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Tim Waggoner

Tim WaggonerTim Waggoner teaches composition and creative writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. He also writes science fiction, horror, and thrillers and he contributes to the Dragonlance, Eberron, and Nightmare on Elm Street series. Learn more at Tim Waggoner’s website.

Nekropolis: Mildly enjoyable

Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner

At first blush, Tim Waggoner’s Nekropolis seems derivative. A dark city where the sun never shines? Check. A central bar with an enigmatic bartender? Check. Predatory traffic and a strange sentient vehicle? Check. Vampires, ghouls, zombies and demons? Check. An outsider detective? Check again. Surely I’m reading one of Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE books — oh, no, wait. This is something else.

Waggoner may just be the victim of bad timing. In his Afterword, he writes about how long he spent developing the ideas for Nekropolis. Green’s Nightside beat Waggoner’s original Five Star Press publication into print by less than a year, so the similarities may be coincidental.

Once I got past the strong feeling of dé... Read More

The 2012 Shirley Jackson Award Nominated Novellas

The Shirley Jackson Awards will be handed out in just less than two weeks, at Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts. This is the third of three columns about the short fiction nominees, this column covering the novellas; the short stories are discussed here, and the novelettes are discussed here (now updated to include a discussion of Jeffrey Ford’s wonderful novella, “The Last Triangle” from the Ellen Datlow Read More

Magazine Monday: Black Static, Issue 36

“No Kill, No Pay” by Jacob A. Boyd gets the September/October issue of Black Static off to a roaring start. Howard is a member of a high-pressure sales firm of some sort (we never get the details) that is ruled by five partners. This year, Howard has been invited to join the five in a hunt they take in the Yukon each year. They give Howard no details except that the hunt ends after the first kill. Howard believes that if he can prove himself in the hunt, he will be made a partner. About that, he isn’t wrong. About everything else, he is. This grim tale may make you think of Laird Barron, given the Alaskan setting and the hunt as the focus of the tale. Boyd writes well, telling a gripping story with a satisfactory, if unexpected, finish.

Stephen Bacon follows with “Apports,” another worthy tale. Cowan... Read More

Evil Jester Digest, Volume 2: A horror anthology

Evil Jester Digest, Volume 2 edited by Peter Giglio

Editor Peter Giglio explains in his introduction to Evil Jester Digest, Volume 2, that there are two ways to assemble an anthology: send out a call for submissions and read through the piles and piles of stories you’ll get as a result; or seek out exactly those authors you’d like to have in your anthology. In Volume I of Evil Jester Digest, Giglio took the first course, but in this volume he asked the writers he wanted to sell him stories. The result is a clean, tight anthology filled with good stories.

Evil Jester Digest opens with “No More Shadows” by Tim Waggoner. Dan is slowly driving around the parking lot of an electronics store, talking on his cellphone to his ex-wife, practically begging to be... Read More

More fantasy novels by Tim Waggoner

Godfire — (2006 ) Publisher: In Athymar, one of the Nine Known Lands, every man, woman, and child passes out at the same moment. When they wake up they soon discover that they are all imbued with godly powers, some minor, some major. Unknown to the land’s inhabitants, the gods of Light and Darkness, Rudra and Anghrist and the human armies that sided with them, met on the ancient battlefield of Heart’s Wound. The gods apparently destroyed each other and their powers were scattered amongst the human citizenry of Athymar. At the behest of the queen, a party is formed in the capital city of Pendara consisting of former warrior Tarian Ambrus, his son Phelan, the Esylken warrior Ashur Dal, the swordswoman Danya, and the wizard Cynric. The party is tasked with traveling to the battlefield of Heart’s Wound in order to investigate what happened to cause such a dramatic change in the land and what, if anything, can be done to restore Athymar to normalcy.

Tim Waggoner Godfire 1. The Orchard of Dreams 2. Heart's WoundTim Waggoner Godfire 1. The Orchard of Dreams 2. Heart's Wound



Tim Waggoner The Harmony Society The Harmony Society — (2003) Publisher: Reality and nightmare. Past and present. Sanity and madness. For Nathan Bennett, there is no longer any difference between them – not since the Harmony Society came into his life. Now, as his world begins to collapse around him, Nathan must travel the strange and dangerous roads of the Nightway in search of the Dark Angel — a being of great power that the Harmony Society desperately wishes to control. But even if Nathan reaches the Angel first, what waits for him at the end of his long, dark road: salvation… damnation… Or both?

