Archive for September, 2010

Book Review: Dead Practices by Shells Walter

                                               Dead Practices by Shells Walter

                                                 Book Review by A. R. Braun

Are you a zombie addict? Then you’ll love the novella, Dead Practices, by Shells Walter.

Jerrod’s a lawyer and Rusty’s a cop but they’re not your everyday lawmen. They’re civilized zombies in the future when the world has found a way to stop their flesh-munching ways: with psychotropic drugs. Work is hard enough without digits and limbs falling off but, thanks to Super Glue, things keep rolling along . . . literally. Jerrod rides a Harley.

Their biggest problem is Ken Yearns. He’s found a way to make the zombie citizens into cannibals again, and he’s using them to commit crimes. First, he knocks off a gas station, and then a bank, while his zombie horde eats anyone to the bone who stands in the way. The worst is yet to come, however. The president is coming to town, and Yearns won’t stop until he’s conquered the commander-in-chief. Now Jerrod and Rusty have to throw down the gauntlet to stop Yearns and his horde. Can they find a way to save the president and the country from destruction?

I was impressed with Yearns and his undead cronies, especially when they went after the president. The chaos that ensued with both America’s leader and the secret servicemen gaping at the zombie army had me enthralled. Most of the book seemed a bit simplistic to me, like a young adult novel with extreme violence, but there was enough humor to keep me interested. And, at 174 pages, it’s a quick enough read for those strapped for time. I’m sure zombie junkies everywhere will find Dead Practices a joy to peruse.

Book Review: Tapestry of Tales: Classic Fairy Tales Retold by Sarah Deckard

Tapestry of Tales   Tapestry of Tales

Book review by Sarah Hayes

A young woman cloaked in red visiting her grandmother is warned to beware of wolves. A prince and his aide venture through the countryside to free a sleeping princess from a castle surrounded by thorns. For the love of a human man, a mermaid sacrifices her tail and her voice. At night, twelve princesses dance so much and so long that their shoes fall apart on their feet. These may sound like the typical characters of your everyday fairy tale – but they are not. In fact, with a little twist of the words on the page, the heroes and heroines of stories long past turn into something brand new but just as enthralling.

As Tapestry of Tales shows, even the oldest of stories can be looked at in a new way. Sometimes, when you change the perspective of the story, the heroine doesn’t seem so fair or the hero so noble and sometimes the villain comes out looking rosier than her detractors. Like in real life, every story has two sides and more than one way to tell it. When you see the witch holding the beautiful princess captive isn’t evil at heart and the woodcutter lending a hand to the little lost girl in the woods isn’t innocent – well, it makes you wonder what other fairy tales hide another facet to them.

With this book, Sarah Deckard has put some creative and decidedly dark spins on classic fairy tales – from Sleeping Beauty to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Her writing style is lavishly descriptive and thick with vivid imagery that seems apropos for her rehashed fables, which have all taken on a somber (if not outright sinister) accent. Some stories have an effective punch, while others get lost in their own detailed prose and lack impact. Having said that, the stories with the most striking affect are the ones that linger in the mind long after that particular tale is done; I found the retakes on Little Red Riding Hood (Beware of Wolves) and Sleeping Beauty (The Prince and the Thorns) the most effective of the collection. Deckard has shown, as illustrated in the final tale of this volume, that new things can spring up out of things old and forgotten – and that out of the fairy tales of olden times, new ones can still be dreamt of and told to generations to come.

Submission Status

Just a super quick update to let you in on our current submission status. We are still open to both fiction and poetry. The oldest fiction submission in my inbox is from July 21st and the oldest poetry submission is from July 29th.

If you submitted prior to that and haven’t heard back from me, I didn’t get it so please re-submit and be sure you follow the guidelines.

As a relevant aside, if you follow us on twitter @NitebladeZine I tend to update the submission status’ there more frequently than here.

Issue #13: Rosewinter

It’s live and it’s awesome!

Rosewinter by Megan Arkenberg
Incense Sticks by Ajay Vishwanathan
The Conversion by Kevin Gordon
The Little Mermaids by Laura Garrison
More to Me by Christine Dougherty
The Blue-eyed Boy by Ben A. Bell

Red Star Line by Jennifer Crow
Dreaming in MSG by Heather R. Peterson
Better Than The Real Thing by Mark Evans
Finicky by Francis W. Alexander
Aitvaras by Lee Clark Zumpe