May in Review

Letters of the Month F & G

May was National Short Story Month we dug up a collection from 2019

Brian Evenson’s blurb caught my eye “Here, things almost happen, and the weight of their almost happening hangs over the narrative like a threat.”

Most of Ha Seong-Nan’s stories are open-ending leaving the reader to take in the story and leave the imagination running. The surreal and strange at hand is mundane, yet entertaining and interesting. Open Letter Press and their translators find some of the best collections and novels to bring to life.


New Favorite Cover Design from Daniel Tinagan
He is also the hand behind A Predisposition For Madness

With Zombieland vibes and survival tactics at hand, Lopez journalizes events of the coming feast. This fast paced novella drops you right into the plague and chases you to the last page. Daniel Tinagan cover design is remarkable. Definitely in my top ten favorite covers. Recommended Reading for fast paced Zombie Fans!
Aurelio Rico Lopez III will return to HsM in 2023 with a NEW RELEASE… Stay Tune

from Stitched Smile Publications


Quick Reads FUN & GROTESQUE

The Filthy MaraudersThe Filthy Marauders by Bob Freville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A punch gut laugh track over the roaring engines of motorcycles. Freville’s absurdities, violence and pornographic measures holds a madness that drapes the curtains over an applaudable encore. Rev up your reading pleasures and get on the road to Delacroix, that puts the Olympic Games to preschool levels and Adult Swim Cartoons on blast!

From Evil Cookie Publishing

GasparGaspar by Matthew M. Bartlett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Returning to Leeds for another helping of Bartlett’s grotesque design of literature. The build up to the final minutes (or pages) is a deadly delightful dance with answers of destiny and diabolical terror.

The artwork by Aeron Alfrey and Dan Sauer’s stunning cover design compliments the monstrous visions of Bartlett’s GASPAR.

Collector Copy #111

From Dim Shores

Other books read in MAY

Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota – Amelia Gorman
(Interstellar Flight Press 2021)

Glaring Through Oblivion – Serj Tankian (It Books 2011)
Global Frequency, Vol. 1 – Warren Ellis (Graphic Novel – Wildstorm 2004)
Fragments of a Revolution – Seb Doubinsky (Stalking Horse Press 2021)


Samantha Hawkins – The TikTok Queen

Goblins On the Other Side – Carlton Mellick III
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It – Elle Cosimano

@samanthas_shelf

“Goblins On The Other Side” by Carlton Mellick III

♬ original sound – Samantha Hawkins
@samanthas_shelf

“Finlay Donovan Is Killing It” by Elle Cosimano

♬ original sound – Samantha Hawkins

Follow Samantha and her LOVE for BOOKS 📚📚📚
https://linktr.ee/samanthas_shelf


CLOSING SONG FOR UKRAINE

Bad Wolves Cover

April in Review

Letters of the month C or U

National Poetry Month

The fifty poems in American Primitive make up a body of luminous unity.

Recommended
Poet


Oliver’s poetic enthusiasm over nature is pure magic.

Read for National Poetry Month 2022



This month Samantha reviews:
Clockwork Girl by Athena Villaverde
Unbortion by Rowland Bercy Jr.

Samantha Hawkins:
https://linktr.ee/samanthas_shelf
It was alive, confused, and pissed!

💥Proceed with caution in regards to this read as it is an extreme horror novel and NOT for the faint of heart💥

What a short, sick, and utterly disgusting read. The descriptions are superb at making you recoil and gag. I can’t really describe this read as it’s really one you have to delve into and experience yourself but I give this a solid 5 🌟 for being one hundred percent vile and repulsive and even a bit funny at times.


BookTok for Clockwork Girl

@samanthas_shelf

“Clockwork Girl” by Athena Villaverde

♬ original sound – Samantha Hawkins
Clockwork Girl on Amazon

The Modern Custodian RETURNS!

