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!)


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

 

“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!)


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

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)

 

 

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.

One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington – A+ Horror

One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington – A+ Horror

One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington – A+ Horror fills a massive anthology featuring Stephen King, Richard Chizmar, Tom Deady, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, and so many more.

This tome is 556 pages of knuckle splitting, page turning, scares.

And all the while, One of Us is moving in its tribute to Frank Michaels Errington, the gifted writer and reviewer that helped critique and nurture some of the best of a genre over the decades.

Proceeds from the book – that came out in November of 2020 – are donated in Frank’s name to the American Transplant Foundation.

A slew of photos and smiles in One of Us, edited by Kenneth W. Cain, share glimpses into the countless joy Frank gave to others while around them, and to honor his spirit, a slew of stories are presented within it in a fantastical nightmare-inducing fashion, just as he would have wanted.

Touching on a few of the stories therein, it is easy to enter into “I Am The Doorway” by Stephen King.

Previously published in Sai King’s first short story compilation Night Shift, the tale merges science-fiction and the macabre in a painfully realistic manner.

SPOILER WARNING For Stories By Stephen King, Richard Chizmar, and Tom Deady.

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 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 to the too oft black and white deception of science.

The returned astronaut has admitted to killing a boy, though it was ‘they’ who made him do it. He is ‘only the doorway.’

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 an 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 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, the tale is very much grounded (literally and figuratively) but what King leaves to the imagination has me thinking about this one as I re-read it again and again, shivering and itching between my thumb and forefinger.

***

In what was one of the most disturbing stories in the volume, Tom Deady’s “A Tattoo For Joey” can be summed up in one chilling shout: “Grampa, you’re hurting me!”

The grandfather lives alone, has had one sever mental ‘incident’ – an instance of a breakdown of sorts – that seems likely to be a sign of dementia.

He loves his six-year-old grandson Joey, that is clear, and he is helping out his daughter, Monica, while she goes away to catch her husband cheating on her.

You feel for all three of the characters so very much in such a short span, especially for ‘Grampa’ as he struggles to do the near-impossible for any parent or grandparent: keep a young child entertained and safe while watching them for a prolonged period of hours or days.

The prize in the knock-off Cracker Jack box may really be a life-draining temporary tattoo (irony, there, as the tattoo seems hell-bent on staying vibrant and alive while the kid fades), or it may be a delusion of paranoia brought on by stress.

The heart is both warmed and throttled by this story.

And hearing the exasperated Joey say, “Grampa, you’re hurting me!” at the end really shakes the reader violently, as the grandfather ‘goes to work’ on the young boy’s tattooed arm.

I do wish the grandfather had gotten some time alone with the father, but that would like have made this great piece a bit implausible and spoil the bubble of the granddad-grandson world that is built so very well.

***

Some of the greatest short stories create magic in just three or four pages of prose, and that has to be one of the most difficult achievements in fiction, which Richard Chizmar gives us in “Homesick.”

The teenager point of view is frightening enough.

Timmy calls the old house ‘ugly’ and makes fun of the ancient paintings he has come to detest in his loneliness.

Maybe he is a little younger than a teenager; that is not specified, nor is it important (though I kind of wish I knew for sure).

My imagination runs to this being a bad combination.

Combine the lonesome juvenile boy in the White House being called a ‘baby’ by his father and the fact that he has abandoned all parenting time because of the new job, the presidency, and then combine the tragic sense of uprooting that Timmy feels for his hometown, his friends, his school and his ex-girlfriend – who had to find a new boy to go ‘steady with’ in Timmy’s absence – and you have a recipe for wickedness.

So many children are overlooked by their parents. The abuse is a cancer. Could it happen to one of the presidents’ own?

Well Timmy sees no other way to return home than to carefully mix the poison into his parent’s coffee, without getting any of the white powder on the mugs.

As the yelling starts, he is thinking of Sarah, his girl, his old house, and his friends, and he is eating popcorn.

It is such a brilliantly unnerving tale and reminds me a lot of Edgar Allan Poe, were he alive in 21st century America, because it feels all too close to the truth of human fallacy and weakness, and the hurt that the hurt can inflict on others.

