Saturday, September 26, 2020

Midnight Horror Show by Ben Lathrop

Release date: September 25, 2020
Subgenre: Horror

About Midnight Horror Show:


It’s end of October 1985 and the crumbling river town of Dubois, Iowa is shocked by the gruesome murder of one of the pillars of the community. Detective David Carlson has no motive, no evidence, and only one lead: the macabre local legend of “Boris Orlof,” a late night horror movie host who burned to death during a stage performance at the drive-in on Halloween night twenty years ago and the teenage loner obsessed with keeping his memory alive.

The body count is rising and the darkness that hangs over the town grows by the hour. Time is running out as Carlson desperately chases shadows into a nightmare world of living horrors.

On Halloween the drive-in re-opens at midnight for a show no one will ever forget.

Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from The Darkest Depths.




Tuesday, October 22, 1985

A searing white flash of sound burned my dream away. In an instant, nothing remained but shadows and dread and shame. I’d swatted at my clock radio out of instinct, but the noise didn’t stop. As my brain struggled to catch up, I crawled over to the edge of the bed and read 4:21 a.m. in radium painted numbers. The dark of my room felt darker than it should, and there was a smell in the air I didn’t like. I picked up the telephone receiver from the edge of the nightstand.
“Dave,” a familiar voice on the other end said gently. “We need you at 19 Halverson as soon as you can.”
I looked at the clock again, and rubbed at the gunk that had settled in the corners of my eyes. “Okay, Chief.”
“Leave your radio off… It’s a bad one, Dave.”
The line went dead and I hung up the receiver. I stumbled over to the shower in the dark and dunked my head under running water for a minute and then ran a comb through my hair and dug around for a clean looking shirt and pair of pants. I eased my shoulder rig on, holstered my .38, and then finished getting dressed before I headed out.
I carried my shoes with me down the stairs and put them on when I made it to the porch. My landlady lived on the ground floor of the house and I didn’t want to wake her if I could help it. I slid into my car, an unmarked ’78 Caprice, and reached for the radio to call in before I remembered the chief's instructions.
With a little coaxing, the Caprice started and I eased it into the street. The car had been new when I was assigned as the head of the Investigative Unit, a storied and illustrious law enforcement team that, to date, had been a one man operation since the chief created it that same year. Wisps of fog snaked off the pavement as I made my way towards Black Hawk Road. The sun wouldn’t be up for a couple of hours.
The Amoco station sign flickered to life as I drove past, casting long shadows across the parking lot of the Sirloin Stockade. The streets were deserted; shift change at the IFI meat processing plant wouldn’t be for another two hours. Around then, you’d see a few more cars headed to the plant, but not as many driving away. After a night of turning livestock into groceries, most of those guys stopped off at the Rail Spike Tap for an hour or two before heading home. Place is a dump, but it’s cheap and right by the plant. My first week in town, I went in there early to serve a bench warrant to the owner. First thing I saw was one fella face down on the floor and another guy, covered in blood up to his armpits, standing over him. I drew my weapon immediately and told him to put his hands on his head. He could barely do it without falling over. The rest of the bar’s early morning patrons had a good laugh, and that’s when I noticed none of them had bothered to wash up after clocking out either. “Welcome to Dubois,” they said.




About Ben Lathrop: 

 Ben Lathrop has written and taught on the history of cinema with a focus on the horror genre and cult audience behavior. He is a native Iowan, former television horror host and present librarian. He lives with his family in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for September 25, 2020


It's time for the latest weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with the various iterations of Star Trek, Lovecraft Country, Enola Holmes, Raised by Wolves, season 11 of Archer, the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award and much more.

Speculative fiction in general:

Film and TV:

Comments on Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek in general:

Comments on Lovecraft Country
Comments on Raised by Wolves:  

Writing, publishing and promotion:

Classics reviews:

Con and event reports:


Odds and ends: 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Salvation (Sanctuary, Book 3) by Caryn Lix


Release date: August 4, 2020

Subgenre:  YA Science Fiction


About Salvation:


When Kenzie and her friends find themselves trapped on a strange planet, they must risk everything to save themselves and Earth in this thrilling final book in the addictive Sanctuary trilogy!

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

These are the words Kenzie has always lived by. The problem is, she’s fallen down too many times to count.

Kenzie and her friends have already escaped two vicious alien attacks—not to mention the corporate bounty hunters sent to capture them. They’re haunted by the friends they’ve lost and the hard choices they’ve had to make in this war they never asked for.

And now, thanks to superpowers she received from the very aliens she’s fighting, Kenzie has stranded everyone on a strange planet with no way off. She just wanted a safe place from the monstrous creatures terrorizing her world, but this new planet has dangers of its own, and Kenzie will have to uncover its secrets if she has any hope of ever making it home again.

Sacrifice is nothing new for Kenzie. She’ll do anything—anything—to destroy the aliens that killed both of her parents. But how can Kenzie save Earth if she can’t even save the people she loves?




I was getting used to running. From aliens, from bounty hunters, from underground criminals -- when it came to escaping, I was something of an expert by now, even if I didn't always manage the most graceful exits. So you wouldn’t think plodding through a desert would be all that difficult, even if it was on an alien planet.

            But we were hitting the point where I’d almost welcome an alien, or the sounds of bullets, or anything to break up the sweltering, tedious trudge. My clothes, sticky with sweat, clung to my body, and loose strands of my hair matted to my face. We didn’t have any water, and no one had spoken in maybe an hour, not even Reed, our resident wisecracker. We were all too parched. I almost laughed at the irony. Somehow, after everything we’d survived, we just might die after all, and it wouldn’t be alien claws or Omnistellar bullets that did us in. It would be the sun.

            Better still, it was my fault we were stranded here. Of course, I hadn’t had much choice. The ship we were on was about to explode, thanks to my father activating the self-destruct system. It was either teleport us out or explode with it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t direct my own teleportation power. It wasn’t even mine, technically. It was borrowed from Liam, a treacherous alien with superpowers of his own. Because apparently, borrowing powers was something I did now.

            I brushed a piece of heavy wet hair out of my face and peered at the city in the distance. Hours of walking, and the stupid thing wasn’t even a glimmer closer than it was when we started. When a flash of light appeared over the city, we’d set off at a near jog, clinging to Cage’s assertion that our friends must have caused the light. Now, hours later, we’d slowed to a trudge.

            The flash could have been anything. Lightning. Other people. There was no reason to believe it was my friends. It was still entirely possible I’d dropped people I cared about somewhere in space and left them to die.

            My heart sank. Yeah, the others had pressed me into using my borrowed power. Sure, we’d have died if we’d stayed where we were.

            But at least it wouldn’t have been my fault.

            That knowledge tore my insides to shreds. So many people had died since I opened my eyes that fateful morning just a few weeks ago, the day I was taken hostage: most of the prisoners I’d been responsible for, my parents, my friends. The idea that I might have abandoned even more of these friends somewhere in space…

            No. I tightened my shoulders, refusing to give the thought purchase. If determination counted for anything, my friends were here somewhere. I would find them, and they would be all right. I simply wouldn’t allow things to work out any other way.

            The sun had moved all the way across the sky while we walked and was now slipping below the horizon. We were going to find our friends here. I wouldn’t let myself consider any other possibility. But even I had to admit it wasn’t likely to be anytime soon.


Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple | Chapters/Indigo | Indiebound


About Caryn Lix:

Caryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people's stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta.


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