Beneath the Current of Our Existence:

Enter into this tragicomic melodrama the author himself in a stroke of metafiction that predates the emergence of postmodernism by nearly fifty years—Unamuno the Author intervenes in Augusto’s suicide attempt, informing his central agonist of his fictitiousness and insisting that a figment of the imagination does not have such luxuries as the right to die.

aka “MIST”

This is a book by Miguel de Unamuno and anyone familiar with the late Spanish essayist can tell you, that means it is a psychic stew. Whether writing of Cervantes’ crowning creation, Don Quixote, or the agony of Christendom, the infamous rector is impassioned, distracted, and all over the place. He is also on fire, on point, and knows exactly where he is going, whether he realizes it or not.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“The web of life is being woven and unraveled at the same time. And from time to time we get breaths and vapors and even mysterious murmurs from that other world, from that interior of our own world.”

Modern Custodian says: “If you took something from this exploration of Niebla, please consider subscribing to my newsletter (it’s FREE!!!) and be sure to keep an eye on my Substack for future updates on my top-secret Miguel de Unamuno project, a literary restoration I am curating with Donald Armfield for Hybrid Sequence Media’s forthcoming Hybrid Mended Series.”

HYBRID MENDED SERIES 2024
MORE INFO COMING SOON
HYBRID SEQUENCE MEDIA

Books Read in April

The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon (Harper & Row 1990)
Cool Gardens – Serj Tankian (MTV Books 2002)
Can You Sign My Tentacle – Brandon O’Brien (Interstellar Flight Press 2021)
Commodore – Philp Fracassi (Strange Aeons Publishing 2021)
Cinderella: Fables are Forever – Graphic Novel (Vertigo 2012)
UFOlogy – Graphic Novel (Boom! Studios 2016)
Under the Shanghai Tunnels and Other Weird Tales – Lee Widener (Strangehouse Books 2017)
The Undoing of the Undone – Jaundre Van Breda (Self Published 2022)

March in Review

Letters of the Month N or P

The Modern Custodian Returns
with Nanny Knows Best


A Comedic Buffet of Old Whores and New Homes: The Short Stories of James Burr
Available in HsM Shop

Doomed Clients

Nanny Knows Best is the finest short story collection I have read since Benjamin Weissman’s Headless and twice as smart. This collection had me enthralled from the very first page of its prologue, a darkly comical vignette that deftly skewers the hospice arm of the health care industry with all of the cheeky inventiveness of vintage Vonnegut and the physical comedy of classic sitcoms.


The Lovely Samantha Hawkins from The Panic Room Radio ShowHellBound Books

Her honest TikTok reviews have become widely popular in the Horror Community and she returns with Parasite Milk by Carlton Mellrick III and A Predisposition for Madness by Aurelio Rico Lopez III


@samanthas_shelf

“Parasite Milk” by Carlton Mellick III

♬ original sound – Samantha Hawkins
@samanthas_shelf

“A Predisposition for Madness” by Aurelio Rico Lopez III. I was given this in exchange for an honest review.

♬ original sound – Samantha Hawkins

More reviews from Godless
A Predisposition for Madness

Available in HsM Shop
or Godless

A STRANGE SURPRISE

Aurelio Rico Lopez III has provided readers with a robust assortment of free-verse narrative poems. There are literally dozens of stories and set pieces conveyed through poetry in this collection, and it’s well worth the time spent properly digesting each and every one. A Predisposition for Madness has certainly put this writer on my radar in a good way. In these pages, you’ll discover monsters both human and far from it, you’ll witness new pandemics and sickness ravaging households and the world, you’ll see warfare and apocalyptic scenarios played out, and you’ll encounter things far more challenging to describe. There’s most certainly something in here that will suit the tastes of any reader, assuming that reader enjoys poetry. Even if you don’t typically enjoy it, I’d recommend giving this collection a chance. The title is an apt one, the cadence of the poems coming across almost as if the stream of consciousness ravings of a madman in a padded cell, alternating between mumbles and screams.

Books Read in March:

Nobody Move – Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2009)
Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen – Helen Mullane (Comixology 2020)
Night Boat to Tangier – Kevin Barry (Canongate 2019)
Nightmares From A Lovecraftian Mind – Jordan Krall (Dynatox Ministries 2012)
Nightbreed #11-12 (Clive Barker) – Marc Andreyko (Boom! Studios 2015)
Penetralia – Jordan Krall (LegumeMan Books 2012)
St. Patrice Day (Godless League #5) – Lucy Leitner (Godless 2021)
Puritea – Lucy Leitner (Godless 2022)


Closing Song from Nefarious Foodie

Video by Alan Sessler

February in Review

Letters of the Month E or M

Bob Freville, author of The Proud & the Dumb
only .99 on
REVIEWS – Music is Over! – Ben Arzate

Poverty, Power & Pornography
In a Ben Arzate story, you shouldn’t expend energy by comparing it to anything else because it will turn on a dime, heading in a wholly different direction from where it started out.


