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FORSAKEN ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 2 THE STONES ARE SINGING By RB Russell .................................................................................................................................. 2 NECTROTECH By K C Alexander ................................................................................................................................................... 2 Artist Interview: Matthew Freyer ....................................................................................................................................................... 4 DEATH’S SWEET ECHO By Maynard & Sims ............................................................................................................................... 7 BREAK THE CHAIN By Megan E O'Keefe ..................................................................................................................................... 7 MIND FUCK By Renee Miller ........................................................................................................................................................... 7 THE UNFOLDING ............................................................................................................................................................................ 9 FIX By Ferrett Steinmetz .................................................................................................................................................................... 9 SPRING (2014)................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 TALES FROM THE LAKE 2 .......................................................................................................................................................... 11 THE RISE OF IO By Wesley Chu.................................................................................................................................................... 11 RHAYVEN HOUSE By Frank E Bittinger ...................................................................................................................................... 11 Christopher Maxim: Writer of Horror and Creepypastas.................................................................................................................. 13 TWILIGHT OF THE DRAGONS By Andy Remic ......................................................................................................................... 14 Brain Movies: The Original Teleplays of Harlan Ellison Volume Seven. ........................................................................................ 15 The Last Person to Marry a Duck Lived 300 Years Ago: Pointed Essays by Harlan Ellison, Edited by Jason Davis. .................... 15 BINARY STORM By Christopher Hint ........................................................................................................................................... 15 SCRATCH By David Moody ........................................................................................................................................................... 16 DOMINION By Peter McLean ......................................................................................................................................................... 16 Edited By Stanley Riiks. Written By Matthew Freyer, Mario Guslandi, Christopher Maxim, Stanley Riiks, C.M. Saunders, Brett Taylor, Sheri White. Proof-read By Sheri White. © Morpheus Tales November 2016. Morpheus Tales Back Issues and Special Issues are available exclusively through lulu.com: http://stores.lulu.com/morpheustales For more information, free previews and free magazines visit our website: http://morpheustales.wixsite.com/morpheustales Morpheus Tales Review Supplement, November 2016. COPYRIGHT November 2016 Morpheus Tales Publishing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reviews can be used, in full or in part, for publicity purposes as long as Morpheus Tales Magazine is quoted as the source.


FORSAKEN Director: Justin Price

THE STONES ARE SINGING By RB Russell www.pspublishing.co.uk

K, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. This isn’t the 2015 western starring Kiefer Sutherland and Demi Moore. Neither is it the 2001 Australian vampire movie starring, well, nobody you will have heard of. It is, in fact, a brand-spanking new release from Justin Price, best known for last year’s Dark Moon Rising. You might say it’s a new film with an old title, but let’s try not to get judgemental. They had to call it something. On review sites and message boards it has been drawing comments like “Completely unwatchable,”, and “Worst movie ever!,” which kinda piqued my interest a little. Surely it can’t be that bad? Folks on the internet can be really mean sometimes. I thought at the very least, it might fall into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. As a rule I’m not a big fan of possession films. Boring. Every single one of them follows The Exorcist blueprint - person gets possessed, someone calls a priest, priest unpossesses person. They usually have a touch of difficulty along the way, just to fill the paper-thin plot out a little. There is invariably some swearing, vomiting, flying Bibles, and more often than not, some walking backwards up walls and shit. But in the end, good triumphs over evil, you breathe a sigh of relief, and move on with your life. This latest Forsaken stars David E Cazares as a priest with jowls and sad puppy-dog eyes, a rebellious daughter, and a gravely ill wife who may or may not be possessed. I know, just what you need, right? I mean, the guy comes home one day and finds his missus cooking pieces of her arms in a frying pan for dinner. Obviously, something has to be done. But this is where the priest gets it completely wrong and starts looking for help in some of the sketchiest places imaginable. There are a few jumpy moments, and for a low-budget flick the make-up and effects are pretty impressive. However, even for one so simple, the plot is a bit muddled. All the flashbacks and dream sequences are distracting and worst of all, sad, puppydog-eyed priest insists on fumbling around in the dark, whispering all his dialogue and crying all the time. Come on, dude! Put the damn light on, have a shit, shower and a shave, sort yourself out and man the fuck up. In days of old this would be a straight-tovideo release. Now it’s probably going straight to your nearest streaming device, where it will no doubt stay, neglected and Forsaken. By C.M. Saunders

