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About David James Keaton
David James Keaton's work has appeared in over 100 publications, including Grift, Needle, Thuglit, PANK, and Noir at the Bar II. His contribution to Plots With Guns #10 was named a Notable Story of 2010 by storySouth's Million Writers Award, and his (totally foolproof) casino scam in Crime Factory #8 won the 2012 Spinetingler Award for the Best Short Story on the Web. His first collection, FISH BITES COP! Stories to Bash Authorities (Comet Press), was named the 2013 Short Story Collection of the Year by This Is Horror and was a finalist for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. His second collection of short fiction, STEALING PROPELLER HATS FROM THE DEAD (Perpetual Motion Machine), received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly, who said, "Decay, both existential and physical, has never looked so good." His first novel, THE LAST PROJECTOR (Broken River Books), was called "A loopy, appealing mix of popular culture and thoroughly crazy people" by Kirkus Reviews, and his second novel, the western PIG IRON (Burnt Bridge/Blastgun), has been optioned for film. He has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Flywheel Magazine. He is the co-editor of HARD SENTENCES: Crime Fiction Inspired by Alcatraz, and his third collection and latest book, OUR POOL PARTY BUS FOREVER DAYS (Comet Press), will be released this October. These days, he's tinkering with several screenplays, including a prison movie, a thriller, and a western, also adapting them into novels. He realizes this method is probably backwards. His books are available wherever insanity is sold. He can be contacted at davidjameskeaton[at]gmail[dot]com.
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The signals are already inside you. You never even had a chance.
A tome of horror fiction featuring radio waves, numbers stations, rogue transmissions, and other unimaginable sounds you only wish were fiction. Forget about what's hiding in the shadows, and start worrying about what's hiding in the dead air.
With stories by Matthew M. Bartlett, T.E. Grau, Joseph Bouthiette Jr., Josh Malerman, David James Keaton, Tony Burgess, Michael Paul Gonzalez, George Cotronis, Betty Rocksteady, Christopher Slatsky, Amanda Hard, Gabino Iglesias, Dyer Wilk, Ashlee Scheuerman, Matt Andrew, H.F. Arnold, John C. Foster, Vince Darcangelo, Regina Solomond, Joshua Chaplinsky, Damien Angelica Walters, Paul Michael Anderson, and James Newman. Also includes an introduction from World Fantasy-award-winning author, Scott Nicolay.
"Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, the 19 stories in this new best-of annual anthology feature episodes of graphic gore and violence—including torture, dismemberment, self-mutilation, and home abortion—that are designed to push buttons as well as boundaries...strictly for hardcore horror fans."—Publishers Weekly
”...glutted with graphic scenes of torture, dismemberment, evisceration...” — Publishers Weekly (Volume 2)
Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us:
YEAR'S BEST HARDEST HORROR
Not your mama's best-of horror annual. This stuff comes from the edge of the abyss, stories you read at your own risk because you feel the abyss looking right back into you through the tainted lens of each twisted tale. Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect. Some of these quieter tales offer the reader some time to recover from the more disturbing ones preceding. Most of the stories collected here are from small and specialty press anthologies, with a few from periodicals, like the prestigious Splatterpunk Zine in the UK and Thuglit here in the US. Bizarro is also represented with a couple of tales from the unlikely anthology Blood For You: A Literary Tribute To GG Allin from Weirdpunk Books. (If you're not familiar with the late GG Allin, you can find snippets from some of his outrageous and obscene punk shows online, which will increase your appreciation of those two tales.) So for now, forget about that neighbor you suspect is a serial killer, don't worry about the drunk driver that could take you out on your next trip to the store, push those troubling news stories to the back of your mind and immerse yourself in the imaginary horrors at hand. But don't be surprised if you sense something dark staring back at you from between the lines. That is to be expected when you enter these forbidding realms. With any luck, you may find something useful to help you survive the approaching Apocalypse.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: The Year That Was
"Worth the Having" by Michael Paul Gonzalez
"Awakening" by Jeff Strand
"Readings Off The Charts" by Adam Cesare
"Reborn" by The Behrg
"What's Worst" by David James Keaton
"Dead End" by Kristopher Triana
"What You Wish For" by Lilith Morgan
"King Shits" by Charles Austin Muir
"Cleanup On Aisle 3" by Adam Howe
"Bath Salt Fetus" by Jorge Palacios
"Bored With Brutality" by MP Johnson
"Exposed" by Monica J. O'Rourke
"Eleanor" by Jason Parent
"The Scavengers" by Tony Knighton
"The Most Important Miracle" by Scott Emerson
"Hungry For Control" by Clare de Lune
"Clarissa" by Robert Essig & Jack Bantry
"Where The Sun Don't Shine" by Pete Kahle
"Blackbird Lullaby" by George Cotronis
Each of the accomplished authors in this unique anthology chose a Springsteen title as a starting point, and in the criminally inclined spirit of the Boss, drove headlong to wherever that inspiration called. The destinations are as wildly diverse and far-reaching as the songs that influenced them. Some arrive at hope and redemption; others end up smoking in a ditch. One thing’s for sure: you sign up for this ride, and Trouble in the Heartland will transport you somewhere unforgettable.
