A Novella of Horror, candidly, matter-of-factly, words gracing the front cover of this particular dish, served up piping hot but nonetheless all too plainly to prepare the reader for what’s in store. Novella? Yes, it is a relatively short work. Horror? Most of the reading world carrying an affinity for the genre are typically drawn to more of a mainstream climate, undeniably, so be forewarned that horror is putting extremely lightly the explicitly ghastly exposition saturating virtually every page, paragraph, sentence incorporated into this work, down to the last word. Siki City is not for that mainstream reading world, was not written for them anyway.

Siki City by Lucifer Fulci

(2001 Eve Blaack Publications)  Read more about the author here.

that each mistaken identity must pay dearly;  he believes they are masquerading as his lost love on purpose just to screw with his mind.  Woe to them, and to whatever unsuspecting gentleman that happens to share their company, where The Goat is concerned. 

     Such is the basis for Night of the Goat, more a novella than a novel (it's just over a hundred pages).  Written by a promising, up-and-coming horror scribe by the name of Russell Paine, whose previous works sometimes penned under the pseudonym Ross P. Psuty include the short story gorefest Tales of the Axe (available also as a beautifully executed audio CD), we can see by the writing style a voice relatively young in the craft.  The story is simple, and simply told, at times making the characters not as carefully rounded or as multi-dimensional as they should be.  Discarding these shortcomings, however, we behold here the development of a genre writer quite capable of packing a punch.  There is originality here, beneath the surface, and rather frightening surprises with an undeniably eyebrow-raising twist regarding just who this lost love is that the character of Isaac is searching for.  Russell also never falters in his usage of the more necessary ingredients that make a good story great, and it flows very well from beginning to end.

     Ready yourself for a good night's read, and let's all of us keep an eye on the career of Russell Paine, from whom we can anticipate truly disturbing works as he advances in our mutually beloved field.

     Isaac Crain is "The Goat," a self-proclaimed nickname derived both by an incestuous relationship and a National Geographic-like wildlife television show.  A mental institution escapee, Crain embarks on an obsessive search throughout New York City for his lost love which escalates into a relentless killing spree.  His mental faculties are so bent out of shape that he not only confuses one woman after another for the love he's searching for, but convinces himself once he's proven wrong

Night of the Goat by Russell Paine

(2004 Infinity Publishing)  Read more about the author here.

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Page Two

 I    It was written, firstly, for author Lucifer Fulci’s self-satisfaction as is the case for most writers I might add, and more profoundly for our subculture of gorehounds which flourish in the dark crevices of society around us.  For those of you not very well versed in the ways of Gorehoundism, if I may impose such a term, it should not be confused (and I’m speaking in terms of literature here) with the “splatter punk” phenomenon that horror in the written word had delved into in the days of the likes of John Skipp and Craig Spector and David Schow way over a decade ago.  Gorehounds are raw to just about the farthest degree a human can go in the ways of disgust, gore, violence, perversion and depravity, would take roadkill home to their mothers, idolize serial killers and Italian zombie horror and exploitation film icons alike, and drink their lovers’ blood for Valentine’s Day.  That’s probably the best I can do to paint a picture here, though perhaps I’m borderlining on stereotype.

With this, the essence of it all presented here to this degree, I welcome you to the explicit, often pornographic and sadistic universe of Lucifer Fulci’s Siki City.

Child mutilation, necrophilia, and all things sick and twisted envelope the handful of main characters as they journey in murderous abandon towards Siki City, in fact a graveyard bordering somewhere between Los Angeles and the edge of reality where all their dreams and nightmares promise to manifest with repercussions to all, the law hot on their trails.

 Fulci is an astonishingly impressive fluid storyteller, brandishing a way with words that far surpasses a great many mainstream works that have crossed my path over the years.  His visions are vivid, if not perversely poetic.  It’s refreshing and thrilling to acquaint oneself with such talent, even if the unapologetic explicitness is not one’s cup of tea.  The magic and brilliance which festers here is the blatant proof that a true gorehound can be utterly prolific, literate and even sophisticated, doing a credit to the way mainstreamers may otherwise perceive them.

Not I, as my perceptions here are as affectionate as they are descriptive, and many a gorehound has graciously rocked my world from time to time.

No wonder Fulci can write as well as he does, he’s got a lot on his plate.  He writes and edits major genre magazines, produces and directs, and his band Penis Flytrap is a major underground phenomenon.

Pretty sick stuff, this Siki City, and that’s the way it should be.  Fulci is a major asset to hardcore horror and serious gorehounds everywhere.

 

Desires Unleashed --The Knights of the Darkness Chronicles  by D.N. Simmons

(2004 AuthorHouse)  Read more about the author here.

       D.N. Simmons writes as though eroticism and romanticism were aspects of vampire and werewolf lore that she alone introduced, that bloodsuckers and shapeshifters weren't sensual at all until she came along.  Those of us who know better scoff at the assumption, because such folklore has always been driven into the dirt with its clichés and sexual overtones for as long as these supernatural myths existed in our psyches, especially when it comes to vampires.

     Simmons exhibits a very straight forward and stylized job with narrative, and succeeds in incorporating originality and substance in a genre which sports its clichés to the point where we all either yawn and yearn for something new, or love the genre so much that we appreciate virtually any work involving vampires or werewolves.  This particular novel is as fresh and original as the genre has to offer.

     Desires Unleashed, those two words, could solely for a book title's sake be misunderstood as a bit generic if not for the fact that after having read it you couldn't think of a more appropriate title, for not only is it the name of an important vampire-run nightclub in the story, but the book itself is dripping with a sexual desire that all the characters seem to readily have for one another.

      The tale is set in contemporary times, with the world turning against the events of the current day, except for how vampires and werewolves (shapeshifters, generally speaking) are not just a fact of life but a part of everyday society.  Like mutants are in the X-Men world.  This premise works well as a grand landscape for Simmons to give her talent a go-around.

     A task force especially suited for policing supernatural society is a result of such a landscape, and two police investigators (S.U.I.T.S., Supernatural Investigation Team, especially suited, get it?) are central to moving the story along as headless human remains are discovered in back alleyways, the two detectives find a great deal on their hands as well as their secrets shared together, and we all find ourselves entering an alternate universe where regardless of our persuasions or nocturnal habits, whether we feast on blood and manage our own nightclubs where souls fight to the death in subterranean arenas or belong to prides who turn into panthers at night, we're all of us, deep down, still human.

     Forgive the misspellings as you'll find them frequent, but they are easily ignored and I'd bet you'll find yourself engrossed as I have, for Simmons does a story good, and there's more to tell, for this is only Volume One in a series.

 

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(All reviews copyright © 2004, 2005 by Nicholas Grabowsky and Diverse Media, all rights reserved.   All book cover images are owned by their respective owners and used by permission.)