Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Reviews and Interview

There were a couple of reviews of SuperNOIRtural Tales posted over the holiday break. Ted E. Grau over at The Cosmicomicon had this to say:

Rogers’ style is a perfect fit for this sort of fiction, as his writing is clean and straight ahead, without a lot of jazz hands, while also dashing the stew with a necessary amount of sarcasm and bone dry, black humor.  But there is also a depth of character, and a firm respect for what makes both good Horror and good Crime Fiction.  Like a mellow scotch, Rogers’ writing is the ideal blend of the spooky and the restrained, the shocking and the procedural, striking a balance that serves this sort of mash-up perfectly.

Ted also interviewed me for his website, which you should definitely check out because Ted is a big a fan of horror and noir as I am. Here’s an excerpt:

Do you have any more stories percolating that take place in or around the Black Lands?

My first non-Felix Black Lands story was recently published in the anthology Chilling Tales 2, edited by Michael Kelly. It’s called “Day Pass,” and it deals with a kind of halfway house for shapeshifters. People who have been infected by a Black Lands virus that’s basically the supernatural equivalent of rabies.

I’ve got a new Felix Renn story called “Eyes Like Poisoned Wells” that’s currently making the rounds.

And I’m currently working on a short story featuring Jerry Baldwin, the haunted house realtor from “The Brick.” It’s a tale of demons and exorcism called “Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.” Jerry’s stories tend to be a bit lighter. Not outright comedies, but less dark than the rest of my Black Lands stories. I like them because they let me explore not just another character, but another view of the world. Jerry’s outlook is very different from Felix’s. He doesn’t like the way the Black Lands is intruding on our world, but he’s trying to make the most of it. Even more, he’s trying to make money out of it.

You can read the whole review and the rest of the interview at The Cosmicomicon.

Josh Black also reviewed the book for Hellnotes:

The Brick is easily the highlight of the collection. It’s a creepy and effective haunted house tale, a terrifying monster-battling romp, and a strikingly poignant family saga that asks some probing questions regarding self-sacrifice. This one had me laughing, tearing up and nearly jumping out of my chair in equal measure.

Read the full review

Thanks to both of these fine gents for the excellent reviews.

Toronto ComiCon 2013

Next weekend, March 9th and 10th, I will be signing books at Toronto ComiCon. You can find me at the Burning Effigy Table. Copies of SuperNOIRtural Tales will be for sale, and I’ll have a few copies of Every House Is Haunted and Deadstock, as well, from my personal stash. It looks like it’s going to be a great con, so come out and say hello and maybe buy a book or two.

I’d also like to direct you to the excellent website, Speculating Canada, where some book club questions for SuperNOIRtural Tales have been posted.

In other news, Lurid Lit recently reviewed “Temporary Monsters,” calling it “brash, brilliant, and salivating.” Check out the full review on their website.

“Weirding” the home

Derek Newman-Stille over at Speculating Canada reviewed SuperNOIRtural Tales. Here’s a little of what he had to say:

Rogers plays with the juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extraordinary, illustrating how ordinary people can learn to cope with the introduction of the Weird into their everyday lives… Ian Rogers ‘Weirds’ the home, disrupting the safe blanket of domesticity that has become the foundation for Western modernity. Houses become things that can attack people, that can kill, that can be possessed… and even the bricks of the home itself can become infused with the ‘Weird’. They can be tainted spaces, infused with the miasma of the Black Lands.

Read the full review at Speculating Canada.

New Vamps, New Reviews

Supernatural Tales #22 is now available for sale! Featuring new fiction from some very fine writers, including my bud Michael Kelly. It also includes a new Felix Renn story called “Midnight Blonde.” It’s got vampires! And blondes! Order it now!

Also, the website Speculating Canada has reviewed all three Felix Renn chapbooks. Derek Newman-Stille, who runs the site, writes some of the most intelligent, thoughtful reviews I’ve ever read. It really says something when the reviewer points out something in your work that you’ve never seen before. And he likes it, too, which is definitely a plus!

Here’s an excerpt from his review of “Temporary Monsters”:

“Rogers’ first book in the Felix Renn series is fundamentally about change and impermanence and that makes it an exciting beginning to a new set of books. There is nothing predictable and the reader, like the characters, are placed on uncertain, shaky ground and feel the need to read through the book to have some sense of permanence to grasp onto at the end.”

Read the full review

From his review of “The Ash Angels”:

“This novel is truly terrifying because it deals with the lack of control that comes with depression; the lack of agency and internal chaos that comes when one is submerged in one’s own shadows. These monsters, although external in the novel, are internal for many people and serve as a reminder of the lurking dangers within one’s own soul and the slight change that is needed to plunge a person into darkness.”

Read the full review

From his review of “Black-Eyed Kids”:

“Good horror takes the familiar and makes it strange and embodies lingering fears, and this is certainly horror of the best kind. Rogers takes the image of innocence in our society, the child, and makes it something that evokes horror. He takes us into a realm of fear where even the most innocuous and normal thing can be an object of utter difference. And, he knows enough about fear to present his audience with the idea that sometimes people would rather die than live in continuing, ever-present fear. Fear of things is scary, but Fear itself is a terror that cannot be escaped from.”

Read the full review

The interview I did with Derek for Speculating Canada is still online, as well, and worth checking out, along with everything else on his excellent website.

