Sunday, March 4, 2012

Staff Profiles


Nickolas Cook (editor-in-chief)
Publishing Credits: Nickolas has had dozens of short stories and non-fiction reviews and articles published in print and electronic formats. He has been the fiction moderator for Shocklines.com for over four years. To date, his two published novels, THE BLACK BEAST OF ALGERNON WOOD (Dailey Swan Publishing), BALEFUL EYE (currently in pre-production with new publisher) and ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND 2nd Edition with Sourcebooks 2011, all of which have received several positive reviews and he’s been said to display a true craftsmanship missing in much of modern horror. His first short story collection, 'ROUND MIDNIGHT AND OTHER TALES OF LOST SOULS was recently released from Damnation Books.. He also has several new releases forthcoming from various publishers. Stay tuned for more news on his official website and his Facebook Page as listed below

Personal Info: Nickolas lives in the beautiful Southwestern desert with his wife and four wonderful Chinese Pugs, who are worse than little children…the dogs, not the wife.
Visit me at my official website, THE HORROR JAZZ AND BLUES REVUE
He also has a very active Facebook page
Or email him at Nickolasecook@aol.com




Co-Editor: Brian M. Sammons has been writing reviews on all things horror for more years than he'd care to admit. Wanting to give other critics the chance to ravage his work for a change, Brian has also penned a few short stories that have appeared in such anthologies as Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, and Dead but Dreaming 2. Some of the magazines where you can find his twisted tales are Bare Bone, Cthulhu Sex, and Dark Animus. He co-edited the upcoming anthology Cthulhu Unbound 3, has his first novella coming out called The R'lyeh Singularity, co-written with David Conyers, and is currently editing other fright collections, including the soon to be release Undead & Unbound. For more about this guy whose neighbors describe as "such
nice, quiet man" you can check out his very infrequently updated webpage here: http://www.freewebs.com/brian_sammons/







Bill Breedlove is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in publications such as RedEye, Chicago Tribune, Metazen, InSider, The Fortune News, Encyclopedia of Actuarial Science, Bluefood, and Playboy Online. Some of his stories can be found in the books TALES OF FORBIDDEN PASSION, STRANGE CREATURES, TAILS FROM THE PET SHOP, BOOK OF DEAD THINGS, CTHULHU & THE COEDs and BLOOD AND DONUTS. He is also the editor of the anthologies CANDY IN THE DUMPSTER, WAITING FOR OCTOBER, LIKE A CHINESE TATTOO, MIGHTY UNCLEAN, WHEN THE NIGHT COMES DOWN and (with John Everson) SWALLOWED BY THE CRACKS. He lives in Chicago.




MyMiserys (aka Kim Cook)
Personal Info: Kim lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, Nickolas Cook, and a pack of Pugs. She met Nick in 1997 in an old AOL Horror chat room and they married a year later on Halloween 1998. She has had a passion for horror novels since the tender age of 12, when she read The Exorcist (before it was made into a movie). Her favorite author, other than Nick, is Stephen King, and she truly considers herself his “Number One Fan”. She has been reading and collecting King’s books since “Carrie” was first published. When she is not reading, Kim bakes …and bakes and bakes. You can see pictures of her wonderful cakes on her MySpace page and Facebook. Each month Kim asks a featured author “13 Questions” so Black Glove readers can get to know a little about the person behind the books.
Guilty pleasure? MeatLoaf...the man...not the entrée.
Facebook Page




Bill Lindblad has been a bookseller specializing in horror and other genre fiction for roughly fifteen years. He is a regular contributor to the writing blog Storytellers Unplugged and has been a staple at conventions for almost a quarter of a century (as an attendee, dealer, panelist, auctioneer and convention staff.) Bill is an unrepentant fan and has taken this out on the pets... as ferrets Mughi (Dirty Pair) and Boingo, cats Gamera and Shane (after Shane MacGowan) and black labrador Grue (Dying Earth and Infocom games) could attest were they able to talk. His wife makes him watch too many strange movies.

Jenny Orosel has been published in fiction and nonfiction for the past nine years. She is also an avid baker and candy-maker (having only set a kitchen on fire once). She has also appeared in numerous game shows, worked on two feature films, and won an award for her first animated short film (also including fire, this time on purpose). When not writing or making sugary treats, she is forcing Bill to sit through some of the strangest movies he’s ever seen.