***

These are just brief reviews of three of the great tales in this volume, but all of the pieces selected for this anthology are winners.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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

 

One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington, Stephen King, Richard Chizmar, Tom Deady, horror, Frank Michaels Errington

 

“One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington” was written by R.J. Huneke, and the book is a Paperback, 556 pages long, and was Published on November 14th, 2020 by Bloodshot Books.

 

 

Amaranthine Books Incredulous Limited Dracula By Bram Stoker

Amaranthine Books Incredulous Limited Dracula By Bram Stoker

Amaranthine Books incredulous limited Dracula by Bram Stoker is truly dark, richly lavish, and bloodily grim in all the right ways.

Dracula is one of the first ever books to be considered a novel, one of the foundational chilling books of horror, and birthed an entire vampire genre of fiction.

Dracula is legend.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

And having read the book many times, having studied the book at university and owning a few copies already, I was skeptical of spending a few hundred dollars on the “Transylvania” limited edition of 666 numbered copies from Amaranthine Books.

It looked very interesting and the word that first comes to mind, still, is lavish.

This book is bound and draped in red velvet-like cloth.

I love books and so this seemed really cool, as it seemed to frame the dark visage of the Count on the cover as Jonathan Harker first sees Dracula in his castle.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

But I was not sold; it was not until I saw the art and read into the thought-process behind the binding and every facet of the myriad designs put in the book that I fell in love and had to have it.

Here is the story synopsis, and the book review continues below:


From Wikiepedia:

Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced the character of Count Dracula and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy.[1] The novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of people led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, gothic fiction, and invasion literature. The novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film, and television interpretations.

Original Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Hardcover, 418 pages
Published By Archibald Constable and Company (UK) on Publication date 26, May 1897 and then later by Amaranthine Books

The following TFF Book Review Of Amaranthine Books’ Dracula By Bram Stoker contains contains mild Spoilers*****.

Bram Stoker’s classic is a combination of letters of multiple characters and the audio recordings of Dr. Seward in his asylum, an epistolary, and it remains intensely suspenseful, eerie, and flat out creepy from the very onset.

This experience is what Amaranthine Books wanted to bring to their fine press publication of their two limited editions, Dracula – Transylvania Edition (limited to 666 copies and some are still for sale!), and Dracula – Scholomance Edition (limited to 50 copies).

Meeting the Count and going through the tale, not just as a reader, but as a participant is how Amaranthine went about constructing their gorgeous editions.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

The pages are all black-edged and UV-protected, the imagery and even the count on the cover glow in the dark. There are 666 pages in this edition. 666!

As Harker find himself entering Transylvania and the weird surrounds him, an unsettling ominous feeling, so too does the reader embark with that same pit in their stomach for the start of their trek.

The terrifying ordeal of wolves chasing the carriage is followed up by the dreary castle and then the lush, well-spoken older gentlemen, Count Dracula, himself, who is genteel and off-putting in the subtlest of ways.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

He had eerily adopted an English accent, despite learning the language through reading about it, and his regal demeanor reveals a love for a lavish lifestyle in many ways, yet in many ways he is off – including the extra-long canines Harker catches glimpses of.

Dracula had been a plague in Eastern Europe for time out of mind and so he set his sights on the innumerable citizens of England in the 19th Century. There he could be a king, stay young, and torment the people there if only the Harker and his brilliant fiance Mina had not been so close that she could put together what had happened to her beloved and how they must get together, with the famous Dr. Van Helsing, to destroy the Count once and for all.

The tale is truly one of a kind and so sensational, even to this day.

Reading the version Amaranthine put together makes for an all-time superb reading experience for this rare book.

And so both editions of the Amaranthine Books’ Dracula have a red velvety cloth binding that is so very satisfying and fun to hold in the hand.

The book is heavy! And it is lush, yet the older, stern glance of the Count looks out from the cover.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

I wish I had gotten one of the Scholomance Editions, because the book came in a coffin-like wooden box containing real Transylvanian soil from Bran Castle in Romania.

