Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

Two things, and both of them lists.  The first, “25 Reasons That Writers Are Bug-Fuck Nuts” (WARNING:  may contain adult language) by Chuck Wendig on TERRIBLEMINDS.COM (courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak via THE HORROR SOCIETY), is sort of self-explanatory — and fun!  It can be checked out here and, yes, Number 14 does involve a $7.53 royalty (for which I would be jealous, but the one I got from Elder Signs Press just the other week, cf. July 23, landscape-1501510359-scifi-comics-leadwas actually for more than that).

But then the other, more serious maybe but also fun in its own different way, is “The 25 Best Sci-Fi Comics” on POPULARMECHANICS.COM, by Tiffany Kelly and Darren Orf.  From ASTRO BOY (#12) to PUNK ROCK JESUS (#21), this one covers a fair bit of ground with stops in between, e.g. for movie buffs like me, #24 TANK GIRL, #6 VALERIAN AND LAURELINE, #14 THE GHOST IN THE SHELL, and others as well.  And potentially perhaps the most interesting of all, #3 INCAL by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius (Jean Giraud).  Or make your own choices by pressing here.


We may recall C.P. Dunphey’s interview of me, “Love and Death:  An Interview With TOMBS Author, James Dorr” (see May 26), as one homing in in detail on various aspects of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH itself.  Inspiration, ghouls, the use of languages — and where does Vodoun come into the picture?  We’ve seen the preview, as it were, but what of the show?

Well, for the main event, really, one should buy the book.  A click on its picture in the center column brings more information, or press either of the Amazon or B&L links (both still offer discounts as of today) on May 30’s post, below.  But we’ve also seen one review already, by Christine Rains (cf. June 1) — are there not any others?

The answer (surprise!) is yes.  First came the interview, then — today — C.P. Dunphey’s review is now up on GEHENNA POST.  May I offer a quote?

TOMBS is an unexpected, enigmatic piece that author James Dorr spent years creating.  The world is visually stunning, the layers and depths of the universe never faltering in their ability to not only captivate the reader, but to also offer a lending hand in an escape to a world full of wonder and astonishment.  From the Old City to the Tombs, every setting is flawlessly illustrated with language poetic and frequently romantic.  Dorr crafts his universe with talent unrivaled and unparalleled.

To see all press here.

This is a thank you, too, for which a short look back as well to May 27.  Christine Rain’s opening review of TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has already received a seconding comment on Goodreads, but now the review is also up at Christine’s own blog, SPECULATIVE FICTION WRITER CHRISTINE RAINS.  Sample it for yourself by pressing here — where you’ll find a fun blog in its own right (not to mention, well, TotemBlogheaderanother flattering comment about me, re. the writers group I’ve occasionally mentioned that she’s on as well — not the Bloomington Writers Guild, that is, but the sf/f/h critique one, cf. May 21; also June 24 2016).  TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH is “officially” published today as well*, and hopefully will be garnering other reviews too in the not far future (while in the meantime, if you’d like to add a comment to Christine’s, you have two places to do so, on her blog by pressing above, or for Goodreads by scrolling down to the third post below).
*A quick check just now shows that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have their pre-publication prices still available, but no indication of how long they’ll last (see post just below, May 30, and press the link of your choice there to take advantage)!

Less than a week out from June, and the official release time for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH grows nigh.  Yesterday gave us what’s probably the last pre-publication interview of me, though I’ll try to have others in the months to come (if not at quite so manic a pace).  But also a first, as of late last night, a review on Goodreads by blogger and author Christine Rains, and five stars to boot!  (Yes, that’s five in a one-to-five system, with five being tops.)  But more to the point, to read it press here.

And there is something new under the sun to ring in December 2016.  TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has been added to the portrait gallery in the center column, just to our right.  It is still scheduled for publication next year in June, but the link will take you to Amazon’s listing for pre-order, if desired, and which also contains the notorious James C. Simpson substitute biography instead of mine (cf. below, November 14, 4).  Well, we’re working on that one.  Also, as time goes on and some people may have a chance to have seen pre-publication copies, perhaps a few will be moved to offer early reviews there as well.

Also I’ve made another change in the center column, just below TOMBS.  If you click on the picture of THE TEARS OF ISIS it will now take you to Amazon’s listing for it, partly to bring it into conformance with most of the other books’ links, but also (*speaking of reviews*) to allow those who might wish to see them some thirteen other readers’ opinions.  (WARNING:  one or two didn’t care for the book!)  Just click on the picture, then scroll down and, if you like what you see (with the exception of the just aforementioned “one or two”), well this is one you can order for delivery right now!

