Showing posts with label anthology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anthology. Show all posts

Thursday, March 4, 2021


Available on Paperback and Kindle.

It's taken me nearly a year to read the anthology WRITERS OF THE FUTURE - VOLUME 36 by Galaxy Press. Why did it take me so long to finish it? There are many reasons why, including procrastination, depression, stress, allergies, and the pandemic. Then again, maybe part of me wasn't in the mood to read an anthology.

Writers of the Future is a yearly science fiction and fantasy writing contest. It was founded in the early 1980s by the late pulp author L. Ron Hubbard. The contest Illustrations of the Future started in 1988. The winning stories and illustrations appear in the annual L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future.  

The stories included in VOLUME 36 are by C. Winspear, Michael Gardner, Andy Dibble, J. L. George, F. J. Bergmann, Leah Ning, Katie Livingston, David A. Elsensohn, Storm Humbert, Mike Perkins, Zack Be, Tim Boiteau, and Sonny Zae. Included with each short story is an illustration by one of the artist winners. The illustrators are Arthur Bowling, Aidin Andrews, Heather A. Laurence, Kaitlyn Goldberg, Ben Hill, Irmak Cavun, John Dale Javier, Mason Matak, Anh Le, Brock Aguirre, Daniel Bitton, and Phoebe Rothfield.

Also, there's an introduction by editor David Farland and art & writing tips by Echo Chernik, Mike Perkins, and Sean Williams. There are three bonus stories by Katherine Kurtz, Jody Lynn Nye, and Nnedi Okorafor. Last but not least are two reprinted writings by L. Ron Hubbard - the essay "Steps in the Right Direction" and the short story "Borrowed Glory."

Final Thoughts

The short stories were a mixed bag for me. A few were well-written, such as Stolen Sky by Storm Humbert, A Price in Every Box by F. J. Bergmann, and Catching My Breath by J. L. George, and the others were more on the dull side. Don't get me wrong - it's not like the stories are bad. I just didn't connect with the narrations and characters. The biggest issue I have with anthologies is that some stories keep my interest and the others don't. 

The illustrations throughout the anthology are all exceptionally crafted by talented artists. I didn't have a favorite because all are equally beautiful.

Overall, I'm rating WRITERS OF THE FUTURE - VOLUME 36 a three out of five. Yes, that might seem low to science fiction readers, but as a whole, this anthology was lackluster at best. Here's hoping VOLUME 37 (set to be released this Fall) will be better.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: All Hallows' Eve 2

91 mins; Not Rated; Buy Link: Amazon
You would think that a Halloween-themed horror flick would do better if it's released before Halloween, but that isn't case for All Hallows' Eve 2, which was released on February 2nd.

Honestly, I've never seen the first film, so I have no clue what it was about. All Hallows' Eve 2 is an anthology from RLJ Entertainment, featuring shorts from directors Elias Benavidez (A Boy's Life), Mike Kochansky (Mr. Tricker's Treat), Andres Borghi (Alexia), Bryan Norton (Seven Hells), Antonio Padovan (Once Upon a Time, Inc.), Marc Rouseel (The Last Halloween), Ryan Patch (If I Give My Soul), Jay Holben (Hunger) and The Kondelik Borthers (Airplane VS Volcano).

The film opens up with a woman watching an old VHS tape. Trapped inside the VHS is the serial killer "The Trickster," who will be released from his prison after the she finishes watching all the shorts. Does this make any sense?

Some of the shorts have a Halloween-theme, while others have nothing to do with the holiday. The first story happens to the best. "Jack Attack" is a blood-tale about a young woman teaching a boy how to carve a pumpkin and roast pumpkin seeds. It's very short, but terrifying. And it has a few throwbacks to John Carpenter's Halloween.

"Mr. Tricker’s Treat," "The Last Halloween," "Alexia," "Descent," "The Offering," and "M Is for Masochistare" all below average stories with hardly any scares. I hate to admit it, but I fell asleep several times during these shorts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DVD Review: A Christmas Horror Story

A Christmas Horror Story
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan
Cast: William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Retail: $27.97
Running Time: 107 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD on Tuesday November 24th, is the horror holiday flick A Christmas Horror Story. Directed by Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan, the film stars William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer. The single-disc DVD features Behind-The Scenes Of A Christmas Horror Story featurette.

If you've been following my blog lately, then you would know that I don't exactly have the Christmas spirit yet, so the last thing that I want to do is watch a Christmas movie. Nevertheless, for the some reason I've watched two holiday-themed movies over the last few days, which one of the two happens to be the horror anthology, A Christmas Horror Story.

The anthology features four different stories, which are all wrapped together with scenes with William Shatner as a radio DJ, where he's warning his listeners to avoid the mall as there is a someone wearing a Santa Claus suit has taken shoppers hostage.

The first story centers on three kids - Molly (played by Zoe De Grand Masion), Ben (played by Alex Ozerov) and Dylan (Shannon Kook) on a ghost hunt in a school basement, where two other teens were brutally murdered a year before on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately for them, the ghost stories are true and the kids might not make it through the night alive.