Like Death Tim WaggonerLike Death — (2005) Publisher: Scott Raymond is a man haunted by his past and terrorized in the present. As a young boy, he witnessed the brutal murder of his family, but there is so much of the gruesome tragedy that he simply cannot remember — including the identity of the killer or why Scott alone was spared. The memories won’t come, but the trauma won’t go away. Scott is an adult now, still emotionally scarred but learning to deal with it. He has come to Ash Creek to write about a different mystery, a six-year-old girl named Miranda who has disappeared in broad daylight one year ago. Here, Scott meets another girl named Miranda, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the one who’s missing — but this one’s a teenager. She will draw Scott into the bizarre hidden world known as Shadow. A world where nightmares are very real… and very deadly.

Tim Waggoner Pandora Drive  Pandora Drive — (2006) Publisher: There are no words for it. Ecstasy is laughably inadequate, as are rapture, euphoria, bliss…. Ugly, harsh syllables that come nowhere near capturing the merest fraction of what he feels. The experience is primal and transcendent, like birth, like death. Scott Raymond lost his parents in a bloodbath when he was only nine years old, but despite the occasional headaches and hallucinations, he’s managed to turn that trauma into moderate success as a true crime writer. The success doesn’t extend to keeping up the relationship with his estranged wife and son, however. Hoping to regain a sense of normal family life, he follows them to Ash Creek, Ohio under the pretense of writing a new book about a missing six-year-old girl. There, he encounters a young woman who shares the missing girl’s name. She leads Scott into a world of psychotropic spiders, shark-toothed teenagers and the expression of nearly every dark desire. Fear and fascination lay equal claim as the nightmare fantasies of this realm bleed into Scott’s daily life and his attempts to maintain a relationship with his son. Soon, he will need to use this world of cruelty and pain to face his past, his future, and what his life might have become. If he fails, it is only a matter of time before the nightmare that bloodied his childhood will reach out to ensnare his own son.

Tim Waggoner The Harmony Society, Darkness Wakes Darkness Wakes — (2006) Publisher: In the small town of Ptolemy, darkness is a living thing. A powerful thing. Its home is in the shadows of a bizarre, hidden club named Penumbra, where it is worshipped by followers who need the pleasure it gives them. They are addicted to it. They live for it. And they kill for it. When Aaron was first introduced to Penumbra, he thought it was just a secret club where members could indulge their kinkier fantasies. Bit by bit, as he learned the club’s true purpose, he began to change in subtle, horrible ways. Now it’s time for Aaron to prepare his first human sacrifice to the waiting darkness. It’s too late for him to back out now, but murder is the least of Penumbra’s sins. The true terror is still to come when… Darkness Wakes.

Tim Waggoner The Harmony Society, Darkness Wakes, Beneath the Bones (aka Cross County) Beneath the Bones (aka Cross County) — (2008) Publisher: When Joanne Talon was a child, she disappeared for six days. She returned without any memory of where she’d been and what happened to her during that time. Not long after that, four people were viciously murdered without apparent motive by Carl “the Cutter” Coulter. Carl cut their throats and then carved a bizarre symbol — a triangle bisected by a bolt of lightning — into their abdomens. Now Joanne is Sheriff of Cross County, Ohio, and Carl Coulter is dead, executed for his crimes eight years ago. But the killings begin again: throats slashed, Carl’s signature symbol carved into the victims’ stomachs. Joanne, with the help of reporter Dale Ramsey, must discover who’s copying Carl’s crimes and why. To make matters worse, the murders have drawn the attention of the sinister Cross family, who’ve ruled the county that bears their name for the last two centuries. The Crosses have their own reasons for wanting the murders stopped. Their land holds secrets… ancient, dark, and buried deep. And the Crosses intend to make sure they stay that way.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Way of All Flesh — (2014) Publisher: In a world where zombies battle the living, which is more terrifying? David is trapped in a nightmarish version of his hometown, pursued by crimson-eyed demons and insane cannibals, with no idea how he got there. At every turn he’s taunted by a mysterious youth named Simon who knows far more than he lets on. David’s sister, Kate, fights for survival in a word decimated by flesh-eating zombies – and her brother’s one of them. She’s determined to put a bullet in David’s brain to set him free. Nicholas Kemp is a human monster, a born killer. But in a world ruled by the living dead, he’s no longer the most feared predator, and he’ll do whatever it takes to become that again. He plans to start by killing Kate.