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About Randy Chandler
Randy Chandler is the author of the novels STOLEN ROADS, DIME DETECTIVE and DAEMON OF THE DARK WOOD, and of two previously published novels BAD JUJU and HELLz BELLz (all now available on Kindle). He also co-authored DUET FOR THE DEVIL with t. Winter-Damon (God rest his soul). Randy's collection of short stories is DEVILS, DEATH & DARK WONDERS. His first ever fantasy novel is ANGEL STEEL. He co-edits YEAR'S BEST HARDCORE HORROR with Cheryl Mullenax for Comet Press.
Randy has been an indie magazine editor/publisher, a freelance book reviewer, a mental health worker, a gas-pump jockey, an ambulance attendant, a soldier in Vietnam, and a funeral home flunky. He often haunts fields of carnage where angels and devils do battle.
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DON'T GET ANY ON YOU. When Comet Press put out the call for submissions for STIFF THINGS we said we were ready to ratchet up the visceral intensity with hardcore stories that penetrate new depths of psychosxual horror. But we weren't as ready as we thought we were for the extreme stuff that came flooding in on waves of blood and other bodily fluids we won't mention here. Not that we're complaining. In other words, we got what we wished for...and more. The stories themselves dictated a new title. And so here is the TOC for this upcoming release with a more apt title: Stiff Things: The Splatterp*rn Anthology
MODERN CELEBRITY by Brandon Ford
SUCKERS by Cori Vidae and Brian Rosenberger
ONE EAR, ALWAYS TO THE LAND OF THE DEAD by Olive Whittier
GODFU**ED by Tanker Ray THE SOLUTION by Kristopher Triana
HUNTER'S MOON by S.C. Hayden
IF MY FACE WERE TRANSPARENT, YOU'D SEE THE DEVIL by Eric LaRocca
CHARLOTTE THE HARLOT by Shequila Rayne
THE PENIS OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE by Andrew Darlington
THE EXTRA MILE by Paul Allih
2020 was a reality horror show. And like most obnoxious entertainment reality shows, this one had its own idiosyncratic rules and penalties. Call it The Big Lockdown. We were forced to go to ground, to hide in our holes. Some went underground and never came back. Uncertainty ruled because the rules kept changing. Were we following the science or the mad scientists? Was the light at the end of the tunnel the fiery mouth of hell? We couldn’t say for sure, so we ventured out for food, booze and sundries like scavengers in a slow-motion apocalypse, keeping our distance from fellow human beings because you never knew who might be carrying that heavy viral load.
And everywhere we went, we went behind the mask. So, it became obvious: The theme of our offering of extreme horror tales from 2020 had to be Masquerade.
Our masquerading storytellers nevertheless did what they do best. They went deep into the belly of the beast and sent up fictions reflective of these “trying” times. Their stories peel away the masks (or in some cases, the skin) to reveal the inner workings of darkest hearts and minds and deeper fears.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Nipples In Dad’s Tool Box - Ronald Kelly
Going Green - Christine Morgan
Whiskey To The Wound - Rachel Nussbaum
/thestrangethingwebecome - Eric LaRocca
Hey Valentine - Amanda Cecelia Lang
In Subspace, No One Can Hear You Scream - Hailey Piper
The Pogonip Fog - Sean Patrick Hazlett
Gunfire And Brimstone - Alicia Hilton
The Happiest Man In The World - Matthew Brockmeyer
Synaesthete - Melanie Harding-Shaw
Full Moon Shindig - Patrick C. Harrison Iii
The Drinking-Horn - Christine Morgan
Otto Hahn Speaks To The Dead - Octavia Cade
All The Stars In Her Eyes - Deborah Sheldon
The Village - Matias F. Travieso-Diaz
The Smell Of Night In The Basement - Wendy N. Wagner
The Saint - Alessandro Manzetti
Her Wounded Eyes - Robert Guffey
"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
"Necro Files is practically perfect. Every story is an absolute hit…and why not? We’re talking John Everson, Bentley Little, Edward Lee, Joe Lansdale and George R.R. Martin, to name a few. All of the stories are dark and disturbing in their own ways, and, well, extreme. This is one anthology that horror fans, not just of the extreme variety, should have in their collections. Highly recommended." --Monster Librarian
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
George R.R. Martin - Meathouse Man
Joe R. Lansdale - Night They Missed the Horror Show
Ronald Kelly - Diary
Elizabeth Massie - Abed
Randy Chandler & t. Winter-Damon - I am He that Liveth and was Dead ... & Have the Keys of Hell & Death
Edward Lee - Xipe
Ray Garton - Bait
Gerard Houarner - Painfreak
Wayne Allen Sallee - Lover Doll
Charlee Jacob - The Spirit Wolves
Brian Hodge - Godflesh
John Everson - Every Last Drop
Mehitobel Wilson - Blind in the House of the Headsman
Monica J. O'Rourke - An Experiment in Human Nature
Graham Masterton - The Burgers of Calais
Nancy Kilpatrick - Ecstasy
Bentley Little - Pop Star in the Ugly Bar
Wrath James White - The Sooner They Learn
J.F. Gonzalez - Addict
This book takes us deep, deep into the bowels of Painfreak, the traveling club that arises out of the dark and calls to those seeking the ultimate in pleasure and pain. If you wear the invisible mark of the bone on your hand then enter through the door. Many come to experience the ultimate in decadence and debauchery. And many get lost in a labyrinth filled with depraved sex, beautiful death, and wonderfully horrible sights. You've been given the mark, now step into the heart of…PAINFREAK.
