Coming to Town: Lynne Hansen and Jeff Strand for The Nevermore Film Festival, interviewed by Richard Dansky

By Richard Dansky:

Lynne Hansen and Jeff Strand are one of horror fiction’s power couples. A perennial host of the Bram Stoker Awards, Jeff blends humor and horror in acclaimed novels like Pressure and his short story collection, Dead Clown Barbecue. Lynne’s prolific in YA horror (The Return, The Change) as well as working in film (Hes Not Looking So Great, Chomp). And there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that in their last trip to North Carolina, Jeff failed to finish his side of hush puppies at a Durham BBQ restaurant and paid a fearful price.

Nevermore Film Festival: Feb 20-22

Q: What brings you to the Triangle?

Lynne: The Nevermore Film Festival at the historic Carolina Theatre Durham. And friends. (Definitely not the snow.)

Jeff: Also BBQ.

Q: Tell us about the films you have showing at Nevermore.

Lynne: Chomp is a short horror comedy about a little old lady named Millie who is determined to prove she’s captured a real zombie—even if he’s not one. Last weekend at the GeekFest Film Festival at Shock Pop Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale, Chomp won Best Short—and our very first Best of Fest award. I couldn’t be more tickled.

Jeff: Gave Up The Ghost is also a short horror comedy, directed by Gregory Lamberson. It’s about a very pretentious writer who loses his ultimate masterpiece novel in a computer crash, and ends up seeking supernatural assistance to retrieve the file from the netherworld. It also features brief appearances by zombies, vampires, mummies, cannibals, and Bigfoot.

Chomp (2014) Poster 

Q: Both of you come from a background in writing fiction. What led you to working in film? Read the rest of this entry »

February newsletter: Monica Byrne, Zine Machine, Oak City Comics Show, Wake County Library’s “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series, James Maxey named Piedmont Laureate, Read Across Durham, new books, news, and more

Vol 5 No 2. February 16, 2015: Well, the month is half over and the ice storm is here, so no time like the present to finally get the February newsletter out, right? I’ve got some news, upcoming events, and the monthly avalanche of new books to tell you about, so let’s get started.


First, while there is still a lot of seasoning left in this year’s award season, NC authors have already been on the receiving end of a long and lengthening list of nods. The 2014 Locus Recommended Reading List includes Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road in its First Novel list, as well Lewis Shiner’s novella “The Black Sun” and novelettes from both Dale Bailey (“The End of the End of Everything”, easily one of my favorite short reads of the year) and Nathan Ballingrud (“Skullpocket”), not to mention columnist Paul Kincaid for his non-fiction collection Call and Response. Speaking of Byrne, The Girl in the Road is also on the shortlist for the Kitschies Award’s Golden Tentacle award for best debut; meanwhile Bailey has another short story, “Sleep Paralysis”, on the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot which also lists Boone author Scott Nicholson’s young adult novel Intentional Haunting. And! The audiobook of Charlotte author A.J. Hartley’s novel (with David Hewson) Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is an Audie Award nominee for best Original Work.

 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel | [A. J. Hartley, David Hewson] The End of the End of Everything DALE BAILEY illustration by VICTO NGAI (

This year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award last month announced the opening of its nominations period, which continues through Monday, May 18. The nominating “jury” is comprised of the entire combined memberships of illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, and ConGregate; to register to place a nominating ballot, please submit a voter registration form; ballots have already gone out to all voters already registered. Last year’s inaugural award was in the news in late 2014 and early 2015, with articles in The Chapel Hill NewsThe Durham News, and The News & Observer. Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming fiction readings: selections from the full event listings for books without spaceships or ghosts

As I mentioned in last week’s roundup of upcoming young reader events, in looking over the newsletter event listings, I didn’t see many “grown up” speculative fiction readings in the coming months — other than of course Monica Byrne’s paperback launch of The Girl in the Road on February 17 and the Wake County Library “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series in March. While the picture changes quickly when you turn your focus on middle grade and young reader books, it’s even more crowded if you turn your attention to “mimetic” fiction. So! Here’s a quick preview of what’s coming soon for mystery, historical, literary, and other fiction readers: [Note: one or more of the novels may!? have a ghost, which may or may not exist only in the mind(s) of one or more characters. Close ’nuff.]



10 (Tue) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Charles Belfoure – ‘The Paris Architect’. (Fiction.)

10 (Tue) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Chapel Hill native Nic Brown discusses In Every Way, his new novel set in Chapel Hill and Beaufort. (Fiction.)