Widely known as a publisher (he’s co-owner of the excellent Tartarus Press), RB Russell has proved to be a very fine author of short stories and novellas as well. His latest book is a remarkable novella entitled “The Stones Are Singing,” where Russell confirms once again his extraordinary talent as a perceptive writer of elegant, subtly disquieting fiction. The plot revolves around John Dowson, a British composer of music for movies, relocated in Venice, experiencing a series of weird, unaccountable events taking place while he’s living alone in his apartment during the absence of his wife who left him after a serious quarrel. The finding of a battered leather jacket over his balcony, the reappearance of an old acquaintance desperately searching an elusive, enticing woman, the encounter with an inadequate movie-maker trying to get inspiration from Dowson’s music constitutes the beginning of a chain of incidents which soon appear to have a paranormal character. Little by little reality undergoes surprising and unsettling changes suggesting the existence of parallel levels of life and the possibility to move from one to the other. Russell leads the reader effortlessly along a disturbing journey across a decadent, yet fascinating Venice and, much more than this, across a puzzling expedition in pursuance of the truth about our world and the unfathomable secrets of the universe. Highly recommended to those readers who prefer quiet, insightful alarm rather than graphic horror. By Mario Guslandi NECTROTECH By K C Alexander www.angryrobotbooks.com In a world where technology fuses with humanity, Riko is in big trouble. Her girlfriend has turned into a techno-zombie, she’s had her memory wiped, is running from mercenaries, and swept up in a massive conspiracy. This is like a cyber-punk version of Total Recall but much better. The dark, gritty future is eloquently described. Riko is brilliantly brought to life. Where the book really excels is not actually in the massively entertaining plot or the great characters, but in its exploration of humanity and technology, and the questions that poses. Very intelligent and thought out. By Adrian Brady


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Artist Interview: Matthew Freyer You’ve been the cover artist for all of the Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction, from Vol 1 to Vol 6, which is coming out very soon. How did you discover MT and what made you want to work with them? Let me first say, thank you to Morpheus Tales, I’ve loved being a part of every book. Having this outlet and audience has definitely pushed me as an artist. That’s a good first question, I’m honestly not sure how the actual introduction went down. [laughs] I think it was on MySpace! [laughs] Do you kids remember MySpace? [laughs] I actually got some of my first graphic design jobs customizing MySpace pages. [laughs] Should I admit to that? [laughs] Yeah, I think I may have seen a post or someone told me about MT needing artists for the magazine. That lead me to check out the magazine. Then I read a few previews of the stories and knew my artwork would be a perfect fit to illustrate the weird fiction short stories MT was collecting.

artwork that I like and that gets me inspired looks nothing like the artwork I create for Morpheus Tales and for the Haunted Attraction and Horror industries. I get influenced by skateboard graphics and street art and graffiti. Album covers, shapes, broken things, furniture, motorcycles. What really influences my work is decay, abandoned places. Places where time has stood still. I have so many stock photos of abandoned buildings and their inhabitants that I’ve personally explored. It’s a bit ridiculous. [laughs]

What artists do you like/influence you the most? I really dig a lot of different artists’ work. None that you would ever think influenced my work. The

You’re working on a trilogy of images for the Best Weird Fiction Vols 5-7. We’ve already seen the spooky church and the strange eyes. What more can we expect? What you are witnessing is a man faced with a demonic possession trying to hold on to his faith. It’s not gonna work out so good for the man. [laughs] If you could meet one dead artist who would it be? Basquiat. That’s my dude. He put his art where he wanted his art. The first three Best Weird Fiction volumes each featured a young woman in some form of torture (eyes sewn shut, wrapped in barbed-wire, in a hellish looking SAW-like contraption). How did you put those images together without actually torturing the girls? [laughs] Unfortunately, I didn’t do it without torturing her. [laughs] The model, Katie Williams, was so rad about it though. Especially that scold’s bridle (the “hellish looking SAW-like contraption”) you were talking about. I designed that thing by 4


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basically drawing a sketch on a napkin then handing said napkin to my friend, Ken Koll, and commissioned him to do his metal mastery to build it. We didn’t get measurements of the model’s head or anything. Some of those hooks in her mouth were actually digging into her gums. She was wonderful about the whole thing. I used Katie for all four of the first covers. Despite the hour or so she was in pain sitting for that photoshoot, I heard it is her favourite cover. [laughs]

Which artist would you most like to work with, dead or alive? I’m going to have to say two artists. Andy Warhol and Basquiat... again. I would have loved to have been a part of their collaborations. Their works are wonderfully simplistic, yet scream so much. I would consider it an accomplishment if I was able to create something I thought was simplistic. My work is constantly evolving and I never feel as if it’s complete. Or maybe I don’t want it to be complete. I could keep changing colors and other elements of my works over and over and appreciate every version.

