Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Month: October 2023


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Fingers of Fear: In Ormes’ way

Fingers of Fear by J.U. Nicolson

This will hardly be the first time that I have mentioned editor/author Karl Edward Wagner, and his so-called KEW 39 list, in one of my reviews here. But ever since 1983, when the list first appeared in the pages of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, it has been used as a guide of sorts by horror readers in search of something different. Those 39 novels were divided amongst three categories: The 13 Best Supernatural Horror Novels, The 13 Best Science-Fiction Horror Novels,


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Two Frightening Films Starring William Shatner

Born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1931, William Shatner, over the course of the last nine decades, has managed to carve out for himself a reputation that surely borders on the legendary. Whether playing the youngest captain in Star Fleet history, a cop, a lawyer, or any of the other dozens of roles he has essayed over the years, Shatner has always been one of the most entertaining of all actors to watch, no matter if he is playing it straight or engaging in some of his well-loved overemoting. And, the man has succeeded in pulling off the double hat trick – plus two – of having appeared in no fewer than eight of my favorite television shows of the 1960s: Route 66,


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A Witchy Double Feature

Is there any figure more commonly associated with the Halloween season than the good ol’ witch? I think not. Or perhaps I should more properly say, “the wicked ol’ witch,” as not many witches that we tend to encounter during the Shocktober season are of the Samantha Stevens variety, to put it mildly! Below, thus, you will find a pair of films dealing with witches of the nastier ilk; a pair of films that might make for a perfect double feature one dark and stormy October night…

WOMAN WHO CAME BACK (1945)

In the little-seen 1945 chiller Woman Who Came Back (not,


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No One Will Come Back For Us: A sampling of one of the best writers around

No One Will Come Back For Us by Premee Mohamed

Premee Mohamed is one of the best writers around, and her first short story collection, 2023’s No One Will Come Back For Us is a great way to get to know her work. Seventeen stories give a good overview of her style—I should say styles, because she’s versatile—and her themes. If you like Lovecraftian elder gods, alternate history, dark science fiction or gothic tales set in elegant, decadent worlds of decay and corruption, check this one out.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

“Below the Kirk,


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Psychic Killer: Show me the fireball!

Psychic Killer directed by Ray Danton

We’ve all heard the expression “if looks could kill,” but how about thoughts? What if it were possible to kill somebody, no matter the distance, using the power of the mind to manipulate objects? Well, that is precisely the setup of Ray Danton’s 1975 horror outing Psychic Killer, an undeniably shlocky yet undeniably fun exercise in out-of-body homicide. In the film, we meet a 33-year-old mental patient named Arnold Masters (Jim Hutton, father of Timothy, 42 here in his final film), who repeatedly declares his innocence of the charge of murdering his dying mother’s doctor (his mother had had no health insurance,


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Our favorite spooky houses (GIVEAWAY!)

Houses are a staple of the spooky season. Whether the house is infested with ghosts and no more to blame than one with a termite problem, acting with intent (evil or otherwise), or not actually a house at all but a maze, portal, or mouth, they loom large in the landscape of spooky prose and spooky films.

Bill, Sandy, and I decided to take a look at a few of our favorites. Today’s spotlight—or at least our high-tech ghost-hunting apparatus—is trained on houses, in books and movies. They are listed in (roughly) alphabetical order.

One commenter will get a hardback edition of Alix E.


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A Quartet Of Grisly Gialli, Volume 4

For the fourth and final time this Shocktober season, I would like to shine a light on the giallo films that were so very popular in Europe during the 1970s and early ‘80s. Today’s gathering features a trio of very unusual examples of the genre, as well as one typically head-scratching offering. But each one of them, need I even mention, would make for perfect viewing fare one evening this Halloween season…

IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH (1970)

Viewers who sit down to watch Sergio Bergonzelli’s 1970 offering, In the Folds of the Flesh,


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WWWednesday: October 25, 2023

This week’s column will be very short!

The Hugo winners were announced Saturday, October 21, at the Chengdu WorldCon. Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, was awarded Best Novel for Nettle and Bone. Seanan McGuire’s Where the Drowned Girls Go took the award for best novella. Best novelette was awarded to “The Space-Time Painter” by Hai Ya, and Samantha Mills’s “Rabbit Test” won for best short story.

The Ignyte Awards were also announced.


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Five Horror Anthologies From Amicus

When most people think of the British horror film, they probably – almost invariably – think of Hammer Studios, and for good reason; Hammer was indeed something of a relentless factory when it came to producing well-crafted horror fare in the late 1950s to early ‘70s. But the studio did have its rivals, one of the foremost of those being Amicus Productions. Formed by two American producer/screenwriters, Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg, the studio was active from 1962 till 1977, and was responsible for such wonderful horror fare as The Skull (1965), Scream and Scream Again (1970),


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The Birds: Book vs. film

The Birds by Frank Baker

In 1963, Alfred Hitchcock, following the cinematic marvels Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959) and Psycho (1960), brought to the screen his fourth masterpiece in a row, The Birds. That latter film, I had long believed, was based on a short story from 1952 by London-born author Daphne du Maurier, also called “The Birds,” and indeed, at the very beginning of the 1963 film a title card does tell us “From the story by Daphne du Maurier.” It is only recently,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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