Featuring the following stories:
“Introduction: Why Painfreak?” by Gerard Houarner
“Welcome to the Mercy Museum” by Charlee Jacob & Linda Addison
“Henry-Tobacconist” by John Urbancik
“The Night Sitter” by Edward Lee
“Painfreak” by Gerard Houarner
“The Thick of Chaos” by K. Trap Jones
“Exclusive” by Randy Chandler
“He Who Whispers the Dead Back to Life” by Lucy Taylor
“The Reverend’s Wife” by Tony Tremblay
“Ownership” by Wrath James White
“The Danse Macabre” by Monica O’Rourke
“The Rut” by Gerard Houarner
“Coping Mechanism” by Jeff Strand
“Pretty Me Up” by Michael T. Huyck, Jr.
“Sacred Meat” by Jeffrey Thomas
“Aikiko’s Blade” by Colleen Wanglund
“Divine Red” by Ryan Harding
“Bondage and Godhood” by Jordan Krall
“They Deal in Pain, But Pleasure Is Better” by Chesya Burke
‘Sing Blue Silver” by John Everson
“Storming the Museum” by Charlee Jacob
Red Room Press is extremely proud to present its fourth annual anthology featuring this year's hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2018 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos.
First up is “Vigil” by Chad Lutzke. Chad takes us into a neighborhood where a steady stream of decayed corpses are exhumed from a neighbor’s cellar. Extreme olfactory horror at its best. Deborah Sheldon went under the knife for the inspiration of “Hair And Teeth,” and the result is a tale of gynaecological body horror likely to terrify women and make most men squeamish. With “Rut Seasons” Brian Hodge makes a return to Year’s-Best pages in a tale as chilling as it is heart-wrenching, inspired by a thousand-mile drive littered with roadkill and some personal tragedies. “Control” by Jeff Parsons introduces us to a meth addict stalking potential victims in Central Park to get money for the next score. Annie Neugebauer is back with “Cilantro,” a Neugebauerian yarn of culinary chaos sure to turn stomachs and cause nightmares. Tim Waggoner likewise returns this year with “Voices Like Barbwire,” an exploratory dig into old wounds and painful memories. Rebecca Rowland’s “Bent” wins the Most Cringe-worthy Story honor with her twisted tale of extreme body horror. Her well-drawn characters seem to come off the page but God forbid they do. Their idea of a pretzel party is truly twisted. Scath Beorh takes Lovecraftian cosmic horror to its next level with “Lord of the Mesa.” Sean Patrick Hazlett’s story “The Godhead Grimoire” possesses dangerous religious overtones and a forbidden bloodthirsty book. “Carnal Bodies” by R.E. Hellinger is a shocking story of baroque horror and demonic necrophilia from Two Dead Queers Present: Guillozine. You’ll have to read this one to believe it. In “Crossroads of Opportunity” Ed Kurtz and doungjai gam take you on a-deal-with-the-devil-at-the-crossroads trip with a son driving his dead mother to an uncertain destination. Trouble is, his mother is a bit of a backseat driver and she just won’t shut up. Seras Nikita’s “Dad’s Famous Preserves” won’t do much for your appetite but it will show you a recipe for disaster when a jungle missionary’s foot infection blossoms into a stomach-churning nightmare. “The Bearded Woman,” brought all the way from Rome, Italy, by the inimitable Alessandro Manzetti. His dystopian future tale takes us for a ride in the Bearded Woman’s circus trailer as she and her dwarf husband bring their marriage to a bloody end. Sara Tantlinger’s “The Devil’s Dreamland” takes us inside the Murder Castle of the infamous H.H. Holmes with her brilliant narrative poem of macabre beauty. Frank Oreto’s “All God’s Creatures Got Reasons” reveals that there are real monsters walking among us, monsters with a savage appetite for young flesh, but they are so skilled at covering their tracks, we never even know they’re there. “The Ugly” by J.R. Park introduces us to a couple of sweet little kids who may have a good reason for torturing and eating cats. It’s a way to keep the Ugly at bay. Or is it? Doug Ford’s “I Have a Confession” takes a coldblooded plunge into sex with a ghost. But what if it’s not a ghost? In “When the Owls Call” Lyman Graves takes us “stealth camping” in a Texas park after hours, where a strange and dangerous gathering is taking place. David Lynch might say, “The owls are not what they seem.” But are they? Jeremy Thompson is back this year with his nefarious pal the Hallowfiend in “Bloodletting and Intrigue On All Hallows’ Eve’.