Your design studio, Matthew Freyer Productions, ran for over ten years. Tell us about your studio and some of your clients. Matthew Freyer Productions was an art and design studio that specialized in enhancing brands through highly effective graphic design, website design, illustration, and photography. For the majority of those ten years I mainly worked with branding and marketing new Haunted Attractions and figures in the Horror Entertainment Industry. I’ve also worked with small businesses in the construction industry, gift and retail establishments, the food and beverage industry, churches, youth groups, and other organizations.

If you could create any book cover, which book would it be? Creating artwork that is haunting and beautiful is a passion of mine. I would love to continue creating creepy and dramatic illustrations for strange and unusual storytellers. That being said, I want to work with a variety of authors and publishers on their book covers. A book cover from a good storyteller who appreciates my style and approach to visually telling their story. If you could create any album cover, which album would it be? It would always be cool to do a Dinosaur Jr. album cover. They have been my favourite band since the first note I ever heard back in the late 80s. Their music inspires all the creative outlets in my life. Music. Art. Skateboarding. They are still touring and putting out records too, so you never know. [laughs]

You are completely rebranding your studio. What can we expect from the new “MFP?” Moving forward I will continue to create professional work that exceeds expectations. I love working with new brands and helping to develop how a company or individual presents themselves to the world. The main difference between the new brand I’m moving forward with and MFP, is I won’t be concentrating the majority of my business in the darker industries. I will continue to do the darker work but there will be more mainstream clientele. As for my new site, it will be simple and clean and more focused on my artwork and personal interests.

What are you working on right now? I’m currently helping to brand an online herbal shop that specializes in holistic medicines and education. I’ve worked with this client in the past marketing their brick and mortar metaphysical gift store and holistic centre. Great client! I am super happy they came back to me to help brand their new business venture. I’m also going to start putting more time into personal artwork projects. My mother and I have been discussing creating a line of Halloween Arts & Crafts to sell at local fairs. And my new website. [laughs] I’m gonna work on getting that up soon too. [laughs] 5


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some annoying bouts of head hopping along the way, which should really have been picked up during the editing process. These guys have been around long enough to know better. But all things considered this is a very accomplished work and a thoroughly decent read. Recommended. By C.M. Saunders

DEATH’S SWEET ECHO By Maynard & Sims http://www.maynard-sims.com/ The London-based dark fiction duo of Maynard & Sims, or Len & Mick, to credit their first names, have been active since 1972, when they first started perfecting their unique brand of understated British horror. Since then, they have produced a remarkably expansive body of work encompassing sixteen novels and scores of novellas and short stories spanning the whole genre spectrum. They are best known for their series of hard-boiled crime thrillers featuring DCI Jack Callum, but would perhaps be more recognisable amongst horror aficionados for their supernatural crime series Department 18, an adaptation of which won the 2013 British Horror Film Festival Award for Best New Screenplay. This is their tenth collection of short fiction. So what ‘ave we here, then? In short, a bumper collection of thirteen tales, most of which have never before seen the light of day. It kicks off with a story called “Glorious Dilapidation,” in which a man takes his wife to visit a place from his childhood. Great care is taken to build the character and as a result the story takes a little time to get moving, but when it does it is worth the wait. It’s followed by “Another Bite of the Cherry” (previously published as “The Curse of the Mummy”) which, as the original title suggests, has more than a touch of Hammer Horror about it. This one is let down slightly by a somewhat bemusing ending, but until then is a very capable study of how destructive love can be, set against a well-crafted West End theatre back drop. One of the most accomplished examples on offer here is “Silver,” a trippy and weirdly unsettling yarn about a man forced to send his daughter into rehab. When she starts seeing things in and around a lake on the grounds, nobody is sure whether to believe her or not. Until, that is, events are taken to a whole new level. A personal favourite of mine has to be “And it Goes Like This,” the cautionary tale of a stand-up comedian on the slide who encounters a very familiar visitor from his past. Any story that can get away with name-checking Jack Dee has to be worth a read. To summarise, Death’s Sweet Echo is sure to delight Maynard & Sims’s existing fans, as well as serving as a capable introduction for those less familiar with their dark wares. If you want eyeballpricking levels of blood and gore you won’t find too much of that here, the authors instead cultivating their distinctive brand of psychological terror with a decidedly British flavour. On the down-side, there are

