunted house, one part rave, and whatever horrid thing happens, the patrons think it’s part of the show. Little do they know, it’s not FX, it’s real. A serial killer is bumping customers off one-by-one.
Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “66Sick,” here.
Enter our good-person protagonist, Natalie (Amy Forsyth), who folds and agrees to go to this sick shit when peer-pressured. She finds out through her best friend, Brooke (Reign Edwards), that Taylor (Bex Taylor-Clause) is also going, a girl with no filter who calls her “Grade School,” because they went to school together back then, and are no longer friends. Of course Natalie goes for Gavin (Robbie Attal), the nice guy, who’s so overly-kind it’s maudlin.
Early into the show, Natalie watches a girl get stabbed to death, thinking it’s part of the attraction, but said girl was mean to the murderer earlier, a big no-no. Then they notice that a creep wearing a certain mask —which looks like a melted human face—is following them, the antagonist called The Other (Stephen Conroe). When Mr. Nice Guy can’t throw a baseball and fails to get Natalie a stuffed animal, he goes back to buy one … but never returns. His head is pounded to pulp and the hit is so powerful, it rings the high striker.
Natalie’s friends are then picked off one-by-one. At one point, they see a bunch of people in the Other’s mask, then despair that they’re everywhere. How do you escape almost a dozen of them?
Will Natalie be the final girl? Will there be two final girls, Natalie and Brooke, or Natalie and Taylor (since she seems to be the tough one)? Will there be no final girls at all? And what does the Other go home to? All these questions will be answered when you watch Hell Fest (the name stolen from a heavy-metal festival in France).
Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “66Sick,” here.
A. R. BRAUN is a horror author with fourteen publication credits, one a dark poem, including “NREM Sleep” in the D.O.A. anthology; “Freaks” in Downstate Story magazine; “The Unwanted Visitors” in the Vermin anthology; “Coven” in the Heavy Metal Horror anthology; “Remember Me?” in Horror Bound magazine; “Shades of Gray (the Symbiosis of Light and Dark)” in Micro Horror magazine; and “The Interloper” in the Bonded by Blood 2: a Romance in Red anthology, among others.
You can reach him on Twitter as @ARBraun and on Instagram as a.r._braun.
Writer or prophet? Jules Verne, famous science fiction writer not only produced texts that we still talk about today in our classrooms, science groups, book clubs and cartoon such as Rick and Morty; he also predicted these seven technologies in his texts.
Not many people know this, but he is in fact, one of the original fathers of Science Fiction that affected a world wide audience. Jules Verne, was a French author writing the famous classics like Around the World in 80 Days, and 20K Leagues Under the Sea was born #OTD in 1828.
Beyond just the plot devices and aesthetic that still influences sci-fi stories to this day, Jules Verne made predictions about technology that are true.
He was also apparently a prophet. Here are 7 futuristic ideas or inventions that he depicted in his sci-fi fiction.
1. Electric Submarines: Jules Verne’s fantastical imagination produced inventions that were just as memorable as his protagonists. In the story Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Verne introduced the world to the submarine Nautilus.
2. Helicopter: Verne sketched out and imagined tons of aircraft during his time as an author. However, in the story Robur the Conqueror, he was extra specific with one of his descriptions. In the story, the character builds a machine out of pressboard that was controlled with high-speed rotors that propelled the aircraft to the heavens.
3. Jukebox and Hologram: The first time you may remember seeing the idea of the hologram in pop culture was probably in the classic film Star Wars. Yet, Jules was thinking about this way before Leia requested Obi-Wan’s help.
4. Newscasts: More of a futurist than a prophet, some describe Jules Verne as someone who was paying great attention to the times rather than simply outright prophesying. Verne was well acquainted with the technology of the time and played with ideas of how those technologies could evolve. In the Year 2889, Verne predicts an alternative to the newspaper.
5. Videoconferencing: In the same story, “In the Year 2889”, Jules Verne hinted at the idea that is very close to what you may describe as video conferencing today. Calling it the phonotelephote, the device allowed people to communicate with each other over great distances.
6. Solar sails: If you were to read Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, you would think he is describing space travel today.
7. Lunar module space travel: In From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne was able to capture humanity’s fascination with the moon and eventually Space travel. Verne also mentioned splashdown spaceships, a space base in Florida, light pressure propulsion, and space suits all way before their time.
This week’s Book Review is for “Survivor Song,” written by Paul Tremblay. A big thanks to Horror Author, A.R. Braun for this excellent book review.
I think the most disturbing aspect of this novel is that it’s about a pandemic raging through the country. Sound familiar?
Time for quarantine in Massachusetts, and curfew—what are they, 15?—due to a raging case of rabies that affects animals AND humans. Basically, it’s zombies dressed-up. The protagonist is a lovable character named Natalie, a married pregnant woman. One of the infected gets into her house, and Nat can kiss her husband goodbye. Brutal.
Natalie calls her friend, Ramola (Rams). There’s only one problem: Nat’s been infected, and Rams refuses to accept the truth. She drives her to the hospital, where Rams uses her clout as a pediatrician, and they end up on a bus, because the hospital’s full.
But it’s a short ride as Nat begins to turn.
Making files on her cell phone for her unborn daughter, Nat knows she’s infected, but also won’t accept it. Eventually, it’s off the bus for them, and with the aid of a few teens fighting the good fight, they stave off those completely infected. But how long can they keep this up, with more and more wounded soldiers falling as they live on borrowed time?
Is there any hope for Nat? Will the teenage boys be able to avoid infection? Is there any hope for anyone? One thing’s for sure: This book will give you the creeps, a little too close to home.
She had always wanted to be beautiful. She had read about the power of love and beauty in the nefarious dead-fairy tales of the underworld. This could never be her.
Yet, she never gave up. She read voraciously about the fiction of the nether world histories. Summoning a Djin from a rescued incantation, she used it to plan her return to the world of the living. The first step was to convert her vaporous body into something tangible.
Next, for her to be beautiful and with a face, she would need to devour a heavenly soul.
Artwork is by mrs_white_photoart on Instagram and titled “Caught in Your World.”
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I’m just a Poe man, out here selling some Horror books and promoting my upcoming debut non-fiction anthology, “On Writing Fear,” set to release on Friday the 13th, November. Available at http://www.MindOnFireBooks.com. Help me out with a writerslift by sharing and liking this post!
There is no more important book to understand our times than Albert Camus’s The Plague, a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. Camus speaks to us now not because he was a magical seer, but because he correctly sized up human nature. As he wrote: ‘Everyone has inside it himself this plague, because no one in the world, no one, can ever be immune.’