Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

I’ve struggled mightily lately for free time. Unfortunately, due to some demanding days at work I also often found myself drained of energy and inspiration the past couple of months. However, with the season holidays in sight I am sure I’ll manage to regroup and keep Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews running more smoothly next year. Until then, I hope you’ll have an awesome end of the year.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cover art - "Terror Tales of the Ocean" edited by Paul Finch

Terror Tales is one of my favorite series of short story collections, these anthologies edited by Paul Finch and published by Gray Friar Press are a wonderful combination of chilling new tales, grim legends and terrifying folklore. Soon, the 9th volume of this series is set to be released and although I am not in the possession of the full table of contents there is still the cover artwork to work with. This time Paul Finch is venturing to the bodies of water with “Terror Tales of the Ocean” in search of frightening stories and legends and Neil Williams’ cover captures the atmosphere of the collection very well. The unknown and danger lurking beneath the surface, situations that can become unpleasant are hinted in a full display of teeth and blood. Of course, there is more to the theme than the cover suggests, but it works for me and I feel that it sets the mood nicely.

The rolling blue ocean. Timeless, vast, ancient, mysterious. Where eerie voices call through the lightless deeps, monstrous shapes skim beneath the waves, and legends tell of sunken cities, fiendish fogs, ships steered only by dead men, and forgotten isles where abominations lurk…

The multi-limbed horror in the Ross Sea
The hideous curse of Palmyra Atoll
The murderous duo of the Messina Strait
The doomed crew of the Flying Dutchman
The devil fish of the South Pacific
The alien creatures in the English Channel
The giant predator of the Mariana Trench

And many more chilling tales by Peter James, Adam Nevill, Stephen Laws, Lynda E. Rucker, Conrad Williams, Robert Shearman and other award-winning masters and mistresses of the macabre.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Free reading - "In Morningstar's Shadow" by Aliette de Bodard

In August, Aliette de Bodard published her new novel, “The House of Shattered Wings”, the first book in the Dominion of the Fallen series, due to be followed in 2017, if I am not mistaken, by “The House of Binding Thorns”. Prior to the release of “The House of Shattered Wings” Aliette de Bodard made available a set of stories that introduced the readers to the universe of the novel, gathered in an ebook volume, “In Morningstar’s Shadow”, and offered at the time as reward in a preorder campaign of the novel. Now, “In Morningstar’s Shadow” can be read for free and copies of this small collection containing the stories “The Face of Heaven”, “Paid Debts” and “What Has to Be Done” are found on Aliette de Bodard’s website or at the ebook sellers of your choice. And if you are hungry for more, there are a couple more stories set in the same universe available, not free, but at an affordable price, “Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship”, published on its own, and “Against the Encroaching Darkness”, available in Grimdark Magazine, issue 5.

Monday, November 23, 2015

2015 Aurora Awards

Yesterday, in a ceremony held in Toronto, Ontario, during SFContario 6, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) has announced the winners of 2015 Aurora Awards.

Best English Novel
“A Play of Shadow” by Julie E. Czerneda (DAW Books)

Best English YA Novel (tie)
“Lockstep” by Karl Schroeder (Tor Books)
“Out of This World” by Charles de Lint (Razorbill Canada)

Best English Short Fiction
“Crimson Sky” by Eric Choi (Analog, July/August)

Best English Poem/Song
“A Hex, With Bees” by Tony Pi (Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen, EDGE)

Best English Graphic Novel
“It Never Rains” by Kari Maaren (Webcomic)

Best English Related Work
On Spec published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society

Best Artist
Dan O’ Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press and On Spec magazine

Best Fan Publication
Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Music
Kari Maaren, YouTube Channel

Best Fan Organizational
Sandra Kasturi, Chair, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Toronto

Best Fan Related Work
Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

Congratulations to all the winners!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Title spotlight - "Fellside" by M.R. Carey

