Houarner is a smart, intelligent
talent who has a gift for writing with serene beauty
about the most atrocious things.
Ed Bryant, Locus
| "...a writer
to keep an eye on."
Ellen Datlow, ed., 10th Annual Year's Best Fantasy
thing is clear -- reading one Houarner story does not,
necessarily, prepare you for the next."
Algis Budrys, editor of Tomorrow SF, author of Rogue
Moon, Hard Landing, Who?
"...the raw power and depth
of his imagination combine to give him the ability to
truly transform the reader."
a gifted writer with a facility for fine characterization..."
In the latest news, many of my previousnly published books
are returning to electronic print through Crossroad Press, which
by the way is developing an enormous line of new and classic
genre works you should check out.
Check them out - I recommend A Blood of Killers below as a
sampler for the longer Max novels, and for a taste of other
stories about darkness. For an even less expensive (and a
differently balanced) sample of my work, check out Trick, a
Halloween Short from Cemetery Dance, only 99 cents on Amazon.com
I've also had a number of other stories published since this
site was last updated, the anthologies Indian Country Noir,
Darkness On The Edge: Dark Tales Inspired by the Songs of Bruce
Springsteen, Dueling Minds, Torn Realities, Tales From the
Crossroad, and others, as well as bonus stories in the Crossroad
editions of my books.
To keep up with very lastest, follow or
friend me on Facebook or check out my board on Horrorworld.
And if you've read my work and it
provoked a reaction, please drop a word or two in a review at
the usual places -- Amazon.com, Goodreads, etc. Word of
mouth is a powerful promotional tool. Spread that word, if
not for me, then for other writers who have earned your
Necro Publications has put my latest collection, A Blood of Killers, up for pre-orders. Publication is set for September.
Here's the Publishers Weekly review, from earlier this year:
A Blood of Killers Gerard Houarner. Necro, $25 (492p) ISBN 978-1-88918-679-5
Prolific horror author Houarner (The Oz Suite)
assembles a disturbing collection of 13 reprints
and 12 originals. Most of the tales highlighting
his twisted supernatural assassin, Max (featured
in 2001's The Beast That Was Max), are brief, but
"Like Smoke Rising from the Burning Ghats" offers
detailed descriptions of a young boy in Calcutta
becoming something monstrous, and the novella
"Dancing with the Skeletons at the Feast of the Dead"
is almost symphonic in its depiction of brutality in
a small Mexican village. The other stories are no
less dark: in "Let Me Tell You a Story," a babysitter
manipulates her charges into committing acts of evil,
while "The Shape" is a harsh tale of mental illness
and abuse. The bleakness might turn off some readers,
but fans of intense, psychology-driven horror and
sharp writing will be more than satisfied. (Apr.)
The collection focuses on, of course, killers.
Here's a bit of the promotional description:
People are fascinating. Individually, and in groups.
- A talent of gamblers.
- A den of thieves.
- A pity of prisoners.
- A blood of killers.
What are they thinking, feeling, what do they do when
people are watching, and when they aren't? What are they
capable of? What can they be driven to do?
- The most beautiful acts and works never before imagined, of course.
- The most terrible and horrific, as well.
- Wonder and terror.
- The question becomes who are we, and who are we standing next to, a human, or a monster?
- Some of the answers to that question are in A Blood of Killers.
The book will have 25 stories, 13 reprints and 12 originals (and extra original for the limited).
The reprints, going back as far as 16 years, deal
mostly the question of what may lead people we
know and love to become killers. Eight received
Honorable Mentions in various editions of St. Martins
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.
The original tales, including a 30,000 word novella,
make up a loose story-cycle covering the early career
arc of Max, the supernatural assassin featured in the
novels The Beast That Was Max, Road to Hell, and Road
From Hell. Of course, no knowledge of the character is
necessary for reading the stories. These stories focus
on the trials of a predator learning to live with his prey
in order to survive, and along the way picking up the seeds
that lead to his transformation in the novels.
Horror Mall is also running a special promotion "two-fer" with the limited edition of the Max novel, Road From Hell.
In other news…
Blood and Devotion, the Fantasist Enterprises anthology with a story from me ("In the Light of Dying Fires") along with Jay Lake, William Jones and others, is up for pre-order.
I also have an interview in next year's Fiction Prodigies and Legends, a collection of interviews of horror writers to be published by Bear Mountain Media.
