Ania Ahlborn’s The Devil Crept In Is Horrifyingly Real

Ania Ahlborn’s The Devil Crept In Is Horrifyingly Real

Ania Ahlborn’s The Devil Crept In is horrifyingly real and frightening enough to make readers avoid rural Oregon, or woods in general, for that matter.

I jest about the woods as I look at my own patch of dark trees in the yard at twilight and cannot help but worry what might be lurking in there; thanks, Ania.

The Devil Crept In centers around Stevie, one of the best protagonists you could ever have the pleasure to meet.

The following Book Review Of The Devil Crept In Contains **Spoilers** But Not Of The Ending

Stevie is a young boy of around eight or nine, who is likely on the spectrum, has no friends, but one – his cousin, Jude – because of speech difficulties and the missing the bulk of the fingers on his right hand a la Roland Deschain.

Despite his father’s abandoning Stevie, his mother, and his older brother, because of Stevie’s Mom refusing to treat the panic attacks and breakdowns, and despite the physically abusive step-father that is only present to pay the bills and torment his wife and youngest step-child, Stevie remains a good kid.

Sure, he goofs off, he disobeys his parent’s requests, and he goes off on unsanctioned adventures with Jude, but all that is normal kid stuff, and at his core he is very empathetic toward others and genuinely worries over animals and people alike.

The setting in Oregon, from the lush trails and old overgrown paths to the mossy-roof of what is seemingly an abandoned house on the edge of the forest is enveloping.

The characters, from the shop keeper trying to warn Stevie of the danger out in those woods, to Stevie’s horrible older brother – who makes him swear to not have seen the hand job his girlfriend was giving him at the movie theater – are too familiar.

They are too real.

The thought of Stevie’s step-father Terry, a real monster in human form, and the sound of his belt being unbuckled to whip Stevie makes me squirm.

This tale is based on a reality so solid you feel as though you could move there and lose your dog in no time as well.

Stevie worries over people being okay and seems to care for those around him with a golden ability that many young people possess, even if they hide it.

Stevie’s older cousin Jude, on the other hand, is two years Stevie’s senior, and is the small Oregon town of Deer Valley’s brash malcontent.

And for all of Jude’s harsh words, like making fun of Stevie’s speech impediment, he is the only one that has showed any desire to spend time with the boy who lost much of his right hand in a garbage disposal.

When Jude goes missing, Stevie’s world is decimated.

He feels utterly alone.

He seeks frantically to find out what has happened to his only friend, not knowing what his investigations into the long-abandoned trails in the wooded town might bring.

ania ahlborn, small press, The Devil Crept In, fine press, horror, scifi

Around this time, he sees an animal-like creature around this time, that he describes as a yeti, for lack of any other comparable being.

But the adults in his life do not listen to him.

His are the ravings of a madman in a child’s body; a clearly disturbed boy.

Stevie learns of the missing pets in the town.

What kind of town has virtually no pets among them?

The kind of town, surrounded by woods, that is hungry.

The yeti, it turns out, was born out of a night terror rape with what may have been Satan.

A soon-to-be single mother sought refuge from a biker-run crash house, and an old Dead-head one percenter named Rasputin was too kind to grant her wishes.

One night under his care, and nine months later, the white hairy ape-like human is the result.

He is very real. He eats flesh from whatever he can chew. He is not quite human.

The lesson: listen to kids, not the town’s communal rumor mill.

The sad truth is that small towns often look away from the truth as easily as adults ignore what children say.

And children, like the truth, should be heeded.

Ania Ahlborn brings one of my new favorite protagonists, Stevie, and the reader through an agonizing range of emotions, from desperation and exasperation to fear and the internal debate over the compulsion to need to act violently to save one’s self and others.

My only critique is that I would have loved to see a little more of the bearded Rasputin, who appears a couple of times in the book, briefly.

But the imagination certainly spins, like a possessed head, with the thoughts of the possibilities that lurk in and around the character Rasputin.

In Ania Ahlborn’s The Devil Crept In, the reality is set before the reader, as if it is perched on a stone, and when it shakes or falls, the story jars us heavily.


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“Ania Ahlborn’s The Devil Crept In Is Horrifyingly Real” was written by R.J. Huneke

 

The Last House On Needless Street By Catriona Ward Unnerves

The Last House On Needless Street By Catriona Ward Unnerves

The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward unnerves!

This Preview Review of the upcoming novel The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward that is being released in the US by TOR on 9/28/2021 is **SPOILER FREE**.

You will never read another book quite like this, and I mean that as one of the highest compliments I can give to a work of fiction.

This is a narrative with the most unreliable of narrators.

The main character, Ted, made me so uncomfortable and unsettled with his mannerisms, I had to grasp for anxiety meds.

His admittedly unreliable and past-present-ever-shifting memory, and his worries over what the neighbors may think of the young girl, Dee, a daughter-like figure – if not blood-related – that is only allowed out at certain times in his boarded up, dilapidated home on the end of the road and the edge of the woods, and the frantic frenzy of internal fear that came through Ted made me cringe steadily as I read on.Catriona Ward, The Last House on Needless Street, tor, horror, thriller

The writing from Ward is truly extraordinary, as the voices she emanates and the world she has built become so real that the tale is utterly enveloping.