Christmas comes early for me this year in the form of the recently announced new novel by Mike Carey. I now it’s still too early to talk about Christmas gifts, I am not the one to enjoy all the holiday decorations already popping out around the local shops or the TV commercials dressed in season clothes, but the news of M.R. Carey’s “Fellside” are as good as a Christmas present for me. Over the past several years Mike Carey’s books have easily become a reading priority for me. Starting with the Felix Castor novels, part of a series that changed my preconceived view of urban fantasy, followed by “The Steel Seraglio/The City of Silk and Steel” and “The House of War and Witness”, two novels written together with his wife and daughter, Linda and Louise, that are one more beautiful than the other, and ending with “The Girl With All the Gifts”, written under the already mentioned penname M.R. Carey, an engaging and thrilling book that kept me breathless (not through all its length mind you, otherwise I would be dead right now, but you get my meaning), these are the kind of books I count among my favorites. As a matter of fact, I would find it very difficult to name just one of Mike Carey’s novels as my favorite without referring to all the others. Next year, on April, Orbit Books will release another, “Fellside”, which by the first look stands proud next to the others. We have little to go by so far, a small synopsis, the unremarkable cover (but you could sell me a Mike Carey’s book even without one) and the first two pages of the novel available on io9, but it is enough for me to jump with joy at the thought of reading “Fellside” next year.

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.
It’s a place where even the walls whisper.
And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.
Will she listen?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Giveaway - "Dust and Desire" by Conrad Williams

Back in 2010 Conrad Williams, one of the favorite writers around this blog, took a plunge into crime fiction with “Blonde on a Stick”, a novel published by Max Crime. This year, Conrad Williams’ “Blonde on a Stick” is revamped and saw the light of print again last week under the title “Dust and Desire”, published by Titan Books. Even more, “Dust and Desire” will be followed next year by “Sonata of the Dead” in what has become the Joel Sorrell series. But without getting ahead of myself, first things first, if you fancy a copy of Conrad Williams’ “Dust and Desire” you have a chance of grabbing one of the ten free copies offered through a contest on Goodreads. The giveaway is open to the US and UK residents and ends on November, 18th.

The Four-Year-Old, an extraordinary killer, has arrived in London, hell-bent on destruction… PI Joel Sorrell is approached by the mysterious Kara Geenan, who is desperate to find her missing brother. Joel takes on the case but almost immediately, an attempt is made on his life. The body count increases. And then Kara vanishes too… as those close to Joel are sucked into his nightmare, he realizes he must track down the killer if he is to halt a grisly masterplan – even if it means sacrificing his own life.

Monday, November 9, 2015

2015 World Fantasy Awards

The past week-end, during the World Fantasy Convention 2015, held in Saratoga Springs, NY, the winners of 2015 World Fantasy Awards have been announced.

“The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell (Random House/Sceptre UK)

“We Are All Completely Fine” by Daryl Gregory (Tachyon Publications)

“Do You Like to Look at Monsters?” by Scott Nicolay (Fedogan & Bremer)

“Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales” edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant (Candlewick Press)

“Gifts for the One Who Comes After” by Hellen Marshall (ChiZine Publications)
“The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings” by Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)

Samuel Araya

Sandra Kasturi and Brett Alexander Savory, for ChiZine Publications

Ray B. Russell and Rosalie Parker, for Tartarus Press

Congratulations to all the winners!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

2015 Premios Nocte

The past week-end, during the Madrid Gothic Week (Semana Gótica de Madrid), in a ceremony held at the National Museum of Romanticism in Madrid, the Spanish Horror Writers Association (Asociación Española de Autores de Narrativa de Terror) has announced the winners of 2015 Premios Nocte:

“Extraños eons” (Strange Eons) by Emilio Bueso (Valdemar)

Strange Eons is the most intelligent and original input of the lovecraftian mythology of the past decades: a remarkable combination of Pasolini, Mahfuz, Lynch and Cthulhu Mythos, for the new and dark millennium.” Jesús Palacios
Cairo’s the City of the Dead is not an ordinary district, but the largest cemetery of the planet, a monumental ocean of bones where five abandoned children live and where an emissary of some of the most ancient forces, older than humans, the sand of the desert and the capricious orbits tracing the stars in their cycles of madness settle.
This is the story of a plan to obliterate the world, of a silver key hidden in a tomb in Barcelona, of a car trip to the limits of sanity… and of five wretches who intend to frustrate the designs of chaos’ first motor, the antithesis of creation, the foolish sultan of demons, that groans, gnaws and drools in the center of the final emptiness.
Strange Eons is an audacious twist of the core of Cthulhu Mythos. With a severe language and a vibrant pulse with which he used us already, Emilio Bueso is exceeding a perverse story that proves why he has converted into the writer to called to revolutionize the Spanish horror literature.

