Monday, April 5, 2010
At the center of this group (and slowly peeled away through their strange encounters), a hellish Train raised from the bowels of history and carrying the departed souls of different races seeks reprisal. Those that have been wronged by Caucasian man since the Civil War and beyond.
At its heart, The Burning is primarily a revenge novel, seen through the eyes of very disparate characters trying to connect the dots before the inevitable showdown as our train finally pulls into its metaphorical station. What I liked about this novel – as apposed to Bentley’s previous outings – was the more worldly aspect to it. Too often, Bentley concentrates on small-town mythos (and though this is a perfectly honorable way to tell the tale), it was utterly gratifying to see things like the White House being laid waste to eternal powers. Moreover, our trips back in time to witness heinous acts committed by those before the turn of the last century. And it does this without being too preachy or trying broadcast a message.
There exists another horror review site that parcels out stars based on the smell of a book. A little eccentric, but one oddity I think we all can relate to. In the spirit of this, I give The Burning 5/5.
As a dark fiction aficionado for most of my remembered life, I am at pains to divulge the sad fact that I have never read a book by Jack Ketchum. From a distance I have followed his career on the peripheral sidelines, often frequenting his website and keeping myself up to date with his resume and celluloid adaptations. As I type these words I am at a loss as to the precise reason I have never held one of his novels in my hand. Marketing is a big factor—during a thousand entrances into a thousand bookstores his name has never popped out among the ranks of many others. Even when strolling through the horror or fantasy sections with an eye for detail has my index finger skated across his name. And there exists no rhyme or reason to not having purchased one online. Chalk it up to the same fate that has befallen authors like Graham Masterson or even some of the authors whose name appears with mine in the editors/reviewers list on this site. There exists a desire to eventually get around to them … once I have gotten through the myriad of tomes in a perpetual and never ending reading list.
Regardless of never having tackled one of his books I do know that Jack Ketchum is held in very high regard among the collective tribe. His fans include the prolific and the not-so-prolific writers, as well as commanding a dedicated and loyal fan base of readers. The Girl Next Door has been adapted from a 1989 novel of the same name and stars a bunch of relative unknowns who give charm and sophistication to this harrowing study of human innocence; an education delving into dark regions that so far have been relatively uncharted in cinema …
To call this movie ‘harrowing’ is an underestimation. And a little too simply put as it does not fall neatly into the realm of horror. We begin our journey with the introduction and narration of an adult David Moran living in the present day. Plainly, emotional demons assail David as he recounts a sequence of events from his childhood where he bore witness – and participated in – unspeakable acts against an innocent girl. Think the same formula King utilized with IT or perhaps Hearts in Atlantis. Tapping into the nostalgic era of the 1950’s to present how inarguably terrible and magical puberty can be. This, however, works - and Ketchum and the filmmakers have their fingers pressed firmly on the button of bringing this period to life: the cars, fashion, hairstyles and politics are like a metaphor for what’s really going on; that lurking beneath the veneer of plastic suburbia beats the malicious human heart only waiting to rise to the surface and take over.
A typical teenager, David is introduced to a new girl who has recently moved into the neighborhood whilst catching crawfish. Megan Loughlin and her crippled little sister have come from another town to live with their Aunt Ruth Chandler (David’s next door neighbor and an eccentric divorcee). Ruth has three sons of her own and her house is like a relaxed beacon to the neighborhood kids during the summer: beers can be drunk within; cigarettes can be smoked. However, her authority and discipline can be just as far reaching as her philanthropy. At first, her chastisement of Megan for relatively benevolent or even nonexistent crimes is subtle – this is, after all, 1958. But when her unconventional ranting on why punishments must be dealt out to Megan fan out into madness, she proceeds to take the children on an odyssey of torture and clout where adults write the rule of Law and anything they say is permissible.
There are so many ethical and emotional questions raised in this film it would be foolhardly to list them all here: discover them for yourself. Answer them for yourself. The Girl Next Door is a devastating picture you will not easily forget.
While not containing the mythic and enduring quality of Darko, The Box is still a reputable effort in Kelly's envious oeuvre.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
You always come to these films filled with slight trepidation. On one hand the intellectual within screams that you must not enjoy this particular sub-genre. Because only dullards subscribe to campy schlock where there is more flesh on display than blood and the plot is derivative of a thousand such other outings. On the flip side, there is an inner-child that recalls those outings with such unalloyed fondness you yearn to be dazzled by the mindless spectacle again.