11 (Wed) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Melissa Pimentel discusses her novel Love by the Book, with a free drinks/appetizers reception at Lucha Tigre at 6:30 pm. (Fiction.) Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming events for kids: selections from the full event listings for young readers

In looking over the newsletter event listings, I don’t see many “grown up” speculative fiction readings in the coming months — other than of course Monica Byrne’s paperback launch of The Girl in the Road on February 17. But the picture changes quickly when you turn your focus on middle grade and young reader books. So! Here’s a quick preview of what’s coming soon for the young and young at heart.



5 (Thursday) 5 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Raul Gonzalez – ‘Lowriders in Space’ — “Artist Raul Gonzalez (currently exhibiting in downtown Raleigh) is aka Raul the Third. But kids who pour over his work as illustrator for Cathy Camper’s Lowriders in Space will know him as awesome.  Lowriders merges Spanish, a bit of astronomy, and car lore for an out-of-this-world adventure.  Young (and maybe not so young) fans of graphic novels will love his drawing program, with a demo, activities, and advice for budding artists, ages 7+.  See what you can create with just a pen.” (Kids.) Read the rest of this entry »

The Hardest Part: John G. Hartness on Raising Hell

Charlotte author John G. Hartness is a larger-than-life figure in our world, so it’s no surprise that his characters are bold, colorful, and (quite often) either from out of this world or dealing with the things that aren’t. From his first novel The Chosen in 2010 to his “Bubba the Monster Hunter” and “Black Knight Chronicles” urban fantasy series, Hartness has a knack for giving a distinctive — and usually southern and profane, and funny — voice for his characters as well. For his new book, Raising Hell: A Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter Novella, Hartness looked to repeat some of those winning formulae while also creating something new, and in less space than a full-length novel would have allowed.

By John G. Hartness:

Like Darin last month, I’m an old rock and roll fan, so my immediate inclination was to go all Tom Petty on you and say that the waiting was the hardest part. But there were two things stopping me. First, Darin did it better, and second, it just wouldn’t have been true. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Kincaid’s From the Other Side, January 2015: Adam Roberts, sequels, and the James Herbert Award

From the Other Side, January 2015

By Paul Kincaid

[Editor’s Note: From the Other Side is Paul Kincaid’s monthly column on books and news from the other side of the Atlantic.]

It’s a new year, a time of change, of novelty, a time when we throw out all the old familiar stuff from 2014 and welcome in fresh work and different writers. So let’s see what 2015 has in store for us.

And we start with a new book from … Adam Roberts. Hm, sorry about that, for a moment there it felt as if 2014 hadn’t quite ended. Oh, no, there really is a new book from Adam Roberts. Saint Rebor is a new collection of short stories from NewCon Press, part of their Imaginings series which are all well worth a look. Saint Rebor is the second collection of stories from Adam Roberts, after Adam Robots which came out just over a year ago. This collection includes ten short stories and a poem. I note that the publicity material tells us that it includes “two stories that have never appeared in print before and three that are completely original to this book”, though I’m not exactly sure how that is supposed to work. All I’ll say is that the opening story, “What Did Tessimond Tell You?”, was included in two best of the year collections. Given how many other stories by Adam Roberts seem to have cropped up in various places recently, I shouldn’t wonder if he had enough for a third collection already in stock. Be that as it may, I have a feeling this won’t be the last time I mention Mr Roberts in this column in 2015.

 The Galaxy Game Read the rest of this entry »

The Exploding Spaceship Reviews Winter Good Reads Part 2: Urban/Modern Fantasy Titles


Review of Paradigms Lost by Ryk E. Spoor (Baen, Nov 15, 2014)

This is an urban fantasy set in an alternate 1999-2001. This is a vastly expanded and revised volume which contains the contents of the story entitled “Digital Knight”. Jason Wood is an expert in information searches, image processing and enhancement, pattern matching and data forensics. Some of his contracts are with law enforcement.

A dead contact on his doorstep sends Jason and his girlfriend Sylvie into an adventure involving people who don’t appear on film, werewolves (including an entire town full of them), court appearances relating to werewolf prostitution, and parties which lead to murder. This story is formatted as a murder mystery but actually Jason ends up investigating multiple crimes which are all linked together by werewolf involvement.

Layout 1

As the existence of werewolves being public knowledge is relatively new, the laws written with only humans in mind have not been adapted to include how they apply to werewolves. As some werewolves kill humans in order to gain power, and they are very difficult to kill or arrest, a new approach is needed. Read the rest of this entry »


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