And what is more: the creators of the book actually wrote the title on the limitation page in their own blood!

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

That is incredibly macabre.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

Having to settle for my copy it still is encompassed in a coffin-like slipcase and comes with a stake to ward off the count, a hidden message within the case, and also was limited to a prominent number: 666 copies.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

Every facet, from the bat-black endpapers, to the vivid artwork that perfectly befits the story and is innovative and new and yet classic at the same time, adds up to a truly fantastic volume from the fine press befitting of one of the world’s greatest works of literature.

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

P.S. The next book from Amaranthine Books, Alice, is also out-of-this-world amazing, as it features more fine press innovations in binding construction and overall design aesthetic.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice Found There is presented in one book that is reversible for each novel along with a truly adept cover finely sewn into such an entrance to the world as you could ever hope to behold. Myriad fibers make up a trippy visual enigma tunneling you with Alice to Wonderland.

I have a numbered edition of this famous set of novellas, the Alice – Jabberwock Edition (limited to only 260 copies) on pre-order and I will certainly review it once it has been released and 60 days have passed.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read DRACULA!)


Want To Buy The Book, Dracula, from Amaranthine Books? Click Away!

dracula, bram stoker, amaranthine books, Dracula Transylvania Edition, horror, fine press

 

“Amaranthine Books incredulous limited Dracula by Bram Stoker” was written by R.J. Huneke.

Suntup Reforges A Classic In The Auctioneer By Joan Samson

Suntup Reforges A Classic In The Auctioneer By Joan Samson

Suntup reforges a classic in The Auctioneer by Joan Samson, the 1975 novel that sold over a million copies, went out of print for nearly forty years, and returned to trade publication in 2018.

Suntup Editions, The Auctioneer, Joan Samson, Suntup Editions, fine press, shirley jackson, the lottery

The Auctioneer is a chilling tale of suspense and a literary masterpiece, and Suntup Editions has truly given the book as wild and classy a design as is befitting the story of the Moore’s in Harlowe.

To say the spirit of Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer is vivacious in these pages is an understatement.

Here is the story synopsis from Suntup Editions, and the review continues below it.


One of the finest and bestselling horror novels of the 1970’s, Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer is a chilling masterpiece of terror. In an isolated New Hampshire farming community where little has changed over the past several decades, John Moore and his wife Mim do their best to maintain the family farm and live a modest, hardworking life. But from the moment the charismatic Perly Dunsmore arrives in town, soliciting donations for his auctions, the community of Harlowe slowly and insidiously starts to change. As the auctioneer carries out his terrible, inscrutable plan, the Moores and their neighbors will find themselves gradually but inexorably stripped of their freedom, their possessions, and perhaps even their lives.

Upon its release in 1975, The Auctioneer was received with wide acclaim. Newsday hailed it “a suspenseful, engrossing novel with the most gripping and violent ending we’ve encountered for some time.”

The Auctioneer By Joan Samson

First Published 1975


The level of creepiness seeps in more and more, page by page.

Suntup Editions, The Auctioneer, Joan Samson, Suntup Editions, fine press, shirley jackson, the lottery

And there is something extraordinary about holding the handmade Indiana Wheatstraw paper boards while reading this.

It is such a uniquely fun experience that speaks to the ingenuity of living on a steadily dwindling farmstead, and using the land to get by, or in this case to read the echoes of Harlowe’s rural inhabitants while smelling the sweet forest that gave us the leaves within the gorgeous book.

Suntup Editions, The Auctioneer, Joan Samson, Suntup Editions, fine press, shirley jackson, the lottery

And whatever printer printed this Suntup beauty, she smells sooo good (for all my book sniffers out there; you know who you are).

SPOILER ALERT** For The Following Review Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer.

Suntup Editions, The Auctioneer, Joan Samson, Suntup Editions, fine press, shirley jackson, the lottery

It is not a stretch to compare this book to Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”

The tale centers on the small family in the small town falling to imminent ruin thanks to a new resident auctioneer.

Percy Dunsmore is the name that Gore, the one-man police department gives to the protagonists in John and Mim Moore, their young daughter, Hildie, and John’s Ma.