"Out of the Shadows," a story originally published in my long out of print collection, Visions Through A Shattered Lens, and subsequently reprinted in William Jones' Book of Dark Wisdom, The Magazine of Dark fiction, will make another appearance in the first volume of a Best of Dark Wisdom series. So if you missed it before, don't miss it again! (It got an HM in Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, too)
Long-time Space and Time fan George Morgan sent current publisher Hildy Silverman this link to every Space and Time cover, going back to 1966 - awesome.
And finally, fans of urban exploration will dig the extensive coverage provided by Abandoned Places
Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by and checking out the latest…
Over at Horrorworld, Steve Wedel conducted an
interview with me for May , so go on over there
and see if I said anything that makes sense.
While you're there, cruise the reviews, featured
author stories, The Cellar and the many author message
boards Nanci Kalanta hosts and drop your favorite
writer a line!
The Oz Suite, from Eibonvale Press, has been
earning some nice reviews this year. First off,
in February, Horrorworld the following:
"These stories will plant a seed of paranoia in
your mind and weigh you down with suspicion. The next
time you watch The Wizard of Oz after reading The
Oz Suite, you will find yourself paying more attention
to the gloomier scenes and looking for things that
you might have not noticed before. And, after reading
these stories, you just might pause and ask yourself
while watching the Wizard sail away in his balloon,
who really was that man behind the curtain?"
In March, Horrornews said:
"What makes all of these stories work, and whew-boy
do they work, is the unbridled honesty with which Gerard
approaches his characters. None of them are what most
of us would call "good" people; they are selfish,
self-centered and perfectly willing to destroy the lives
of others for their own ends. But at the same time, it
is as impossible to hate them as it is to adore them
unconditionally. Just like Dorothy, they are fractured
and all they want to do is put the pieces back together
in some way that makes a modicum of sense. The tragedy
of it all lies in their inability to do so, but there
is a sense of beauty and hope in the struggle itself.
In the end, this collection comes across as an
exploration of off-kilter mental states What it is
that drives us around the bend, over the (wait for it)
edge (ha, tricked ya!). More importantly, how it must
feel from the inside of the maelstrom. Gerard has granted
us a view of people who have been torn from their moorings,
set airborne on currents beyond their control and dumped
into an uncertain land where the reality they have been
presented with seems much more than a little bit unreal.
These are lives dominated by confusion, pain, anger and
fear. In other words, not too far off from what we all
deal with daily."
And Hellnotes just came out with the following:
It is back to the Judy Garland movie and down that
specific yellow brick road that author Gerard Houarner
follows in the three tales that comprise The Oz Suite.
The film has a different resonance in each of the stories,
but there is a common soil that is shared; an emotional,
visceral reaction that seizes the characters. Their
responses are varied, yet somehow unified by the turf
of the terrain.
So what are you waiting for? Available from amazon.com
as well as the new and easier to use Eibonvale site,
in hardcover and affordable trade, it's waiting for you!
And by the way, feel free to add a review of The Oz Suite,
or Road From Hell, over at Amazon.com
My latest collection, A Blood of Killers, is coming together
with Dave at Necro Publications. He has a heavy schedule of
Ed Lee books coming out, including the anthology based on his
popular City Infernal Series, Infernally Yours, along with his
own Tales of the Fallen and a new John Everson book.
In the meantime, Publishers Weekly kinda digs the A Blood
of Killers, saying: "The bleakness might turn off some readers,
but fans of intense, psychology-driven horror and sharp writing
will be more than satisfied."
So stay tuned for more news on that front!
Brian Freeman has resurrected a project called Dueling Minds,
for which a group of writers based stories from a wild and beautiful
cover by Alan Clark. Seems like the book is now slated to come
out from Cemetery Dance, and will include a story from me,
A Breath of Bygone Spirits. More news to come, of course,
but thanks Brian and CD!!!
Linda and I will be guests at the legendary MoCon (Indiana
Horror Writers, bringing together horror literature and spirituality),
though it will be more of a family reunion with Tom Piccirilli,
Gary Braunbeck, Lucy Snyder, Wrath James White, hosted by the
Sinister Minister Maurice Broaddus.
Once again, thanks for stopping by! And stay tuned for the
latest on A Blood of Killers!
Happy New Year to everyone! Hope your holidays
(from Halloween to New Year's, take your choice) were
filled with joy and some down and dirty fun!
To start the new year off, the January/February issue
of Rue Morgue (#86) features, behind the full My Bloody
Valentine cover and a feature on Dan Curtis, plus a year
in review feature, horror convention schedule, and more
news, reviews and even more features, an interview with
me called Feeding the Beast.