Dark fiction has rarely been this bold!

The chapters shift to different characters and their point of view, so Ted is followed by the angry young girl, Dee, who lost her sister years ago, and Olivia, Ted’s cat, who has quite the outspoken and insightful feline personality.


Tor Nightfire’s description of the book:

On Sale: 09/28/2021

ISBN: 9781250812629

352 Pages

Catriona Ward’s The Last House On Needless Street is a shocking and immersive read perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Haunting of Hill House.


Think on that for a minute: the preeminent haunted house of Shirley Jackson combined with thrilling pace and murderous mystery of Flynn’s Gone Girl. WOW!

Make no mistake, The Last House On Needless Street will make you squirm; and the book will make you feverishly turn the pages seeking answers that come in bunches and only make the storyline more complex as more shakily reliable information comes to light.

This is a phenomenal work of writing and a nightmarish-like tsunami of story forcing the reader to pick up the pieces and refit them again and again as the characters feed the frenzy.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“The Last House On Needless Street By Catriona Ward Unnerves” was written by R.J. Huneke.

 

 

H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s 125th By Suntup

H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s 125th By Suntup

H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s 125th By Suntup Editions is celebrating the shocking and classic work of early horror and science-fiction in deservedly grandiose fashion 125 years after its initial release.

Suntup Editions, H.G. Wells, The island Of Dr. Moreau, Suntup Editions, fine press, horror, scifi

To say the art, designs, bonus content give this novel the proper anniversary treatment is a big understatement.

The following Preview Review of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s By Suntup Editions will have mild plot/events *Spoilers* in the story review and then get into a perusal of the fine press editions themselves, which will be examined more thoroughly after the books arrive.

The lone survivor of a deadly shipwreck that claimed two ships, Edward Prendick washes ashore on the elusive Noble’s Isle claimed by the infamous Dr. Moreau.

The novel brings in mystery, adventure and exploration themes, as well as good old-fashioned shock-horror and sci-fi.

The science and exploration of the 19th Century, and the preceding years, birthed interesting thoughts on the wings of Darwin and Mary Shelley’s publications: that of man playing god by merging animal and man into living chimera.

H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau is disturbing, suspenseful and has many unexpected twists along the island’s paths.

H.G. Wells took a character in Edward that is grateful for being nursed to health and through his uniquely thankful perspective examines the mysterious noises and shadowy visages that send shivers down his spine and lead him to delve deeper into the mysteries Dr. Moreau seems to have hidden on his island.

For those that enjoy stories of the monster within, the monster that we as humans carry and sometimes unleash, and the monsters out in the world, The Island Of Dr. Moreau is a stark reminder that repulsion can shift its allegiances, despite appearances.

Science fiction writers have used human-animal chimera experiments as the inspiration for creating characters that challenge us to consider what is quintessentially human and what is animal. Since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) created a manufactured man from parts of dead animals and humans combined.

[“Boundary Transgressions: the Human-Animal Chimera in Science Fiction” by Evelyn Tsitas]

Suntup Editions, H.G. Wells, The island Of Dr. Moreau, Suntup Editions, fine press, horror, scifi

To have the ethics of bioengineering examined in such an evocative manner by Wells in 1896 is incredible.

And Suntup Editions have outdone themselves again with their treatment of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau made into three limited edition states.

  • Suntup’s Artist Edition is limited to 1000 copies and is the only state with a dust jacket illustrated by Benz and Chang. The book is a full cloth, smyth sewn binding, is printed offset, has two-hits of foil stamping, and is signed by the artist.
  • The Numbered Edition of 350 copies is a quarter cloth binding with Japanese cloth boards, a cover foil stamped in gold and endsheets are custom designed for this state. It is printed letterpress on Mohawk Via and is signed by Megan Shepherd, Adam Roberts & Benz and Chang.
  • The Lettered edition is 26 copies with a full goatskin binding and a letterpress-printed spine label. The cover features a letterpress printed, die cut map of Noble’s Isle that looks amazing and the endsheets are hand marbled, while the pages are printed letterpress on Mohawk Via, and it comes in a clamshell enclosure covered in Japanese cloth with marbled paper floors. It is also signed by Megan Shepherd, Adam Roberts & Benz and Chang.

The books all look fantastic with six stand-out full color illustrations by Benz and Chang!

Suntup Editions, H.G. Wells, The island Of Dr. Moreau, Suntup Editions, fine press, horror, scifi

But as is befitting such an entertaining and historic work of fiction, Suntup has also included a bevy of bonus material, including a new exclusive foreword by Megan Shepherd and an afterword by Adam Roberts, who sign both the numbered and lettered states, and three Appendixes:

Bonus Content

Included in all editions is the following bonus content:

Appendix A: Wells Explains: Two Essays Relating to Moreau’s Argument.
H.G. Wells, The Province of Pain (1894)
H.G. Wells, The Limits of Individual Plasticity (1895)

Appendix B: ‘The Terrible Medusa Case’: An Historical Source for Prendick’s Shipwreck.
A narrative account of the infamous shipwreck Méduse (1818).
Reproduction of Théodore Géricault’s masterpiece painting The Raft of the Medusa (c.1819).

