Archive for December, 2012

Reading List, 2012

Posted in Books on December 31, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Since 1991 I’ve kept a list of all the books I read during the year. 2012 was an especially fruitful time, thanks to a day job that gave me very little to do but read (and which I no longer have—sigh—such is the health care industry), enabling me to log 76 books. Some are re-reads of old favorites, some are written by friends. I thought I’d share the list.

Yes, there are a lot of novellas and poetry chapbooks to help pad out the list, but also two 1000-page doorstoppers (one which took nearly a month to plow through), nor did I read anything throughout November, which further skews the averages.

Looking over the titles it’s clear I should’ve read a bit more widely and out of my preferred genre, but all in all I’d say it’s a year’s worth of some pretty good reading.

They are, in chronological order:

1) UNDER THE DOME, Stephen King
2) BABY’S FIRST BOOK OF SERIOUSLY FUCKED-UP SHIT, Robert Devereaux
3) HELLHOLE, WEST VIRGINIA, Rich Bottles Jr.
4) BACK STORY, Robert E. Parker
5) DEMONS: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DEVIL AND HIS MINIONS, FALLEN ANGELS, AND THE POSSESSED, John Skipp (editor)
6) CHRISTINE, Stephen King
7) MR. X, Peter Straub
8) ASS GOBLINS OF AUSCHWICZ, Cameron C. Pierce
9) ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR NINJA AND OTHER AXIOMS OF THE CLINICALLY ABSURD, Jeremy C. Shipp
10) DOMINION, Bentley Little
11) BRAIN DAMAGE: A TRIP THROUGH HELL, Robert Martin
12) PHANTOM ENERGY: (VERY) SHORT STORIES, Robert Swartwood
13) SENSATION, Nick Mamatas
14) GOD, NO! SIGNS YOU MAY ALREADY BE AN ATHEIST AND OTHER MAGICAL TALES, Penn Jillette
15) SACRIFICE, Richard Kinion (aka Edward Lee)
16) LOST ECHOES, Joe R. Lansdale
17) EVERY SHALLOW CUT, Tom Piccirilli
18) SORRY I RUINED YOUR ORGY, Bradley Sands
19) GOD IS NOT GREAT: HOW RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING, Christopher Hitchens
20) LIKE DEATH, Tim Waggoner
21) BOY’S LIFE, Robert R. McCammon
22) LIKE PORNO FOR PSYCHOS, Wrath James White
23) THE GOD ENGINES, John Scalzi
24) FAR DARK FIELDS, Gary A. Braunbeck
25) BREEDER, Douglas Clegg
26) NIGHT VISIONS: THE HELLBOUND HEART, George R.R. Martin (editor)
27) JUST LIKE HELL, Nate Southard
28) TROLLEY NO. 1852, Edward Lee
29) THE HUNGER GAMES, Suzanne Collins
30) HOMEPLACE: POEMS FROM THE MOUNTAINS, Susanna Holstein
31) THE KEEPER, Sarah Langan
32) 100 BULLETS: FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL, Brian Azzarella, Eduardo Risso
33) FULL BONE MOON, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller
34) THE GORELETS OMNIBUS: COLLECTED POEMS 2001-2011, Michael A. Arnzen
35) DEVIL’S MARIONETTE, Maurice Broaddus
36) SURVIVOR, Chuck Palahniuk
37) THE TROUBLESOME AMPUTEE, John Edward Lawson
38) HELLBENDER, Jason Jack Miller
39) TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS, Bizarro Press (editor)
40) THE BABY JESUS BUTT PLUG, Carlton Mellick III
41) IT, Stephen King
42) CARNAGE ROAD, Gregory Lamberson
43) PSLAMS OF THE MONSTER RIVER CULT, William F. DeVault, Daniel S. McTaggart
44) RABBITS IN THE GARDEN, Jessica McHugh
45) WORKING STIFFS, Lucy Leitner
46) WILD HAIRS, David J. Schow
47) THE MORGANTOWN SUITE POEMS, William F. DeVault
48) TRASHLAND-A-GO-GO, Constance Ann Fitzgerald
49) LIVE GIRLS, Ray Garton
50) GARDENS OF EARTHLY DELIGHT, George Williams
51) WAR SLUT, Carlton Mellick III
52) LADIES AND OTHER VICIOUS CREATURES, Donna Lynch
53) BRAIN CHEESE BUFFET, Edward Lee
54) THE PLAGUE FACTORY, John Edward Lawson
55) WIDOW’S WALK, Robert E. Parker
56) THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, James M. Cain
57) THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY?, Horace McCoy
58) NIGHTMARE ALLEY, William Lindsay Gresham
59) WEREWOLVES AND SHAPESHIFTERS: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE BEAST WITHIN, John Skipp (editor)
60) SUIPSALMS, John Edward Lawson
61) DEADWEIGHT, Robert Devereaux
62) MOTHER PUNCHER, Gina Rinalli
63) THE DAMNATION GAME, Clive Barker
64) FULL DARK, NO STARS, Stephen King
65) CUM FOR BIGFOOT, Virginia Wade
66) DIARY, Chuck Palahniuk
67) FUCKIN’ LIE DOWN ALREADY, Tom Piccirilli
68) GOON, Edward Lee and John Pelan
69) THE HOLY TERROR, Wayne Allen Sallee
70) CUM FOR BIGFOOT 2, Virginia Wade
71) KEEPERS, Gary A. Braunbeck
72) SIBS, F. Paul Wilson
73) SEE NO EVIL, SAY NO EVIL, Matt Betts
74) THE STARLING CONNECTION PART 1: LIFELINE, Theodore Webb
75) TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS VOL. 2, Arthur Gelsinger (editor)
76) BARBED WIRE KISSES, Scott Colbert