BREAK THE CHAIN By Megan E O'Keefe www.angryrobotbooks.com Break the Chain is the second book in the The Scorched Continent series, the follow up to last year’s Steal the Sky, which received rave reviews. The story follows on, with the same fantasy/steampunk themes, so it’s best to read the first book in the series. This book is basically about a prison escape, but it’s so much more than that; the details of the plot are what really bring this amazing world and the characters to life. Seek out the first book in the series to get the most out of this. By Adrian Brady MIND FUCK By Renee Miller https://authorreneemiller.com/ This is a weird one. Hence the title, I suppose. Milo Smalls is a detective on the trail of an apparent serial killer taking out crazy people and making the deaths look like suicides. The only problem is, Milo is crazy, too. He once stabbed a colleague in the neck with a pencil (he doesn’t like pencils) and threw bleach over another. He is obviously in desperate need of some serious psychiatric help. But will the fact that he is stark raving mad help or hinder his investigation? Mind Fuck is one of those books frustratingly difficult to pin down. You never know what’s going to happen next, and can’t even classify it under a genre. Is it a mystery? A thriller? A comedy? It’s certainly dark, as the amount of death and brutality shows (including one poor woman who dies as a result of having snakes inserted into her rectum). I’ve read some of Renee Miller’s work before, and she has a very easy, accessible writing style. Littered with profanity, mind, but easy and accessible and witty as hell. Some people like the swears, and I’m one of them. The story moves along at a helluva pace, the characters solid and believable, and there are enough twists and turns along the way to keep anyone guessing. Don’t miss this one. By C.M. Saunders 7


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By Adrian Brady

THE UNFOLDING Director: Eugene McGing

SPRING (2014) Director(s): Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson

It’s the near future. The winter of 2016, to be exact, and the world is on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Two paranormal researchers, Tam (Lachlan Nieboer) and Rose (Lisa Kerr), drive out to an isolated mansion on Dartmoor to investigate an alleged haunting. The backdrop of this particular Fright Fest offering ticks every conceivable box and is downright chilling at times, from the full moon perpetually hanging in the sky to the mist edging across the landscape, and it gets off to a wonderfully atmospheric start. Sadly, it’s all downhill from there as it lurches from one tired cliché to the next. There are a few uncomfortable moments as whatever unseen forces lurking in the house begin to exert their influence and become increasingly menacing but obviously, our hapless duo opt to stay in an attempt to solve the mystery. Things reach a low-point when someone sends for a medium who then conducts a séance. Yawn. When the end finally comes it’s almost a relief, which is a shame because this is a movie that promised so much more. Still, on the plus side, The Unfolding is further proof that though it has its limitations, the much-maligned found footage format is still one of the most effective ways to deliver shocks-to-cam in modern cinema and there’s life in the old dog yet. Bonus points for having one of the most original endings to any haunted house movie you are ever going to see. By C.M. Saunders

How on earth have I not seen this movie before? The Internet says it’s been around since debuting at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2014. It did have a very limited theatrical release, then went direct to streaming, though, which is where a lot of things get lost. More’s the pity, because it’s an exceptional piece of work. Part of the attraction is that it’s so many things, and yet at the same time none of them. At its core it’s a love story, but it’s also a sci-fi flick, a monster movie, a mystery, a comedy, and one of those meaningful coming-of-age dramas like The Beach. It’s a huge risk trying to do so much within the confines of a single movie. So much can go wrong. But the directing team of Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson (who also wrote it) has done a magnificent job of crossing boundaries and meshing those genres together into something that is original and truly unique. A directionless young American, Evan Russell (Lou Taylor Pucci, who starred in the recent Evil Dead remake), loses his mother and his job within days of each other. He also gets in a spot of bother with da police and some local hoodlums, so he decides to skip town and use his inheritance to fund a voyage of discovery to Italy. Once there, he meets two hilarious Englishmen in a hostel, and hooks up with a local hottie called Louise (Nadia Hilker). And that’s where the fun begins. Louise slowly reveals herself to be a 2000-year-old murderous genetic freak, who gets herself pregnant every twenty years so her body can ingest the cells in her embryo and keep her young. Yup. She regales Evan with tales of 17th Century witch trials, erupting volcanoes, and surviving the Great Plague that swept Europe, all of which Evan takes remarkably well (“At least you have the same back-story as Harry Potter. That’s pretty cool”). Such is the power of love, I guess. Louise then reveals that she can only return to anything resembling a normal state if she falls in love. But does she really want to? The dialogue is sharp and witty, the storyline captivating, and the Italian setting stunning. Spring is much more than a mere comedic sci-fi flick. The subtext throws up some interesting existential questions and addresses some pretty fundamental moral dilemmas. Overall, this is a supremely creative, entertaining, and imaginative piece of work. By C.M. Saunders