Lisa Morton is a screenwriter and the author of four non-fiction
books, including THE CINEMA OF TSUI HARK. She is a four-time winner of
the Bram Stoker award, a recipient of the Black Quill Award, and has
published fifty works of short fiction. Her first novel, THE CASTLE OF
LOS ANGELES, was released by Gray Friar Press in 2010 (Gray Friar Press) and her first collection, MONSTERS OF L.A., will be published by Bad Moon Books for
Halloween 2011. She lives online at http://www.lisamorton.com





JW Schnarr is a horror writer originally from Calgary, Alberta Canada. He is the author of the novel Alice & Dorothy as well as the short fiction collection Things Falling Apart. A member of the HWA and SF Canada, he can be seen lurking in places such as Best New Zombie Tales Volume II (Books of the Dead Press) where Rue Morgue magazine dubbed his story "Freshest Tale" of the anthology. He's also been spotted in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and will also be found in Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books) alongside the likes of Ramsey Campbell and Jack Ketchum.
Schnarr has a space at Black Glove Magazine where he writes a monthly editorial titled The Hand That Reads. By day he works as a reporter and photographer for the Claresholm Local Press in Claresholm, Alberta. Look him up on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads, or check out his blog at jwschnarr.blogspot.com.




Anthony Servante is a retired college professor with post-graduate studies in the field of the Grotesque and Horror in the Romantic Age, where vampires and Frankenstein monsters were born. It was a dream subject in his studies—to follow and write academically about monsters. He exhorts the academics of horror in his column, Servante of Darkness. He has since begun his nonprofit project: “Read THIS! Scaring Up Readers”, a book giveaway Program that donates books in the fields of Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, and Science Fiction to college-bound students to enjoy the genres Anthony has read and enjoyed since he was a kid. He critically respects old school Horror writers and encourages new schoolers in his reviews. In retirement, he hopes to push for publication of his short stories, continue to write on trends in horror, and review books, movies, and music.




Jason Shayer
Recent publishing credits:
Necrotic Tissue #6, the Dead Science and Through the Eyes of the Undead anthologies, and Arcane magazine.
Jason Shayer's 12-year-old mind frame has given more than a few people a reason to raise an eyebrow, most often his wife. When he’s not writing or reading, he’s teaching his kids the basic survival skills to prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
He's also a regular contributor to Back Issue! magazine, a comic book magazine spotlighting the 1970s and 1980s, and waxes nostalgically about those 1980s at his blog:
URL: http://marvel1980s.blogspot.com/
Contact info: jason.shayer@gmail.com

Wanna Write for The Black Glove?


If you're interested in writing your very own column, or just want to write reviews for your favorite horror movies and/or books, send me an email at Nickolasecook@aol.com. While we can't pay for the content, I can promise horror fans around the world will read your stuff.

--Nickolas Cook

Guest Blogger: Jonathan Maberry


ASSASSIN’S CODE is the latest Joe Ledger thriller and it’s his wildest and scariest mission.

The book opens with Joe undercover in Iran. He and Echo Team have just freed a trio of American college kids illegally detained in that country, but before Joe can slip away he’s contacted by a senior Iranian official. Not in an attempt to arrest Joe, but to covertly enlist his help in finding seven nuclear bombs that have been planted at oil fields. Six in the Middle East, one in the United States.

As Joe dives into the hunt for the nukes, he is himself hunted by several groups of killers, including the Red Knights –an ancient order of assassin’s who have a very real thirst for human blood.

Joe’s ally in his hunt is the mysterious and beautiful sniper, Violin, a woman with a very dark past and strange ties to the Red Knights.

Soon Joe is being forced into one deadly fight after another. The body count rises and so do the stakes. At the heart of this mystery are two ancient manuscripts: The Saladin Codex and the Book of Shadows. Each contains parts of a secret that could plunge the whole world into the most destructive war in history.


ASSASSIN’S CODE spins a deadly web of mysteries, deception, wholesale murder, hate crimes, and supernatural evil. It is Joe’s darkest case. When he and Echo Team go to war with the Red Knights, not everyone gets out alive…

**********

ASSASSIN’S CODE was a special book to write. In a way it brings me full-circle to the point where my career as a novelist began. My first three novels were the Pine Deep Trilogy, which involved a war between a vampire army and the world of the living. That war begins brewing in GHOST ROAD BLUES, we learn the twisted back story in DEAD MAN’S SONG, and the war itself explodes in BAD MOON RISING.

Or, maybe the real origin of ASSASSIN’S CODE is in my non-fiction work. In 2000 I wrote a book called THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’S FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD, which was written under the pen-name of Shane MacDougall and published by a small press. That book was an exploration of the myths and legends of vampires and other predatory monsters around the world and throughout history. Though long out of print, the book is significant in that it completely shifted the focus of my career. Before it came out, all of my other books and a large portion of my magazine writing was devoted to martial arts and self-defense. I am a lifelong practitioner of jujutsu and kenjutsu (with over 45 years in the martial arts), and I currently hold an 8th degree black belt. I was also inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. So…writing about vampires was a bit of a shift –hence the use of a pen name.