Review: Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 edited by Arthur Gelsinger

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by Scott Emerson

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Not satisfied with its first offering of the weird and irreverent, TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS returns with a sloppy, slimy vengeance. Bizarro Press’ second anthology assembles 15 oddball tales chock-full of strange humor, off-the-wall imagery, and singularly bizarre concepts.

Like many multi-author collections (especially in the bizarro genre), the results are mixed, but TTaSC2’s hit-to-miss ratio is commendably solid. Highlights include Eirik Gumeny’s “The Ballad of Billy the Squid” (chronicling an octopus-headed boy’s foray into the Japanese adult film industry), Danger Slater’s “The Apple of my iPhone” (you know those people hopelessly attached to their Apple products? What if the feelings were reversed?), Vincent K. Sakowski’s “The Legend of a Ho Named Walrus Sounds,” and Nick Cato’s “Necrocandy,” a sort-of zombie tale as gross as it is funny.

As with the previous volume of TALL TALES, most of the stories rely on humor—particularly of the crude and vulgar variety—so readers on the lookout for serious or cerebral writing may be disappointed. (Though with a title like that, would they be surprised?) Those who like their fiction gross and giddy will have much to feast upon.

My Top Reads of 2012

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Just like the title says, my favorite books published in 2012, in alphabetical order.

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Carnage Road by Gregory Lamberson

Zombie books, especially the end-of-the-world variety, are the proverbial dime a dozen these days, but in this bittersweet novella author/filmmaker Gregory Lamberson makes a worthwhile trip down this well-traveled road. As modern society collapses under an onslaught of the living dead, two bikers hit the highway for a farewell tour of America. It’s a poignant statement to life in the twenty-first century, and one of the few books I’ve read this year that I wished was longer.

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The Gorelets Omnibus: Collected Poems 2001-2011 by Michael A. Arnzen

Kind of a cheat, as this volume collects Michael Arnzen’s delightfully weird web-based poetry and other assorted ephemera from the last decade, but what a collection it is. A wealth of strange, satirical, and clever poetry that packs an incredible amount of detail and power in their short line counts.

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The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli writing at the top of his game, and he doesn’t make this list? As if.

suipsalms

Suipsalms by John Edward Lawson

Lawson’s collection of suicide poems is frequently bleak, beautiful, humorous, and challenging. An awe-inspiring offering of verse.

stiffs

Working Stiffs by Lucy Leitner

Zombies again, this time in a corporate satire from debut novelist Lucy Leitner. Leitner not only deserves kudos for a workplace zombie comedy that’s actually funny, but she sets the action in Pittsburgh without invoking/fetishizing/dismissing the world of George Romero (it skewers ‘Burgh culture more than the living dead, and quite well).

Review: The Starling Connection Part 1: Lifeline by Theodore Webb

Posted in Books, Morgantown Poets, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by Scott Emerson

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In the first installment of his Starling Connection series Theodore Webb presents a chilling dystopian future not too far removed from our current society, an Orwellian backdrop of constant surveillance, immersive, ubiquitous social media, and manufactured realities that soothe and distract from harsher truths. Thrust into a high school environment of carefully controlled thought expression and mandatory school spirit, a small cadre of free-thinking students struggle to break the norm of “Work, Consume, Conform, Repeat.”

Extrapolating current anxieties to frightening but plausible extremes, Webb has much to say about privacy in the digital age, our dependency on prescription medicine and technology, and the state of the working class, filtered through the unique voices of his non-conformist protagonists. While LIFELINE mostly sets the scene and plants the seeds of conflicts to come, it’s an intriguing beginning that whets the appetite for future stories.

(LIFELNE will be available as a free download via Amazon on December 25 and 26. If you don’t want to wait you can order it now here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009I4RYTE/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img.