Appendix C: Wells’s First Draft of Moreau.
A study and excerpt from H.G. Wells’s original draft of Moreau.

[Suntup.press]

We will thoroughly review the physical books themselves, the numbered and artist editions, after they arrive.

But seeing such trippy and befitting art, along with two letterpress editions, designed with bite for our inner explorer, the wait to see these in person is a difficult one.

Suntup Editions, H.G. Wells, The island Of Dr. Moreau, Suntup Editions, fine press, horror, scifi

Letterpress will make reading and rereading the numbered edition a sensational experience.

I do have one critique: I would have loved the numbered edition to match the previous Wells installments in the book’s outer design – but I understand and am very happy with the incredible design of the editions that have been created here (I love the images on the covers and I love Japanese cloth) and since this brought in Artist Editions and a wild lettered edition (what a MAP!) I feel my OCD inner-Sheldon Cooper can be quieted and content – but I still cannot wait to put this on the shelf!

Suntup Editions, H.G. Wells, The island Of Dr. Moreau, Suntup Editions, fine press, horror, scifi

In between my H.G. Wells trilogy and Robert Heinlein set on my shelf in the “Pillars of Sci-fi Suntup Section” The Island Of Dr. Moreau will go and continue to be an inspiration.

The Artist Edition of The Island Of Dr. Moreau is still available at Suntup’s site here!

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it! buy it!)


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“H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s 125th By Suntup” was written by R.J. Huneke; Illustrations © 2021 by Benz and Chang and the Backdrop photography by Yegor Malinovskii for Suntup Editions.

 

After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6

After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6

After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6, because unlike every other installment in the Langdon series, Origin did not sit well.

The payoff was not enough this time.

The character that became a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in Angels and Demons, Robert Langdon, is the linchpin of Dan Brown’s series that surround the professor with symbols, mysteries, murders, and two thrills, of the hunt or quest and the mortal danger held therein, and of the epic knowledge that comes out when the many secrets are revealed at the stories’ end.

I love the works of Dan Brown.

Rarely has education through entertainment been as intriguing, as puzzling, as revelatory as when The Holy Grail is besieged in The Da Vinci Code, or when myriad lives come so close to extinction in Inferno (Dante would have loved it).

And the character of Langdon drives the story in every book in the series, just as Holmes and Watson do in many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales.

But that comparison reveals the biggest issue I had with Origin: the supporting cast were not even close to on par with Langdon or his previous comrades and nemeses.

Please comment and change my mind here; I love Dan Brown’s work and want to change my mind.

Langdon’s royalty alienating female sidekick takes a backseat early on in the story to an AI.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: an artificial intelligence created by a forty-year-old genius (Musk, meets Jobs, meets Gates, meets Einstein?) who is intriguing but . . .

MAJOR **SPOILER ALERT** to opening chapters to follow.

Origin, Dan Brown, Robert Langdon, book review, tff, da vinci code

. . . the character I was most invested in is killed to open the thriller. And an AI steps in to take his place and to largely supplant the female protagonist and the (at that point) clueless professor.

And yes, the book is thrilling, the suspense, the arc of grandiose mystery and conspiracy, they are all there.

The Fibonacci Sequence is also INCREDIBLY interesting!

So, you had me from the cover – I LOVE IT – and then you lost me while Langdon and his dame run from the murder scene for their lives guided by IBM’s Watson.

Maybe it is the decade or more of research into AI and being surrounded by quite a few people at times that are far more knowledgeable of the subject than I, some of them write semi-autonomous code to get robots to behave certain ways, that spoiled this novel for me.

Maybe it was having reread the classic Neuromancer by William Gibson shortly before I picked up Origin that put such a bad taste in my mouth, because the godfather of cyberpunk’s AI in the 1980’s was a lot more convincing and all-around interesting than Brown’s.

AI is mind blowing, in and of itself, and world changing, and it just felt all too happy to me as that luke-warm character became the fulcrum, even over Langdon, for periods of time.

Robert Langdon’s character should not take a backseat to anyone except his Moriarty or his Irene Adler, because Sherlock would be drawn and quartered before he let Lestrade become the focal point of the game.

The writing was as good or better than it has ever been for Brown.

And he has a tall task every time he continues the series: to match or outdo his previous Langdon stories.

But Dan Brown has pulled off the nearly impossible feat four times before! From Angels and Demons and on he did it . . . until now.

I expect a grandiose differentiating installment when or if Robert Langdon graces us in a sixth novel.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: NAY (NAY! Skip it)


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“After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6” was written by R.J. Huneke

 

Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling

Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling

Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling Publications in a S/L edition befitting the thrilling new novel.

The Following TFF Preview Review Will Only Contain **Mild Spoilers** To The Initial Plot Of The Book’s Opening.

Dark Across The Bay, Ania Ahlborn, Earthling publications, fine press, horror, suspense

Best-selling author Ania Ahlborn takes a fractured family to a secluded vacation home where unnerving and horrific hauntings rattle the reader and the Parrishs alike, and then the stalking begins to slowly unravel everyone’s nerves.

Dark Across The Bay bleeds mysterious hints at insidiousness growing rampant, from the creepy island rental besieging the vulnerable family to the stalkers intruding on them.