Red Room Press is extremely proud to present its third annual anthology featuring this year's hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2017 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos. It was a killer year for horror fiction of the harder kind. Authors, editors and publishers presented readers with some startling works of horrific imagination, stories graphic in the extreme yet with subtleties suggesting larger meanings, tales that explore humanity by plumbing depths of soulless inhumanity and, in some cases, outright depravity. The stories here represent the best of them, disturbing tales that dig deep and take you into the dark heart of horror itself, unrelenting and unapologetic.
“So Sings The Siren” by Annie Neugebauer takes us onto a Dark Fantasy stage for a one-night-only performance of mythological torture. Then Ryan Harding’s “Junk” gets right to the hardcore stuff with the ultimate dick-pic horror tale. Robert Levy’s “The Cenacle” is a literary cemetery feast you may have a hard time stomaching (Tums won’t save you). Nathan Ballingrud’s “The Maw” treads surefootedly on Sci-Fi ground, right up to the edge of the Maw itself in a tale of stunning originality. Luciano Marano made his first pro sell when he sold “Burnt” to DOA III, certainly one of the year’s best anthologies, and the tale has it own fiery fetishistic twist. “The Better Part of Drowning” by Octavia Cade treads waters of both science fiction and fantasy but it’s pure horror at its biting depths. Tim Waggoner’s “Til Death” is Lovecraftian Post-Apocalypse horror at its absolute best. “Letter From Hell” comes with that special delivery you only get from Matt Shaw. Dani Brown gets down and very dirty in her “Theatrum Mortuum,” which may be the most extreme thing you read all year. Glenn Gray’s “Break” is a hard-to-take anatomy lesson given to a man weary of doing hard time. In “Bernadette” Ramiro Perez de Pereda gets medieval in his tale of a djinn summoned by a desperate priest. Brian Hodge takes you on a trip to Mexico you will never forget in “West of Matamoros, North of Hell.” This story is a masterpiece of suspense, a grueling experience that may well leave you exhausted by the end. You might even feel like a vacation afterward, but we’re betting it won’t be to Matamoros. Bracken MacLeod’s “Reprising Her Role” takes us behind the scenes of a porno snuff film for a gut-wrenching reprisal and unexpected bonus footage. A real-life death threat inspired Doug Ford’s “The Watcher” and we think it shows. “Scratching From The Outer Darkness” showcases Tim Curran’s descriptive prowess and gives you a tale of hardcore Cthulhu Mythos. Brace yourself when Adam Howe’s “Foreign Bodies” takes you deep into the bowels of a nasty abyss—which might make a good echo chamber for the laughter Adam’s patented black humor is likely to elicit. Sean Patrick Hazlett introduces us to “Adramelech,” an ancient demon with a taste for broiled children. Daniel Marc Chant’s “ULTRA” jacks into a popular VR game called Slut Slayer. But what if it’s more than a game? Nathan Robinson takes us into the trees with a group of militant environmentalists who will discover a tree hugger of the deadly sort, entirely alien to their experience. Scott Smith (A Simple Plan and The Ruins) wraps up this year’s fat package of the hard stuff in a big bloody bow with “The Dogs.” The canines in this tale are not Man’s Best Friend variety, nor are they Woman’s Besties, as you will see.
Thanks for coming along into this year’s heart of hardcore darkness.
2019. The year certainly made its mark on the world—and more than its share of scars. It also made for a bounty of good horror stories of the extreme kind, the best of which the tales herein serve to illustrate.
2019 was the year Year's Best Hardcore Horror went global. Not by design but because the stories inside just happened to have been written by authors hailing from various parts of the globe. From Australia by way of South Africa, to Italy, Scotland, Norway, Taiwan, North America and India--the common denominator being that their tales come from darkest regions of imagination.