Percy is a man with big ideas for a small town on the fringes of the Boston suburbs where the population boom is pushing crime and more vacationers their way.

Suntup Editions, The Auctioneer, Joan Samson, Suntup Editions, fine press, shirley jackson, the lottery

And his menace is instilled long before the reader ever meets him.

Gore explains that new sheriff deputies are needed – Percy’s idea, John Moore notes – and the auctioneer will be selling off donated goods to the new visiting out-of-towners at a healthy premium to bolster the town.

With a little homely nudging and imploring, Mim and John decide they have something they can do without and give them if it will help.

But every Thursday the demand for goods comes, and the new deputies remark with regret as to the accidents that start befalling any who refuse to give their weekly donation to the auction.

The writing style of Samson is tight and holds a remarkable voice all its own.

What do you do when your most prized possessions are taken out from under you under a tense threat?

What befalls the land, the cows, the children?

The maddening fright of the Moores in their plight, as the town around them is gutted, as they struggle to eat, and plan escape or an effective rebuttal is so realistic and so alarming that it carries a swelling anxiety that dials in on the reader more and more as the story continues.

The pacing is terrific and the suspense leaves you breathless.

And the book is written in a way that it could take place during any time frame in New England, as it represents interesting and intense characters in a small town we may not all be from, but we could all have visited or at least imagine.

The graceful description of the land, the pond, the pines, and the rustic interiors on the Moore’s farm all frame a fully fleshed world full of sounds and smells.

It feels so real.

At the halfway point, it seems anything can happen, any evil can come from the sharp smiling auctioneer for his private gain and any cost could be reaped to do so for the residents of Harlowe.

The madness of action sweeps over John Moore a few times, but he never succeeds in starting anything except a small fire that inspires the town.

The edginess that swallows the reader as his wife and mother wait for the deputies to come for the arsonist soon becomes a panic, as Mim continues to, despite boiling and scrubbing all of his clothes, smell gasoline in their kitchen.

The word that comes to mind as the town summons its inner fury, its Shirley Jackson-like “The Lottery” spirit, is realistic.

Crowd mentality is a real thing and the mayhem that ensues, and especially the wily fox’s getaway while the town lights its own on fire alive is the last thing I expected and quite spectacular.

The closing lines speaking of where the snowflakes fall is poignant and impactful.

Review of Suntup Numbered Limited Edition Of The Auctioneer

Suntup goes far beyond the fine press treatment with the three limited editions of The Auctioneer of which the numbered edition of 250 will be reviewed here.

Suntup Editions, The Auctioneer, Joan Samson, Suntup Editions, fine press, shirley jackson, the lottery

The original cover art by Wendell Minor is included along with new pieces from the cover artist of Stephen King’s novel Salem’s Lot, Dave Christensen, a forward from Ms. Samson’s widowed husband, Warren C. Carberg, Jr., and a preface by New York Times bestselling author and screenwriter Grady Hendrix.

And what is more, Paul Suntup, Rebecca (Ninja) and their team brought forth three magnificent limited editions in a stunning lettered and a gorgeous artist gift edition (AGE) featuring the brilliant original cover art by Wendell Minor.

As these have yet to ship, I will stick to the numbered edition of Samson’s The Auctioneer and the sheer fun in just holding this copy hits home.

To read of such a small-town American horror story and continually brush against the handmade Indiana Wheatstraw paper boards that are somewhat pebbled and smooth and rough at the same time is remarkable.

The layout, the font setting, the paper, the old-fashioned illustrations that almost seem cut from a wood panel made up of the same art with Grady’s cover art, are all perfect for this great novel.

The heart-wrenching opening from Joan’s widowed husband is moving beyond words.

The careful thought and attention to every detail of this work has once again shown the shine of Suntup Editions.

This is a truly befitting homage and work of art to house such a work of art as was the great Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read ’em and buy ’em)!


And if you feel you missed out, the AGE of The Auctioneer is not yet sold out – get it here: https://suntup.press/the-auctioneer

 

“Suntup Reforges A Classic In The Auctioneer By Joan Samson” was written by R.J. Huneke.