Before a marriage can formally dissolve, or Lark and Leo can attempt to move on, everyone is brought to the beach house Airbnb off the coast of Raven’s Head, Maine, 1000 miles from their family home, for a weekend retreat.

The island has only the one house and only one way on or off its shores: by boat.

The expansive residence contains wonderful window views out onto foggy waters, but it seems to be off somehow.

It makes for a great setting, as everything from the building itself to its innards seem creepily askew.

It holds myriad secrets that are tucked away, like the odd nooks and hallways full of unsettling amounts of fishing paraphernalia and hidden corner cubbies full of shabby books.

And ‘Mom’ wants ‘family time’ to be devoid of cell phones in the house, and so the modern interconnectivity of the world and its people easily communicating is stoppered bringing further isolation at times. When the phones come to back to life it is alarming.

The characters are each well met in the story, and the relatable, familiar family interactions spark lots of memories of growing up.

You may not like each member of the Parrishs, but they are certainly all intriguing, from the nearly divorced parents almost certain of their fate, to their two children, who are young adults struggling through recent trauma.

Lark is a novice novelist, battling through a bad break-up, and her brother, Leo, is distanced from her (and everyone), as he aims to leave the grief of his best friend’s death behind with an escape to the shores of Thailand.

Ania Ahlborn brilliantly keeps the characters off balance, as well as the reader.

The seemingly discernable arcs of each of the characters become further and further confused as their sense of calm and, at times, outright sense of terror is ratcheted up in stark, unexpected ways.

Who would torment the family of four? Is it personal, and if so, why travel 1000 miles to dole out such cruel punishment? Are there any supernatural elements at play?

The prose is wonderfully written, painting clear, boisterous scenes with visceral jolts to the heart.

Suspense and old fashioned, yet modernized, and innovative mystery meets elements of horror in this fantastic phantasm of a tale.

Dark Across The Bay by Ania Ahlborn is an amazing work from one of speculative fiction’s brightest minds.

Dark Across The Bay, Ania Ahlborn, Earthling publications, fine press, horror, suspense

Her use of world building and literary prowess makes for one hell of a story, and Dark Across The Bay debuts on a fine press publisher with Signed and Limited editions from Earthling Publications.

There are 500 numbered, Smyth sewn, offset printed copies, signed by Ania Ahlborn and Josh Malerman, as well as 15 lettered, offset printed, tray-cased hardcovers, with both the book and the tray-case being hand-made using the finest materials, and signed by all contributors.

The gorgeous cover art and interior art is brought to us by renowned illustrator Vincent Chong, and the book contains an introduction from the author as well as best seller Josh Malerman (author of Bird Box and Goblin).

They still have copies available! Take a look here!

If you are not familiar with Earthling, they have made some of the finest hand-crafted editions of books, each with their own unique feel.

An all-time grail for this reviewer is Earthling’s lettered edition of The Hellbound Heart: 20th Anniversary Edition (2007) novella by Clive Barker, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for the design of Dark Across The Bay by Ania Ahlborn.

hellbound heart, clive barker, lettered, earthling

We already know the cover art from Vincent Chong is outstanding.

We will conduct a more in-depth review after the book is released, going further into the novel and into the book edition.

But for now this has to be one of the most eagerly awaited suspense and horror books coming this year, and our rating is:

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it! buy it here)


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“Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling” was written by R.J. Huneke

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift By Stephen King is a deserving fine press production of the author’s first collection of short stories, and there are two added bonus shorts included that were not published by the Doubleday edition!

The short stories are all extraordinary and many are wholly groundbreaking for what horror could evolve to be.

Better put, Sai King’s stories hit on so many different levels and are so impactful that many traditional views of literary prowess were thrown out of the window screaming.

Most of these stories were originally published as stand-alone pieces in men’s magazines.

One exception is the very first story Stephen King got paid for, “The Glass Floor,” that was originally published in the Autumn 1967 issue of Startling Mystery Stories.

That and the introduction in the Bonus section of CD’s Night Shift, alone, is worth the price of admission.

Cemetery Dance Night Shift SPOILERS ahead*

To hear the writer talk about his experience getting rejections and receiving that first check is just remarkable.

This review will touch on two of the short stories held within and give an in-depth look at the small press production of the book itself, the limited deluxe Artist Gift Edition of Night Shift, masterfully produced by Cemetery Dance Publications.

And we will look at two of the weirdest and most fun shorts!

Enter “The Lawnmower Man.”

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

Easily as strange and hilarious and horrific a tale as can be constructed on ancient mythic gods and modern civilization’s obsession with keeping the home’s grass meticulously tended, “The Lawnmower Man” offers mystery, suspense, humor, and an otherworldly sense of dreaming while awake.

How or why someone decided to make a movie using the title alone and throwing out the insanity of the nude grass gobbling antagonist that makes the story is beyond all rational thought, but it happened.

This story proved that like Lovecraft and Poe, King could touch on ancient gods of yore, or wholly make up his own mythology in the modern world, and the charm of it all comes down to the characters caught within.

To date, I can think of no other story remotely like “The Lawnmower Man” – one of the highest compliments I give.

