Showing posts from 2012

Zombie Claus is Comin' to Town (so You Really Better Watch Out...)

So, it’s the holidays, and you’ve had your fill of relatives, leftovers, Christmas music, crowds, and Really Bad TV. Suddenly, getting away from everything--just you, a mug of something (hot cocoa, some Earl Grey, the last of the eggnog, a couple fingers of whiskey, whatever), and a good book to curl up with--sounds like the best idea you’ve had all season.
But what to read? Maybe something vaguely... festive. (‘Tis the season, fa-la-la, and all that.) The problem--for me, at least--is that most seasonally-appropriate books run toward the treacly, sugar-coated side... and I, most definitely, do not. 
If that scenario sounds familiar, then no worries; I’ve already done the searching for you, and have a positively-delectable morsel to offer up for your reading pleasure--one which is decidedly more, erm, meaty, rather than sweet (but more about that, later)--the irreverently-titled I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus, courtesy of S. G. Browne.

Happy Holidays to One and All!

What's that, you say? Jonesing for some boycat?

Fret not, dear reader... for if there's one thing there'll never be a shortage of, it's boycat pictures. ;)

The Secrets that Kill (or Make You Want to)...

Relationships--much like dairy products and produce--can go bad when you least expect it (and in really unpleasant ways). Unlike the half-empty carton of lumpy milk you lost interest in or the mushy head of lettuce you just plain forgot, though, soured relationships are a whole lot messier to deal with.
There are things almost impossible to forgive, forget, or get past--betrayals, secret lives, abuse, infidelities, criminal acts, major differences about the most fundamental of concepts--any one of which can make the thought of continuing a relationship untenable.
But, when all of those things are present--as they are in Merry Jones’ upcoming thriller, The Trouble with Charlie--well, that’s when things can go from bad to worst in a hurry.
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After some of the stuff he pulled during the ten years they were together, Elle knows she should be glad to be rid of her almost-ex husband, Charlie. There were the lies (so many lies), the infidelities, and the stealing (like when he hel…

After Jack: Murder & Mayhem at The Met

A year has come and gone since the infamous butcher who terrorized all of London last committed any of his atrocities against the city’s prostitute community--then simply vanished--but the effects of Jack the Ripper’s murderous spree can still be felt. 
Daily life has resumed, with the masses still struggling to eke out their meager existences in the squalid, teeming metropolis, while the more-privileged attempt to shield themselves from such ugliness, but the prevalent attitude among all of London’s residents toward the police force remains, to put it mildly, less than favorable. Five women murdered and horribly mutilated... and the murderer still on the loose? Such gross incompetence!
No one feels that failure more keenly than do the dozen members of the Metropolitan Police’s recently-formed Murder Squad--the undermanned, overworked (and underpaid) group of men tasked with solving not only the Ripper murders but every other murder in and around London, as well. That frustration--combi…

Prying Eyes & Hidden Lives

In the wee hours one morning, a sleepless woman gives up on her futile attempts to lure Mr. Sandman and gets out of bed to sit down at the desk in her home office, where she logs onto the internet to indulge in some mindless surfing. 
Connie Bowskill’s “mindless” surfing is hardly without thought, however; she knows exactly what website she’s going to visit--a homes-for-sale site run by a realtor in a larger town some distance away. Nor is the listing number she types in a random one; the luxury address is one she knows by heart. (In fact, she’s already viewed this particular property’s virtual tour so many times, she could recite the contents of every room by memory.)
What she isn’t prepared for, though, is the scene before her when the tour gets to the living room... because this time through, in the middle of the den’s (normally-pristine) pale carpet, lies a woman, surrounded by a sea of thick, viscous, blood-red. And, as the camera completes its pan around the room, Connie is convin…

Fluffy the... Vampire Slayer(?!)

Scary movies and spine-tingling tales... everyone craves a few chills this time of year. But what to choose...
When it comes to movies, it all boils down to how serious or campy you like your horror, plus your tolerance for gore (none at all, stick with the classics; the bloodthirstier the better, anything since the late-1970s should work). Add some popcorn, a significant other or a few friends, and you’re set. 
If you’re in the mood for snuggling up under a pile of blankets, alone in the dark, with nothing but a small lamp, a mug of cocoa, and your cat or dog by your side, though, only a good book will do. All the usual names--Poe, Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, or some Stephen King if like your monsters on the modern side--are there for the choosing, of course. 
But what if you crave something a little... different? That’s how I was feeling, so a little digging around on Amazon later, and I’d found the “purrfect” tale for a blustery night with my boycat snuggled up on my legs...…

Friends, Neighbors, & All the Spaces in Between

Say what you will about Mr. Rogers* (yeah, I giggled plenty at those ghastly cardigans and nerdy lace-up shoes of his, too), but the man knew something about being neighborly. To him, it had nothing to do with what you wore (teehee), drove, or did for a living; it meant being friendly and nice to the people next door or down the street... waving and stopping to chat, making the effort to learn pets’ and people’s names, even having a cup of sugar at the ready to lend during baking emergencies. 
Things have changed a lot since Mr. Rogers first went on TV showing good little boys and girls around his perfect neighborhood, though. We pick up stakes and move (often, before we’ve even met those who live on either side of us); we keep odd hours (not exactly conducive to friendly coffee klatches); and, while technology has given us the ability to interact with people all around the globe... it has also pretty much done away with the desire for all but the most strictly-necessary contact with o…

Tripping the Greedy Fantastic

greed (noun): excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Ask a hundred people if “greed is good”, and probably ninety-plus percent of them will look at you strangely, wondering why on earth you’d even ask such a question. Greed, after all, has the dubious honor of being listed among the so-called 7 Deadly Sins (along with lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride)--not exactly a point in its favor. Recent history hardly endears it to us, either (considering all the fallout from those banking and investment scandals). 
Still, there’s not much we can do to combat the existence of greed; we’re compelled to tolerate it in others simply because we don’t really have a say in the matter.   
Now, imagine for a moment a world in which greed isn’t merely put up with... but is praised, encouraged, and rewarded. Such is the mindset in the not-too-distant world of Culpa Innata, as envisioned by B. Barmanbek (and based on a popular computer game of the same name).
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