FIX By Ferrett Steinmetz www.angryrobotbooks.com Fix is brilliant. Difficult to get into at first because of missing the backstory (this is the third book in a trilogy), it soon became apparent that this book deserved my full attention. Europe is falling apart, and SMASH agents are sent over there to contain it. A family in crisis. To give too much away is the spoil the surprises and twists that make up the majority of the story. But this book is much more than a simple plot with a few twists and great ideas. It’s about the characters, their relationships, their struggles to live a normal life and be a normal family. A small scale story, on an epic stage. The world and a single family brilliantly interwoven. Fix is an incredible end to an amazing trilogy. Steinmetz is an excellent writer, managing to maintain and increase the pace and tension throughout the book. 9


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an outstanding collection in virtually every way. Some stories are stronger than others, but there’ll be something here for every reader. It was good to make a return to the Lake, and I sincerely hope to make many more visits in the future. By C.M. Saunders

TALES FROM THE LAKE 2 Crystal Lake Publishing, based in South Africa and expertly run by Joe Mynhardt, is quickly gaining a reputation as being one of the best outlets of horror and dark fiction currently in the market. Everything they do reeks of class and quality, and they’ve let nobody down with this anthology, the sequel to 2014’s Tales From the Lake which won rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and sold by the bucketload. So, the first question has to be, can the second volume live up to expectations? A cursory glance is reassuring. The cover art is attractive and suitably creepy, and the list of contributors reads like a roll-call at the Horror Hall of Fame – Tim Lebbon, Ramsey Campbell, Jack Ketchum, Lisa Morton, Mark West, and the sadly departed Rocky Alexander, to name but a few. As with Volume 1, these stellar names sit comfortably alongside three winners from the Tales From the Lake writing competition, a great initiative which provides a springboard to success for some of the finest emerging writers in the genre. This time out, the honour belongs to John Whalen, Jonathan Winn, and Vincenzo Bilof. Kicking off the collection is “Lago de los Perdidos” by Jim Goforth who, you may remember, made a splash (sorry) a couple of years ago with his novel Plebs. “Lago de los Perdidos” tells the story of a man, struggling to cope with the breakup of his marriage, who finds himself on the edge of a lake notorious as a suicide destination. Just when he thinks things couldn’t get any worse, a strange woman appears and starts telling him things he really, really, didn’t want to know. Next up is Campbell’s offering, “Out of the Woods.” Though typically and recognizably Campbell, in truth this isn’t his best work, though that could well be due to the rest of the material here being so strong. Despite being filled with some wonderfully descriptive passages, “Out of the Woods” feels a little lightweight, and could almost be a section of a much longer work. Early highlights in Tales 2 include “Winter’s Dollhouse” by Rena Mason, a marvellously taut little yarn featuring a couple who decide to go ice diving only to discover that danger awaits them at every turn, not all of it under water, and “Photograph of You” by Mark West, a ghost story disguised as an excruciating study in relationship paranoia. Another stand-out, “Prime Cuts” by Glen Johnson, is more than enough to put you off ever visiting Thailand, while Richard Chizmar’s “The Lake is Life” also deserves a mention for being an entertaining teen caper in the vein of vintage Richard Laymon. This is

THE RISE OF IO By Wesley Chu www.angryrobotbooks.com Io is an alien who mistakenly inhabits the body of Ella Patel when its host is killed. Io is a Quasing, an alien race that had hidden inside of Earth for hundreds of years, hiding in plain sight, inhabiting humans... Io is responsible for a number of mistakes made by the human race, but is on a mission that Ella must now become a part of... Although set in a world of aliens at war, this feels more like a spy thriller much of the time. There is the constant sense of danger, and the tension rises throughout the fast-paced action of the novel. Exciting, fast-paced and thrilling, this is a great book. Chu has a new fan! By Adrian Brady RHAYVEN HOUSE By Frank E Bittinger http://www.frankebittinger.com/ Ian Harket is out walking one day when he stumbles across an old deserted house. Captivated, he sets about trying to find who it belongs to with a view to buying it, but his efforts are hampered (or aided?) by some very peculiar occurrences. Not to be perturbed he eventually wins out and achieves his goal, but that’s when his problems really begin. Frank E Bittinger is an up-and-coming dark fiction writer from Western Maryland. Most of his previous work has been based on or around ancient Egypt, and though some influences are inevitably carried over, Rhayven House marks something of a departure from his usual style and subject matter. It is a pure, unapologetic, haunted house tale, in the tradition of Lovecraft and MR James. Bittinger is an obvious scholar of the supernatural, the book being absolutely littered with references for those with keen eyes to pick up on. As the author himself says, he isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this book. He doesn’t attempt to offer anything new to the genre, preferring to tread a well-trodden path but developing his own strut with which to do it. A nice, cosy haunted house tale perfect for those long autumn or winter evenings. By C.M. Saunders 11