However the FIELD GUIDE was very popular. Much more so, in fact, than my martial arts books. And it gave me a taste for a new genre: horror. However I was frustrated by not being able to find many novels that used folkloric versions of vampires and werewolves. Instead they all seemed to retread the Hollywood versions –and those bear little or no resemblance to the monsters of world myth. So, after bitching about it for a while, my wife told me to ‘write the damn thing’. So…I wrote the damn thing, and that was GHOST ROAD BLUES.

That was my first novel, and I was able to land an agent very quickly, and she was able to place the book and its two sequels even more quickly. What really astounded me was the reception: GHOST ROAD BLUES was nominated for two Bram Stoker Awards –Best First Novel and Novel of the Year. Stephen King won for Best Novel (and I can’t exactly feel cheated there!), but GHOST ROAD BLUES won for Best First Novel. That was incredible validation.


My fourth novel was PATIENT ZERO. It was a zombie novel but it was written as a science thriller. A techno-thriller for 21st century readers. It’s been described as NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD meets Michael Crichton. That book introduced Joe Ledger, a Baltimore cop who joins a secret government agency, the DMS (Department of Military Sciences), which was created by the mysterious Mr. Church to stop terrorists who have radical scientific weapons. Bioweapons, transgenic soldiers, and more.

PATIENT ZERO was a big hit and it pulled in readers from the horror crowd, the zombie crowd (which does not entirely overlap with the horror crowd, by the way), the mystery crowd, the thriller crowd and a bunch of other folks. It is written for anyone, not targeted to a niche audience.

Joe Ledger is an emotionally damaged person who suffered terrible trauma as a teenager and has used his scars and his rage to turn himself into a very dangerous and unpredictable person. He’s also a world-class smartass, and as such is a lot of fun to write.


In the second Ledger novel, THE DRAGON FACTORY, Joe goes up against a cabal of scientists who are using cutting-edge transgenics to restart the Nazi master race program. The science in the book is weird and some of it is not yet possible…but all of it will be possible. That’s the scariest part of these novels. All of the science is built on what could happen. That plausibility scares the living hell out of me, and I channel my own jitters into the stories.


The third in the series, THE KING OF PLAGUES, pits Joe and his team of top shooters –Echo Team—against a secret society called the Seven Kings who are using weaponized versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt. That story introduces the master terrorist Hugo Vox, who returns in ASSASSIN’S CODE.

I’m currently writing the fifth Ledger novel, EXTINCTION MACHINE, which deals with a new kind of arms race based on technologies that may have been salvaged from crashed UFOs.

I’ve got a lot of Joe Ledger stories that I want to tell, so we’ll see what happens. There are also several Joe Ledger short stories that are available as e-stories and audio stories. Here’s a link to the whole series so far: http://jonathanmaberry.com/joe-ledger-is-back-with-assassins-code

ASSASSIN’S CODE is a little different from the rest of the series in that there is less science and more of a clash of cultures, religions, ideologies and even species. Not all of the villains in this book can be properly classified as ‘human’. There may even be a touch of the supernatural, but I’ll leave that up to the reader to decide.

Read the opening chapters of ASSASSIN’S CODE here: http://us.macmillan.com/assassinscode/JonathanMaberry

And here’s a link to a blog that lists the entire Joe Ledger series: http://jonathanmaberry.com/joe-ledger-is-back-with-assassins-code

--Jonathan Maberry
(THE BLACK GLOVE expresses our deepest appreciation to Mr. Maberry for his guest blog.)

JOE LEDGER is Back and things are about to get weird…

Joe Ledger and Echo Team return in
ASSASSIN’S CODE
(St. Martin’s Griffin - ISBN-10: 0312552203)
In Trade Paperback, E-book, and Audio)




ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran, the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood. Accompanied by the beautiful assassin called Violin, Joe follows a series of clues to find the Book of Shadows, which contains a horrifying truth that threatens to shatter his entire worldview. They say the truth will set you free… Not this time. The secrets of the Assassin’s Code will set the world ablaze.