Fantasy writers, has the Green Man of British folklore been unmasked?  This Sunday’s email brought a rather interesting piece rosslyn_chapelby Frank Cottrell Boyce in the British newspaper NEW STATESMAN, “English Magic:  How Folklore Haunts the British Landscape,” a review of Carolyne Larrington’s THE LAND OF THE GREEN MAN.  Kudos on this one go to Robert Dunbar and RJ Cavender who provided the link via LITERARY DARKNESS on Facebook, and which you may also partake of right here.

“Do you love to discover new books?  Do you review and recommend books online, in print, for your bookstore, library patrons, blog readers, or classroom?  Then you are what we call a ‘professional reader,’ and NetGalley is for you.  Registration is free, and allows you to request or be invited to read titles, often advance reading copies, on your favorite device.”

Does this describe you?  If so, to continue their description, “NetGalley is a service to promote titles to professional readers 9780988748842_p0_v2_s260x420of influence.  If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles.  Your feedback and recommendations are essential to publishers and readers alike.”

Thus in today’s email, Max Booth III and Lori Michelle of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing have announced the availability of THE TEARS OF ISIS, my (ahem!) Bram Stoker Award® nominated fiction collection, on NetGallery for reviewers until the end of the month of July.  Which brings the point that, should you have sort of thought maybe you might want to read THE TEARS OF ISIS (that is, of the Egyptian goddess, no relation to recent Mid-Eastern geo-politics) yourself sometime, to see what the buzz is about and all that and maybe add to it, now would be a good time!  As noted above, registration is free.

If interested, curious, just hankering for something to do on a lazy summer afternoon, more on NetGallery (including registration, should one desire) can be found here.  Or for inspiration, to see what some other reviewers have said about THE TEARS OF ISIS before, one can also press here.

“Art: that which is raised to more than ordinary importance; that which, even if temporary, is forever after etched in the collective being of man.” ~James S. Dorr

The next story is “THE ARTIST ” by James S. Dorr.  This brilliantly written tale is about a man who loves his art and his wife, but his wife, unable to comprehend the beauty of art starts to drift away and into another man’s arms. . . .  (SPLATTER CAFÉ)

Editor (with Sharon Lawson) Anthony Rivera has posted a second review of the 2013 anthology SPLATTERLANDS (cf. January 28, et al.) in the last five days, noting of this one from SPLATTER CAFÉ, “[w]e freely admit that the work in SPLATTERLANDS is not for everyone, but it is for those who appreciate their horror extreme yet still intelligent and with (*gasp*) a PLOT!  (And if that type of horror isn’t for you, we have plenty more volumes that are.) Apparently, this is exactly the type of horror that Splatter Cafe is looking for.  😉

“Splatter Cafe:  ‘[Splatterpunk], the beast of revolutionary horror, has definitely been reawakened and it’s ready to ravage your psyche long after the last words have been consumed.  [The] Bram Stoker Award-nominated editors at Grey Matter Press have created something special with this 52581dff3b861f4b7da08878773490b3anthology.  SPLATTERLANDS: REAWAKENING THE SPLATTERPUNK REVOLUTION is 13 deliciously horrific stories of serial murder, vengeance, religious fanaticism, sexual assault and so much more.  SPLATTERLANDS will tear into your flesh, shredding chunks of your own morality, leaving you bloodied, violated and dismembered.’

“Splatter Cafe pays special tribute to illustrator Luke Spooner of Carrion House and authors Jack Maddox, Christine Morgan, Ray Garton, James Dorr, and J Michael Major. . . .”

And so, for a Super Sunday brag (to be read as one will) I’ve already quoted above part of what SPLATTER CAFÉ reviewer L. D. Johnson says about . . . moi.  And there is a bit more, as well as a lot of perceptive words about SPLATTERLANDS and publisher Grey Matter Press in general, which all can be found here.

I read this review at the public library less than an hour before 2015’s second Bloomington Writers Guild sponsored First Sunday Prose Reading at Boxcar Books, just a block east.  The featured readers for February were Stephanie Haines who read humorous essays from a newspaper column she writes on topics such as dating at 40, ice cream, cheapskates, and Jane Austen, followed by Communications and Culture PhD student Eric Zobel who, with the assistance of three other readers, presented “Adventures in Indifference,” described as “a prose piece for multiple voices.”

This was also the second in which a few open mike readers were allowed more time than the “standard” three to five minutes (cf. last month, January 5).  I took advantage by reading a personal favorite of mine, “Casket Girls,” originally published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION last April.  If interested, those who haven’t read it (or wish a refresher) can go to the DAILY SF site and enter “Dorr” in the search box on the right for it and, at present, three more stories (with a fifth, “Dead Lines,” to come, probably this spring) that I’ve had there.

