Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CESAREFEST: Video Night by Adam Cesare

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving. That'll be nice, I suppose. More importantly, today we continue to observe Cesarefest. And so it goes...

Video Night is Mr. Cesare's second novel and it shows his progression as one of the best living horror writers even as he continues to deliver the great fiction you've come to expect from him. More of the same...but better. That's the Adam Cesare way.

The plot of Video Night centers on horror movie aficionados banding against an alien force -- an alien that takes on the form of its victims. The characters in Video Night have to rely on their wits and their love of horror to survive.

Cesare takes his obvious love of horror and applies it to body horror. If you grew up in the 80's or love 80's popular culture, especially horror, you'll love this. If you love fiction with great characters, wicked horrible villains, and a terrific plot, you'll love this.

I don't know what else I can do to make you become a lifelong patron of the House of Cesare. Read just one chapter of this and I promise you'll want to fly through the rest. If movie producers had any smarts, they'd be targeting this guy to actually provide what people wanted to see. In horror, it simply doesn't get better than Adam Cesare. His books are ones I return to because they're so much fun, because they keep me up, because they remind me what great fiction reads like.

And guess what? Video Night is entirely deserving of all of this praise and it is entirely not my favorite Adam Cesare novel. For that, you'll have to keep observing Cesarefest with me.

In the mean time, eat some turkey.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CESAREFEST: Tribesmen by Adam Cesare

Cesarefest is an ongoing celebration of the career of Adam Cesare, one of the best horror writers today. His newest book, Exponential, comes out on December 2nd and we'll be having a look at his bibliography every week until then.

Tribesmen was released in 2012 and it was actually my introduction to Cesare. If you like Italian exploitation films from the 70s like Cannibal Holocaust and so on, you'll love this. It is largely a homage to that sort of thing but, like all great homages, it is terrific on its own.

Tribesmen is fast, gory, funny and fun. It isn't Cesare's best book but its so hard to decide what his best might be, as you'll see in the weeks to come. Cesare has one of the most unique voices in horror and you can see that voice here.

Tribesmen rocks and you need to run over to Amazon and grab the new edition of it with the amazing new cover art. Pick up everything by Cesare while you're there and don't forget that his newest, Exponential, hits in just a couple weeks!

REVIEW: Cry Havoc by Jack Hanson

When I was a kid, I loved sci-fi, action-adventure novels, sword and sorcery and pulp. Come to think of it, that hasn't changed. About the only thing different is that I've read a bunch of literary novels since then that I'm sure have taken years off of my life.

Something else is different though. The action-adventure novels of my youth featuring a select group of men taking untold numbers of baddies are basically all gone. Fantasy, itself a genre, looks down on the sword and sorcery books that used to sell big numbers. Sci-fi, well...sci-fi just isn't as fun anymore. That's where Hanson comes in. Let me tell you, guys. Cry Havoc is FUN.

The dinosaur on the cover isn't a suggestion. You won't just find dinosaurs though. You'll find pirates, aliens, sword fights, and, most of all, well-drawn characters that you care about.

The plot follows four teens at the Ganymede Military Academy. As expected, they aren't quite ready for what's ahead of them. Enter Master Assault Sergeant Alexander Black to whip them into shape. I'll let you read to find out how that goes.

One of the best features of Hanson's novel is the world building. As the action is going on, you find out about the politics and histories of all the groups involved. It isn't how you might expect it to be. Hanson is writing fun, exciting science fiction but it isn't derivative of what's come before it. Its making its own statement in the tradition.

If you dig science fiction adventure that takes you to wild, incredible new places then here's your book. If you like Burroughs and Card and Weber, here's your book. Even better, there's more coming.

Finally, this is really relevant to nothing but I just wanted to say it. Hanson and this novel were victims of the Permuted Press debacle. You can read all about that through a Google search if you haven't. Suffice to say, they must feel like real assholes now that Hanson released this great book on his own. And they should.  Because they're assholes.

Screw you, Permuted Press.