"A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel. The hottest thriller of the New Year!” Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Athena Project

“Joe Ledger and the DMS are back in their most brutal tale yet. Be prepared to lose some sleep.” – Jeremy Robinson, author of THRESHOLD and INSTINCT

"Readers can look forward to one more volume in this humorous, over-the-top cross-genre trilogy." -Publishers Weekly

"[A] memorable book." -- Peter Straub , New York Times Bestselling author

"Brilliant…puts the terror back in terrorist." -- James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author

FOLLOW THE WHOLE JOE LEDGER SERIES

THE JOE LEDGER NOVELS


PATIENT ZERO
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.... Available in trade paperback from St. Martin’s Griffin and on audio from Blackstone
ISBN-10: 0312382855 / ISBN-13: 978-0312382858




THE DRAGON FACTORY
Joe and the DMS go up against two competing groups of geneticists. One side is creating exotic transgenic monsters and genetically enhanced mercenary armies; the other is using 21st century technology to continue the Nazi Master Race program begun by Josef Mengele. Both sides want to see the DMS destroyed, and they've drawn first blood. Neither side is prepared for Joe Ledger as he leads Echo Team to war under a black flag.
Available in trade paperback from St. Martin’s Griffin and on audio from Blackstone
ISBN-10: 0312382499 / ISBN-13: 978-0312382490




THE KING OF PLAGUES
Saturday 09:11 Hours: A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured… 10:09 Hours: Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen. Compelled by grief and rage, Joe rejoins the DMS and within hours is attacked by a hit-team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbreak. Soon Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences begin tearing down the veils of deception to uncover a vast and powerful secret society using weaponized versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt to destabilize world economies and profit from the resulting chaos. Millions will die unless Joe Ledger meets the this powerful new enemy on their own terms as he fights terror with terror.
Available in trade paperback from St. Martin’s Griffin and on audio from Blackstone
ISBN-10: 0312382502 / ISBN-13: 978-0312382506




ASSASSIN’S CODE
When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran, the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood. Accompanied by the beautiful assassin called Violin, Joe follows a series of clues to find the Book of Shadows, which contains a horrifying truth that threatens to shatter his entire worldview. They say the truth will set you free… Not this time. The secrets of the Assassin’s Code will set the world ablaze.
Debuts April 10
Available in trade paperback from St. Martin’s Griffin and on audio from Macmillan
ISBN-10: 0312552203 / ISBN-13: 978-0312552206

EXTINCTION MACHINE
The President of the United States vanishes from the White House for five hours. Next morning he is found, apparently safe and sound. Except that he claims that during the night he was abducted by aliens. A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds. North Korea’s ultra top-secret weapons research lab is destroyed by a volcano –in an area where there has not been an eruption for forty millions years. All over the world reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate. Key military personnel, politicians and scientists begin disappearing. And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth. Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences rush headlong into the heat of the world’s strangest and deadliest arms race, because the global race to recover and retro-engineer alien technologies has just hit a snag. Someone—or something--wants that technology back.
Coming April 2013


THE JOE LEDGER SHORT STORIES

COUNTDOWN
(FREE short story prequel to PATIENT ZERO)
“I didn’t plan to kill anyone. I wasn’t totally against the idea, either. Sometimes things just fall that way, and either you roll with it or it rolls over you. Letting the bad guys win isn’t how I roll.” Meet Joe Ledger, Baltimore PD, attached to a Homeland task force… who's about to get a serious promotion.
Available for all e-readers (Kindle, Nook, etc)
Available on audio by Blackstone, read by Ray Porter

ZERO TOLERANCE
This sequel to PATIENT ZERO brings Joe Ledger back into action, hunting for zombies in the deadly mountains of Afghanistan. .
Available in print in THE LIVING DEAD 2 edited by John Joseph Adams
Coming soon as an e-story
Available on audio by Blackstone, read by Ray Porter http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Tolerance/dp/B005CMKIOE/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331503270&sr=1-11

DEEP, DARK
This chilling short story is the prequel to The Dragon Factory, the second installment in Maberry's action-packed Joe Ledger novels. Before Baltimore cop Joe Ledger goes up against two competing groups of geneticists looking to continue the master-race program in The Dragon Factory, he must battle another foe using human test subjects for his sinister plans.
Available for all e-readers (Kindle, Nook, etc)
Available on audio by Blackstone, read by Ray Porter http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Tolerance/dp/B005CMKIOE/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1331503485&sr=1-2

MATERIAL WITNESS
A stand-alone short story that takes place in the early days of Joe Ledger’s service in the Department of Military Sciences, a top secret division of Homeland Security. Joe Ledger and the DMS must protect a Pine Deep resident spook and author who is in over his head with the wrong people and may know more than he is letting on.
Available for all e-readers (Kindle, Nook, etc)
Available on audio by Blackstone, read by Ray Porter http://www.amazon.com/Material-Witness-Ledger-Bonus-Story/dp/B005CMKILM/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331503733&sr=1-2

DOG DAYS
Joe Ledger returns in this tale that follows the tragic conclusion of THE DRAGON FACTORY. In the wake of a devastating personal loss, Joe Ledger and his new canine partner, Ghost, go hunting for the world's deadliest assassin.
An audio exclusive story available from Blackstone, read by Ray Porter http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Days-Joe-Ledger-Adventure/dp/B005CU3QKY/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1331503594&sr=1-1-catcorr


JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES
A collection of all five JOE LEDGER short stories: COUNTDOWN, ZERO TOLERANCE, DEEP DARK, MATERIAL WITNESS and the audio exclusive DOG DAYS.
http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Ledger-The-Missing-Files/dp/1455116483/ref=sr_1_22?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331504774&sr=1-22

TIME CAPSULES classic book reviews by Bill Lindblad


RAVAGE (1943) by Rene Barjavel

It's probably strange to begin a review of one author's book by praising a different author, but much about this book is strange. The review should match.