“Los peces” (The Fish) by David Jasso (Donde reside el horror, Edge Entertainment)

‘‘El manjar inmundo” (The Unclean Dish) by Javier Quevedo Puchal (Punto en boca)

Urban hunters after the most coveted prey. A strange tower without doors. Old obsessions over lost beauty. Familiar demons locked in the attic. The heart of a witch buried under a rosebush. Nights of black veils like crepes… Javier Quevedo Puchal, winner of the Nocte Award, presents with The Unclean Dish a fascinating anthology of gothic short stories inspired by tales of classic fairies, from the Grimm Brothers to Andersen and Perrault. Thirteen amazing deconstructions of the stories with which everybody grew up. Thirteen disturbing narrations that reflect on our darker side, but also on those weaknesses making us more human. The Unclean Dish is, in the end, the perfect feast for tasting, like an excellent red wine. With spaced sips. Without hurry. The same as those stories of our childhood that we read each night before sleeping at the lamp’s light.
“Javier Quevedo Puchal reshapes the classic fairy tales archetype extracting from his predecessors the most corrupt sap, hidden in the deepest layers. Starting with the essence of perversion, reshapes the proposed for adorning his stories with a grotesque beauty, packs them with evocative images that end imprinted in the reader’s subconscious.” Darío Vilas
“In The Unclean Dish, Javier Quevedo Puchal serves us a menu that we believe is familiar and appearing now darkly dressed in exotic touches. Like a sumptuous literary feast, it is best to read these stories slowly, savoring them; basking in their flavor together with a glass of good wine. One more thing, future diners: go without the coffee at the end. The splendid stories that form The Unclean Dish keep us up the great part of the night without further stimulants. It’s a friendly advice. You’ll thank me.” Toni Hill

“NOS4R2 (Nosferatu)” by Joe Hill (Suma de letras)

“Ese autobús es de otro mundo” (That Bus is Another World) by Stephen King (published in Esquire España magazine)

Gigamesh Bookstore, for 40 years of working with the horror genre

Congratulations to all the winners!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Title spotlight - "Cemetery Dance Select: Kaaron Warren"

I am always thrilled when a new book by a favorite author is being published, even if it is a reprint or a new collection gathering familiar stories. I am also perfectly aware that even though I would love to see new fiction from my favorite writers coming out each year it is not always possible, there are plenty of things required by such new stories, among them the author’s personal life and inspiration playing very important roles. But since I can always go back to the works that made a writer a personal favorite I am willing to wait patiently for the next book no matter when it comes. Kaaron Warren falls into this category, I am already eager to garb her new short story or novel whenever they will be available, but until then I still have her collections and novels to keep me company. And all those are joined now by another, Cemetery Dance released on June one of their titles spotlighting short fiction, “Cemetery Dance Select: Kaaron Warren”. Five stories previously published are gathered in this volume sampling Kaaron Warren’s exceptional talent. So, if, like me, you wish to revisit some of Kaaron Warren’s short fiction or you wish to discover another excellent writer give “Cemetery Dance Select: Kaaron Warren” a chance. I am certain you’ll not regret it.

“The Blue Stream” (originally published in Aurealis Magazine, No. 14, 1994 – nominated for the 1995 Aurealis Award, Best Fantasy Short Story)
“A Positive” (originally published in Bloodsongs Magazine, No. 10, 1998 – winner of the 1998 Aurealis Award, Best Horror Short Story)
“State of Oblivion” (originally published in “Elsewhere: An Anthology of Incredible Places”, 2003 – nominated for the 2003 Aurealis Award, Best Science Fiction Story)
“All You Can Do is Breathe” (originally published in “Blood and Other Cravings”, 2011 – nominated for the 2012 Ditmar Award, Best Short Story & the 2011 Stoker Award, Best Short Story)
“Air, Water and the Grove” (originally published in “The Lowest Heaven”, 2013 – winner of the 2013 Aurealis Award, Best Science Fiction Story & nominated for the 2014 Ditmar Award, Best Short Story)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