—William Boyle, author of City of Margins
Recently fired from his job, Dave sets out on a manic, misguided quest for answers up the food chain of law enforcement corruption and down the increasingly bizarre Florida coastline. Battling cops, biker gangs, backwoods Bigfoot hunters, and getting tangled in tourist traps (both figurative and literal), he eventually stumbles onto a conspiracy involving body cameras, love locks, and a grand psychological experiment which may reveal the revolving doors and invisible walls of the nation’s prison system.
By turns terrifying and hilarious, Dead Bait 4 is an anthology about the fears that dwell beneath the surface — and within the human heart. Lake monsters, lamprey invasions, and humanoid fish from the deep are only some of the strange encounters in this collection of twenty-two stories of aquatic horror. From splatterpunk to horror comedy to literary surrealism, Dead Bait 4 is as wide-ranging as the bodies of water that encompass this planet.
When the fish come out, you’d better believe there will be consequences.
Stories by Terry Alexander, Jason Andrew, Michael H. Antonio, Mary Ann Back, Rose Blackthorn, H.G. Bleackley, Rebecca L. Brown, Charles Colyott, Alyn Day, Mandy DeGeit, Deborah Drake, T. Fox Dunham, Kris Freestone, Aaron Gudmunson, Tara Fox Hall, Dane Hatchell, Janet Joyce Holden, David James Keaton, Ken MacGregor, John McCarthy, Fi Michell, Joe Mogel, Doug Murano, Jennifer Paquette, Lucy Pireel, Joseph Polega, Tori L. Ridgewood, Suzanne Robb, Armand Rosamilia, Cinsearae S., Mark Scioneaux, Matthew Smallwood, Rebecca Snow, Tony Southcotte, Cameron Suey, Emily Vater, Edd Vick, Steve Voelker, D. Alexander Ward, L.E. White, Sheri White, William Whorton, Jay Wilburn, Matthew Wilson, Robert S. Wilson, and Wol-vriey.
As an added bonus, the Kindle edition contains Chapter One of Jay Wilburn's zombie novel, Loose Ends.
“The Most Anticipated Book of 2014. Hell, it’s the most anticipated book since this podcast has existed.” – Booked
“Imagine Harry Crews’ grit-filled world head-butting William Gaddis’ dense, rollicking literary hopscotch and you’re firmly entrenched in David James Keaton country. His thrilling debut, THE LAST PROJECTOR, is the bubbling, epic story of how wonderfully screwed up America is.” -Patrick Wensink, author of Broken Piano for President
“That thing called ‘voice’ authors are said to have? Keaton’s are legion. That ‘Tap, tap, tap’ you may hear issuing from this book? I wouldn’t open it up without a quick ‘Klaatu barada nikto’ for good measure.” -Jedidiah Ayres, author of PECKERWOOD and Godfather of the Noir at the Bar reading series
“David James Keaton is a monomaniacal genius, splicing words together in the tailmost room of your movie-saturated snakebrain, and THE LAST PROJECTOR is his masterpiece. It is insane, anarchic, and fucking brilliant. I can’t wait to read it again.” -Benjamin Whitmer, author of CRY FATHER and co-author of SATAN IS REAL: THE BALLAD OF THE LOUVIN BROTHERS
“Quite simply, David James Keaton is a twisted genius, and you read his work at your own risk, risk of a neural or moral melt-down... Keaton’s stories are like secret maps to murder swamps where the bodies are buried by the serial killers who comprise Keaton’s fan clubs... Say you are a mad scientist and you want to make a monster writer of the future, well, first you dig up the corpse of Kafka, get some DNA, then you do the same with David Foster Wallace, then toss some Stephen King and Woody Allen into the mixture. Add a pinch of Poe and Robert Parker, shake the test tube with vigor and presto you have David James Keaton. [His] writings are as sickly exuberant and gargantuan as gothic dirigibles, tall tales of teleportation into urban myth and mystery, post-truth, anti-reality, they break every rule of regular fiction and good taste.”- Chuck Kinder, author of THE HONEYMOONERS
Jack Ketchum, Meg Elison, Tim Waggoner, David James Keaton, Larry Hinkle, Tom Barlow, Nick Manzolillo, Josh Scott Wilson, and Gil Valle.