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stories are shared at campfires. Now there are entire websites dedicated to them. I had known about creepypastas for a while, especially the more popular ones. The subject matter would range from an otherworldly entity on the hunt for children to a ‘missing’ episode of a TV show causing kids to go completely mad. The creepypasta stories that grabbed my attention were the ones involving haunted game cartridges. After reading them for years, I finally decided to write one of my own. Even though almost all the originality had been squeezed out of video game pastas, I managed to write two that were received well on a popular creepypasta site. The feedback from my readers kept me going. From that point, I wrote original horror stories for the site, whenever an idea came to mind. I took care of these ideas and improved my craft. I strived to become a better writer. It wasn’t until a man by the name of Kenneth Kohl contacted me that true motivation kicked in. Mr. Kohl messaged me through the site and mentioned his admiration for one of my stories (the one about the attic in the basement). He wanted to put the story in an anthology he was working on, called Delightful Horrors: Tales from The Darkest Corners of the Web, an actual, physical book. He too was a writer of creepypasta, one I was already a fan of. For him to want to include me in a book was a sign that I was doing something right. He helped nurture my passion and make me the writer I am today. For that, I am grateful. After working with Mr. Kohl, I decided that I wanted to publish a book on my own. I wrote the psychological thriller Parallel Duality and began exploring different avenues for self-publishing. That’s when I discovered Createspace. Createspace is an Amazon-owned service that

Christopher Maxim: Writer of Horror and Creepypastas I am Christopher Maxim, a writer of horror fiction. I say horror, but my stories lean towards the strange and unnatural, rather than the horrific. Most of my works are based on actual events and/or locations. I like to take something real and mix in a pinch of the supernatural. Allow me to explain. My friend, Brandon, swears he recalls there being a door in his aunt’s basement that led to her attic. He was only a kid at the time, but he says he remembers it clearly. I used this as inspiration for a story. I asked myself, “What if there really was a door in someone’s basement that transported them into their attic? How would that work? Why would it be there? What would happen upon passing through the doorway?” In answering these questions, I formed a narrative. I took my friend’s weird memory and turned it into a story of suspense and mystery. I didn’t always write such strange stories. In fact, writing didn’t become a passion of mine until long after I graduated from high school. Sure, I wrote pieces in my English class and my Creative Writing class, but it was nothing I took too seriously. I had a knack for it, but had no desire to pursue it further. I didn’t have that desire until years later, when I delved into the world of creepypasta. Creepypastas are basically internet horror stories, written with the intent of shocking and unnerving the reader. The term ‘creepypasta’ comes from the online slang term ‘copypasta.’ A copypasta is a block of text that is copied and pasted several times and shared through various websites and forums. That’s how creepypastas came about too. They were online horror reads passed along from user to user and forum to forum, not unlike how ghost 13


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have narrated some of my tales on their channels, including Mr. Creepypasta, CreepsMcPasta, and Rob Dyke. There’s more to my story, but I’ll leave it at that for now. If you want to say hi, you can reach me through my website: www.christophermaximwriter.com

can publish your book for you and release it to online retailers, as well as libraries and businesses. The best part is that it’s free. But you still might end up emptying you wallet into your work to pay for your cover design and interior formatting - not to mention editing. These are all stages that should be handled with care before uploading your files to a website like Createspace. Luckily, Kenneth Kohl helped me out with the editing and formatting, but I went through another website called Fiverr for the cover art and design. Fiverr is an invaluable tool for me as a writer. It contains a vast number of freelancers offering all kinds of services. I now go there for all of my art, design, editing, and formatting needs. Most of the sellers offer affordable pricing and fast turn-around. I can’t recommend the site enough. If you’re a writer yourself, Createspace and Fiverr can be great tools to help get your work out there. However, my advice to you would be to do your own research. Look at all the services out there and choose one that tailors to your needs as an author. And maybe you have a friend who’s a great artist or graphic designer who’s willing to design your book for free! Then you wouldn’t even need a site like Fiverr. Go out there and explore your options! Despite all of the effort I’ve put into my craft, I’m still an unknown writer. I’m significantly less unknown than when I started, but still unknown. This fact does not discourage me. Writing is my passion. Being able to create worlds of boundless possibilities is what gets me up in the morning and keeps me playing make-believe on paper. As such, I do everything I can to get these worlds I’ve created out there. Each and every day, I do something to get my stories in front of new people. I send dozens of emails to creepypasta narrators on Youtube, horror-themed podcasts, magazines, and other outlets. If you try hard enough and you present quality work, eventually someone will take notice and throw you a bone. This dedication proved to be very rewarding. I’ve made new friends and had my stories featured on various websites and Youtube channels. I can tell you without a doubt that being directly involved in the writing community that you love is very fulfilling. In total, I’ve published two books on my own, including my newest release, There’s Something Terribly Wrong with My Son. I was also included in another one of Mr. Kohl’s anthologies, 6 Plots: Leo and More Grave Tales. My short stories have been featured on the Creepypasta Wiki, Creepypasta.com, and the NoSleep subreddit at Reddit.com. YouTubers

