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Jesse Bullington

Jesse BullingtonJesse Bullington spent the bulk of his formative years in rural Pennsylvania, the Netherlands, and Tallahassee, Florida. He is a folklore enthusiast who holds a bachelor’s degree in History and English Literature from Florida State University. He currently resides in Colorado. Learn more at Jesse Bullington’s website.
Jesse Bullington also writes under the pseudonym Alex Marshall.

Justin has a talk with Jesse Bullington

Joining me today is the highly acclaimed author, Jesse Bullington. Jesse's first book, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart was a critical success, and you would be hard-pressed to find a book with a more divisive response from reviewers. Personally, I adored the book, so I've been itching to talk with Jesse for quite some time. His new book, The Enterprise of Death was released last week and it was the perfect time to catch up with him. Jesse also plans to stop by to answer any questions you may have, so be sure to make a comment or two. Orbit has also been nice enough to offer a Read More

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart: Every oozing boil is lovingly described

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington

Jesse Bullington's debut novel is a difficult one to review, not because of plot or character, but because of the general style in which it is written. Plainly speaking; it's pretty gross. Full of pus, vomit, blood, urine, gore, snot and other bodily fluids, The Brothers Grossbart isn't short on content that will make you screw up your nose in disgust. Yet dismissing this novel for its ability to make you cringe is a bit like going to a Quentin Tarantino movie and complaining about the violence. That's the whole point.

Set in the fourteenth century, Hegel and Manfried are brothers that take over the family business of grave robbing, with plans to travel to Gyptland to seek their fortunes there. They traverse the countryside from the mountains of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East at a t... Read More

The Enterprise of Death: Pushes vileness to a whole new level

The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington

CLASSIFICATION: Like The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, The Enterprise of Death is a hard-to-classify fusion of folklore, historical fiction, fantasy, horror and black comedy in the vein of the Brothers Grimm, Clive Barker, Chuck Palahniuk, Warren Ellis and a bit of Joe Abercrombie. In this case, the historical-influenced setting is centered on the Spanish Inquisition, the Italian Wars and the Protestant Reformation during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Actual historical figures, items and events woven into the novel include Boabdil’s exi... Read More

The Folly of the World: Bullington’s best work to date

The Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington

In a flooded 15th century Holland there are very few opportunities available. Jan may have an amazing opportunity at a life full of riches, but it's hidden somewhere at the bottom of a flooded town. To reach his greedy goal in the dark moldy depths, Jan enlists the help of a wild young girl with a knack for swimming. Add Jan's slightly psychotic but ever-faithful partner Sander to the mix and you have yourself a watery adventure with a cast to remember.

In both of his previous books, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and The Enterprise of Death, Jesse Bullington went to great lengths to defy our expectations in every way. His characters were immoral, his language was foul, his violence was graphic, and his subject matter was often nauseating.

His fans will be pleased to know that The Folly of the World Read More

Magazine Monday: Adventure Fantasy and Literary Fantasy

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is a bi-weekly online magazine that publishes literary adventure fantasy. Each issue contains two stories. Each issue is available for free online, or can be downloaded to an e-reader for a mere $.99. I read the two issues published in February 2011 for this column, but there are already two March issues available. Fortunately, past issues are available in all formats. In addition, Beneath Ceaseless Skies has published two “best of” anthologies.

Issue #63, published on February 24, 2011, contains “The Ghost of Shinoda Forest” by Richard Parks. Its first-person narrator, Lord Yamada, meets Kenji, a “reprobate priest,” in the forest of the title, near the remains of Enfusa Temple. Oddly enough, Lord Yamada has not been drinking sake, and doesn’t even want to, which Kenji finds somewhat frightening. But apparently something in Yamada is keeping him off the sauce and ha... Read More

Schemers: Stories of complex plans and gut wrenching betrayals

Schemers by Robin D. Laws (editor)

Schemers is a collection of short stories by an excellent list of authors: Jesse Bullington, Tobias Buckell, Ekaterina Sedia, Jonathan L. Howard, Nick Mamatas, Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Tania Hershman, Kyla Lee Ward, Robyn Seale, Laura Lush, Molly Tanzer, John Helfers, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer.  These are stories of complex plans and gut wrenching betrayals. It is a great theme for a collection of short stories. I've been struggl... Read More

The New Gothic: A horror anthology

The New Gothic edited by Beth K. Lewis

The New Gothic, an anthology of twelve stories, is edited by Beth K. Lewis and published by Stone Skin Press. It’s a good collection, worth reading.

Gothic horror usually counts on a mounting sense of dread and/or disgust to carry the reader, rather than shock or terror. The fear comes on more slowly, with that faint tickle at the back of your neck, and at its best, a gothic tale creates a sense of otherworldliness, where the characters, and the readers, begin to doubt their own senses. A gothic tale is more likely to rely on a dilapidated house or a dark stretch of forest than gore, dismemberment or mayhem to pack its emotional punch.

The word “New” in the title is a bit of false advertising. None of these stories moves too far from the familiar conventions of the sub-genre. On one hand, it would be difficult to write a... Read More

Cthuthlu Fhtagn!: Variety is the spice of the Elder Gods

Cthuthlu Fhtagn! edited by Ross Lockhart

Usually, I shy away from reviewing books whose name I can’t pronounce. Since this title is in the language of the Elder Gods, though, it’s probably better that I can’t pronounce it. Aklo, H.P. Lovecraft’s mystical language, was never meant for human voices to speak anyway, as editor Ross Lockhart explains in his introduction. Lockhart also informs us that the meaning of “Fhtagn” was given to him in a dream (presumably by the Old Ones) and it means “house.” Anyway, Cthuhlu Fhtagn! is the third Cthulhu-themed anthology Word Horde has done, and Lockhart is now getting mystical information while he sleeps… I’d keep an eye on him, if I were you.

Cthulhu Fhtagn!
has 19 stories. Many, but not all, do involve buildings; al... Read More