I watched this at the Sydney Film Festival and I dug it. There was Ginger Snaps (2000) and Bigelow’s Near Dark before that, but U.S. indie offerings in the vampire genre have been somewhat wanting compared to what the British have been serving up for years: zombies (28 Days Later), for instance, and werewolves (Dog Soldiers). Some kind of antidote to the scourge of blockbusters like Blade and I am Legend seems long overdue, and Jim Mickle does it with Stake Land.
Teenage Martin (Connor Paolo) loses his family to the vampire epidemic sweeping the country, starts hanging out with a badass vampire killer known only as Mister (Nick Damici). The pair are joined by not your usual misfits—a middle-aged nun, pregnant barmaid, a marine—all trying to stay one step ahead of the bloodsucking scourge, plus some cannibalistic tribes and Fundamentalist nut jobs who drop live vamps from the sky into frontier settlements for fun, oh, and because God told them to.
Beyond 70s-era taut cinematography, and a brave take on a Matthesonian world in which the monsters evolve—get smarter—Stake Land has three essential things going for it. Read more
My story, Lion Man, has been selected for an upcoming anthology from Dog Horn Press (UK), Women Writing the Weird. Honored to be featured with writers like Gina Ranalli and Aliette de Bodard, not sure who all else is in it. Pretty cool, seeing as Lion Man is a very early story of mine, first published by my friend Matt Revert at Legume Man Free Press. Not sure when it comes out, watch this space.
Just finished reading Stephen Graham Jones’s It Came From Del Rio on my new Kindle. I’d wanted to read it for ages, but couldn’t get it here in Sydney, so it was the first book I bought on the kindle. Okay, this is a read that grabs a hold of your psyche and just won’t let go. Think Dashiell Hammett meets Carlos Fuentes in hell—radioactive bunnies, chupacabra (bald, blood-sucking canines) vengeful border narcs, zombie dads, and that’s just the wildlife. Throw in a bad case of mouth ulcers, a Bonny-and Clyde subtext, and a lonely ham radio nerd and you’ve got one of the strangest murder mysteries this side of the border, told with Stephen Graham Jones’s signature heart, elegant prose and killer sense of place. I became hooked on Jones after reading How Billy Hanson Destroyed the Planet Earth and Everyone On It—there’s not many sff writers around of whom you can ask every single time—how the hell did s/he do that? Jones is one of them
… His flesh hung in folds over his eyes, one of which had a sideways cast to it. His wife, Una, pushed into the center of the pass window behind the bar. Her face red as rubber, a boiling ball of rage and defeat stirred by the rage and defeat she saw in her husband and could not cure…
Read more at New Dead Families, along with some very cool fiction and demon art.
Twenty years to the day after getting my first chunk of change for a piece of non-fiction (an article for the San Diego Herald-Tribune bizarrely titled, Home is Where the Art Is!), I just got my first check for a piece of fiction, and it is for the exact same dollar amount. Sweet…