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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I Can Taste The Blood edited by John F.D. Taff & Anthony Rivera [ 4 stars]

 
From the Description
 
Five Unique Voices.

From international bestselling author of BIRD BOX and Bram Stoker Award-nominee Josh Malerman -- the newly minted master of modern horror -- and Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS, John F.D. Taff; to the mind-bending surrealism of Erik T. Johnson; the darkly poetic prose of J. Daniel Stone and the transgressive mania of Joe Schwartz, I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD offers up five novellas from five unique authors whose work consistently expands the boundaries of conventional fiction.

Five Disturbing Visions.

I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD opens the doors to a movie theater of the damned; travels the dusty, sin-drenched desert with an almost Biblical mysterious stranger; recounts the phantasmagoric story of birth, death and rebirth; contracts a hit that's not at all what it seems; and exposes the disturbing possibilities of what might be killing Smalltown, U.S.A.

One Nightmare.

As diverse as they are, in voice and vision, the work of the five celebrated authors assembled in this stunning volume of terror share one common theme, one hideous and terrifying nightmare that can only be contained within the pages of I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD.
 
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Publication Length: 290 pages
 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this story. To join in the fun follow along with the blog tour hosted by the always awesome Erin Al-Mehairi over at Oh, for the Hook of a Book. If you are a professional blogger or media outlet, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi at hookofabook@hotmail.com about a review copy or to schedule an interview or feature with any of the authors.
 
 
 
 
I Can Taste The Blood is an interesting anthology of novellas. A lot of anthologies have a theme to connect the stories but this was one of the most unique ones I've come across. All of the stories share the same title. The five novellas in this book are each very different in both style and content, ranging from horror to a stream of conscience type story straight out of a fever dream. My two favorite stories in this collection are John F.D. Taff's story, a phenomenal body horror nightmare with hints of The Old Ones. And Josh Malerman's story which is reminiscent of a fantastic folktale told around a campfire as a warning about strangers. This anthology is both entertaining and thought provoking. I highly recommend this 4 star collection.
 
Buy the Book
 
 
About the Authors
 
Josh Malerman
 
 
 
Josh Malerman is the author of Bird Box and Ghastle and Yule and some forty other novels and stories that he wishes he could release all in one day… and he just might do that! He lives in Michigan with his fiancĂ©e Allison Laakko and their two cats Dewey and Frankie. Used to be three cats, but Dandy died on Halloween, begging the question: will the color orange always make Josh sad? Or will he see Dandy amongst the pumpkins, deliriously, happily, for the rest of his days…
 
J. Daniel Stone
 
 
Daniel Stone is the pseudonym for a hotheaded Italian kid from New York City. He has been a menace to society since 1987 and continues to terrorize local bookstores, art galleries and dive bars.
When he is not causing mischief, Stone reads, writes and attends as many rock shows as possible. He is the intermittently proud father of two bastard children: The Absence of Light (2013) and Blood Kiss (2016). Somewhere, out there in the dark, one can find more of his illegitimate spawns telling imaginative stories. Find him on Twitter @SolitarySpiral
 
Joe Schwartz
 
 
In 2008, Joe’s Black T-Shirt: Short Stories About St. Louis was published as a personal favor for friends of Joe Schwartz. The idea that people outside of Schwartz’s limited Midwestern world could find these dark, and occasionally personal, stories entertaining was as exciting as it was mysterious for the first-time author. Since then, he has written two more collections of short stories as well as the novels A Season Without Rain and Adam Wolf and The Cook Brothers – A Tale of Sex, Drugs and Rock&Roll. The kind of stories he tells have been described as "a sharp punch to the gut" and disarming "like a sunny day in Hell."
 
Erik T. Johnson
 
 
Erik T. Johnson doesn’t believe in order or boxes. He became a writer because he can’t make a straight line to save his life—since stories consist of terrifically asymmetrical, random sequences of random shapes. Also because of what Georges Bataille meant by: "I write the way a child cries: a child slowly relinquishes the reasons he has for being in tears."
Johnson is a Written Backwards DARWA Voice Award-winner whose fiction appears in renowned places, such as Space & Time Magazine, Tales of the Unanticipated, Qualia Nous, and all three volumes of the award-winning Chiral Mad series.
Erik is certain unreliable narrators don’t exist—only unreliable authors. He will prove his uncompromising reliability when his first book of short stories is published in 2016.
Visit Erik at eriktjohnson.net
Stalk him on Twitter @YES_TRESPASSING
Curse him at your own risk, do other stuff when it suits you.
 
John F.D. Taff
 
 
John F.D. Taff has been writing for about 25 years now, with more than eighty short stories and four novels in print. Six of his stories have been awarded honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror & Fantasy.
His collection Little Deaths was named the best horror fiction collection of 2012 by HorrorTalk. His 2014 collection of novellas, The End in All Beginnings, was published by Grey Matter Press. Jack Ketchum called it "the best novella collection I’ve read in years," and it was a finalist for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection.
Taff’s work also appears in Single Slices, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and The Beauty of Death.
He lives in the wilds of Illinois with a wife, a cat and three pugs.
 
 
Praise for I Can Taste the Blood and for Grey Matter Press
 
"Only a group of psychopaths would assemble a book such as this. Bloody brilliant, and beautifully executed. Taste this." - Michael Bailey, Bram Stoker Award-winning editor of THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD


"I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD is a tour de force for Grey Matter Press and for the five outstanding dark fiction authors gathered here. If you've read their work before, then you'll know what we're talking about, and if you haven't, you won't find a better place to start than right here." 
- Shane Douglas Keene, THIS IS HORROR


"It is the slow burn, the creeping doubt, the inherent violence, the lore made real. Through exotic locations, where the wind blows from within; flashing across the silver screen, violence echoing into the night; pulled from the trunk of a car, dark deeds that deserve retribution; a monster lying in wait, one more city down every road. Haunting and disturbing, even now, I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD" - Richard Thomas, author of BREAKER and TRIBULATIONS 


"While this quintet of authors may taste the blood, we readers will feel the fright of their nightmare visions, sense the dread, the thrills, the awe of their standout voices. MALERMAN, STONE, SCHWARTZ, JOHNSON, and TAFF: The five points of a brilliant star that herald short horror mastery." - Eric J. Guignard, fictionist, winner of the Bram Stoker Award and finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award
 
Praise for Grey Matter Press


"Grey Matter Press has managed to establish itself as one of the premiere purveyors of horror fiction currently in existence via both a series of killer anthologies --SPLATTERLANDS, OMINOUS REALITIES, EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED -- and John F.D. Taff's harrowing novella collection THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS." - FANGORIA


"The dark, all-encompassing theme seems to be the trademark of Grey Matter Press. When asked for a referral I often state without hesitation to the very press that has enchanted my reading attention." - Dave Gammon, HORROR NEWS
 
About Grey Matter Press
 
Grey Matter Press is a Chicago-based publisher whose mission it is to discover and cultivate the best voices working in dark fiction. The company is committed to producing only the finest quality volumes of exceptional fiction for its readers.Since the publication of their first volume in late 2013, Grey Matter Press has released a succession of bestselling titles, including two of which that have been nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award. FANGORIA Magazine says of the publisher: "Grey Matter Press has managed to establish itself as one of the premiere purveyors of horror fiction currently in existence." For more information visit GreyMatterPress.com or follow the publisher on Twitter at @GreyMatterPress.