Brice McVicar conducted the interview - much thanks!! -
focusing on the upcoming release of A Blood of Killers,
my new collection of stories about those human monsters
we generally call "killers." I talk mostly about the
original stories in the collection, which will be 12
(13 if you get the limited) new Max stories covering
his career before the events of the three book "Beast"
More on that release in the future, but in the meantime,
pick up a copy of Rue Morgue to catch the interview,
the book's "screaming man" cover, and the other 80 pages
of glossy goodness on "horror in culture and entertainment."
Though the books isn't up for pre-order as of mid-January
(except at BN.com), you can certainly check Necro Publications
for availability and ordering information. Dave is
putting out a host of books this year, with
A Blood of Killers scheduled for a March release,
so keep checking back if you don't see it.
Dave's just a little busy.
In an orgy of late year publications, three stories
came out in November and December. Easily missed during
the frantic holiday season, they were:
"On the Wind That Blows Hard From Below" in
Tales of the Unanticipated's gorgeous issue 29,
a dark, post-apocalyptic sf/tale that was inspired some
years ago by my first trip down to the post 9/11 World
Trade Center site. The issue also includes stories from
Patricia S. Bowne, Mark Rich, Lyda Morehouse, Eleanor
Arnason, Stephen Dedman, Martha A. Hood, S.N.Arly, Stephen
Couch, Michael A. Pignatella, Katherine Woodbury,
Naomi Kritzer, Patricia Russo, Tony Pi, Hank Quense,
and Sue Isle. The issue (as well as back issues) is
available from TOTU
"Temple" was published in Tim Deal's magazine,
Shroud 4, available through Amazon at Shroud
"What Isn't There" was published in Dark Discoveries 4,
and received a couple of nice mentions here and there,
including one from a December 26, 2008 Rich Horton
(LOCUS reviewer) Rich Horton
in which he reviewed the year's offerings for a number
of magazines, including Dark Discoveries:
"This year my favorite story (in Dark Discoveries)
was Gerard Houarner's "What Isn't There" (Fall),
which is entirely typical contemporary psychological horror
about a guy convinced he's been sort of haunted his whole
life by a short of shadow almost no one else can see --
as I said, quite typical, but quite well told."
You can order the issue from Dark Discoveries
(4 issue subscription, or individual copies available).
Let's not forget my collection of Oz inspired novelettes,
The Oz Suite, from Eibonvale Press
-- alien invasion apocalypse as told through the eyes of
a young sociopath; split world/personality adventure
featuring the King of the Flying Monkeys, no less;
and childhood trauma leading to a surreal/supernatural
quest for the Wizard.
The book comes in two editions, hard cover and paperback,
so collectors can get their groove on and regular readers
don't have to miss out!
You can also try Horror Mall
for much of this material (including signed Max papberbacks)
Coming up shortly is Ed Lee's and Gak's Infernally Yours,
an anthology published by Necro Publications based on
Lee's "Hell" mythology developed in his series of novels
City Infernal, Infernal Angel, and Infernal House.
I'm proud to be in a book with a Lee his-own-self novella,
and the other contributors: John Shirley, John Everson,
Brian Keene, Charlee Jacob, Maynard and Sims,
and Bryan Smith.
Check out the pre-ordering madness at Necro Publications
I was also fortunate enough to make a couple of sales:
Indian Country Noir, edited by Sarah Cortez and Liz Martinez,
part of the famed Akashic Noir anthology series
took Dead Medicine Snake Woman, a New York/East Coast based
magical noir piece with a monster, a forbidden spirit,
and a mixed-up guy who lets his heart lead him into
a deadly situation.
Strange Tales, an anthology edited by Rosalie Parker
and published by Tartarus Press out of the U.K.,
took my story "The Other Box."
The first volume in this series received a World
Fantasy Award, the second was nominated for an
International Horror Guild award. Ray Russel from TP
describes the kinds of stories in the anthology thusly:
"A 'Strange Tale' is a short story that explores a
fantastic idea, supernatural or psychological,
with the intention of causing, through its own logical
development, uncertainty or unease about that which
the reader takes for granted."
Needless to say, I'm "chuffed" (as my English friends
like to say) to be a part of this book.
For new writers out there, I participate in a blog with
thirty contributors from the publishing industry,
including many working, sweating writers, called
New posts by the group come up daily.
My contribution comes in on the 4th of every month,
and I talk about various personal, theoretical and
practical aspects of what I do with writing. As I
said in my first post on the site over a couple of
years ago, I do this as much to explore what I do for
myself, as to give anybody advice on how to write or
make a living at the game. The other contributors
absolutely kick butt -- check the site out to get
the inside scoop on the writing life, and don't forget
to leave comments!
