Archive for January, 2010

A Couple Changes

There are a few important changes happening here at Niteblade. Firstly, I’m sorry to tell you that Nothing to Dread will be the last print anthology from Niteblade for the foreseeable future. The reason, in a word, is money.

The short explanation is that I can’t afford to do the anthology the way I’d like. LuLu is a fantastic POD service and it has a lot of uses and puts out a quality product, but since it is a POD system the final book prices are high. That makes them a tough sell and I haven’t actually got the time or the money required to promote the books the way your work deserves. Nor can I afford to print and distribute them myself.

There is good news though. Niteblade doesn’t make money on any issue, but we lose more on the print versions than the electronic ones. What that means is by eliminating the print anthologies for the time being we have been able to increase payouts to our writers. Starting with the March 2010 issue Niteblade will be paying $5 for short stories and $3 for poems.

Lastly, Niteblade now has a Twitter account. It will primarily be used to track submission stats and make announcements about acceptances and all that good stuff. If you have a Twitter account you can follow us at @NitebladeZine if you don’t you can continue to check this blog for updates of more than 140 characters 🙂

The Demon Redcoat

The Demon Redcoat
Book Review by Amber Stults

The Demon Redcoat is the final book in C.C. Finlay’s Traitor to the Crown trilogy.  In the series Finlay addresses the scenario of what may have happened if both sides of the American Revolution used witches in the war.  Finlay stays true to the actual timeline of events without moving them around to suit his purposes and a few famous figures make appearances as the main character, Proctor Brown, works to secure America’s freedom from the British.

Proctor is a former minuteman whose life has taken unexpected turns because of the war.  Though his life hasn’t gone exactly as he imagined it would, Proctor has the two things he wanted the most – a wife and land.  Through a series of events in the first book, Proctor was sent to The Farm where he met Deborah and fell in love with her.  Deborah’s parents were part of an underground railroad for witches and owned The Farm.

At The Farm, witches practice their magic and learn how to control it.  It’s also a safe haven for witches.  Proctor’s magic originally manifested in the ability to see the future but through practice and trials experienced in the previous books, he has grown more powerful than he ever imagined.

The British have a secret society of European witches known as the Covenant helping their cause.  England recognizes the rights of blacks as free people but ironically continue to kill witches for practicing their magic.  The Covenant has inserted itself into positions of power in Europe and some of its members have lived for hundreds of years.  They would like to defeat the American rebels in order to maintain their current power.  Throughout the trilogy The Farm has received quite a bit of attention from the Covenant.  Deborah and Proctor decide the only way to save them and their loved ones is to take the fight to the Covenant.

Proctor represents the everyman and the action always focuses on him.  Once he is on his way to Europe, Finlay is able to keep the reader informed of what is happening in America without breaking in with a narrator.  These glimpses of events without full knowledge of the circumstances give the reader the same sense of confusion and dismay experienced by Proctor.  This serves the story well.

The topic of slavery comes to the forefront in both subtle and obvious ways.  Accompanying Proctor to Europe is a former slave, Lydia, who pretends he is her master.  Lydia finds her role a difficult one to return to, just as the rebels found it increasingly difficult to go along with the demands of the British.

This is a good book to turn to for some cerebral fun with some action thrown into the mix.  No zombies or animated scarecrows arrive for the action as in previous books.  As the title suggests there are plenty of demons.  One scene with King George would be laugh out loud funny if it were not for the seriousness of the situation.  Overall it’s a satisfying ending to the series and even leaves an opening for a series set during the Civil War.

Around a Dark Corner

Around a Dark Corner
Book Review by: A.R. Braun

Jeani Rector’s Around a Dark Corner is a refreshing collection of short stories that genuinely creeped me out. The book has the look of a small press publication, and if you can get by all the typos and the overuse of passive, to-be verbs like “was” and “were,” you’ll be able to enjoy this work. I found myself liking a little over half of it. She’s done her homework as far as research, and there are some great descriptions of what happens to the body after death. Especially gut-wrenching were “The Dead Man,” “A Medieval Tale of Death,” “The Spirit of Death,” “Horrorscope,” “Maggots” and “Flight 529.”, a story of a plane going down through the protagonist’s point of view.

The story that stood out to me as far as greatness was “Horrorscope.” I’m always going to give kudos to any writer that names her story after an Overkill song–I don’t know if this was intended–and the rantings of a madman in second person had me cringing in my seat.

Although she seems to have mastered the short story, I didn’t care for the long short story, “Lady Cop,” and the novella, “A Teenage Short Story.” The long-winded stories came off a bit simplistic and heavy-laden with what seemed like rushed content just to fill up space. I have to ask myself why a high school girl would care about a murder in 1935, but I won’t give away the ending or too much content.

I recommend Around a Dark Corner because a little over half the short stories sent shivers down my spine and had me wincing.

The Fantastic Art of Garret Dechellis

With bloodied sword before her, a mistress of battle stands proud at the head of her army. Perched atop a craggy islet rising from a tentacle-churned sea, a mysterious sorceress prepares to cast arcane spells. Amidst the metal gears and towers of a strange futuristic world, three young guardians appear ready for action. All these fantastic images, and more, can be seen in the artwork of Garret Dechellis.

A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, Garret is addicted to all forms of illustration, from science fiction to the bizarre. He finds inspiration in everything around him, as well as in the works of other fantastic artists such as Donato Giancola, Greg Manchess, Michael Whelan, Syd Mead and Jeff Jones. A versatile artist, Garret switches back and forth between traditional and digital media. Lately, he has been mixing the two forms together to create his works of fantasy and wonder.

A children’s book featuring Garret’s art will be released in the near future. Garret’s art will also be featured in a forthcoming graphic novel. More examples of Garret’s work can be seen at his web site:


Preditors and Editors

I have nothing against the Preditors and Editors poll, in fact last year I nominated stories, art and poetry from Niteblade for it and sought people’s votes. The thing about P&E though is that you have to do that, seek out votes, I mean. It is, in part, a bush-beating contest. The person who can drum up the most votes from the public wins. Again, there is nothing wrong with that but it turns out, I don’t have time for that sort of thing. With that in mind I made a decision some time ago to not nominate anything from Niteblade this year.

Well, someone else did it anyway 🙂

It turns out that Niteblade is nominated under the Fiction Magazine category and I am nominated under Ezine Editors category. Thank you to whomever nominated us in the first place, and to anyone who tosses a vote our way.