I miss Damon Knight.

He has rightfully been memorialized in the Grand Master award from the SFWA, which will keep curious readers investigating his work. He was innovative; he founded the SFWA. He was a skillful writer, evident to his readership and also in the memories created by a teleplay of one of his stories (yell "It's a cookbook!" at any convention and it'll be easier to count the people who don't understand the reference.) He was an insightful teacher who co-founded Milford and Clarion and coaxed great works from fledgling writers. He was also a reviewer... but his critical eye and demands on authors differentiated him from most other reviewers. He did not hesitate to say when and how he believed a story failed or suffered, even when the story was written by a friend. He sought greatness.
This book informed me both that he occasionally found it, and that he did not allow his ego to claim undue credit. The book, Ravage, was published in France during the Nazi occupation. (Note: despite the time of its publication, there is no indication I have found that the author sympathized nor collaborated with the Nazis.) It is a devastating condemnation of dependence on technology and displays a pervasive pessimism which drags the reader down to a point where Thomas Ligotti starts to seem upbeat. And it's written by Damon Knight. Or, more accurately, it was translated into English and retitled "Ashes, Ashes" by him, from the original novel by Rene Barjavel. Despite the work that Knight put into the translation, however, his name appears only twice on the finished product: once on the copyright page and once on the title page as translator. Nowhere on the cover is there any hint that a prominent American sf author had a hand in the novel.

This is admirable, because the book is wonderful. It is dark, certainly: the novel centers around a young man and woman from a technological miracle state. Everything can be made, done, experienced... until the electricity stops flowing and complex alloys weaken. Those two events occur simultaneously, and the reader is provided with a view of the complete destruction of society through the eyes of a pair of young lovers. The society posited is surprisingly thoughtful for a 1940s futurist, and the destruction of it seems like a systematic rejection of hope by the author.
It is a bleak book, but it is wonderful. I appreciate Barjavel for writing it, almost certainly pouring feelings generated by the war onto the page; and I thank Damon Knight for bringing it to the attention of American audiences.

Five stars out of five.




SPECIAL FEATURE (1976) by Charles V. DeVet

Ashes, Ashes was a book written in the early 1940s that felt like it had been written in the 1970s. Special Feature is a book from the 1970s that feels like it should have been published in a 1940s pulp magazine.
To harken back to Damon Knight, it has an idiot plot... a story wherein characters make idiotic decisions because were they to do anything else it would negate the need for more story.

It is not a terrible book. It simply does not have enough depth to the story to sustain a full novel and it does not have enough action to carry the reader along for a ride. The story concerns a pair of catlike aliens who come to Earth to mate. The reasons behind their choices are not well developed, but that's because the author was less concerned with the aliens than with the Great Idea driving the story: these aliens are detected and remotely monitored by a television crew, who beam the events to a rapt public.

There are major flaws in the story, although the writing is fairly solid. In this future world, spaceships are common and there is a device capable of viewing and recording anything within a radius of miles (simply by adjusting the beam for length and angle, ignoring any matter it might pass through) but inflation has had no effect on currency (particularly unlikely in 1976, when the book was written) and military security consists of electrified fences that are overhung by branches. There are many such incongruities in the book, and they detract from enjoyment of the novel.
Then there's the advertising. The cover copy of the book shows a panther's face merging into a woman's face and a man being panther-mauled in a dark alley. The writing states "Earth becomes the mating ground for alien beings - as millions watch in terror!" With that type of promotion, any reasonable reader would expect a horrific sf book. Instead the reader gets virtually nothing in the way of horror, with the remaining action and character development aspects being stunted and choppy.

Two stars out of five.




CITY OF THE SINGING FLAME (1981) by Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith is a perpetual rediscovery author, like Manly Wade Wellman and C. L. Moore. His stories are allowed to go out of print for a little while, only to come roaring back in one format or another as the prices rise on the secondary market for the out of print books. There is a simple reason for this. It is that he was magnificent. This fact is demonstrated by these stories which were originally published in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

This Timescape collection gathers thirteen of his stories, providing samples of his most famous settings (Hyperborea, Zothique, Xiccarph, Averoigne) and some of his independent stories as well. Smith enjoyed creating worlds and lands with internal consistencies, with the result that many of his stories in a given setting are related to other tales only by common references of a distant city or ruler. This conceit creates a sensation of a complex populated world without having to worry overmuch about the intricacies. By focusing instead on individuals and their stories he is able to hint at the broader world, in much the same way as reading a handful of random interviews from across a country could provide a general insight into the lives of the populace.