Links to the posts I've done (30 essays and a couple
of short-short Halloween pieces as of January 2009)
is at Storytellersunplugged
Lastly (certainly not least), Hildy Silverman is
publishing Space and Time magazine like gangbusters -
a strict quarterly schedule. I just finished another
reading period as Fiction Editor, so we're good to go
for another year. Though dedicated to mixed genre and
genre-bending fiction, I can tell you there's a strong
dark thread running through the fiction. There's also humor,
as well as speculative elements and outright sf. But I'm
telling you, some of those stories I recommended to Hildy
were dark and provocative, so there's something for everyone
in this magazine.
The current issue, just released in January, 2009, #106,
features fiction from Norman Spinrad, John B. Rosenman,
Kurt Newton, Ian R. Faulkner, Wade Tarzia, Mark Lee Pearson,
A. Camille Renwick, Rich Sampson. Linda Addison, Poetry Editor,
has a few reviews of current poetry collections out, and
selected poetry from Kennifer Crow, M. Frost, David C.
Kopaska-Merkel, Mary Jo Rabe, Lyn Lifshin and Jane Stuart.
The cover for the latest issue is up on the revamped site,
Space and Time Magazine - watch the "Web Extras"
area for new internet-only features from us.
Well, it's been a busy end of the year. Thanks for dropping
by and checking in - I appreciate your interest!! Look to the
skies (well, this site, for sure) for more and the latest on
A Blood of Killers.
The Oz Suite has arrived!
Available at www.eibonvalepress.co.uk,
The Oz Suite is a collection of three novellas published by
Eibonvale Press in both hard cover and trade paperback.
The stories use bits and pieces of the Wizard of Oz mythos
in stories about alien invasion, emotional breakdown, and
trauma. Needless to say, Oz gains some sharp edges as characters
engage psychological, surreal and supernatural realities.
“No We Love No One” follows a young and dangerous
boy who survives a very strange “alien” invasion.
It was originally published in the out-of-print Damned: An
Anthology of the Lose edited by Dave Barnett, and was included
in the Honorable Mention list for 18th Annual Year's Best
Fantasy and Horror from St. Martins Press.
“Bring Me the Head of That Little Girl Dorothy”
is about a woman who occasionally believes she is the Wicked
Witch of the West, and is narrated, in part, by Nikko, King
of the Flying Monkeys.
“The Wizard Will See You Now” centers on the
life-long quest by a surviving son for the reason and meaning
behind a father's sudden, mad, and deadly attack on his family.
I never said this was L. Frank Baum's or even Judy Garland's
There's also an Afterword where I talk about my need to play
with and riff on a few bars of the whole “Oz”
If you're curious, you're welcome to read the story openings
- click here.
And remember, the holidays are coming and nothing says “I
love you” like books! The Oz Suite trade paperback is
$12, the hardcover, $35. C'mon, it's better than fake diamonds!
In other news.....
Road From Hell was well-received in a review in Rue Morgue
76; here are a couple of quotes:
"One of the most underrated authors working in the genre
today, Gerard Houarner blends beauty with violence on every
page of his latest novel Road From Hell. Houarner, whose style
is heavier than a waterlogged corpse, weaves a wicked tale
featuring his trademark floating nightclub, Painfreak, contract
killer Max, the great god Kali, zombies and lots of anguish."
"Where Houarner's talent truly shines is in his ability
to dissect human relationships. His focus on the pain and
suffering one can experience simply by caring for someone
else easily outweighs his superb knack for describing the
physical pain his characters either suffer or inflict."
So what are you waiting for? Visit www.necropublications.com
to buy directly from the publisher, or if you need amazon.com
supersaver action, check this
out. Or visit www.horror-mall.com
It's also better than fake diamonds!
Shroud Press published the anthology Abominations, which
included my story “Devoured by Her Enigmatic Smile.”
The books is available from the
publisher, or Amazon.com.
Tales of the Unanticipated accepted "On the Wind That
Blows Hard from Below,” which will appear in either
issue 29 or 30.
Hear Them Roar, an anthology edited by C.J. Henderson and
Patrick Thomas that includes work by Linda Addison and, well,
me, is back in print in electronic
During the summer, Linda and I attended Necon and Fangoria,
and also appeared on Jim Freund's legendary WBAI FM radio
show, Hour of the Wolf. What happens at Necon stays at Necon,
and though our Fangoria appearance on a horror panel was blown
up spectacularly on a big screen behind us, it is, alas, now
But Jim records and posts his program, so if you'd like to
hear Linda, or even me, talk and even read our work (I did
an abbreviated version of Dead Cat's Lick, for those of you
curious about that character), check out the June 28th 2008
show at: http://www.hourwolf.com/toc.html
My contributions to www.storytellersunplugged.com
have continued on the 4th of every month:
April - Folklore and Legends, Urban and Otherwise
May - Filters
June - Frames
July - Advice. Huh! What It good For?