TWILIGHT OF THE DRAGONS By Andy Remic www.angryrobotbooks.com Book Two of the Blood Dragon Empire sees our band of heroes, now freed from the torturous clutches of the dwarves, heading deep into the mountain. Following Lilith the witch as she divines their path to the ancient city of dragons, Wyrmblood, hunted by dwarves intent on their murder. Above ground the freed dragons are on a rampage, attacking everyone and everything they can find. The Iron Wolves, another crack team of warriors from Vagandrak, from Remic’s previous books The Iron Wolves and The White Towers, find themselves on the receiving of Kranesh, the dragon queen’s, wrath. Beetrak the axe-warrior is intent on giving as good as he gets and involves his crew in an epic battle on the ramparts of the walled city. Anyone who hasn’t read at least the first book in this series should turn back now. Can you get away with not reading the first book? Sure you can, but it’s like watching a film by starting in the middle, or a football match from the second half. To get the most out of this book I would also recommend the connected Iron Wolves books, which will give you a nice back history of the characters. Having read a lot of fantasy I can pretty well predict where the author is going to go. I have a good idea of the plot, and how the characters will act. Not so with Remic. He manages to surprise me, a lot. What he is willing to do to his characters is… well, it’s quite horrible sometimes. And yet brilliant. His plots continue to surprise as well; just as I think this will be a nice Empire Strikes Back-like second book in a trilogy, adding depth and dimension to the story and moving it forward towards the inevitable conclusion, he throws in battles you expect him to save for the third book, he kills characters you expected to be the trilogy’s heroes, and he blows your mind. Remic surprises and delights in equal measure. He does something few writers seem to be able to — he makes you feel. Remic is a fantasy genius. Twilight of the Dragons slides nicely into my Remic collection, and if you don’t have your own Remic collection you’re 14


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another proposed series, this one about a former news reporter who recovers from an accident with the ability to see the future. Perhaps the most outlandish thing about this concept is that the newscaster uses his ESP to help people with their problems, rather than to scoop everybody else in the news field. Interesting as these rejected scripts may be, it’s a safe bet most diehard Ellison followers will be more entertained by The Last Person to Marry a Duck Lived 300 Years Ago. The author’s readers are always glad to read his opinions and humorous insights, and this book collects several short-lived columns as well as the usual odds and ends. The essays are all over the place, both in terms of length and content ranging from a Short Form column which is mostly shop talk for writers to the simpler and sadly short-lived “I Had a Thought Today” for the Funny Times. The highlight is a touching tribute to Theodore Sturgeon, one that includes a priceless though somewhat sad bus station anecdote as well as a description of Sturgeon’s paella-making habits that we could have all done without. Ask yourself if you’d want Ellison writing your tribute, especially after he describes longtime pal Robert Sheckley as “an unregenerate slut,” unfaithful, and slow on child support payments to boot. These two books make an odd pair, but they are only available as a set. The total price comes to a steep eighty bucks plus shipping, which makes it mainly a set for collectors. Those who don’t mind the pricey fee will particularly appreciate the quirky laughs and occasional heartfelt tributes of the whimsical collection of columns, even if they may be baffled by the title—I’m still trying to figure out who it was that married a duck. By Brett Taylor