Smith's style is ornate, but not flowery. He constructed his work with an ear toward traditional high fantasy while integrating elements of action-oriented storytelling which were popular in the pulps. The resultant mix elevated his work, and his artistic vision set it apart. He is among the most stylistically copied fantasists, beside such legends as his friend H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber and Jack Vance. Unlike them, however, many who emulate Smith don't even realize they're doing it, because they are simply modeling their writing style after the dozens of brilliant writers who used Smith as a significant guide in their own stylistic development. His shade visits modern days in some stories by Harlan Ellison, leaned heavily on the shoulder of Brian McNaughton for The Throne of Bones, and whispers into the ear of Jeff VanderMeer as he sleeps.
The City of the Singing Flame is a perfect Smith sampler: action-filled stories replete with weird creatures, spellcraft, odd flora, strange places... but driven by focusing on the lives of people who, while provided with vastly different experiences and motivations from the reader, are nonetheless going to consistently act in an utterly human, believable way. It is poetry in prose form, with considerable unexpected depth.

Five stars out of five.

--Bill Lindblad

BLOODLINES: Serial Horror in Fiction #9 : Blackwater by Michael McDowell

by Bill Lindblad


Blackwater was an ambitious project. It was effectively one giant novel broken up into six distinct parts, each of which had its own cohesive storyline. The characters introduced in earlier books continued into later books as McDowell told the story of the rise and fall of a prominent Alabama family.



McDowell shines when he's focusing on interactive dialogue or creating vague unease within the crippling family dynamic. There is also a pair of recurring supernatural horror elements: the primary one of fish-monsters who are able to mimic human shape as well as breed with them, and the secondary one of the angry shades of dead people. All of these together create a distinct flavor of horror story.



The quiet, building nature of the work will not be for everyone. Moreover, the writing on the series is somewhat uneven, sometimes seeming rushed. It doesn't diminish the enjoyment from the books, though. The concept plays to McDowell's strengths and simultaneously produces a book series which remains distinct in the expansive realm of horror fiction. The readers are introduced to a tale of a Southern family as Lovecraft might have imagined it, borrowing lightly from the concept of Innsmouth while avoiding any sense of repetition.



WORKS:
BLACKWATER #1: THE FLOOD
BLACKWATER #2: THE LEVEE
BLACKWATER #3: THE HOUSE
BLACKWATER #4: THE WAR
BLACKWATER #5: THE FORTUNE
BLACKWATER #6: THE RAIN

--Bill Lindblad

MOVIE VS. BOOK: THE ILLUSTRATED MAN

MOVIE:

THE ILLUSTRATED MAN (1969)
Ray Bradbury adaptations are strange creatures. His stories, although dark, contain a sense of childlike, wide-eyed wonder. Most adaptations, even the most loyal ones, lose that and become bleak. THE ILLUSTRATED MAN (1969) is the darkest of all.

Rod Steiger plays a wandering hobo with a singular mission in mind—find the woman who “illustrated” his skin and kill her. What he thought would be simple tattoos turned out to be far more sinister. Each image tells a story. Literally. Anyone who lays eyes on one of the images falls into the story. And these stories do not end well. In “The Veldt”, two spoiled children are given access to a room that can become anything they desire…even a deadly African Jungle. Four survivors of a rocket crash landing on Venus stumble through “The Long Rains” in search of a Sun Dome which will allow them reprieve from the constant downpours that are slowly eroding at their sanity. And finally, two parents must decide the fates of their children on “The Last Night of the World.” Steiger is embittered, cursed and haunted by the stories he literally carries on her back, and wants nothing more, nothing less, than to find this woman and kill her.


THE ILLUSTRATED MAN doesn’t have an easy audience. It’s far more pessimistic than Bradbury fans might expect from his adaptations, especially if they’ve seen SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES or THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM SUIT. Even FAHRENHEIT 451 had a hopeful ending that THE ILLUSTRATED MAN doesn’t. And the horror of this film is much more quiet and subtle than horror fans usually expect. It relies more on style than your typical blockbuster, but is so deeply entrenched in genre that Art Film fans could shy away.


However, if you’re willing to eschew labels or expectations, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN is well worth watching. Despite the dated sets and costumes, the stories themselves are completely relatable. Steiger and Claire Bloom are wonderful in the multiple roles they play throughout the stories. And the quiet tone never seems excessive or meandering. I will warn you, though, that by the end the filmmakers have achieved such a level of melancholia that you might want to have someone you love nearby so you can hold them tightly and remind yourself that there is still good in the world.



