Classic Horror Oracle

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the Classic Horror Oracle deck by Chronicle Books LLC in exchange for an honest review.

An exterior of the box.

In the world of divination and self-discovery, oracle decks have long been cherished tools for tapping into the perceived cosmic energies that surround us. From paintings of angelic guides to art of mythical creatures and the symbols of the natural world, these decks provide believers with insight, guidance, and a touch of entertainment. They are also great collectibles for art fans! As fandoms have also grown in popular consciousness, oracle and tarot decks both have taken a turn for the pop cultural!

Enter the Classic Horror Oracle with art by Ricardo Diseño for fans of horror who want to peer into their own inner lives. For those who dare to venture into the macabre and uncanny world of horror movies ranging from the classic (The Wolfman, Cat People, Bride of Frankenstein, etc.) to the modern (Get Out, Babadook, Ringu), this deck is a fantastic option. Imagine drawing cards that feature haunting scenes, eerie characters, and chilling symbols inspired by some of the most iconic horror films!

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Horror Library: Volume 8

In the latest addition to the acclaimed series of anthologies in Horror Library: Volume 8, editor Eric J. Guignard further builds his reputation for highlighting some of the best fiction in horror, choosing works from both established and early-career authors alike.

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Horror Book Reviews: May 2023

Summer drags on in the South, starting early and leaving late. Shockingly, this year it started late, dragging on with violent spring and summer thunderstorms which set the perfect atmosphere for reading horror. And boy did I read horror over the last few months! I’ll slowly be releasing small horror book reviews for those I’ve read since the start of May. 

Today, we start with four more popular releases for horror and darker fantasy. My May reads: Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie, Sister Maiden Monster by Lucy A. Snyder, Chlorine by Jade Song, and Luda by Grant Morrison.

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The Unofficial Horror Movie Coloring Book by Vernieda Vergara and Andy Price

DISCLOSURE: Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of The Unofficial Horror Movie Coloring Book by Vernieda Vergara and illustrated by Andy Price for review.

I have to admit when I was contacted about a review from Simon and Schuster, I didn’t expect a coloring book to be put in my hands. While I certainly am one of those folks caught up in the adult coloring craze, it’s not something I often find myself looking for, especially horror wise. I’ve seen a handful of good horror movie coloring books, but the majority just don’t tickle my fancy.

I would like to say, fully genuinely, that The Unofficial Horror Movie Coloring Book by Vernieda Vergara and illustrated by Andy Price is the artistically best horror coloring book I’ve ever seen. The illustrations by Andy Price are incredible, to the point that I almost felt bad coloring them! They are highly graphical, wonderfully blocked out, and wholly unique to anything I personally have seen put out in a horror movie coloring book. Check out three of the images below the cut.

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Genre Deep-Dives

The Grotesque Gourmand: Consumption as Horror

Content warning: The following article deals with discussion of food, food tampering, and disordered eating. While this is mostly stated within the context of fictional horror, some deals with reality, and if you believe this article will trigger any intense emotional response that you wish to avoid, please feel free to leave at this point and browse the rest of the site for articles that may interest you more. The article also contains discussion of real life serial murders, including child victims. Reader discretion is advised.

The Ingredients

The first ingredient is intimacy.

When one states food is intimate, we might envision candlelight dinners or even chocolate strawberries with whipped cream. We trust the other person with the joy and necessity of our consumption. We trust them with our vulnerability.

We trust them not to betray that.

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Extinction Hymns by Eric Raglin

Living up to its name, Extinction Hymns, a collection of haunting speculative fiction by Eric Raglin, threads a melody of personal extinction across stories, from a man who loses everything and only making ends meet by exploiting the dead, to relying on the dead themselves for hope of nourishment in a world laid waste by climate change.

On top of being an accomplished anthology editor (I can’t recommend Shredded: A Sports and Fitness Body Horror Anthology enough), Raglin shows the same passion and dedication to his writing, every step of the way. Characters across the stories in Extinction Hymns are emotionally nuanced, tragic, beautiful, and trying to make do with what they have. Raglin also does not hesitate to explore the depraved side of human nature, driven by obsession and the inability to let go. This showcase of Raglin’s short fiction shows an author who sees the best in people, but also just as much accepts our losses and tragedy.