not reading the right fantasy. By Stanley Riiks Brain Movies: The Original Teleplays of Harlan Ellison Volume Seven. The Last Person to Marry a Duck Lived 300 Years Ago: Pointed Essays by Harlan Ellison, Edited by Jason Davis. www.harlanellisonbooks.com Harlan Ellison has been a colorful fixture on the literary and pop cultural scene for decades, but because the authors recent books have been issued print on demand through Edgeworks Abbey, more casual fans may not be aware of the author’s publications of recent years and thus may have missed the author’s scripts for the eighties revival of The Twilight Zone as well as such oddities as Dark Forces, about an attorney with Dr. Strange-like powers. More proposed shows come to light in the seventh volume of the Brain Movies series, mainly The Tigers Are Loose, which Ellison spoke about on a memorable episode of Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow way back in 1975. By his own admission the author spent six months consulting with Marvyn Ziporyn, a psychiatrist best known for his intensive interviewing of serial killer Richard Speck. Obvious references to the grisly Speck case are hard to spot, but violence still became a bone of contention with the censors. Ellison’s gambit of stressing “subtlety” and misdirection are undercut to an almost absurd degree by such violent moments as the disturbed Speck-type beating a naked woman with a telephone and then dragging another woman to her doom for good measure. With its bizarre dialogue and array of deliberately offbeat settings (men’s magazines, porno shoot, plus a trendy and lengthy side trip into the world of reggae, with about a million “mons,” some from our lily white hero) The Tigers Are Loose resembles nothing so much as one of Ellison’s old scripts for the campy detective show Burke’s Law. With its enigmatic hero, reliance on psychiatric jargon and a bummer of an ending in which our hero fails to stop the murder of the main female character, it’s not a surprise that NBC passed on this. They did, however, air a later TV movie called Rage!, also from Charles Fries Productions, a grim movie which featured James Whitmore as a dedicated prison psychiatrist. It seems like they were looking for something a little more realistic than Ellison gave them. Also included is Esper, a shorter treatment for

BINARY STORM By Christopher Hint www.angryrobotbooks.com This is a prequel to Liege-Killer, an award-winning novel I’m not familiar with. But if it’s anything like this I’ll be searching it out. In the near future there is an undercover war going on against the binaries, a single consciousness in two bodies. Nick and Annabel assemble a combat team to track them down and kill them, but when the team leader fells Annabel, their plans begin to unravel... Fast-paced action, with political intrigue, and spy-craft-like war make for a book that thrills and excites in equal measure. By Adrian Brady 15


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there being angels and Lucifer in the cast. Urban fantasy doesn’t often get this dark, or this much fun. By Adrian Brady

SCRATCH By David Moody http://davidmoody.net/ David Moody has been away for a while. By that, I mean he hasn’t released any new books for a couple of years; he’s been active on other projects including developing at least one new film. If you are not familiar with his back story, Moody stands as an example to all independent writers when his 2009 self-pubbed debut novel, Autumn, was turned into a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Autumn led to a successful series of books, which put Moody firmly at the forefront of British apocalyptic fiction. But his stories are much more than simple zombie schlock horror. He has won a lot of deserved praise for his plot development and, in particular, his characterisation, which is once again on point with Scratch. In an attempt to escape the pressures of life (and provide a cheap holiday) Jody takes her three kids camping. When they are attacked by some folk who appear to be infected with some virus, they take refuge at the home her ex-husband shares with his new squeeze. Here the unresolved issues in their aborted relationship become juxtaposed against the zombie apocalypse, making for an interesting study of the human psyche. There is barely a dull moment as this fast-moving novella builds to a nerve-jangling climax you won’t see coming. Scratch is volume 8 of Infected Books’ Year of the Zombie, a year-long project featuring a different novella by a different writer each month, including some of the biggest names out there at the moment like Rich Hawkins, Adam Baker, and Iain Rob Wright. It’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon, and Moody’s novella is as good a starting point as any. By C.M. Saunders

Morpheus Tales Back Issues and Special Issues are available exclusively through lulu.com: http://stores.lulu.com/morpheustales For more information, free previews and free magazines visit our website: http://morpheustales.wixsite.com/morpheustales Morpheus Tales Review Supplement, November 2016. COPYRIGHT November 2016 Morpheus Tales Publishing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reviews can be used, in full or in part, for publicity purposes as long as Morpheus Tales Magazine is quoted as the source.

DOMINION By Peter McLean www.angryrobotbooks.com Don Drake is back (this is the second stand-alone Burning Man book), this time pitting his wits against some archdemon (Bianakith) who is destroying London’s ancient foundations. Will the former hitman and diabolist stop the archdemon or will London fall? Fast paced, action-fueled and so much fun. This book is similar to Kadrey’s amazing Sandman Slim novels, but the London setting makes this a bit darker. Don Drake is the real star of this book, despite 16


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MONSTROUS LITTLE VOICES

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Morpheus Tales Review Supplement Halloween 2016  

24 pages of genre non-fiction: an interview with cover artist Matthew Freyer, plus Christopher Maxim: Writer of Horror and Creepypastas, and...

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