--Jen



BOOK:

THE ILLUSTRATED MAN by Ray Bradbury (1951)

This book is a collection of eighteen Ray Bradbury stories originally published between the 1940s and 1951. The selections are all tales of the future, ranging from what would be the near future on Earth to stories of other planets during Earth's spacefaring days.

While some of the stories are outdated by the traditional definition of science fiction, they remain exemplary works of science fantasy. The elements of the fantastic are always present, but they complement rather than undermine the characters. Readers are treated to overly permissive parents trying to deal with spoiled children, the discovery of a religious savior on another planet, insanity sparked by endless rains, isolated men dying in space and far more. Through all of them it is the characters that matter.

In the more traditional stories like The Veldt, the protagonist's attitudes and flaws are revealed through interaction with others, particularly his conversations. In his character studies like Kaleidoscope, the reader is treated to an analysis of the thoughts of the main character as we watch mental changes take effect.... whether the descent into insanity or simple acceptance of fate.

Bracketing all of the stories is a framing tale, which involves a man with shifting tattoos. It is revealed that the tattoos come to life if examined for any length of time, and the reader is treated to the titular character's introduction early in the book. As the stories progress, less and less attention is given to the tattoos until finally at the end the reader is tossed back into the "real world" alongside the book's narrator and the ultimate fate of the narrator as regards the Illustrated Man is revealed.

Some stories age poorly, but generally the collection is thoughtful and engaging. Even the questionable stories are fun to read, and reflect poorly only because they have the others to shine against.

Five stars out of five.

-- Bill

The Tradition of Terror: An Interview with Ron Chaney, Jr.



Heir to the Phantom of the Opera and the Wolf Man
Interview conducted by Anthony Servante

Ron Chaney is the Great-grandson of Lon Chaney, Grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr.
and the CEO/President of Chaney Entertainment, Inc.


Anthony Servante: Hello, Readers. The Black Glove would like to welcome Ron Chaney, Jr. to our online magazine. Good evening, Mr. Chaney. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.
Ron Chaney Jr.: Thank you for having me.

Anthony: Just to warm up: Which is your favorite monster from yesteryear and from today?
Ron: I may be a little bias but I’d have to say the Wolf Man. It is and always will be my favorite. After all, I am one.



Anthony: Who was the strongest monster: the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, or the Wolf Man (notice I left out the Mummy—anyone can beat up the Mummy)?
Ron: I’d have to say, Frankenstein was the strongest, the Wolf Man was the quickest and Dracula the most cunning.

Anthony: Could the Wolf Man beat up the Alien creature, you know, Ridley Scott’s monster?
Ron: Of course! He’d severe his neck and rip his lungs out if he had any!



Anthony: Enough warm up: Can you tell us about yourself?
Ron: I’m a contractor by day and monster by night…but of course, only when the moon’s full and bright.

Anthony: What kind of childhood did you have with such a famous surname?
Ron: Most of my friends were unaware of the relation. It didn’t seem to help when I got in trouble, but as I got older more people started putting the connection together.

Anthony: So, when was it that you decided to carry on the legacy of your family name?
Ron: I’ve always had an interest in following in their footsteps but the genesis came prior to my grandmothers passing. My brother Gary and I were moving our grandmother and found some old boxes that belonged to my grandfather. It was the early framework for a book titled, “A Century of Chaneys.” I remember him working on it when we would visit. I knew from that moment it was my time to pursue the family business. How...was my biggest question and the mission. I’ve managed to be involved in several successful campaigns bringing attention to the Chaneys but the ultimate goal is to create new Chaney films for the next generation.

Anthony: What are some of your favorite memories of growing up a Chaney?
Ron: Spending time with my grandfather hearing various stories from his life, playing cards and games with him. He was also an excellent cook.


Anthony: Your great-grandfather is an icon of Horror movies; what can you tell us about him? And how did he change the face of Horror, so to speak?
Ron: Lon was a very private man totally dedicated to his craft, the art of acting, make-up and pantomime. He utilized these abilities by creating characters that scared folks but also evoked sympathy. These early characterizations in film forever influenced the Horror genre; many still look to the master today!

Anthony: Your grandfather also appeared in some comedies, poking fun of his iconic roles in horror. What did you think of this side of his career? (I loved him in My Favorite Brunette with Bob Hope).
Ron: He had a comedic side to him and a great sense of humor. He was a gamer and a pro.

Anthony: Where do you fit in the Chaney legacy? How do you want Hollywood history to remember you?
Ron: Well, hopefully the final Chaney script hasn’t been written yet and that I did my best to preserve and perpetuate the family legacy while discovering my own creativity in the process.