Christopher Ransom has burst from the blocks with one of the most astonishing debuts to emerge in recent years. He has created, with The Birthing House, a distinct and homely voice that will find a devoted readership. Although the story falls within a genre that is well-established, Ransom here defies tropes with the kind of syntax only the most gifted writers can tap.
Hackles raised in a crowd is a sure sign this observer was viewing a future classic.
The Lobby is available from Sense of Wonder Press.
A novella that fits nice and snug in between the first two books of Astropolis, Cenotaxis bridges Saturn Returns and Earth Ascendant to a form a short yet complicated piece focusing on a variety of elements.
From the first, it felt good to be back in familiar territory. Just hearing the proverbial terms used in the Astropolis universe was like a homecoming. There are the Frags, Fort components resembling Primes or Singletons but possessing little true individuality. There's the 'Slow Wave' itself - a cataclysmic event that destroyed the Continuum and Forts and sent humanity reeling backwards throughout the galaxy. It had been awhile since Saturn Returns permeated my senses, but stepping back into the setting was like stepping into old shoes. The painting on the cover is highly imaginative and seems to sum up the intricate webbing that is the Continuum and the characters whom inhabit it.
But Cenotaxis is also a stand alone novella in itself, and, although it does take place during the same time-line, the action occurs far off on the long abandoned and scarred planet of Earth. It is here a divine human has arisen, in the form of Jasper, the leader of a resistance and the only thing stopping Imre Bergamasc from taking the Earth into the cradle of his burgeoning empire and false religion. As the clash for Earth erupts into all out war around them, Imre and Jasper face off against each other.
There are many concepts to like in Cenotaxis. Firstly, Williams has made a similar creation to the Forts with 'the Apparatus’, a seemingly artificial intelligence who is Jasper's advisor. It eventually intrigues Imre enough he changes tactics to find it. The fact that Jasper believes himself an incarnation of God is utterly fascinating in itself; it gives Williams the opportunity to postulate how religions and creed play such an important role in shaping humanity's future.
Probably the most interesting facet of Cenotaxis is Jasper's uncanny, superhuman abilities. He has an 'anachronistic' way of experiencing time, jumping through it in ways suggesting he is the product of something that is at least omniscient in nature. Through this prescience, Jasper escapes many traps laid out by Imre - which leads our false prophet to question the origins of his prisoner in more ways than one.
As always, Sean Williams gives us a tasty afterward detailing the origin of the title, and the many influences that brought the novella into being. Fans of Saturn Returns have much to applaud here, as Sean Williams has given us another riveting chapter celebrating his imaginative genius.
Few King novels in recent history have reviewed quite as well as Duma Key. Not only were the preliminary appraisals heaped with acclaim, but the usual naysayers and flame throwers seemed to have battened on to this novel as though it were a life raft amid a sea of literary chaos. There is some merit to all of this, of course. If a majority lean toward it favorably, then there is every chance the novel is favorable.
Told in first person, King's prose is simple and elegant; in a nutshell, its pure storytelling. While the syntax can be (at times) cumbersome, I've yet to read a King novel yet that doesn't bloat to some extent. In some ways, it's what makes his tomes worth the wait and money. One could (almost) say it's what makes them endearing.
Duma Key is no exception.
Blackboard Sky by Gary Braunbeck
This issue's opener is by the prodigious Gary Braunbeck, a story accurately encapsulating what Jason Sizemore probably had in mind when terming the phrase 'Science-Horror' to describe his magazine. A brief tale, it serves as surveillance on Art as medicine ... a theme King himself often uses as a playground. Although not having read any of Braunbeck's novels, I have the distinct feeling isolation and loneliness is a theme he habitually explores. A central character, Vincent, has become symbiotic with a device from another star system originally charged with the task finding God. Vincent, tortured and vulnerable, uses the power successfully, but cries out for help to another soul in the format of storytelling.