The next work is another favorite of mine that was touched on by TFF before in the One Of Us review, here: “I Am The Doorway.”

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

Another innovative tale is spawned circa the Space Race to the moon and beyond.

It merges science-fiction and the macabre in a painfully realistic manner.

Why does realism come to mind?

Space seems to be a lifeless void and a quiet vacuum, but the reaches outside the earth’s atmosphere are the truest unknown.

The astronaut here recalls little of his voyage to Venus that might note any apparent cause for his current murderous predicament.

But it is the only explanation.

Unlike so many sci-fi voyages and tales, Stephen King attaches the things beyond human understanding.

What could be more terrifying than intelligent entities, that manifest themselves like alien spores, a disease, or a parasite, in the form of eyes that continue to sprout from the searing, itching fingers of their space traveling host.

We cannot send life into space, but that does not mean that rabid rabies-like pathogens, or non-carbon-based life forms cannot live there, cannot hunt there for a way onto the earth to feed.

The astronaut is their doorway to the earth, and as far-fetched as that terrifying premise may seem, its sheer plausibility is solidified in that we cannot for sure say that the Eyes outside Venus’ atmosphere are an impossibility.

Truth be told, I would have loved to hear more about the astronaut in space in the story, but what King leaves to the imagination has me thinking about this one as I reread it again and again, shivering and itching between my thumb and forefinger.

All of the varying dark and spectacular shorts – from “Jerusalem’s Lot” to “Children of the Corn” to “Weeds” (the last bonus story in the volume) – are worth rereading and enjoying alongside the stunning artwork of Chris Odgers in CD’s Night Shift AGE.

For the $95 price-point CD’s Night Shift AGE gets an 11/10 score.

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

Limited to just 3000 books, each of the short stories feature well thought out and deeply impactful original art from Chris Odgers, and they stand out in the oversized deluxe design of 7 X 10 inches.

The faux leather brown of the book and the matching slipcase make the green and gold foil stamping really pop, as does the offset two color interior printing, and the thick, quality paper.

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

There are many bonus materials deservingly given to this book, a piece of literary history, including:

  • a foreword by Stephen King
  • an introduction by John D. MacDonald
  • a brand new afterword by Stewart O’Nan
  • two bonus stories (“The Glass Floor” and “Weeds”) that have never appeared in any edition anywhere in the world

And as CD’s Night Shift Artist Gift Edition is meant to highlight the tales with the paired art, the black and white illustrations are fine art that perfectly encompass the respective works being emanated to strong and stark imagery.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King” was written by R.J. Huneke

 

 

Book Review: Timeline By Michael Crichton 5/5 Stars

Book Review: Timeline By Michael Crichton 5/5 Stars

Book Review: Timeline By Michael Crichton 5/5 Stars; leave it to Crichton to revitalize the past with such a vigorous and entertaining novel and a possible prescience for the infinite possibilities of science.

Timeline carries the reader into a realm of unexpected suspense and danger, often altering our most fundamental ideas of what is truly possible.

This magnificent adventure combines a science of the future – the emerging field of quantum technology – with the complex realities of the medieval past.

Timeline Will Now Be Discussed With Mild SPOILERS (the ending is not discussed)**

Michael Crichton’s Timeline opens on the threshold of the twenty-first century. It is a world – our present, mind you – exploding in advances of technology.

A daring tech company has succeeded in creating a quantum computer. With the near-instantaneous computing commutation and revolutionary massive data banks, the company has managed the long-awaited sci-fi dream of “copying” an entire person.

Not only that, but they also managed to manipulate and enlarge quantum foam particles. Combing these two remarkable feats they are able to send a person through a wormhole in space between two quantum foam particles – much like a fax machine.

The quantum world is an interesting place, one that scientists still don’t fully understand today. It can behave very differently than the physical world we know. Crichton explores this new frontier and includes many interesting footnotes for curious readers to follow up with.

Crichton dared to imagine a possibility of quantum foam wormholes connecting to a plethora of universes where different time periods all exist simultaneously.

This remarkable adventure is not technically time travel, but rather the ability to travel to a nearly identical past.

ITC’s CEO Robert Doniger, inventor of this quantum technology, believes people of the twentieth century will grow bored of current entertainment and crave anything that isn’t controlled by corporations. He argues people will turn to the past for rare and desirable experiences of authenticity.

Therefore, the future is in the past. And he plans to sell these authentic trips to the past, like tycoon John Hammond’s Jurassic Park or Walt Disney’s Disneyland.

ITC has been steadily buying up property around the world and funding archeological digs to learn more about possible “time travel” locations.

We meet our university protagonists at a dig in France. When pressed about funding, ITC allows Professor Edward Johnson to explore his exact dig in fourteenth century France using their quantum technology.

When the professor doesn’t return, only a group of his graduate students are his best chance of survival. This group has been given the chance of a lifetime: not just to study the past, but to enter it. However, they may find themselves fighting for their own survival – six hundred years ago during the Hundred Years War.

Crichton remains a master of narrative drive and cleverness; there’s never a dull moment.

Excitement runs high during the rescue attempt and higher still as Crichton invests his story with terrific period detail: castles, sword-play, jousts, sudden death and bold knights-in-shining-armor.