"The Phantom Video Stream" by Nick Manzolillo sets the tone with red-room atmospherics in the story of a man who discovers a hidden channel streaming from what may be another reality.
Tim Waggoner's "Are You Crazy?" answers its own question in shocking Waggoner style.
Larry Hinkle's "Meat Cute" opens with "Stop staring at her tits!" and ends with a coldblooded revelation. Short and not so sweet.
Tom Barlow's "Selfie" demonstrates that two heads aren't always better than one, not when they're spitting images.
Meg Elison's "The Middle Child" takes an unflinching look at fame and greed and the mania underlying video virality.
In "Sick Jokes" Josh Scott Wilson takes political incorrectness to new heights--and depths.
David James Keaton, aka DJK, takes us for a ride into brutal biker mayhem that hits like a jackhammer in "The Flowery." Some tattoos ain't cool.
Jack Ketchum reprises "Megan's Law," a disturbing look at what can happen when a child molester moves into a concerned dad's neighborhood. If you've never read this classic, you're in for a creepy treat, and if you have then you know it's definitely worth rereading.
Plus, an exclusive excerpt from the NYPD's "Cannibal Cop" Gil Valle's upcoming Comet Press release of his first novel A Gathering of Evil, which parallels the message-board fantasies that landed him in jail.
Duane Bradley takes an irresistible look at the Video Nasties and the uproar those "obscene" video cassettes caused in the UK back in the 1980s. Ben Arzate reviews a formerly out-of-print classic horror novel, which is making a howling comeback. Patrick King reviews one of the best of the recent horror movie releases.
Red Room interviews the phenomenal Meg Elison, and David L. Tamarin interviews Gil Valle, getting him to open up about his incarceration by the "thought police."
Red Room regular Barfly Bob taste-tests the World's Most F**ked Up adult beverages.
A surreal, behind the scenes glimpse at the Red Room headquarters with rogue reporter Brian J. McCarthy.
Foreword by Chuck Wendig
Cover art by Daniele Serra
Interior illustrations by Luke Spooner
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Wilderness by Letitia Trent
Monster Season by Joshua Blair
Cat Calls by Rebecca Jones-Howe
Ceremony of the White Dog by Kevin Catalano
The Armadillo by Heather Foster
The Manuscript by Usman T. Malik
Single Lens Reflection by Jason Metz
The Mother by Nathan Beauchamp
Everything in Its Place by Adam Peterson
When We Taste of Death by Damien Angelica Walters
Figure Eight by Brendan Detzner
My Mother’s Condition by Faith Gardner
Fragile Magic by Alex Kane
The Eye Liars by Sarah Read
Searching for Gloria by W. P. Johnson
And All Night Long We Have Not Stirred by Barbara Duffey
Dull Boy by David James Keaton
Brujeria for Beginners by Marytza Rubio
Heirloom by Kenneth Cain
The Owl and the Cigarette by Amanda Gowin
Desert Ghosts by Mark Jaskowski
Blood Price by Axel Taiari
For many, that word alone induces the chills. Already, some of you can feel eight hairy legs crawling along your skin. Did you just brush at something that wasn’t there?
This collection of twisted tales have been spun for the sole intent of making you shiver and see things moving out of the corner of your eye. Can you make it to the end?
Authors include Wesley Dylan Gray, Christine Morgan, Wednesday Lee Friday, Grady G. Pulley, Jaime Johnesee, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, T Fox Dunham, James Greer, David James Keaton, Heather Roulo, Heidi Mannan, Anthony Cowin, Chris Bauer, and Chad P. Brown