Spinnetje by Stefani Nellen
Any story featuring scuttling metal spiders that have a relationship with the human brain has to be disconcerting for anyone. Spinnetje is described by the author as: an autonomous creature composed of a horde of nanites that could crawl through brains like a crowd of tourists crawling through ruins. (Charming.) Our main guy,
Ray Gun by Daniel G Keohane
Retro nostalgia comes to the forefront as an old man wakes up early one morning to find a spaceship crash-landed in his backyard. A friend comes over to help, and havoc ensues. This is 'every day Jill's and Joe's getting caught up in a nasty situation' kind of tale, and they never fail to entertain. One of our aliens is described thus:
An octopus with too few heads one moment, too many the next.
Uncanny by Sammuel Tinianow
Told in first person, Uncanny by Samuel Tinianow is extremely short and ... uncanny. While too many question marks come into play, you'll want to read it anyway to have a crack at decoding it. Lying in a hospital bed, our narrator recounts the story of a female cyborg who has been adopted by his family while they patiently wait for her resurrection.
The Moldy Dead by Sara King
Another classy sci-fi story with a 'pulp' feel, The Moldy Dead is the epicenter of this issue. Esteei is a receiver who joins a motley band of inter-species aliens to discover a 'mold' planet orbiting the fringes of space. Years back, Stephen King gave us a sand planet with Beachworld. Now, there's mold on the agenda. Although it starts off somewhat sluggishly, The Moldy Dead becomes a tearful tale of endurance and grief. Sara King is a newbie, and in this issue she shares space with Gary Braunbeck to take away top honors for best story.
Also included in this issue is a fascinating interview with Braunbeck (whose Mr. Hands in now in the post and flying my way), and writer Bryan Smith. The highly entertaining Althea Kontis gives us her thoughts on Curses, and there's a quaint epilogue of a story entitled What to Expect When Your Expectorating by regular Jennifer Pelland.
Already an innovative and respected story-teller in the shorter format, Nathan Burrage has now crossed the often-unattainable threshold of publishing his first novel FIVEFOLD. A work of art the author (from what of I've garnered), has been tinkering away on for some time. Upon arrival at my doorstep and a quick perusal through, you get the feeling the toying with this tome has been well worth the wait: holding its weight, you feel the books editorial prowess: nicely condensed in mass and word-count.
Nathan's prologue appears on his site, and some of you might be familiar with it. A common approach used in many novels, we begin our adventure with a bygone-era setting in the Yorkshire Dales. Rudiments dominating this period are, of course, priests and secular societies; Nathan springs the foundation of the book with secrets being consumed by the eternal thing that is such a pertinent component in any mystery: fire. This sacrifice guarantees the classified secret will remain dormant for generations to come - until the curtain is raised again and another cast of actors take to the stage.
One such character is James Steepleton, a British twenty-something almost any young man can relate to: James is in trouble after running afoul of the law in a drunk-driving accident and it suddenly falls to his friends to provide the necessary support - financial and emotional - so James doesn't have to do a stint behind bars and ruin his burgeoning acting career. I don't think I'm giving away any secret when stating his friends (from the heady days of University) are the FIVEFOLD. A cabal of individuals blessed with untapped powers resembling manifestations of the Mysteries: psychic, extrasensory and mystic abilities that are the benchmark of the supernatural genre. And FIVEFOLD lies within a genre not easily defined; although anybody who has taken the journey The Crooked Letter by Sean Williams will be familiar with the territory. Elements of religious and mythic structures compounded in folk-lore: Kether, Binah, Chokmah ... and states of being or deities of the underworld or higher realms.
With chapters heralded by one of the FIVEFOLD, Nathan shifts gear slowly depicting each individuals quirks and faults. A small task is keeping up with the names - you might find yourself backtracking to keep up with whom is pertinent to whom. That said, the sentences are clean-cut and refreshing; rarely does he begin a paragraph with the old tropes. Also, it's pleasing and often downright funny to hear the English language communicated without the American panache. Here, Cell phones are Mobiles. And you'll feel as though you're treading familiar ground with the English locale.
It takes a re-awakening in an ancient clearing to give the five just a snippet of what they can accomplish together. And, with any cabal, opposing forces are hot on their tail. Some of novel resonates with an early Clive Barker feel; feints and charms are used; possession is a factor. Also, there are philosophical undertones on the nature of pain and pleasure - and whether eternal ecstasy and agony are fundamentally one and the same. James is tempted by the seduction of the opposing forces, but Nathan doesn't do anything run-of-the-mill here. You'll be surprised, on numerous occasions, the direction and severe turns the novel takes.
