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Life's Too Short for Bad Amazon Reviews

Posted by RossWarren on November 14, 2010 at 1:11 PM Comments comments (2)

When considering what subject to write about for my first blog here at the Machete Moonlight Online Horror Magazine I brainstormed on a sheet of yellow legal paper everything that slipped into my head in a five minute period. When I looked at what I had written I noticed I had scrawled the same phrase twice; Be Positive. And I thought that pretty much summed up my outlook where my own writing, and the genre as a whole, is concerened.

I'm by no means the world's most voracious reader but I still devour over fifty books a year, one a week if you will. Now as you might expect some of these are great, most flounder around in the average section of the scale, and an occasional few are down right poor. Now for me the thrill of discovering the diamond far out weighs the chore of sifting through the detritus of the genre so I want to tell other people about how good this or that book is. I don't want to spend my time and energy writing bad reviews on amazon or slating a particular novel or story collection on a forum.

Keeping this positive viewpoint keeps me excited about the genre and with this in mind I'd like to suggest a few things that do it for me.

First up is a UK writer who is about to go huge; Gary McMahon writes some of the most emotionally stirring and thought provoking fiction in the genre at the moment. Equally adept at short story, novella or novel length his recent outstanding releases include the collection Pieces of Midnight from Ash Tree Press, the novella 'The Harm' from TTA Press and the novel Pretty Little Dead Things from Angry Robot/Osprey.

My next recommendation is for the latest story collection from a more recognisable name in horror. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King contains four stories of varying lengths that share common themes. The stand-out for me was '1922' but all four are of top quality and suggest that King is back at the top of his game.

Thirdly is a magazine that has been described by Ellen Datlow as 'The Most Consistently Excellent Horror Magazine Published'. Black Static from TTA Press is published six times a year and features several pieces of fiction each issue that are complemented by some of the best non-fiction and reviews you are likely to find. Priced at just £3.95 per issue Stephen Volk's excellent 'Electric Darkness' column justifies the cost on its own.

Finally I would like to suggest you head over to Casting Runes, the website of writer Anthony Watson. Here you will find an eclectric selection of disturbing tales that range from the visceral horror of 'Inner Demons' to the emotionally impacting 'Gehenna' and all are availiable to read free of charge. And if your anything like me FREE may just be your favourite word.

So next time you read something that falls below your expected standard just toss it to one side and forget about it, but when you unearth a gem, let the world know.