More K.J. Parker fiction coming next year

Since revealing his secret identity K.J. Parker is hard at work in bringing more of his excellent fiction. This year saw the publication of two novels, one in limited edition, “Savages”, and one in a serialization ongoing still, “The Two of Swords”, plus the recently released novella “The Last Witness”. But this is not all, there are more such K.J. Parker goodies looming on the horizon with two other novellas scheduled to be released next year. “The Devil You Know” comes from on March 2016 while “Downfall of the Gods” is published by Subterranean Press on April 2016 and I must admit that both sound as exciting and promising as I was used to expect from the pen of K.J. Parker. For certain, next spring I’ll be digging deep within the pages of these two novellas.

The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.
But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus–the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.
He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?

If you visit the Temple and ask nicely for forgiveness, you might get it—assuming you aren’t Lord Archias and you haven’t killed the Goddess’s favorite musician, Lysippus. But even goddesses are expected to follow certain rules, and as much as she wants to punish Lord Archias it seems her troublesome, all-powerful father forbids it. So the Goddess will just have to get around that by forgiving Lord Archias if he can manage some simple—or, rather, seemingly impossible—tasks. A Goddess has to do what a goddess has to do.
And in World Fantasy Award winner K.J. Parker’s sharply inventive new novella Downfall of the Gods that means everything from soothing supernatural egos to accompanying the argumentative Lord Archias on an epic quest to save his soul…and get her own way. As the Goddess and her mortal charge make their way across the world to the Land of the Dead, a host of divine surprises await them. Could what they find at the end be the downfall of the gods themselves? Only time will tell. This is a story Parker fans won’t want to miss.

Friday, October 9, 2015

2015 Nocte Awards nominees

The Spanish Horror Writers Association (Asociación Española e Escritores de Terror) has announced the finalists of the 2015 Premios Nocte, the award recognizing the merits of Spanish horror works published throughout a year (plus those translated into Spanish in the respective year). The winners of the 2015 Premios Nocte will be announced during Semana Gótica de Madrid (Madrid Gothic Week) on October 30th in a ceremony held at The National Museum of Romanticism in Madrid.


“Extraños eons” (Strange Eons) by Emilio Bueso (Valdemar)

“Un minuto antes de la oscuridad” (One Minute Before the Darkness) by Ismael Martínez Biurrun (Fantascy)

“El Cuarto Jinete: Destrucción Masiva” (The Fourth Horse Rider: Massive Destruction) by Víctor Blázquez (Dolmen)

“Tormenta sangrienta” (Bloody Storm) by Tony Jiménez (AppleHead Team)


“Caballito” (Hobby Horse) by Darío Vilas (Absurdario, Ed. Sven Jorgensen)

“Cuando tú no estás” (When You’re Not Here) by Teresa Viejo (Relatos Insólitos, Ediciones Arconte)

“Los peces” (The Fish) by David Jasso (Donde reside el horror, Edge Entertainment)

“Plastilina” (Plasticine) by Fernando López Guisado (Frankenstein. Diseccionando el mito, Kelonia)


“Donde reside el horror” (Where the Horror Lives) by various writers (Edge Entertainment)

‘‘El manjar inmundo” (The Unclean Dish) by Javier Quevedo Puchal (Punto en boca)

“Frankenstein. Diseccionando el mito” (Frankenstein. Dissecting the Myth) by various writers (Editorial Kelonia)

“Una hamburguesa para cenar” (A Hamburger for Dinner) by Javi Martos (Tyrannosaurus Books)


“El Rito” (The Croning) by Laird Barron (Valdemar)

“NOS4R2 (Nosferatu)” by Joe Hill (Suma de letras)

“Diez” (Ten) by Gretchen McNeil (Maeva)


“Ese autobús es de otro mundo” (That Bus is Another World) by Stephen King (published in Esquire España magazine)

“Nacido de hombre y mujer” (Born of Man and Woman) by Richard Matheson (Gigamesh)

“Sueños de armario” (Closet Dreams) by Lisa Tuttle (Ignota, Palabras de agua)

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!