The Roommate from Hell, by Daemonwulf


Another excellent piece of prose from Daemonwulf. Be sure to take a look, travelers.

From the story:

Day 3

I have a new roommate. And he’s the roommate from hell.

I realize that phrase is thrown around a lot, usually to describe housemates whose behaviors range from the mildly annoying peccadillo to acts of full-blown psychosis. You know the type. We’ve all had them. But this is different. I’m now completely convinced there’s a demon living in my apartment.

 

The Roommate from Hell.

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My sincerest apologies, friends


Hello, Travelers.

I recently set out to grant each writer for both anthologies of Carnage: After the End a separate review. Regrettably, due to a few deadlines, time constraints, and school starting up, I am not able to do so.

HOWEVER- I did write a review for both volumes on Amazon, and I meant every word. I thoroughly enjoyed both anthologies and, whether or not I gave/ would’ve given you a 5 star review, I think everyone involved did a phenomenal job. That includes the writers and, of course, Nina, Kalla and Gloria of Siren’s Call Publications.

My apologies are directed towards those who I have not and likely will not be able to individually (not that you were sitting around in eager anticipation of me doing so, but still, when I can’t finish what I start, I feel it’s appropriate to say something).

On that note, I’ll be stopping back soon to chat, possibly discuss some new-semester-observations, maybe share a poem or two… but until classes end, I’ll be a little scarce.

May our paths cross again soon, fellow travelers.

 

Deluge, by Nina D’Arcangela


Hello Travelers,

Today, I humbly bring you another vivid and intricate piece by the incomparable Nina D’Arcangela. Short and bittersweet, this is definitely worth your reading.

 

Deluge.

My Upcoming Novel — The Next Big Thing world blog tour, by Christofer Nigro


Hello, Travelers. In my own session of “The Next Big Thing” I picked a few extremely talented writers to post their own follow-ups. One such individual, Christofer Nigro, brought his installment to my attention. Not only is his Next Big Thing definitely going to be big, it is a prime example of how a writer can tactfully respond to probing questions without giving anything away.

I direct you now, friends, to the detailed discussion of his upcoming archetype-breaking super-hero novel, Centurion: Dark Origins. Enjoy!

 

My Upcoming Novel — The Next Big Thing world blog tour.

A review: The Scurrying, by Christofer Nigro, in Carnage After the End volume one


Hello, Travelers! I hope you’re having a nice evening. My reviews for these volumes have been delayed somewhat by the volume of goings-on in my life, but I assure you I’ll have the rest as soon as possible.

The Scurrying, by Christofer Nigro

The story:

Humanity has fallen to rats before, but never like this. Rather than the tiny plague-bearers most know them as, Nigro’s rats are mastiff-sized and out for blood. Alexandra, a battle-hardened woman who leads a small band of survivors, is determined to keep humanity’s numbers from dwindling. Armed with intensely honed skills and new information as to the source of the rats, the only question remains is, Will she be able to act before the rats overtake the last vestiges of society?

My thoughts:

I liked the back story here. Not only was the direct plot tense with the notion of ‘the-battle-is-never-over’ but I found myself very interested in knowing more about how the rats came to be and if they can be stopped. Some teasing information is included in this story, but I definitely wanted to know more.

Additionally, this a great battle scene in any book I’ve read thus far. Granted, I don’t read many action-themed stories, but it is a rare sight to find someone who can accurately and technically describe such a situation without losing less-than-combat-savvy readers.

The characters were engaging and kept me interested. Though, at first, I didn’t like Alexandra, more sides of her are revealed as the story goes on, changing the way one looks at her. The others have their own fun idiosyncrasies, lending a more human presence to these characters. Plus I so rarely get to read things wherein characters reference Norse mythology- that was definitely a treat.

The only thing I might pick out negatively is that the opening felt a little slow, with a number of details being explained directly at the same time rather than shown or alluded to later.

In full, I thought this was an interesting tale that could definitely merit a follow-up story to explore the potential intricacies of the subtle background details here. A solid 4.5 stars, though I think that, with more room to elaborate and take some time with certain points, this would definitely have been a 5 star story.

A review: Begging Death, by Laura Diamond, from Carnage After the End volume 1


Begging Death, by Laura Diamond

The Story:

Peter, the narrator, is a caretaker for the endlessly ill Lucas. Though Lucas pleads him, stating that he wants to die to be rid of his miserable fate, Peter knows this is impossible- death has ceased to be. A great number of people vanished, though the survivors were left immortal; the young stay young, the old stay old, the sick stay sick. What few members of society are left have banded together into warring factions, issuing a strict militant control over everyone, and tormenting those who refuse the faction’s brand.

Of course, this is very bad news for Peter, since he knows the love of his life refuses to wear their mark…

My thoughts:

I was initially struck by the fact that this piece is in the present tense. A daring and effective move on the author’s part, this style brings a sense of immediacy to the story. The ‘as the events unfold’ nature of the narration is especially important towards the end.

The emotional bond between the two main characters is very well developed. Not only is Peter’s concern for Lucas evident, but he retains pre-apocalyptic mannerisms, such as instructing Lucas to wear shoes even though any wounds he might receive could not possibly become infected. This allows the reader to see into the mind of a person who refuses to let any adversity come between him and his ward.

One interesting part of this piece was how the local factions utilized the lack of death in their torture methods. I won’t go into detail, for the sake of spoilers, but I enjoyed the thought process here. The use of flashbacks to describe the Disappearing was good, but it seemed to interrupt the pacing of the story.

All together, this was a poignant tale of two people who tried their hardest to live in a vacuum once society had fallen. The emotions ran high, but the flow of the plot occasionally fell where it could’ve soared. I give this particular tale a 4.0 out of 5.

A review: The Meat Men, by Rodney James Galley, appearing in Carnage After the End, Volume One


Hello, Travelers. Having perused both volumes of CAtE by Siren’s Call Publication, I’ll be stopping by to post my thoughts and impressions about each selection.

The story:

Charlie and Jimmy travel across the savage, ash strewn wasteland of American society in hopes of reaching NASA to board a shuttle off of their decimated planet. Their journey takes them to a small, abandoned gas station- or so they think. They soon find that two people are left at the station.

The owner, Harold, invites the young men in for some food, introducing them to Mary Harmer. As the stragglers get to know each other, it becomes clear that some people aren‘t as nice as they seem…

My thoughts:

Each figure in the story is given a great deal of attention; even the narration has a unique flair. There’s something to each character that makes them seem to pop off the page. Whether you identify with the focused, quiet, and occasionally surly Jimmy or the happy go lucky and eternally casual Charlie (or one of the other two distinct side characters) you can be sure to find somebody worth rooting for. However, it feels like there isn’t much love between the two main characters, meaning some events towards the end of the story feel lacking in poignancy.

The settings are touched upon through the use of some great imagery. It is easy to imagine the ragged man and woman holed up and starving in a desolate gas station, with nothing around them but hordes of uncouth survivors and miles of highway adorned with ruined vehicles. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the story was the fact that the reader is given a mental 360 of the ruined environment, each detail available for the eye to behold.

The only other thing that threw me off with this story was the fact that the environment appears to be radioactive, but Charlie Jimmy appear to be unharmed only through the use of gas masks. Some characters even appear to dine on radioactive meat without issue. It struck me as odd that these characters would not exhibit some sign of illness throughout the text.

All in all, this is a story with unique, well-voiced characters and interesting environments, though a few of the finer points didn’t sit well with me. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.