Above all, FIVEFOLD is just plain entertaining. With synaptic sparring, mental warring, and clandestine cabals, this is an absolute impressive debut and a novel that could perhaps teach even veterans a thing or two about the game. There are many layers to the plot (an older generational cabal called The Brightening Dawn take James's league, the new torch-bearers of the mysteries into their counsel, is just one); but to reveal more be like displaying used storyboards before sitting down to a celluloid epic.
Technically published in 2008, the majority of this story was read in 2007. Without question, FIVEFOLD went straight to the top of the list as one of the better novels I had read during the year.
A story of cat and mouse, hunter and hunted, opens this issue of Apex entitled Madness Blows the Winds of History. Tom Piccirilli's story is a cerebral and cryptic piece of cyberpunk. In only a couple of pages he'll dislocate your attention with rapid, brain-bending syntax. Tobalt Tre is the bounty hunter of a renegade human named Thompson. Tobalt is a Mollunk: an entity with invasive modifications of a humanoid body. And Thompson is apparently a butcher of worlds - many worlds. Using a manifold of space-travel called The Ledge, the two converge on a Terran world utterly devoid of humanity. As in all speculative fiction, however, surprises abound. It's a great piece, and I found myself more entertained by Tom's command of language than anything else.
As you may have guessed, the front illustration gives birth to the story Blood Baby by prolific Jennifer Pelland. As it suggests, Blood Baby is a mischievous, gore-soaked parable. Beginning with the obligatory 'Once upon a time' (something which I've come to dislike yet fits here nicely), we are introduced to a mythical township that could possibly exist in any time period or place. In
'Apocalypse' seems to be the motif of this issue and we enter that realm again with A Place of Snow Angels by Matt Wallace. In this piece, it's Ice that has reduced the world to a scattering of survivors. Another common angle in a 'day of reckoning' setting is the rise of a child prodigy who will perhaps reverse or halt a cataclysm set in motion. Young child Joshua has been chosen for this task, raised by a small phalanx who through science have engineered the boy to realize his impeding destiny ... although the final results are a far cry from what was initially envisioned. This story won the first annual Red Light District/Apex Publications contest of dark science fiction.
And so we come to a contribution entitled Genesis Six from HorrorScope's own Shane Jiraiya Cummings - a story I was initially hoping to find flaws with in an attempt to display no bias. However, I haven't come across a story in Apex yet that is disdainful, so its inclusion here is one of merit. Beginning with a domestic setting with mother Libby and daughter Jessica, it moves fast as they are driving to escape the void; an endless nothingness annihilating all in the 'Apocalypse.' With honed and precise sentences, Shane narrates a climax with religious overtones.
The Death Singer by John B Rosenman tickled me; here we encounter one of those silent and enigmatic alien species. After Captain Musen and his team crash-land on an alien world inhabited by these Jax - spider thin creatures capable of inexhaustible energy and patience - the captain is hospitalized without much chance of future survival. Enter the Jax Death Singers, whose task taking vigil besides the dying is just as strange as their physical appearance. This story is lent one of the more imaginative illustrations in the issue.
William F Nolan, the literary giant behind such novels as Logan's Run is next on the menu with Mommy, Daddy, and Mollie - a short and delicious horror tale with young Bruce narrating on the unfortunate demise of his Mommy and Daddy. Billy recounts the epilogue to their death and is surprised to find out the dead never really die ...
The next tale felt familiar - if only because at one time or another I have envisioned such a thing. In Last Chance Morning by Timothy Waldron Semple, the future holds a unique and brilliant execution device: massive steel blocks which slam together with enough force to reduce a human being to red servile. A human pancake, in other words. Amid this setting are a couple of cons tying to waylay their inevitable destiny, and while you'd think the execution component would be enough to drive this story, Timothy unleashes a yet grander scheme toward the end.
Following on is Babble by MM Buckner. Although at its heart this is a simple horror story involving a haunted Hill (a cell phone tower is its evil heart, of all things), MM Buckner manages to imbue it with everyman characters who give the tale a real sit-around-the campfire feel. Another with a very clever ending.
And lastly, we finally come to the concluding serial first begun in issue 5:
Also included is an interview with Tom Piccirilli and essays by Dr Amy H Sturgis and Alethea Kontis.