In spite of its basis in this esoteric bit of underground rock history, Music is Over is not an oral rock biography, nor is it the noise rocker’s long-awaited autobiography. The book’s jacket might suggest an American bizarro take on Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night, but it isn’t that, either.


Samantha Hawkins REVIEWS

HsM: Latest Release
Available in SHOP

Goodreads Review:
Moon Mayor – Chris Meekings

This book seriously had a little bit of everything inside. There’s zombies, alien invasion, pixies, bears, Mr. Frosty. I did get lost about half way through this read because it was SO much more bizarre than I had anticipated, but I pushed through and I’m glad I did because this story was incredible. The cover is stellar and in typical bizarro fashion, the story goes out on a killer note 🤣 3/3.5 🌟

Goodreads Review:
Exercise Bike – Carlton Mellick III

What a bizarre read! I loved the concept of the health food dystopia. It was a pretty original and creative idea. I could imagine the bike and the outfits and the bike store perfectly. I giggled a lot while reading, was even appalled a few times! The ending wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Overall, this was a fun read. It kept me entertained. 4 🌟

Samantha Hawkins
Is an avid book reader and reviewer.
She is one of the hosts on The Panic Room Radio Show.
and shares her reviews on social platforms:
Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads
Check out her LINK TREE


Books Read in February:

Even Wimps Can Be Alien Overlords – Ben Fitts (Self Published 2020)
Everafter Volumes 1-2 – ComiXology – (Vertigo 2017)
Eyeheart Everything – Mykle Hansen – (Mykle Systems Labs 2000)
Machine Smile – Gina Ranalli – (Bloo Skize Dark 2015)
Mutagon II – Jamie Grefe – (Dynatox Ministries 2014)
Mutants of Mugwump – Frank J. Elder and Friends – (Godless 2022)
Moriah – Daniel Mills – (Zagava Books 2017)

Closing Song:

HyBriD

We are ecstatic to announce the ToC for –
Hybrid: Misfits, Monsters and Other Phenomena
All these talented writers we get to work with is a dream come true.
Stories and Poems by:

As Dark the Night – Nicole Givens Kurtz
Clawing Through Mud as More Leaves Silt Down, as Plastic Bags, as Cast-Off Bottles – Romie Stott
Fracking-lution – Linda D Addison
Home is Where the Howl Is – John Claude Smith
Hopital Automatique – D. Harlan Wilson
How Does Your Garden Grow – Gene Flynn
It Calls To You – Jamal Hodge
Kolkata’s Little Girl – Alessandro Manzetti
Madre Tempesta – John Palisano
MAERO – Lee Murray
Making Friends – Angela Yuriko Smith
Mother Eve – Marge Simon
My Farther’s Ashes – Philip Fracassi
Raven-Wolf – Cindy O’Quinn
Ruination of the Gods – Chris McAuley & Claudia Christian
Savages Anonymous – Alicia Hilton
Scoocoom of Big Rock Mountain – Michael Knost
Slo-Mo – Michael Bailey
Strange Progeny – Bruce Boston
Vis-a-vis – Jeffrey Thomas
Introduction by: James Aquilone
And this creepy, gorgeous cover design by Luke Spooner


Luke Spooner: CARRION HOUSE

Stay Tuned for Upcoming News!

January Review

Letter of the month A or B

The Modern Custodian

“’B’ is for Berger: Meeting Evil Neighbors with Empathy & Eloquence

Bob Freville shares an essay on Tom Berger’s Meeting Evil


Read Here!

Blood Red Flags

By: Ben Arzate

Tears of a Komosol Girl is an excellent first novel. It mixes the genres of true crime, coming of age, historical fiction, and surrealism in a seamless and unique way. Szasz’s prose is excellent and vivid. Between this and her novelette Invisibility: A Manifesto, she’s one of the most exciting newer writers I’ve come across.
Highly recommended.

