Sunday, October 27, 2013

RoadKill Review: Dead Animals by CS DeWildt

DEAD ANIMALS contains 34 stories that together could be loosely described as Rural Noir. They range in length from tightly written, punchy flash fiction that pops like green wood on a hot fire, to more expansive pieces that burn slower and hold their heat longer.

The well crafted characters will hook you, but it is the bleak and beautiful qualities of the writing that reel you in. The eerie “Bad Habits” and the gloriously wrong “Shakespearian Varity” are amongst some of the best short fiction I have read, period. But even so, it is hard to top “Corbin’s Dreams Take Flight” with its oddly enduring trailer-trash kids and compelling narrative.  
Okay, so let’s cut to the chase here. Chris DeWildt knows how to tell a story and he does it with prose that, at times damn near sings. This collection contains some outstanding fiction. It also contains gut-shot squirrels, smashed frogs and a badly burnt pigeon. Lovers of animals beware; lovers of great writing, rejoice.

Chris' excellent new flash novel THE LOUISVILLE PROBLEM  is also out now. Featuring: one dead man, two beautiful women and a bag full of cash. You know how we roll around here. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hell and Gone

It’s all about the western right now and just to continue the theme, my story HELL AND GONE is up at THE BIG ADIOS today. I submitted this one back in the summer and I guess Ron Earl Phillips and Ryan Sayles must have liked it, because not only did they agree to publish it, but I also got offered an editors chair. I’m grateful for both.

The story is set on the Kansas / Missouri border towards the end of the Civil War. I have long been fascinated by this period of America's history and especially by the bloody, brutal and often short lives of the Missouri Guerrillas under the command of William Quantrill and Bill Anderson. These men rode hard, fought hard and ultimately died hard. Some of those who survived the war went on to become notorious outlaws such as Frank and Jesse James and Cole Younger. There is no doubt that the Guerrillas put a lot of the blood into 'Bloody Kansas', although to many living across the state line in Missouri they were seen as heroes, rather than murderers. I think the truth probably lays somewhere in the middle.  

HELL AND GONE introduces the character of Mitchel McCann; a preacher with Southern sympathies who worships his own particular kind of religion.  You’ll be seeing a lot more of him and his adopted daughter, Justice in my novella GOSPEL OF THE BULLET, which will be out sometime early next year. But for now go and get yourself to HELL AND GONE. I hope you dig it.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Five Broken Winchesters

Get it here!
It seems only fitting that I should be a whole week late in blogging about the release of Zelmer Pulp’s new Western collection. FIVE BROKEN WINCHESTERS has been subject to a metric ton of delays, at one time I actually thought we might never get there. But thanks largely to the efforts of Brian Panowich, Chuck Regan and stand up dude, Lincoln Crisler we now have a book—a damn good one too—featuring seven tales of the Weird and indeed the Wild West, written by the Zelmer Pulp team and special guests Ron Earl Phillips and Heath Lowrance.

Most of you will know Ron Earl Phillips as the head honcho of Shotgun Honey and The Big Adios. Ron has published all of the Zelmer crew at one time or another and we are delighted to have his traditional western story, ‘The Last Shot’ in the collection.
Heath Lowrance is another guy who needs no introduction, which is a little ironic seeing as he wrote the one for FIVE BROKEN WINCHESTERS. Heath also contributed a fantastic flash story featuring his hard-eyed righter of wrongs and legend of the Weird West, Hawthorne.
This edition also features killer tales from the Zelmer Pulp entertainment collective: Isaac Kirkman, Ryan Sayles, Brian ‘Yeti Chop’ Panowich and Chuck Regan, who also painted the cover and once again humbled us with both his artistic and his sexual...err, I mean literary prowess.
My humble contribution, ‘The Guns of Justice’ sees the debut of my scarred bounty hunting heroine, Justice McCann. Here’s a little taster to hopefully whet you appetite and loosen you wallet.

The Jailhouse door banged open, bringing down dust from the rafters and toppling the stack of papers on Wade Pollock’s desk.
“Goddammit!”  Wade said, shading his eyes against the bright spring sunshine that invaded his office.

A man stood in the doorway, he was nearly as wide as he was tall and looked about ready to chew up iron and shit out nails. Wade knew him right off; his picture was pinned up across from his desk. The wanted poster showed a buzzard-eyed killer with a huge beard. It was a good likeness. But Cory Johnson could only truly be appreciated by seeing him in the flesh. Wade twisted in his seat, reaching for the gun belt that hung on the back of his chair.

 “Where’s the sheriff?”
The female voice stopped Wade cold, his gun half clear of its holster. There was a dull smack as wood met meat and Johnson collapsed to his knees with a grunt. Behind him stood a girl—or at least something close to a girl—holding an old Baker side-by-side, stock first.

“You’re lookin’ at him,” Wade said continuing to pull his piece in spite of the fact that he could now see Johnson’s hands were tightly bound, or maybe because of it. 

The girl leaned and spat tobacco juice into the coffee can by the door. It gave Wade a good look at her face and the terrible scars she carried there.
“What happened to Miller?” she asked.

“Been dead about a month, I’m running things around here now. Wade Pollock’s the name.”

“In that case, this here belongs to you,” she said flatting Johnson completely with a well-aimed kick to his kidneys.

Wade looked from the gasping Cory Johnson to the girl and then to the crowd that had gathered in the street outside. “You best come in then, and close the door, that is unless you want the whole damn town knowing our business.”
FIVE BROKEN WINCHESTERS is available right now for your high-fluting Kindle machine and we are currently engaged in large scale deforestation to bring you a dead tree version by the end of the week. So have and it, or as we say here at Zelmer Pulp, Hammer Down!