Word came today that a new review of SPLATTERLANDS (see October 14 2014, et al.) by Matthew Andrew has been posted on Amazon.  Or, as Editor Anthony Rivera put it, “A full 67 weeks after its release (that’s almost 16 months!), the Grey Matter Press anthology SPLATTERLANDS splatterlands2_smallhas been an almost 60-week bestseller, today remains in the Top 10% of all Kindle sales at Amazon and is still receiving 5-Star reviews from readers.  We never imagined this little-book-that-could with its selection of very nasty short horror stories with a point, would’ve been this successful. With an overall Amazon Rating of 4.6 out of 5.0, SPLATTERLANDS yesterday was called:

“’A Home Run of Splatterpunk’
5.0 out of 5.0 Stars”

The interesting thing, it occurred to me, is my story in this one is called “The Artist” and, while it didn’t make the contents of my collection — cited for its own new review just two posts down, January  25 — THE TEARS OF ISIS for various reasons (or really just one, it didn’t fit in with the specific multiple-story arcs that began to emerge as I was planning the contents out), it is an illustration of TEARS’s overall theme, the relationship between beauty and art vs. death and destruction.  None of which, really, may mean all that much other than that particular theme may run through even more of my work than that cited — or may be so common a theme as to be trite.  That’s for readers and critics to discuss.  Or, more mundanely, maybe it’s just an excuse to suggest readers buy both books.

Be that all as it may, readers can find the new SPLATTERLANDS review by pressing here (and, as for THE TEARS OF ISIS, just scroll Blight-Digest-Cover-187x300down to January 25 and press the link there).

In other news, relatively new magazine (their first issue was October 2014) BLIGHT DIGEST’s Managing Editor/Publisher Ron Earl Phillips emailed an acceptance of my story “Strawberry Fields,” originally published in Winter 2007-08 in BLACK INK HORROR.  To quote their guidelines from last fall, what they seek are “[w]ell written stories that play out the human experience against unimaginable and terrifying odds.  Dark fiction that’s defined more by the story than the splatter.  We are open to supernatural, psychological, and physical fear.”

“Strawberry Fields,” about a house with a . . . well . . . unfortunate back yard, probably actually may contain a blood-drop or two of splatter — so I play both ends of the game, eh? — but tastefully muted.  In any event, it is tentatively slated for issue 3 or 4 (issue 2 is just finishing up production, according to Phillips), for June or October of this year.

Might one note two reviews of THE TEARS OF ISIS, below, both from the other side of the Earth — from Australian author Natasha Ewendt and New Zealand artist William Cook (excerpt) respectively.  Both can be found on Amazon’s pages for THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, but better yet, if one acts quickly there’s still time to buy the book for yourself at a 20 percent discount direct from the publisher.  Just press here and add the code BLACK14 when you check out, but do it by midnight since (as also posted just below “Wednesday’s” Thanksgiving greeting) PMMP’s special Black Friday sale will be over tomorrow.

Is there anything better than a short story collection that pulls you in from the very first line? The Tears of Isis is intelligently written, evocative and engrossing.  James Dorr is a fabulous wordsmith who weaves words in such a way that you can’t help but be lulled into the story.  His ability to take on new perceptions and POVs and drag the reader inside them in such a short space of time is exceptional. All these unique, surprising stories are different to each other yet subtly threaded together.  I like a different spin on dark themes and mythology and every story has one.  Each tale has a killer twist, deep dark intrigue and/or something disturbing to make you shiver.  The Tears of Isis features inventively told modern takes on ancient myths and classic legends along with all-new original ideas.  Inspiring.

James Dorr’s third collection of short fiction, `The Tears of Isis,’ is a fantastically varied and eclectic selection of some of Dorr’s finest work.  His last collection, `Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret,’ was excellent also, although I do prefer `Tears . . .’ for its diversity and almost poetic use of prose.  The stories therein range from the grotesque, the Gothic, and the almost beautiful depiction of the dark and tragic soul of humanity.  This collection is rich with allusion and aestheticism at every corner; the astute reader will realize that Mr Dorr is taking us on a tour of his own labyrinthine gallery, with an emphasis on the Gothic and the moribund.  The homage to Edgar Allan Poe that precedes the first piece should give you fair indication that there will be darkness, requiring no less than a blood-red candle to GothicBkueBookIVlight your way.  . . . 

Then, speaking of Gothy stuff, today also brought two author’s copies of GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  FOLKLORE EDITION to the postal mailbox here at the computer cave.  My offering in this is the flash story “School Nights” (cf. October 29, September 8), but there’s much, much more, including a mini-collection of appropriately autumnal verse by Bruce Boston.  So, even though Halloween may be over, you might want to take a look at this one by pressing here — an excellent companion volume for your discount copy of THE TEARS OF ISIS.

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