All in all, a solid edition. The featured writers making regular appearances are certainly carving a niche. And, with Aegri Somnia (Apex's evil twin), nominated for a Stoker, the future can only get better.
It is well known Stephen King, like many of us, will carry a book of fiction while travelling to appease the boredom from life's mundane activities. And for those of us who have read On Writing and followed his accident with a Dodge Van will know, he has a penchant for taking long walks during the afternoon. What isn't a well-known detail (and a few might be curious about), is that King was reading The House when Bryan Smith intervened with his Dodge van, nearly depriving us all from reaching Roland of Gilead's Dark Tower. Apparently, the paperback was discovered lying meters away from King's broken body ...
It's an interesting side-note, one I was not aware of when I picked up my own copy of Bentley Little's The House. Published in 99 (around the time of King's accident), The House suffers from the kind of 'dumb, plodding, and obvious' virus writers occasionally bow to after a few critically acclaimed and well-received novels. When Bentley is at the top of his game, he is truly master of all he surveys; when he misses: al la The Summoning and Dominion, he abruptly falls short not just a little (pun intended), but a very long way indeed.
The book is formulaic, the plot seemingly purveyed in the horror medium by everyone who's ever had a crack at the genre. For me, there seems to be the tale of 'strangers who have something horrific from their childhoods or past in common and come together as adults to battle it again.' In this scenario, it involves a House; or, rather Houses, each one identical to the next but in different States across
In the second part, things pick up as our strangers converge. But, try as he might, Little's haunted house isn't scary. With little dolls walking around attempting to encourage mayhem (and the blonde girl turning up on occasion to lift up her dirty slip and tempt them with sex), one gets the feeling Little has no idea where to go and tacks on an ending as if his editor was on the phone and haranguing for a swift conclusion. Ultimately, the conclusion is as unnecessary as the confusing prologue.
The most frightening part reading this story came not in the form of its prose, but rather a real life event that mirrors the one above. During a long walk through woods winding through my area, I decided to heed King's advice and take a book. Of course, it was The House I picked up, and about halfway through the journey tripped over a log and scraped my ankle, the accident jettisoning blood over the binding. It led me to think that somehow the book might be cursed . . . a plot-line that would potentially make a better story than the one I was reading.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Among the most paramount in this collection, Starfish by Steve Parker exudes the kind of sci-fi feel that slides slickly down the gullet. Right off the bat, we know we're in a future
Next follows Inspiration by literary giant Ben Bova. Bova takes on the theme of time travel and adds a twist: his protagonists are nearly all legends from the past. (HG Wells and Albert Einstein, to name a few). At times it can be jolting, but by the conclusion all strings are neatly wrapped up.
Away by Robert Dunbar is a puzzling mix. On one hand it has the tried-and-true ingredient of a shifty, clandestine human operation; you'll keep turning pages just to find out what the hell is going on. On the other hand there is little illumination. A man has awoken in a room with no idea whom he is or why he's there at all. Minor clues are offered, and by the finale you'll either be smiling or gritting your teeth ...
EV 2000 by Amy Greech is one of those tales that's prescribed but never fails to entertain: artificial intelligence developed with malign results. Harold has just patented a new technology enabling blood donors the option of donating efficiently with no more aplomb than an exchange at a bank teller. With shades of stories like Demon Seed and Electric Dreams, EV 2000 is decidedly creepy.
With a demonic blend of revenge and time-travel, J J Davis gives us Wall of Delusion: here, the time travel aspect is fresh with our main guy Scott (after committing a double homicide when he finds his wife in bed with another) undergoing radical new therapy involving nano brain-machines and memory. Although we assume this takes place in the future,
Lastly, we have Scotch on the rocks by William F Nolan. With a subject matter that's close to my heart (UFO's), this is a comedic treasure rounding off the issue nicely. A short essay by Gill Ainsworth accompanies it.
A magazine needing almost no introduction, Interzone has been at the forefront of literary science-fiction and fantasy since 1982.
Sundown Sheila by Gwyplaine Macintyre is this issue's opener, and what an opener. If the title doesn't grab you, the opening line will:
The red sand was as dry as a Nun's nasty ...
So begins this bizarre tale narrated in glib, Australian slang. Sundown Sheila is an amalgam of future science with backward characters set in a far-flung locale. The main players here are two 'compozzies'; DNA scripted cyborgs working in the perpetual of an Australian-like planet. However, their world soon changes when an unexpected female visitor drops by ...