Ben Arzate is the author of
Elaine (Atlatl Press 2020)
Music is Over
(Malarkey Books 2022)

Read Full Review Here


January 2022 Release:
Beautifully Broken

“Fitzgerald is a warrior of words and this collection is nothing short of some of the best poetry of our time.”

Anna Fletcher: Plymouth, UK

Life Between the Lines

Laura Fitzgerald – Beautifully Broken

“POETRY has proven to be a lifeline for a Killaloe woman in overcoming depression and breaking a cycle of pain sparked by childhood trauma…
At an early age, she developed a love of writing and turned to poetry to help her explore difficult issues and the sense of having been born irreversibly broken
Ultimately, Beautifully Broken, is a collection laced with hope and optimism. There is a deep sense that, for Laura, “as life endures, my story unfolds / another new chapter to be told.”

You can read the entire interview with the poet. HERE

photo credit: John Kelly

“The poems are often very raw,” Laura said. “I want to write from the soul. I don’t shy away from issues. It also means people contact me to say they have had the same emotions. When we write and share poetry, we realize that we are not alone. I take great comfort from that.”

“I had a memory of sweeping up a collection of porcelain dolls which were broken during an argument, and some of them stained with blood. I knew I had to capture that image and begin to deal with that memory.”

TOMORROW’S GONE

A poetry collection by Philip Fracassi in a dark set of emotions, beautifully illustrated with 11 full color images by Mark Licari

Cover Design by Steve Santiago

Fear
Osmosis

“In “Tomorrow’s Gone”, Philip Fracassi gives us beautiful melancholy vignettes of the inner self, marvelously illustrated by Mark Licari. A journey through the seasons and colors of the soul, “Tomorrow’s Gone” is a moving catalogue of emotions and intimate images, sometimes humorous, mostly dark, that will appeal to both fans of the writer and newcomers to his work.” – Seb Doubinsky, author of “The Word For Poetry Is Poetry

HARDCOVER $25.00

(oversea purchases, please inquire for shipping info.)

Tomorrow’s Gone

Collected over the span of a decade, these poems reveal the inner-musings of a man reflecting on issues of love and hate, of beauty, and despair, —when the nights are fast, the days are long, and tomorrow’s gone.

$25.00

Jaundré van Breda

The Cover Artist for Snailbutter


Jaundré van Breda is a writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story. One of his flash fiction pieces, The Ritual, is published in The Lobsters Run Free: Bath Flash Fiction Volume 2. Many of his poems appear on the AVBOB Poetry Competition website. Jaundré is also a traditional artist working in different mediums. He lives in South Africa.

Be sure to check out: Ben Fitt’s – SNAILBUTTER HSM SHOP or Currently only .99¢ on KINDLE CLICK HERE -Aug. 24th- 30th


Raving Reviews for A Heart Beats in the Dirt by JAUNDRÉ VAN BREDA

The author has many haiku-like phrases as well as two haibun within the collection for fans of short form verses. A lot of uncanny insights and tropes, especially for those who are looking to read real, straightforward accounts of heartbreak yet done with aplomb and without pity. -Paul Cordeiro


Van Breda’s most recent works read like a combination of Bukowski and Rupi Kaur but leave you with the same feeling of Gibran or Rilke. His voice resonates strongly in this book and has only grown more sharply with each published book.
If you are interested in one of the strongest voices and poets in modern poetry today, I highly suggest you purchase and read this exceptional book of poems. It is worth it.
-Anna McEnult


The author is a favorite do check him out!
-Sharon Ferrante, author of “The Choir of Crickets” -Coming this Spring 2022 from Hybrid Sequence Media-

Snailbutter .99¢ on Kindle

Cover Aritst: Jaundré van Breda

Snailbutter

I began reading this book on a whim and was immediately drawn in by the interesting and oddly relatable characters. Once you are pulled into this bizarre and strangely humorous world, it is very hard to leave it behind before the last page forces you out of your shell of surprise and wonder.

Ben Fitts

Ben Fitts is a writer, musician, and zinester from New York City. He is the author of the books My Birth And Other Regrets (NihilismRevised, 2019) and over forty published short stories, and is the creator of numerous zines. He currently lives in Brooklyn, where he plays guitar in the indie rock band War Honey and puts too much hot sauce on everything.

Focusing on the ART of writing in its many forms…Follow the Stag