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    • Man With No Name: A Nanashi Novella April 20, 2017
      Man With No Name Written by: Laird Barron Published by: Journal Stone (March 2016) Series: Nanashi Novella Paperback: 106 pages ISBN-10: 1942712863 ISBN-13: 978-1942712862 ASIN: B01ATOL62M Where to buy: Journalstone, Amazon.com (print), Amazon.com (e-book), and other fine book retailers. Publisher’s Comments: Nanashi was born into a life of violence. Delivered from the streets by the Heron Clan, he […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh: The Follow-up Interview September 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, I know… it has been a while. This year has been a trying one for me and I have been dealing with some “real life” stuff…  scarier than anything I post here. I apologize for our absence. But it was brief this time. Now that “real life” is levelling out, we are […]
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    • Now available: The Lovecraft eZine 2014 Megapack! August 10, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, So for the brief week off. But I had a case of life. I was on a bit of a mission and it went quite swimmingly. But fear not wicked ones. I am still here to bring you the strange and spooky! Today we have some news from a wonderful ezine […]
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    • A Conversation With Craig Yoe August 1, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Today I was fortunate enough to sit and have a chat with the wonderfully fascinating creative genius, Craig Yoe. Craig and I met at HeroesCon this summer when he accepted an award at The Inkwells on Steve Ditko‘s behalf (sort of). I was beyond thrilled when this incredible talent agreed to […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh —- The Review! July 29, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day seven of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh: Interview (/Happy-Hour) With Actress Tara Walker July 28, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day six of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director –Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss – […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh: An Interview With Director of Photography Ryan K. Johnson July 27, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day five of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin II – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh – Zombies Need Love Too July 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day four of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and yesterday’s interview […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Documentarian and Location Manager Sean Strauss July 24, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day three of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film and yesterday’s article written by yours truly!  Today we will be talking with […]
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    • Flesh of my Flesh – Through The Eyes of the 2nd Assistant Director – Madness, Mayhem, and Love July 23, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Welcome to day two of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out yesterday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film.  Today you get to hear me ramble on about my time on the set. […]
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Dead Red Heart

Dead Red Heart: Australian Vampire Stories
33 Tales of Dracula Down Under

Edited by: Russell B. Farr
Published by: Ticonderoga Publication
Page Count: 502 pages
ISBN-10: 0980781310
ISBN-13:  978-0980781311
Where to buy:
Amazon, Indie Books Online  and other fine book retailers

Publisher’s comments:
“33 fantastic tales, 502 pages, 140,000 words. All about vampires in Australia.”

Hello Ghouls and Boils,

Ticonderoga Publications in Australia has put out some terrorific books. They tend to have quality authors and the books themselves are beautiful (great covers and binding and paper quality). So, I was excited to receive a package from them. While going through and determining who reviewed what, it was a pretty easy choice when it came to “Dead Red Heart”. I handed it off to our resident undead expert, Alanna Quinn. So I shall now leave you in her capable icy grip! Enjoy, my fiends!

Abstrusely,
Sarah L. Covert

After reviewing Carnies by Martin Livings, I became interested in the vampire mythos possibilities in the “Land Down Under”. My impression is that Australia is everything most settings for vampire novel locations aren’t: dry, brutal and not lush unlike the European and Big Easy sorts of ways.

This collection by Ticonderoga Publications contains 33 tales that were diverse – not only in their creatures but also the varying landscapes where these creatures are found. The stories definitely use more of the continent of Australia than Uluru and the eastern coastline.

Martin Livings returns with “The Tide”, in collaboration with Alan Baxter, Felicity Dowker, Patty Jansen, Devin Jeyathurai, Chuck McKenzie, Andrew J. McKiernan, Lezli Robyn, Daniel I. Russell, Carol Ryles, and Kaaron Warren. This is a tale of immigration and the hardships of establishment in a harsh and hostile environment. Imagine the rough time vampires are going to get after the media finds out about the body count when the vampires are about to get the equivalent of refugee asylum. What is notable at the end (that will be a continuing feature throughout the book) is the afterward by the author.  I appreciate that Dead Red Heart gives another forum for authors to express themselves either about their work or any collaborative input they were given. It is a nice touch and I like it as a bonus, especially if the tale I finished was not particularly fantastic but I do not want to write-off the author.

“Behind the Black Mask” by Jacob Edwards mentions Ned Kelly, which brought to mind the Mick Jagger portrayal of the legendary bushranger and the image of the metal armor he wore to withstand being shot at. Edwards blended history with his tale of a bloodsucker from the bush with a nod to Ned Kelly’s capture. The bulk of this showed Australian colonial attitudes through the military and how that would prove to be hazardous when dealing with creatures that were not part of the colonials’ heritage and comprehension. This reminded me a bit of what I had come across in a previous review ( A Zombie’s History of the United States ) where the examples are of the American settlers not taking a clue from the Natives regarding zombies; eventually they catch on albeit much later.

Seeing how these vampires adapt to their environment to survive and what they  go through to get their needs taken care of has been an interesting learning experience. According to their nature, vampirism is primarily a condition of consumption, and this collection expands on what these predators’ habits are. “The Little Red Man” by Raymond Gates is my current pick of atypical vampire behavior; while the circumstances are nothing new, its use was clever and quirky. When I got to the end and reached the afterward to the story, the author spoke of the Australian vampire legend of the Yara-ma-yha-who; it is a creepy little beezer, and definitely not a melancholic type with white skin and nice hair.

With  “Desert Blood” by Marty Young bringing back Yara-Ma and “Breaking The Drought” by Jay Caselberg introducing the Wandjina from the DreamTime of Aboriginal creation stories, the vampire stories from Australia are both very rich in myth and psychology, the last particularly because even if I didn’t like the characters, I wanted to read about them if for no other reason than to see how their stories would finish up. It is possible, for me at least, to find a character utterly horrible and still find them worth reading about, provided they are interesting.

Final thoughts:
I have been fortunate in this volume not only to be entertained but to actually learn something as well. I recommend Dead Red Heart for readers without a fixed notion of what monsters should be like (or at least the ability to put those notions aside). Non-Australian cultures contain similar themes and myths (Adolf Bastian, a 19th century multidisciplinarian or polymath, called these commonalities in Elementargedanken or “elemental ideas”), but, due to regional proximity, these have their own heritage stamp. These are cool stories and I believe anyone with an interest in world cultures will enjoy the folkloric as well as the modern ideas in this book. I give this collection 4 out of 5 tentacles.

Alanna Quinn, Minion (Reviewer/Columnist)

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