August - Intimacy
September - An Ambivalent Defense of the Dark
Lastly, I posted pics from various activities over the past
few months on the Flickr galleries (just go to the Life Online
tab) – a bunch of stuff from our Arizona and Salt Lake
city trips, the Oz Suite cover, some misc. NYC stuff under
'Round the Way.
Hi everybody, and welcome to the new site.
Created by Natalia
Lincoln, the original site was launched in 2000 and has
basically remained the same since except for news updates.
With Natalia busy with her new novel, The
Mirror, day job, travels and music career (Odalisque
in Ashes) there just hasn't been enough time to get together
for the necessary revisions that come with 8 years of life
So with Natalia preparing to go off to foreign lands and
semi-permanent touring, I began looking for someone to take
over. Fortunately, Nick Kaufmann, man about town and 2007
Stoker nominee, (www.nicholaskaufmann.com)
did all of the leg work when he had Marcy Italiano (www.theweblizard.com)
revise his website to great effect.
So Marcy's gone to work on a new design and tightened the
ship a bit. I've updated my bio to include little things like,
well, let's see, oh yeah, getting married and such, as well
as the bibliography, Max and Dead Cat pages. There's also
a flckr photo site attached with covers and other pictures
which will be fun to add to over time. (By the way, Brian
Addison took the picture featured above, and you should check
out his work on his flckr
Marcy is also revising 2007 Stoker nominee Linda Addison's
site, now at www.lindaaddisonpoet.com
In other news, Cemetery Dance #58, the Charlie Grant tribute
issue, is out and about and includes a story from me, “In
the Faith of Our Fathers,” as well as stories from,
of course, Charles Grant, and Sarah Monette, Karen Heuler,
Ian Rogers, JG Faherty, Dena Martin, Stephen Graham Jones,
and an excerpt from Scavenger by David Morrell. The Usual
Suspects make their appearances. Pick it up at Horrormall
or the Cemetery Dance site, or wherever leading horror magazines
By the way, in case I haven't mentioned it, yet, my wife
Linda Addison's poetry collection, Being Full of Light, Insubstantial,
from Space and Time, was nominated for a Stoker Award in the
poetry category. It is, of course, still available from Space
and Time as well as amazon.com
I've been blogging as usual at www.Storytellersunplugged.com,
which was also nominated for a Stoker for 2007. There are
some new bloggers which you might want to check out like the
legendary Wayne Allen Sallee, and Alexandra Sokoloff's entries
on the 24th should be required reading for anyone thinking
about the film industry. Favorites like Brian Hodge, Jim Moore,
Beth Massey, and that shy fellow John Skipp, are still contributing,
In January, I wrote about handling good and bad reactions
to writing in Rejections, Reviews and Other Dubious Reactions:
February, I talked about some of my experiences returning
to service as Space and Time's (http://www.spaceandtimemagazine.com)
Fiction Editor under new publisher Hildy Silverman in The
Slushiness of Slush http://www.storytellersunplugged.com/2008/02/page/3
And for March 4th entry, I talked about The Business of Writing.
In other news.....
A very kind thread/review of Road From Hell appeared on the
For some reason, I find myself inhabiting yet another niche
in the virtual universe. Find me, link to me, or do what you
will with: http://www.linkedin.com/GerardHouarner
I don't know what it means, but according to fantasybookspot.com,
my story, They Play In The Palace of My Dreaming, was one
of the two top viewed on the Heliotrope site. http://www.heliotropemag.com/Issue02/palace.html
I've been studied – “She'd Make a Dead Man Crawl”
from the anthology Mojo: Conjure Stories was discussed as
part of an article on transcendent zombie love written by
Frances Auld, Ph.D. (Visit
Dissections) I must say, I feel much more intelligent
by having one of my stories considered worthy to be written
about by a Ph.D.
Gabrielle Faust was kind enough to interview me for her blog,
and you can see the results at: http://www.gabriellefaust.com/archives/345
Linda and I will be at the World Horror Convention in Salt
Lake City, Utah, March 27-30.
I'm scheduled for the following:
Horrific Folklore panel, Thursday, 3/27 at 9PM
Urban Legends as Fodder for Horror Stories, Thursday, 3/27
Making Lovecraft Accessible to the 21st Century, Friday, 3/28
at 12 noon
Mass autograph signing, Friday 8-10