While at times the prose is hard to digest with Macintyre's lyrical waxing, Sundown Sheila should be applauded for its sheer originality. The planet of Terry Novar, and the 'boofs' who inhabit its everlasting sun, will almost certinaly stay with you long after the final sentence.
The Macrobe Conservation Project by Carlos Hernandez.
A traditional science fiction romp involving Robot companionship with a soupçon of the Frankenstein theme thrown in for good measure. Young Randy resides on an orbiting Space Station around the planet called
A bleak, pessimistic view of the future follows with The Unsolvable Deathtrap by Jack Morgan. The story opens at a frenetic pace and stays in overdrive until the end. Our narrator is a cabbie with an understandably paranoid view of the world: his city has been transformed over the centuries to resemble 'Hives'; intestine-like tubes with motorists infiltrating them like microbe organisms.
Author Gareth Lyn Powell gives us The Last Reef, and manages, via a powerful torrent of invention, to showcase a myriad of ideas more in league with a novel. In such a short space, we are treated to a potential future where simple communication nodes in an interplanetary radio network develop sentience with awesome results. Humans, in their desire to evolve, enter this matrix and are subsequently altered. Some experience physical or mental deformities; others are elevated to a higher level of consciousness. People transformed by the Reef are highly sought prizes as the Reefs themselves slowly morph into different realms or are terminated by the powers that be. Against this backdrop are three characters trying to reverse the reef's destructive forces. Using love as a motivator, Powell provides clever flashbacks throughout that dovetail inexorably toward the conclusion. Another one accompanied by a brilliant illustration.
As always, Interzone delivers. Under under the auspices of the new publishers, I anticipate a wider readership. This issue also contains an illuminating interview with legendary author Terry Pratchett.
Upon first hearing of the contribution process, then subsequently the October release of Shadow Box (edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Angela Challis), I was excited - yet did not pursue the details to any great extent. The only hints we had were a glowering, Chucky-esque logo, a palate warmer for October. In the end, this turned out to be prudent. Not learning a magician's tricks gave the overall Shadow Box experience more substance.
And make no mistake: substance abounds in Shadow Box. What we have received is a totally original, well-crafted masterpiece for the masses. Its sheer volume - seventy slices of dark flash fiction and artwork - does not hinder the experience, only enhances it as a fusion of these elements into a digital event. Our journey is unique, filled with bridges and by-ways, turnpikes and intersections ultimately leading to a kind of nirvana in Hell.
'Come play with me' a sinister-looking doll asks the reader as a malign child caterwauls in the background. It's as fitting a start as any, and even prompted a panicked response from another person who was present in the room. Effects with sound are short, but if turned up loud enough, are effective at grabbing your attention. Some of my favorites in the first half include: Coming Home by Rick Kennett; this is extremely short, but a doozy. Entwined by Chris Barnes, a piece with gothic substance. Changing by Susan Wardle is charged with an erotic, almost incestuous feel. And Clown Face by Daniel Slaten is accompanied by one of the best pieces of art entitled 'Smile'. The editor, Shane, leaves us feeling uneasy with summer after penning a trinity of flash (in the first half), where blood reigns on a beach.
By this stage we've been given the gift of the genre: a cold comfort and a convergence of emotions. For this reviewer, flash has often been ambiguous, with other publications showcasing efforts that ultimately leave me perplexed. But this is not the case with Shadow Box. Each story, effectively, was easy to comprehend. And I have a new-found respect for this kind of author. Within only a few lines of stanza, talent is apparent.
In the second half, cream rises to the top with: The Capture Diamonds by Karron Warren. Here, words such as meat-eater, amputate, and human ash are not wasted. Light by Christian Girard encompasses a species of prose I haven't quite encountered before. For gross-out factor, consult Smooth Trajectory by Esteban Silvani. And for ghost factor, the dead have a voice in Listen by Horrorscope's own Stephanie Gunn.
By and large, Shadow Box has everything on show. From award winning authors to the up-and-coming, this e-anthology is a must-have for all fans of dark literature. And if this isn't enough, all profits will benefit charity and The Australian Horror Writers Association. In 2006, we are privileged enough to have a sequel. Entitled, Black Box, the horror community waits with bated breath.