Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A quarterly horror bonanza

Dark Discoveries - Issue #28


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Disclaimer No. 1: I write book reviews for Dark Discoveries. In fact, one of my reviews appear on page 102 of this issue.

Disclaimer No. 2: I am not above bragging about it.

OK. On to the review.

Dark Discoveries is a quarterly magazine devoted to the horror and fantasy genre and published by Journalstone, LLC. The first thing that hits you is the professional allure of the magazine. there is a catchy cover that features a provocative looking female running from a zombie. Dark Discoveries magazines as of late seem to have a fondness for provocative and sexy females but I must say I enjoy the mildly camp but slick cover style.

But there is nothing campy about what is between the covers. Dark Discoveries includes both fiction and non-fiction, usually covering a specific theme per magazine. This issue, number 28 has a zombie theme. Most of the articles relate to that theme in one way or another. This is the kind of magazine I sit down with and read from cover to cover in one continuous session. It is that good.

It is the fiction I read it for. It offers only original material and the six stories for this issue are by Graham Masterson, Kevin J. Anderson, Gene O'Neill. Harry Shannon, Brett J Tulley, and Tim Waggoner. They are all worth reading but Gene O'Neill's psychopathic (and non-zombie) delight titled "On the Right Side of the Road" is perhaps the best of the lot. TIm Waggoner's "The Talking Dead" comes in a close second with its unusual take on the undead. The only disappointment was Graham Masterson's "Unholy Ghost" not because it was not good but because it was not a short tale but an excerpt from his upcoming novel, Plague of the Manitou I must admit though. It really sells the novel.

But let's not downplay the non-fiction. There are interviews with Graham Masterson, Doug Bradley, Jeffrey Combs (one of my favorite B-movie actors), Troma's Lloyd and Pat Kaufman and Native-American horror writer Owl Goingback. I also enjoyed the retrospective look at Italian zombie films. On top of all this, you will find an ongoing comic series by Joe McKinney and Patrick Freivald. There are also plenty of regular features written by such luminaries as Yvonne Navarro, Jonathan Mayberry and others that cover cryptozoic creatures, YA novels, movie monsters and other things that go bump in the night. Last but not least are the book and movie reviews which are selected from the Hell Notes web site, also owned by Journalstone, LLC.

Overall, there is a lot of entertainment and information packed in 110 pages. Just like its predecessors, Dark Discoveries Issue # 28 is sure to be an enjoyable read as long as you have that yen for horror fiction and movies.

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