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BOOK REVIEWS: ‘Unburied’ Anthology Edited by Rebecca Rowland



Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction was released earlier this month by Dark Ink Books. The anthology, edited by Rebecca Rowland features queer authors writing stories that cross and blend genres in 16 tales of the strange and unusual.

I really wanted to love this anthology unconditionally, and on a surface level, I do. I love that we live in a time where these anthologies not only exist but are embraced by a larger audience. That being said, like so many collections, the selections here are not created equally. It’s an assortment of very high highs and lows that are not terrible but suffer from pacing and other issues that make them a slog to complete.

None of the stories were terrible, mind you. Some of them simply failed to live up to the potential of their premise.

So, let’s talk about some highlights.

Unburied starts strong with an offering from M.C. St. John titled “Sweet Dreams.” The story is a classic monster-under-the-bed tale about two dads and their son who is being terrorized by something he calls the Underbed Witch. St. John crafts an expertly paced story that is both tense and entertaining. It strikes a nice, nostalgic feel framed in a gay narrative that so many of us did not have while growing up.

“Night Follows Night” by Greg Herren follows quickly on the heels of “Sweet Dreams” with the story of a young man who escaped a religious cult where he was sexually abused by the cult leader. His life is punctuated by anxiety that is driven into overdrive when he believes he sees the leader in his local grocery store. Herren masterfully builds tension as Zane’s anxiety mounts. It is one of the better examples of writing anxiety, panic attacks, and the PSTD of abuse survivors that I have ever read. And the ending? Complete terror.

“When the Dust Settles” weaves a sci-fi/horror tale about identity and autonomy. When Tara, an asteroid miner, wakes up after a horrific accident to find two of her limbs replaced by robotic appendages, she regrets not having reading her forms more closely when she signed onto the job. What happens next is so much worse as Sarah Lyn Eaton asks her readers questions about who we are and what our minds can and will do when approached with terrifying circumstances. I particularly enjoyed the moral and ethical questions in this particular story.

“Open Up and Let Me In” is a terrifying look at the damages our own actions can do to our mental health. The horror here is insidious and creeping. Our protagonist cannot believe her own eyes and oddly enough, neither can we as readers. This is one of the more gore-heavy tales in the collection so be prepared.

“Razor, Knife” by Elin Olausson might be my favorite story in Unburied. Bell and Twiggy are cousins who share a birthday. One’s mother is dead and the other’s is in jail so they both live with their aunt who is completely oblivious to the little games they get up to. When a new vicar moves into town, Twiggy becomes fascinated by the man’s son. He desperately tries to include Martin in some of their games, but Bell will have none of it. The story beautifully combines coming-of-age and self-discovery with the evil children tropes in a fascinating way. I was absolutely gutted by its conclusion.

“The Other Boy” by Laramie Dean is another tale that digs into identity and belief and things that go bump in the night. As a boy, our protagonist was visited by a boy who would appear outside his window like a dark version of Peter Pan, but that is only the beginning of his troubles.  This is an uncomfortable story that leaves the taste of dirt in your mouth at its conclusion. Reader be warned there are scenes that allude to childhood sexual abuse, as well.

These are just a few of the high points from Unburied and the stories that stuck out most for me.

Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction is available on Kindle, in paperback, and on audiobook by CLICKING HERE. Check out this collection and let us know your favorites in the comments below.

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‘A Haunting In Venice’ Trailer Examines a Supernatural Mystery



Kenneth Branagh is back in the director’s seat and as fancy-mustachioed Hercule Poirot for this chilling ghost adventure murder mystery. Whether you like Branagh’s previous Agatha Christie adaptations or not, you can’t argue they weren’t beautifully photographed.

This one looks gorgeous and spellbinding.

Here’s what we know so far:

The unsettling supernatural thriller based upon the novel “Hallowe’en Party” by Agatha Christie and directed by and starring Oscar® winner Kenneth Branagh as famed detective Hercule Poirot, will open in theaters nationwide September 15, 2023. “A Haunting in Venice” is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, “A Haunting in Venice” is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot.

Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets. Reuniting the team of filmmakers behind 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 2022’s “Death on the Nile,” the film is directed by Kenneth Branagh with a screenplay by Oscar® nominee Michael Green (“Logan”) based upon Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party.

The producers are Kenneth Branagh, Judy Hofflund, Ridley Scott, and Simon Kinberg, with Louise Killin, James Prichard, and Mark Gordon serving as executive producers. A brilliant acting ensemble portrays a cast of unforgettable characters, including Kenneth Branagh, Kyle Allen (“Rosaline”), Camille Cottin (“Call My Agent”), Jamie Dornan (“Belfast”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), Jude Hill (“Belfast”), Ali Khan (“6 Underground”), Emma Laird (“Mayor of Kingstown”), Kelly Reilly (“Yellowstone”), Riccardo Scamarcio (“Caravaggio’s Shadow”), and recent Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).

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‘Official Five Nights at Freddy’s Cookbook’ Gets Release This Fall



Five Night's at Freddy's movie

Five Nights at Freddy’s is getting a big Blumhouse release very soon. But, that’s not all that the game is being adapted into. The hit horror game experience is also being made into a cookbook filled with deliciously spooky recipes.

The Official Five Nights at Freddy’s Cookbook is filled with items that you would find at an official Freddy’s location.

This cookbook is something fans have been dying for since the first games’ original release. Now, you will be able to cook signature dishes from the comfort of your own home.

The synopsis for Five Nights at Freddy’s goes like this:

As an anonymous night guard, you must survive five nights as you are hunted by five animatronics hell-bent on killing you. Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria is a fantastic place for children and adults can have fun with all the robotic animals; Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy.

You can find the Official Five Nights at Freddy’s Cookbook in stores beginning September 5.

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Stephen King’s ‘Billy Summers’ Being Made By Warner Brothers



Breaking News: Warner Brothers Acquires Stephen King Bestseller “Billy Summers”

The news just dropped via a Deadline exclusive that Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to Stephen King’s bestseller, Billy Summers. And the powerhouses behind the film adaptation? None other than J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way.

Speculation is already rampant as fans can’t wait to see who will bring the titular character, Billy Summers, to life on the big screen. Will it be the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio? And will J.J. Abrams be sitting in the director’s chair?

The masterminds behind the script, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, are already working on the screenplay and it sounds like it’s going to be a real doozy!

Originally, this project was slated as a ten-episode limited series, but the powers that be have decided to go all out and turn it into a full-fledged feature.

Stephen King’s book Billy Summers is about a former Marine and Iraq War veteran who has turned into a hitman. With a moral code that only allows him to target those he deems “bad guys,” and a modest fee of never more than $70,000 for each job, Billy is unlike any hitman you’ve seen before.

However, as Billy begins to consider retirement from the hitman business, he is summoned for one final mission. This time, he must wait in a small city in the American South for the perfect opportunity to take out a murderer who has killed a teenager in the past. The catch? The target is being brought back from California to the city to stand trial for murder, and the hit must be completed before he can make a plea deal that would bring his sentence from the death penalty to life in prison and potentially reveal the crimes of others.

As Billy waits for the right moment to strike, he passes the time by writing a sort of autobiography about his life, and by getting to know his neighbors.

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