Sunday, September 23, 2018
Review: Slices - by James A. Moore
Slices is a collection of shorts which originally came out as a limited edition hardcover and has now found a new home for wide release, meaning everyone can now enjoy James A. Moore at his best.
Fourteen tales from a true master of horror.
Grease Painted Smile - After seeing a picture in the local paper of up-and-coming comic Cecil Phelps the protagonist in this story believes he's looking at a dead man, more importantly, a dead man known as Rufo the Clown. A dead man who once told him...
"I'm going to make you bleed, boy, I'm going to make you bleed and die., but first, I think I'll rape your sister and eat your brother's eyes."
If you weren't afraid of clowns before...
Shades of Grey - Loaded with mystery, murder, and plenty of twists. And terrific writing, too...
"Danny drank coffee with enough sugar to kill a diabetic and enough cream to guarantee clogged arteries."
War Stories - Grandpa, a veteran of WWII and Korea, and Eddie a Vietnam vet, trading war stories on the porch. An early appearance from one of my favorite Moore characters, John Crowley...
"...no man before or since has ever scared the hell out of me the way he did."
Skinwalker - "Have you ever heard of a skinwalker? According to the myths of my people, the skinwalkers are evil medicine men, or even the enchanted corpses of medicine men. Either way, they are supposed to be possessed by a demon. They have pale white skin and, according to some, a preference for human flesh. They also have great magical powers and can make others do their bidding."
Simon's Muse - Jerry gets stuck in an elevator at Screamicon with his idol, Simon Crawford. An unexpected friendship ensures and years later he learns all about Simon's dark muse.
A Place Where There is Peace - An interesting tale which is never quite about what you think. Moore's tribute to H P. Lovecraft.
In the Oubliette - A wonderfully inventive and layered story about love from afar. One of my favorites in a collection of great tales.
Hathburn Avenue - "Now, I bet most people could tell you that at one time or another in their lives that they thought like they were being followed...but this didn't feel like eyes were following me so much as it felt like eyes intent on killing me."- I loved this ghoulish little story.
The Dark Place - IMHO, this could just be the perfect story. This was so creepy, it actually made me shiver and that just doesn't happen anymore.
Harvest Gods - I got a kick out of the way Moore spends the first part of this story extolling the virtues of the quiet little town of Summitville and then tags it with the line...
"I wish I'd never seen the damned place."
They Fell from Space - *Note to authors everywhere. Once a meteor falls to Earth, it is a meteorite. That being said, this was a fun little telling of the familiar trope of something arriving with said meteorite and terrifying the natives.
Burden of Guilt I: Burden of Guilt - Howard R. Dowd, of Hinkle & Dowd, Attorneys at Law, has picked up a new skillset. He suddenly has the ability to see a person's darkest secrets. As a result, he begins to wonder if he's doing the right thing by getting his clients declared "Not Guilty."
Burden of Guilt II: My Brother's Keeper - Jake and John are twins who suffer from the Corsican Brothers Syndrome...
"I had to share the most intimate moments of my life with a man I hated and he had to do the same."
Burden of Guilt III: - Jack Covington and four other members of his HS football team did something their senior year they would all rather put behind them, but as so often is the case...
"The past has teeth. The past is unforgiving."
Wow. I'm so glad that John McIlveen at Twisted Publishing decided to resurrect this collection. There is not a bad story in the bunch. I am so happy to give Slices my highest recommendation.
Published by Twisted Publishing, an imprint of Haverhill House Publishing, Slices is now available in wide release in both paperback and for the Kindle. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.
From the author's bio - James A. Moore is the author of over forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, Blood Harvest, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley). He has twice been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and spent three years as an officer in the Horror Writers Association, first as Secretary and later as Vice President.