One of the first cops who investigated the Christmas Eve murders was Scott (played by Adrian Holmes). Now he has his own set of problems with his seven-year-old son, Will (played by Orion John). The boy has been acting weird ever since he went missing for a few minutes when Scott and his wife, Kim (played by Oluniké Adeliyi), went Christmas tree hunting in the woods. To find out, something else has replaced their son and they'll have to fight to survive the night.

Monday, February 16, 2015

DVD Review - Zombieworld

Directors: Jesse Baget, Adrian Cardona, Rafa Dengra, Luke Asa Guidici, Phil Haine, Peter Horn, Jared Marshall, Cameron McCulloch, David Munoz, Adam O'Brien, Zach Ramelan, Paul Shrimpton, Vedran Marjanovic Wekster, Tommy Woodard
Starring: Bill Oberst Jr., José María Angorilla, Marc Velasco, Noé Blancafort, Salvador Llós
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Retail: $27.97
ASIN: B00P8LS666
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD on Tuesday February 24, 2015 from Image Entertainment is the zombie-bloodfest anthology Zombieworld. The film features short films directed by Jesse Baget, Adrian Cardona, Rafa Dengra, Luke Asa Guidici, Phil Haine, Peter Horn, Jared Marshall, Cameron McCulloch, David Munoz, Adam O'Brien, Zach Ramelan, Paul Shrimpton, Vedran Marjanovic Wekster & Tommy Woodard and stars Bill Oberst Jr., José María Angorilla, Marc Velasco, Noé Blancafort and Salvador Llós. There are no special features or extras besides the Short Film - "Marathon Apocalypse."

"There is nowhere to hide...nowhere to run.... the Zombie Apocoalypse has come, and our world now belongs to the dead! From Irleand, Canada, Australia, Europe and all over the U.S., the bone-chilling news reports tell the same gruesome tale - waking corpses terrorize and devour the living. Only a few desperate humans find the courage to stand and fight for their last chance at survival. But the hordes of undead keep coming, and there's only one thing on the menu - us."

Zombieworld centers on a worldwide zombie apocalypse and one of the last newscasters, Marvin Gloat (played by Bill Oberst Jr.), is determined to stay on the air and inform the world of the zombie invasion, despite the fact that he has been infected.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DVD Review - Trick 'r Treat

Trick 'r Treat
Director: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Running Time: 82 minutes
Rated R for horror violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language

Annually, my local Walmart sets out a few horror/Halloween themed movies. It's not even October and this year’s Halloween DVDs/Blu-Rays are already out, in which the majority of them are a mixed bag of good and bad treats. I already own all the good ones and a few that I don't are not my style, but I did pick up Trick ‘r Treat only because Anna Paquin was on the back cover.

Trick 'r Treat was released to one theater in December 2007 followed by a handful of screens in 2008 and 2009, mostly at festivals. The movie was finally released to DVD on October 6, 2009 and received mostly good reviews to the small amount of critics who viewed it.

In this anthology in the style of the Creepshow, a short trick-treater, Sam, wearing a worn-out orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, keeps popping throughout the movie. Emma (played by Leslie Bibb) and Henry are the couple that opens up the movie. Henry loves the holiday and has over-decorated their yard with ghost-scarecrows. She demands that he cleans up everything on Halloween night, but he says he'll get to it tomorrow, which she knows he is a lying. He goes inside the house while Emma begins to take down the scarecrows and comes face to face with horror.

Charlie a trick-or-treater stops by Principle Wilkins house and steals a few pieces of Halloween candy that was on the front porch, but he is in for a shock when the candy turns out to be poisoned. It seems that Principle Wilkins drags Charlie's lifeless body inside. Later that night, he digs a hole in the backyard and tosses Charlie on top of another corpse. He is in a hurry to get the bodies covered up, help out his son carve a unique jack-o-lantern, and get ready for his date.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review - Hungry for You

Hungry For YouHungry for You
BY: A.M. Harte
PUBLISHED BY: 1889 Labs Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1926959047
Pages: 84
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

I never thought an author could combine romance and zombies, but that is exactly what A.M. Harte has done in the anthology Hungry for You. Yes, even in an apocalypse, zombies need love to. The book is a fast read at under a hundred pages, covering eleven beautifully written stories of love, heartache, and the dead rising. Over the last few years, there have been countless zombie books and movies, so it was nice to read a new take on the genre.

The anthology starts out with Promises, a haunting tale of a newly turned zombie and his soon-to-be zombie love. My favorite is Hungry for You, taking place after the dead has risen, and where there is a ZombieAide helping the dead and zombie prostitutes walking the street. Other great reads is Dead Man’s Rose, a tale you will remember long after you finished reading it, and A Prayer for Garlic, a twisted tale.

I do not read many anthologies, mostly because it is difficult to review them. Normally, by the time I am finished reading the book I have forgotten what the stories where about. Hungry for You is a short read, and the stories are memorable. I recommend the anthology to horror readers, and zombie lovers.