There is also strong suspense as Crichton cuts between past and present, where the time-travel machine has broken: Will the heroes survive and make it back?

Best of all, the medieval setting is highly accurate and described well.

This alone makes the book a worthwhile read, especially for those who are unfamiliar or only somewhat familiar with the Middle Ages.

Crichton effectively addresses some common misconceptions about medieval life. He presents the reader with a vivid picture that is at times much more attractive, and at other times much more frightening and repellent, than that is generally presented to us in popular fiction and film.

Crichton truly managed to bring the Middle Ages to life.

Timeline was made into a feature-length, theatrical-release movie, directed by Richard Donner and starring Paul Walker, Frances O’Connor, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly and David Thewlis.

But if you want to see it, you will have to look back into your past to do it.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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timeline, Book Review, Michael Crichton, adventure, quantum, book reviews

“Book Review: Timeline By Michael Crichton 5/5 Stars” was written by Peter Maisano.


Synopsis from Goodreads:

In an Arizona desert, a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world, archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened up to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival — six hundred years ago.

Mass Market Paperback, 489 pages
Published June 2000 by Arrow Books (first published November 16th 1999)

 

 

For Readers Who Struggled: The Catcher in the Rye Book Review

For Readers Who Struggled: The Catcher in the Rye Book Review

For Readers Who Struggled: The Catcher in the Rye Book Review of J.D. Salinger’s classic.

This review is aimed for readers who struggled to understand this novel.

I hope you can see my perspective and that maybe you will give this novel another try so that you can appreciate the genius and insight this book has to offer. You don’t have to love it, but I hope you will grow to respect it.

Many of us have read this classic during high school: WARNING! there will be sufficient SPOILERS.

J.D. Salinger’s classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951. It has been frequently challenged in court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality.

This book rises above controversy and debate, and that is part of what makes it such an interesting read.

The Catcher in the Rye certainly isn’t for everyone, but I find it a compelling and exciting read.

It has a hearty dose of realism mixed with some humor that is contrasted with moments of depression and emotional pain.

Despite being written in 1951, many teenagers today are still able to relate to the various themes presented throughout the novel. Teenagers can often relate because of the complex themes of rebellion, identity, and independence.

This modern classic falls into a coming-of age-genre and a good one at that.

Personally, I find the main character absolutely intriguing. I find it fascinating to get inside the head of the strange, rebellious Holden Caulfield.

The book begins with Holden directly addressing you, the reader.  He begins to retell the events over a three-day period from the previous December.

His story starts at Pencey Prep, a prestigious boarding school filled with, what Holden calls, “phonies.” Although Holden tries to “play it off cool,” the reader can tell, early on, that he his quite lazy and completely clueless about his direction in life.

Holden is on a destructive path carrying his guilt, pain and loss, as it leads him in no direction.

Throughout his escapade in New York, he seeks meaning, help, and guidance, yet avoids these needs with indulgences and distractions – just trying to feel something other than pain.

He seeks out his teacher’s console because he needs to talk to someone who isn’t a phonie – he wants someone that will truly listen and provide guidance.  He is in pain and feels hopelessly lost – even if he doesn’t admit this to himself.

There is no scheduled outline designed by the writer. Nothing advancing the plot: no rising action, conflict, or resolution – in the traditional sense. This is a broken teenager’s story of the chaotic last couple of days before he was admitted into the hospital.

The story erupts when all of his repressed emotions finally burst to the surface and crash his whole world down. All his acts of rebellion only are masking the pain of his grief.

The entire book is essentially one long flashback.

the catcher in the rye, jd salinger, salinger, literary, book review, book reviews, fiction

He is retelling the events he experienced prior to being admitted to a psychiatric hospital. After reading the last page of this story, think back on what you have read with this new perspective you have just gained.

Imagine you are a patient in the hospital with Holden. This story is the conversation you two are having. He is telling you why he is here – what led up to this point of you sitting next to him.

And just as his personal story is getting more and more difficult to tell, he stops abruptly, shifts the blame to you “not wanting to bore you with his story” in order to defend himself from sharing any more of his personal sorrow.

To me, Salinger’s speech is so important. When you’re depressed and can’t get out of your own way, you can’t think; you get stuck on thoughts.

This is why Holden is constantly repeating and often contradicting himself. He can’t make sense of anything.

He is so guilt stricken from the death of his brother. It is always on his mind. He constantly comes back to it because he hasn’t gotten over it.  It bothers him that the world has moved on – that his family has moved on.

He’s stuck in a loop of survivor’s guilt. His life stopped when his brother died and he isn’t willing to move on. Holden has been lost for some time.

What I think readers miss most about this story is that, although Holden is the protagonist of this story, he is not a character you should idolize. In fact, the opposite is true.

Holden’s character is meant to personify the “lost soul.”

We may all be able to identify with a piece of him and if you do you should recognize that you, like Holden, need help – hopefully before you lose your way completely and fall down the rabbit hole.

He personifies the struggle most teens face when they begin to enter the adult world. You need to be able to sort out the “phonies,” call the bullshit, start to tackle your own inner demons, seek help, and find your own way.

To each their own; we all have our own demons.

