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Gene O'Neill

Gene’s fiction has received numerous Stoker and Nebula recommendations. He lives in the Napa Valley with Kay, his wife of thirty-seven years, who is a teacher. They have two grown children.

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The Blue Heron: A puzzling Stoker win

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The Blue Heron by Gene O'Neill

This year’s Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in long fiction went to Gene O’Neill for The Blue Heron. Dark Regions Press originally printed a mere 13 signed copies of the novella-length work, but plans to issue a trade paperback edition this year. A bit of research on the internet also suggests that it was briefly available as an e-book on the author’s own website or Facebook page, but that no longer appears to be the case. (update: Find it here.)

I’m frankly puzzled by the Stoker win. The Blue Heron is a decent mystery/espionage story, but it’s not a horror story, even if one uses a very broad definition of the term “horror” to include thrillers or violent crime stories. In addition, the plot is predictable and t... Read More

Magazine Monday: Apex Magazine, Issues 55 and 56

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The most recent two issues of Apex Magazine give us a chance to say goodbye to one editor and hello to the next, and offer an interesting contrast between two strong voices.

Issue 55 is Lynne M. Thomas’s last issue of the 26 she has edited. It is a strong issue, with stories that are beautifully angry — at disease, at societal expectations, at clichés.

The first story, “What You’ve Been Missing” by Maria Dahvana Headley, is about the losses everyone suffers when a man is stricken with Alzheimer’s Disease. Joe has been caught eating Proust, dipping the pages into his tea and devouring them. His wife, Bette, is enraged, because when they were first married he had said he’d sooner walk into the snow shoeless than live without the full use of his brain. Now Joe not only doesn’... Read More

Evil Jester Digest, Volume 2: A horror anthology

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Evil Jester Digest, Volume 2 edited by Peter Giglio

Editor Peter Giglio explains in his introduction to Evil Jester Digest, Volume 2, that there are two ways to assemble an anthology: send out a call for submissions and read through the piles and piles of stories you’ll get as a result; or seek out exactly those authors you’d like to have in your anthology. In Volume I of Evil Jester Digest, Giglio took the first course, but in this volume he asked the writers he wanted to sell him stories. The result is a clean, tight anthology filled with good stories.

Evil Jester Digest opens with “No More Shadows” by Tim Waggoner. Dan is slowly driving around the parking lot of an electronics store, talking on his cell... Read More