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Previous SFF Author: Todd McCaffrey

SFF Author: Robert McCammon

Robert McCammon
Robert McCammon received a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Alabama in 1974. After graduation, he wrote advertising copy for Birmingham businesses and newspapers. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and daughter. Despite this strong association with the South, its history and traditions played little substantial role in his early work but have become evident in later novels. Learn more at Robert McCammon’s website or the Matthew Corbett website.



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Baal: Exploring early McCammon

Baal by Robert McCammon

The first Robert McCammon book I ever read was Swan Song, a post-apocalyptic horror story about the choices people make when there are no rules. Baal, published in 1978 and reissued by Subterranean Press, explores many of the same themes. I expected this book would have some historical interest for me, as a look back at how a mature writer got his start. To my surprise I found compelling writing and a character I cared about.


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Bethany’s Sin: Dated but emotionally compelling

Bethany’s Sin by Robert McCammon

Robert McCammon originally published Bethany’s Sin in 1980. Subterranean Press is reissuing it just in time for Halloween. This horror novel covered familiar territory even in 1980, with its “perfect little village with a dark secret,” but McCammon’s good characterization managed to make it fresh, and there are a few twists along the way.

The book opens with an archeological dig in Turkey, where an unnamed woman makes an extraordinary discovery. The next section deals with an American soldier,


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The Night Boat: A fine piece of horror fiction

The Night Boat by Robert R. McCammon

The Night Boat was Robert R. McCammon’s third published novel, first appearing in 1980. Now Subterranean Press has brought it back as a (sold out) limited edition, and also made it available in e-book format for the first time. It betrays some of the faults of a then-new writer, but also has considerable power in its portrayal of Nazi submariners, as terrifying 35 years after the end of World War II as they were in the days when they lurked in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean — if not more so.


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The Wolf’s Hour: Still vivid after 20 years

The Wolf’s Hour by Robert McCammon

As the Allied forces plan for D-Day, rumors surface within covert operations that the Nazis may have a final, deadly ace in the hole. With so much depending on the Allied invasion, the very best agent must be sent deep into enemy territory to thwart whatever it is that the Nazis have in store. What makes this British spy so special is that Michael Gallatin is a werewolf.

The Wolf’s Hour was originally published just over two decades ago and I read the mass market paperback way back then.


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The Hunter From the Woods: Mediocre compared to McCammon’s other work

The Hunter From the Woods by Robert McCammon

Robert McCammon’s werewolf WWII British spy, Michael Gallatin, is back in a collection of short stories that surround the events in McCammon’s best-selling book, The Wolf’s Hour:

  • “The Great White Way” — Young Michael Gallatin has left the Russian forests and his pack. He finds refuge with a gypsy circus but is soon entrapped in a deadly love triangle.
  • “The Man from London” — Michael has been adopted by a small Russian village.

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I Travel by Night: Relish the work of a master of dark fiction

I Travel By Night by Robert McCammon

Trevor Lawson is a vampire, made by a scavenger on a Civil War battlefield. Now, more than 20 years since he was turned, he continues to fight his nature as hard as he can. It is becoming progressively more difficult for him to look at a crucifix or suffer even the indirect rays of the sun. But he nonetheless battles other vampires, even as the silver of his bullets burns his fingers as he loads his gun.

Those other vampires — the Dark Society — want him dead.


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The Listener: An exciting and emotional drama with a great setting

The Listener by Robert McCammon

Robert McCammon’s The Listener (2018), a finalist for this year’s Locus Award for Best Horror Novel, takes us to New Orleans during the Great Depression. There we meet:

  • Pearly, a good-looking huckster selling over-priced fakely-engraved Bibles to poor and grieving widows
  • Ginger LaFrance, a sexy and completely unscrupulous grifter who is tired of her current partner in crime and ready to choose a new one
  • Donny, Ginger’s violent and crazy nephew
  • Curtis Mayhew,

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Magazine Monday: Nightmare, June 2013

Issue 9 of Nightmare opens with “The House on Cobb Street” by Lynda E. Rucker. There is a long italicized quotation from a purported learned treatise about the house at the top of the story, reciting the history of so-called Cobb Street Horror, but noting that the witnesses have refused to speak to the author. Another italicized segment comes from the blog of Perry “Pear Tree” Parry, referring to a video of Felicia Barrow, speaking of Vivian Crane, who has disappeared. The entire story has the aura of a scholarly piece,


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Magazine Monday: Nightmare Magazine, August 2013

Matthew Cheney’s “How Far to Englishman’s Bay” leads off the eleventh issue of Nightmare Magazine. Max, the protagonist, impulsively decides to close up his bookshop and permanently leave his home on the day he turns 50. Max drives miles away from his home, finally deciding he’s lost and stopping to ask directions. It’s here that his story has its denouement in an odd bit of horror that seems unrelated to what went before, all the detail about his leaving, its effect on a friend, giving away his cat, gathering snacks — a full half of the tale.


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Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury: Four great stories make it easy to recommend

Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller & Mort Castle

Thanks to our recent book chats here, I’ve reread a bit of Ray Bradbury lately, so I was well primed to pick up the 2012 tribute anthology edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, entitled Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, which collects 26 contemporary authors who were asked to write a story inspired or informed by Bradbury. The task was sufficiently non-restrictive that the stories run a gamut of style and type: horror,


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Next SFF Author: Cormac McCarthy
Previous SFF Author: Todd McCaffrey

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