Anthony: Let’s talk Horror. How do you feel about the genre? When I spoke with Sara Karloff, she informed us that she was no fan of the gory movies of today. What’s your take on the subject?
Ron: There are a lot of scary movies out, in some way to real, I prefer a good story over excessive gore.

Anthony: Speaking of Sara Karloff: You and she are part of the group known as “The Monster Kids”; can you give us some background on the nickname and who comprises the group?
Ron: Don’t know too much about that but it’s cool! James Michael Roddy (jmichaelroddy.com) is the person’s whose project it is. We’ve also been called children of the night. Not sure how that looks on a resume.

Anthony: Picking up where we left off on the Horror theme: Are there any Horror movies you like? [If not, What movies do you like?]
Ron: I’m all over the map on films. I like all genres old and new but tend to like action films. The projects I’ve developed or worked on usually have a horror/action angle. It’s obviously in the blood.

Anthony: With all the trends in horror today, Monster Lit (e.g., Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) and Zombie Apocalypse, to name a few, what do you think your grandfather and great-grandfather would have thought of them compared to horror in their day?
Ron: Don’t quite get that one. He was one of our greatest presidents. Times certainly have changed but in regard to my grandfathers, I’m sure they would embrace the new technology, adapt and do their best to elevate the film in some capacity.

The United States Postal Services 1997 Universal Monsters issue

Anthony: How do you like going to the conventions honoring the legacy your surname represents?
Ron: I get to hear many wonderful stories and fond memories from the fans, and the impact my grandfathers have had on so many. I’ve also met some of the most wonderful people but I generally only attend one or two a year.


Anthony: What’s the next convention for you?
Ron: Monsterpalooza, April 13th-15th in Burbank, CA. My daughters and I enjoy the show every year and they have some amazing and talented artists that attend. So many wonderful exhibits are on display and it’s a great way for us, “Monsterkids,” to get together.

Anthony: website/facebook
Ron: Please visit us at lonchaney.com or on facebook.

Anthony: An amazing story. And an amazing family. From The Black Glove and its readers, thank you for your time. It’s been a real pleasure.
Ron: Thank you.

--Anthony Servante
(THE BLACK GLOVE thanks Mr. Chaney for his time and efforts.)

Off Kilter TV column #4: Gilligan’s Island: The Hunter, Season Three, Episode 18

Off Kilter TV: Where Horror Rears its Ugly Head on Family Television


Reviewed by Anthony Servante

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale….” You know the words. They introduce twenty five minutes of comedy from Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, and the rest (Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells).


With the pariah Gilligan finding new ways to inadvertently sabotage rescue every week, it is no wonder that one of the castaways didn’t slit his throat while he slept. I guess they didn’t want to be rescued as much as they let on. And that was funny. You could count on merriment each week. Well, the laughter was set aside for a few minutes on one of the shows, that Off Kilter episode titled THE HUNTER. Here Gilligan’s antics are to keep from getting killed by a human predator.


Rory Calhoun stars as the hunter Jonathan Kincaid who visits the island with his manservant/bodyguard Ramoo, played by Harold Sakata, the unforgettable Oddjob from the James Bond film, Goldfinger (1964). He seeks game to hunt but finds only the castaways. In a sadistically calm moment of realization, Kincaid decides to hunt one of the shipwrecked bunch. By a process of elimination, he selects Gilligan as the most worthy prey. Nothing funny so far, thanks to the stoically solid acting from Calhoun. He plays his part for dramatic effect. Somebody didn’t tell him he was in a comedy. Better for us Off Kilter TV fans.

Of course the GI episode is a parody of The Most Dangerous Game (1932), a film based on the The Hounds of Zaroff by Richard Connell, a short story published in 1924.


The “most dangerous game” refers to man as prey. What is portrayed as suspense and drama in the movie is played for laughs on GI but with little success. For the first half of the episode, note that the comedy rolls off Rory Calhoun. As Gilligan evades the fatal bullets of Kincaid’s rifle, the rest of the castaways are captive in a bamboo cage, so the focus stays on the hunt and some suspense is generated. The hunter is menacing.

But someone noticed that they needed to add more laughs, thus slapstick enters late in the episode as if the writers were told to lighten things up: the castaways escape their captor; the hunter squirts water from his rifle; Gilligan hides in a hollow tree, while Kincaid uses the tree for target practice. But, through it all, Calhoun stays pitch-perfect in his serious role, even to the end when he betrays the Gilligan gang and breaks his promise, abandoning them to the island—as if they weren’t used to it by now. In this episode, there never was a prospect of rescue, as the majority of previous shows relied upon. Here the goal was for Gilligan to stay alive.

--Anthony Servante