Maybe it’s my psychology background that makes me want to psychoanalyze Holden, so keep in mind this is my perspective – what I see in Holden. At the very least I hope you can try to see that point of view.

One of the greatest insights this novel has to offer is in the mind of Holden Caulfield – the mind of our mentally wounded.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy The Book from a local bookseller? Click Away!

 

 

“For Readers Who Struggled: The Catcher in the Rye Book Review” was written by Peter Maisano.


Synopsis from Goodreads:

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

J.D. Salinger’s classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951. The novel was included on Time’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950’s and 60’s it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read.

Paperback, First Back Bay Paperback Edition (US/CAN), 277 pages
Published January 30th 2001 by Back Bay Books (first published July 16th 1951)\
Original Title:
The Catcher in the Rye
ISBN
0316769177 (ISBN13: 9780316769174)
New York City, New York, 1949 (United States)
Agerstown, Pennsylvania, 1949 (United States)
Upcoming Suntup S/L’s: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen

Upcoming Suntup S/L’s: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen

Suntup’s upcoming S/L: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen, signed by Thomas Harris and Whitley Strieber, respectively, highlight genre-defining literary moments with moving art and a design tone that make each of the books’ three editions stand apart.

This is a Spoiler-free Preview of the latest author-signed titles from Suntup Editions.

We will wait to review the stories and the facets of the different limited states, in detail, until after the Suntup editions of the novels come out, but it is worth looking at the exciting flair and literary soul that these two gems offer up in their overall design aesthetic and their stirring illustrations.

suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

Because the ARCs of these two beauties are out in the wild, we can briefly review the sneak peak pb’s, if you will.

We are privileged to bring an inside look into the ARC for the Thomas Harris masterpiece The Silence Of The Lambs.

The story ends after 365 pages in this heavy and gorgeously crafted paperback.

As a thank you, Suntup Editions gave their loyal readers, they offered this Gift SOTL ARC, with the reader’s name in it, for free to all who had placed a number of orders over the year; it is truly remarkable.

suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

This cover of The Silence Of The Lambs Gift ARC features the Artist Edition slipcase artwork, a stunning representation of the death’s head moth on a gray backdrop.

What never ceases to amaze is that Suntup ARCs are made of a better quality than many a trade paperback sold for retail.

The bright white paper is quality, as is the layout, and of course, the incredible illustrations by Tom Bagshaw.

Each of the three states of the book will have their own motif that captures the spirit of the writing and also works off of the editions of The Red Dragon By Thomas Harris that Suntup made previously.

This is no easy feat and finding a truly innovative, thought-provoking, and moving artist for each work is equally marvelous.

The art that Tom Bagshaw has done for this book is truly special.

The greatness of the story warrants art of this caliber and each piece delivers.

suntup, clarice, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

Here is a Preview of The Wolfen signed by author Whitley Strieber and the accompanying art portfolio.

I know little of the story, but a New York City-bound detective thrill ride after a new species of werewolf is the type of noir-horror genre-bender that captures my attention.

And I have no doubt, as with all other Paul Suntup selections, that this book will be quite enjoyable on the fiction front.

We will review it with a Yea or Nay after it is out.

What I am very familiar with is the artist François Vaillancourt’s great work on many novels.

François Vaillancourt, suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

Take a look at the illustrations François has created for this incredible book!

There are no words.

The snarling wolves! The snow-spatter! The Brooklyn Bridge? The detailed buildings and backgrounds and shadows!

And accompanying them even the slipcase and traycase and wooden case for each edition is as gritty as the pieces for the book!

suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

These Suntup Editions of The Wolfen are going to be deep-rooted horror, thrilling, and impactful.

And with the bevy of astonishing artwork there is an accompanying Art Portfolio available, limited to 300.

The Art Portfolio and the Artist Edition of The Wolfen are still available at Suntup’s site here!

Suntup’s art prints are among the best there are, and TFF will review the Portfolio along with the editions when they come out, as the fiction is given an extra amount of livelihood with this kind of brilliant art and design.

My biggest critique of these books – and it is a big one – is that I have to wait to get the limited editions now; but that is not the publisher’s fault.

So buckle up, hone your favorite fava beans recipes and replace your claw-marked clothes, because the two newest author-signed editions from Suntup promise to set the bar ever higher, and they will hit us all too soon in the coming months.

 

P.S. I want to personally thank Paul Suntup for such a generous and beautiful gift in the ARC of SOTL. It means a lot.

 

“Suntup’s Upcoming S/L: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen” was written by R.J. Huneke; Illustrations for The Wolfen © by François Vaillancourt and for Silence of the Lambs ©Tom Bagshaw and Photography of The Wolfen by Yegor Malinovskii for Suntup Editions.

The Forgotten Fiction ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 8-2021

The Forgotten Fiction ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 8-2021

The Forgotten Fiction ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 6-2021: we are going keep TFF’s Eager Readers up to snuff with all of the happenings, from book reviews, to guest reviewers, to giveaway contests, to Rune Works reader-inspired creations.

BIG THINGS Coming To TFF!

Seeing how TFF has grown immensely in just a few short months and less than a year since its launch, I want to thank you all for your support and shared enthusiasm for all that we love as bibliophiles.


ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 8-2021

 

  • March 30, 2021 @ 12pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • April 5, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • April 28, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • May 4, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • May 26, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • June 1, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • June 30, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • July 6, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • July 28, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • August 3, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • August 25, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free


And so we will be doing a monthly livestream, via Facebook Live, and in that brief time I will share news for upcoming book reviews and RW Cases or other creations, as well as finish each session with a drawing to choose a winner for a free giveaway contest.

What did I just say?!

Well, yeah, every month there will be a free to enter TFF Giveaway Contest taking place the week before the livestream.

I love reading, and TFF will be spreading the love!

stephen king signature, traycase, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, the stand, stephen king, bernie wrightson, trashcan man

The prizes will get better and better – wait until you see this month’s contest! – and most often there will be a choice for the winner (or winners, when we mix it up) to choose from so that if we are giving away books you can hopefully get something you do not have.

Quite a few brilliant authors are interested in writing book reviews on all sorts of fiction.

I spoke briefly last week on Elizabeth Yoo’s upcoming reviews of 1960’s Italian fiction that she will blow us away with, but so much more than that is on the horizon, and since I love almost every type of fiction out there, from horror and sci-fi to historical fiction, there will always be a fun variety to peruse.

So in this site’s NEWS section I will post a TFF Quarterly ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE and I will feature them in a pulldown from the site menu under NEWS too.

What is coming up?

stephen king signature, traycase, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, the stand, stephen king, bernie wrightson, trashcan man

Well, besides the monthly contests, I will pick a book of the month that either was or is going to be reviewed during the livestream – a teaser, if you will – and I would like to start some Q/A time too (maybe not every time), but I will play that by ear. I love to live in the moment, so we will see where things take us.

Coming up next in book reviews…

In no particular order, except that CD’s NIGHT SHIFT by Stephen King is almost certainly next, here are the book-newcomers to The Forgotten Fiction magazine:

  • NIGHT SHIFT by Stephen King – Cemetery Dance Gift Edition
  • Ready Player One By Ernest Cline – Lettered Edition By Curious King Books
  • Seed By Ania Ahlborn – Numbered Edition By Suntup Editions
  • Crackle and Fire: An Angela Hardwicke Mystery By Russ Colchamiro – By Crazy 8 Press
  • Alice By Lewis Carroll – Numbered Edition by Amaranthine Books
  • Later By Stephen King – Numbered Edition By Hard Case Crime
  • A Scanner Darkly By Philip K. Dick – Suntup Editions Numbered and Artist Editions
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Suntup Editions Numbered and Artist Editions
  • More Books by Michael Crichton – requests are open, folks!
  • The End Of Eternity By Isaac Asimov (and pictures of a rare first edition)
  • The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War Of The Worlds, all By H.G. Wells – all Suntup Edition’s Limited Numbered
  • Killer Come Back To Me the unpublished Ray Bradbury book celebrating Bradbury’s 100th birthday by Hard Case Crime

There will be many books that pop up and wedge there way in between the ones above, but these are some of the fiction titles, young and old, to look forward to.

Branching off of both The Forgotten Fiction and my fledgling production company, press and PR agency Rune Works Productions Ltd. are the literary creations crafted by hand in my woodshop, like the TFF Rune Works Book Cases.

Call them traycases, slipcases, or whatever else you want, but do not call them mass produced haha.

These are beloved creations that I have hand crafted for my own library, art to hold my most precious art.

I am busy working on these RW Rare Book Cases:

  • A one-of-a-kind SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 2021 ARC case for the winner of the Unofficial Fans Of Suntup group’s contest, Kyle – this will be a 1 / 1 and like nothing anyone has ever seen
  • THE STAND Case With Licensed Bernie Wrightson Art – for UK and for US 1st printings
  • SECRET Case Project [hint: horror and Ania Ahlborn]
  • CARRIE 1st Edition case
  • FAHRENHEIT 451 case
  • The Gunslinger case
  • The Long Walk case
  • “The Bachman Books” case
  • “Gunslinger” Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction cases
  • A I of I creation customized for an issue of Astounding Fiction from 1953
  • Startling Mystery 1967 and 1969 Case
  • Fight Club cases, with a strip of cartoon film?
  • A Scanner Darkly case for the first edition of Philip K. Dick’s classic
  • Revival Us First Edition for signed copies
  • End Of Watch Us First Edition for signed copies
  • If It Bleeds Us First Edition for signed copies
  • The End Of Eternity Isaac Asimov case
  • And even a non-book case for a rare Star Wars Lego piece!

There are a couple of cases I want to remain a secret for now.

stephen king signature, traycase, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, the stand, stephen king, bernie wrightson, trashcan man

These are some ambitious projects that I have undertaken and some will be ready to fly in the near future, while others may take a year or more to develop (some have already crossed into this realm).

These are handmade and planned and collaborated on with usually one person, me, or a very few others, at times.

That takes time.

But I love to make them and I love to see their purpose fulfilled as the books join with them, and much as time is one of our most precious commodities, up there with family and health, I take my time to ensure the quality I feel all of my work, from my written works to my web-made to my hand-made works all are the most they can be.

Be kind to one another, be safe, and go read!

 

Best,

 

~R.J.H.