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Book Reviews

Dirty Heads by Aaron Dries

The following review will contain some minor spoilers for Dirty Heads: A novella of cosmic coming-of-age horror by Aaron Dries.

Warning: This book is an extreme horror and contains several potentially triggering subjects. Please be aware that this is not an easy read for someone with PTSD triggers.

Dirty Heads: A novella of cosmic coming-of-age horror by Aaron Dries doesn’t pull punches nor does it hold hands, but there’s a certain gentle heart to it that I don’t often find in extreme horror. I wasn’t expecting that going in and found myself pleasantly surprised. That doesn’t mean the novella’s story is gentle though–far from it. It earns the extreme horror label and thensome, featuring buckets of blood and viscera that made me squirm.

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Genre Deep-Dives, Literary History

A Queer History of the Splatterpunk Movement


Initially dubbed by David J Schow at the World Fantasy Convention in Providence, the splatterpunk movement officially burst onto the scene in the mid-1980s. While the term splatter had been an existent horror term (credited to film and media analyst John McCarty) since the days of bloody gore films from the likes of Hershell Gordon Lewis, the effort to capture this extreme sensationalism on the written page had never before formed such a concentrated artistic movement. The merit of such a movement was under hot debate, but the proponents of it determinedly plowed on until a first splatterpunk story compendium was published in 1990: Splatterpunks: Extreme Horror edited by Paul M. Sammon. 

Many established horror authors would criticize the movement as cheap and sensationalist. Several authors such as William F. Nolan and Charles L. Grant would censure the movement, and Robert Bloch (Psycho, Jaws) would state “there is a distinction to be made between that which inspires terror and that which inspires nausea”. Despite this, splatterpunk found its supporters. Critic Phillip Nutman would describe splatterpunk as “survivalist literature” which “reflects the moral chaos of our times”.

Sammon would follow this up the collection  with a sequel five years later, yet it seemed as if the movement was losing steam. While it helped popularize the works of notable horror authors now lauded in the modern horror canon—Clive Barker, Jack Ketchum, and Poppy Z. Brite, for example—it seems that the term extreme horror is now preferred for the movement with splatterpunk only referring to the awards for extreme horror or the works which came out of the movement itself. This doesn’t mean that extreme horror and splatterpunk still aren’t making history, however.

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Genre Deep-Dives, Interviews

An Interview With Sam Richard of Weirdpunk Books

If you’re in any indie horror space online, you’re likely familiar with the haunting cover of Eric LaRocca’s Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. A sky-blue background, and an unassuming painting of a dark-haired woman whose eyes are smeared out of existence. The cover itself asks, “What have you done to deserve your eyes today?”

That legendary cover? That’s from the novella’s first publisher, Weirdpunk Books.

Sam Richard, helming Weirdpunk, takes on the unique challenge of publishing eviscerating horror novellas, striking a knife’s-edge balance between the pacing of a novel and the power of short stories. Under his dedication to detail, Weirdpunk Books has been a significant contributor to the renaissance of indie horror publishing, with titles like Joe Koch’s The Wingspan of Severed Hands, a surreal trip into dissonant realities; Sam’s own collection Grief Rituals, exploring the world through the ashes of grief and what comes after; and Stories of the Eye, an anthology exploring the relationship between artists and their subjects.

And these are just to name a few of what’s in the Weirdpunk catalog.

I had a chance to talk with Sam about what it’s like to work in the indie horror space, what drew him to horror, and words of wisdom for those interested in starting their own press.

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Review | Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror

The featured image is from the cover of Body Shocks.

Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror, edited by the legendary anthologist Ellen Datlow, serves as a solid snapshot of what the subgenre has to offer, while remaining palatable enough for audiences new to body horror.

Body Shocks reads as a more muted collection of stories than any of the works mentioned above, though that’s to its credit. This strikes me as more of a matter of accessibility. If this were picked up by a prospective new reader in a Barnes & Noble, the goal is to get them interested enough in the genre to want to read more—not repulse them from further spending. Even with this studied restraint in the selection of stories, Datlow showcases a range of philosophical, emotional, and visceral discourses in fiction about the body and the horrors it’s subjected to (and may be as a source of liberation from).

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