TABLE OF CONTENTSGOING GLOBAL: INTRODUCTION by Randy Chandler & Cheryl Mullenax
FEAST FOR SMALL PIECES by Hailey Piper
GODDESS OF GALLOWS by Kristopher Triana
LATE NIGHT INCIDENT AT THE WHITE TRASH MOTEL by Duane Bradley
A NEW MOTHER’S GUIDE TO RAISING AN ABOMINATION by Gwendolyn Kiste
UPPER CRUST by Michael Paul Gonzalez
REDLESS by Annie Neugebauer
A TOUCH OF MADNESS by Tim Waggoner
PARADISUM VOLUPTATIS by Joanna Koch
RADIX MALORUM by Sean Patrick Hazlett
LACKERS by Leo X. Roberson
WHY DO BIRDS SUDDENLY APPEAR? by Rajiv Moté
DARJEELING by Syon Das
MRSA ME by Alicia Hilton
WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE CHILDREN? by David L Tamarin
HAVE A HEART by Matthew V. Brockmeyer
SWINGS AND SUSPENSIONS by D.A. Xiaolin Spires
KIRTI by Alessandro Manzetti
THE TEA AND SUGAR TRAIN by DEBORAH SHELDON
SCREAMS FOR STARGIRL by Ben Pienaar
QUEER WEATHER by Scáth Beorh
”...glutted with graphic scenes of torture, dismemberment, evisceration...” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY YEAR'S BEST HARDCORE HORROR VOLUME 2.
Red Room Press is extremely proud to present its second annual anthology featuring this year's hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2016 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos. Selected from indie publishers and magazines such as Weirdpunk Books, Necro Publications, Splatterpunk Zine, Corner Bar Magazine, Carrion Blue and Raw Dog Screaming Press, these stories represent the state of the art of extreme horror fiction. Whether extreme in theme or with gore galore, these disturbing tales will be hard to forget even though you may wish you could. Yes, there will be blood. Lots of it. Gore galore and plenty of the gushy stuff. But you'll also find tales less graphic but with hardcore attitudes, transgressive stories you're not sure you should be reading, stories showing you things you shouldn't see. Visceral fiction.
This year's best hardcore fiction features work by Michael A. Arnzen, Jasper Bark, Christa Carmen, Marvin Brown, Adam Cesare, Matthew Chabin, Jose Cruz, Andrew Darlington, Paolo Di Orazio, Stefanie Elrick, William Grabowski, Sarah L. Johnson, Eric LaRocca, Alessandro Manzetti, Tim Miller, Alexandra Renwick, Bryan Smith, Jeremy Thompson, Tim Waggoner, Wrath James White, and Stephanie M. Wytovich.
When barroom bouncer Joe Dall's ex-wife is murdered, he finds himself pressed into service as a novice private eye. Something very dark and deadly lurks in the lush shadows of the sleepy Florida town and if he can't unmask the killer soon, others close to Joe will die. Working on a powerful client's dime, Joe Dall's first case could be his last.
"The new breed of retro authors isn't getting paid by the word and, therefore, isn't padding thin stories; instead, they're crafting their books with considerable care and quality, and this novel is every bit a winner. Chandler introduces PI Joe Dall in a slick, atmospheric work that captures the underbelly of the 1950s with a sharp eye for detail and a flair for the sinister." --Booklist
"To find a wonderful example of hardboiled detective noir today, you need not look any further than Randy Chandler's latest novel Dime Detective." --Walt Hicks, Hellbound Times
"With the publication of his latest novel, Randy Chandler gives modern readers a truly wonderful taste of a bygone age complemented by today's views on women and minorities ... From Dot Barker, a kind of big sister, to Valentine Cooper and her shotgun, Chandler's characters go beyond the stereotypical dames, dolls, and broads that filled the pulps for a cast of strong, multidimensional, and entertaining characters. Readers can only hope to see them again in a sequel." --ForeWord Reviews
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.
"A bevy of loud stories perfect for those of us who've wrecked our ears on a lifetime misspent listening to the heaviest of heavy metal... They read like classics." -- Joe Donn Martin, author of Too Poor for Texas
"A good variety pack of scary stories... a wide assortment of horror with a supernatural bent... I plowed through this book inside of a few hours -- it was an easy read, and a satisfying one as well." -- Patrick D'Orazio, author of Comes the Dark
Q: What happens when heavy music inspires dark fiction?
A: The anthology reviewers have called "heavy metal horror heaven" (Ginger Nuts of Horror) and "one of the things that make having an e-reader worthwhile" (Dead in the South).
The concept behind Living After Midnight: Hard and Heavy Stories is simple: 63,000 words' worth of horror and dark fantasy inspired by the authors' favorite hard rock and heavy metal bands. From the music of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest (of course), and others come exciting tales of zombies, ghosts, wizards, serial killers, and more. You don't have to like hard and heavy music to enjoy these stories -- just hard-rocking genre fiction.