The Post-Con, Post-Flu Report

I’ve been out of the loop the last couple of weeks. Wizard World Comic Con was great, our table was about ten feet away from Amy Acker’s, I met a lot of really nice people, sold a bunch of books, was even interviewed a couple of times. Unfortunately, during all of my glad-handing, I picked up an extremely unpleasant flu virus that hit me with five days of fever. Even now, a week later, I’m on the mend but still very weak.

It’s taken me a little while but I’m finally starting to catch up on things. Pictures from Comic Con are now available on my Facebook page. One of the two interviews I gave is now online, over at Press +1. The two best things about this con: seeing people come up to the table and pointing at one of the Felix Renn chapbooks and saying, “I already have that one!” And a couple of people who bought chapbooks coming back to the table later in the day to say they already started reading them and couldn’t put them down.

I found out that my Felix Renn story, “My Body,” and another short story, “The Candle” (that appeared in Shadows & Tall Trees), received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4.

I also came upon a review of the three Felix Renn chapbooks by Robert Morrish. Here’s an excerpt:

“…I’m usually not a fan of horror/comedy mash-ups. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I do enjoy horror-comedy when it’s done well, but more often than not I find attempts to combine the two genres fall flat. So when I say that I really enjoyed Ian Rogers’ three darkly humorous Felix Renn novelettes, understand that I’m a tough critic when it comes to these types of tales.”

Read the full review.

In other news, I have seen the almost-final draft of the cover artwork for my forthcoming ChiZine collection, Every House Is Haunted, and it is absolutely fantastic. Ever since my book was accepted, I’ve been imagining what my cover was going to look like, because the CZP covers are always so incredible. Artist Erik Mohr didn’t disappoint, and I think you’re really going to dig his take on haunted houses. I should be able to post it here in the next day or two, and the pre-order info for the limited edition hardcover should be online around the same time.

BEKs and Deadstock reviewed

A couple of new reviews have rolled in over the past week or so. The first is for Deadstock and it comes from the fine folks over at Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews:

A highly recommended read for fans of ghouls, zombies and old west supernatural tales and not as graphic as one would expect. Kudos for the writer. 

Read the full review.

The other review is for “Black-Eyed Kids” and it comes from Gef Fox at Skull Salad Reviews:

Whoa Nelly, this one was a dark treat to read. The first two books certainly had their fair share of sinister vibes, but there was more–how do I put it?–rollickingness. No that’s not right. Maybe sardonic tone is what I mean. Felix is the kind of guy who will let his world-weary side shine through. This time around there isn’t a lot of room for that, because his life is in imminent danger even more than the last two times. The story is the most intense of the three with a threat that Felix comes to believe he can’t defeat. Everything plays out really well with an episodic quality I’ve come to expect and appreciate from Ian’s work.

I think this would have to be Ian’s strongest effort yet of the three novellas published so far, which bodes well for future iterations, including a Felix Renn novel that’s apparently in the works. If you enjoy gritty urban fantasy, this should be right up your alley.

Read the full review.

Thanks to both reviewers for the kind words, and for taking the time to read (and review) my work!

The Black Glove reviews Deadstock

Anthony Servante over at The Black Glove has posted a really excellent review of my Weird Western novella Deadstock. Here’s an excerpt

“The novella captures the West with descriptive details of the desert, the small town, and the Groom ranch. The dialog also echoes what we have come to expect from western-speak without relying on clichés. Because the visage of the old west looms so large and accurate, the sci-fi and horror elements work within the framework to create a good counter-balance between the normal west and the weird west. Deadstock is a welcome addition to the Weird Western tradition. Dryden and Raisy can be placed with confidence alongside Joe R. Lansdale’s Jonah Hex, Ray Krank’s Ghost Rider, and Lon Williams’ Lee Winters. I look forward to further rides into the Weird West with Ian Rogers.”

Read the full review.

This is one of the most insightful reviews of my work to date. Servante pointed out things in my story that surprised even me. He also provides a nice introduction and overview of the Weird Western genre. A great way to start of my 2012. Thank you, Anthony!

Deadstock was published by Stonebunny Press and is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. There’s also an e-book version available for the Amazon Kindle.

Skull Salad and Toronto Writing Examiner

Two new reviews to help ring in the new year. The first comes from Gef Fox over at Skull Salad Reviews. Here’s what he had to say about “Temporary Monsters”:

“The world Ian has created here is surprisingly robust when barely using thirty pages to know only set the stage, but tell the whole story. The added twist of a drug that seems to temporarily morph users into monsters of choice is both macabre and original. There’s a good payoff at the end with enough of a teaser for future installments… Seeing Canada portrayed as something other than a snowbound land of overly polite syrup-suckers is always welcome, and Ian did a heckuva job layering grime all over Toronto. I’m looking forward to reading what else he has in store for the great white north and abroad.”

Read the full review.

Meanwhile, over at the Toronto Writing Examiner, Mary Rajotte has written an article on the series as a whole. Here’s an excerpt:

With a catalog of stories that are dark in tone and which explore everything from ghosts to demons, Rogers is well-schooled in the art of scaring readers.

But his supernatural detective series of stories deftly mixes darker tones with the thrilling adventure that comes with the classic whodunnit.

Read the full article.

Thanks to Mr. Fox and Ms. Rajotte for the kind words. And best wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year!

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What are the Black Lands?

The Black Lands is a dimension filled with supernatural creatures that lies next to our own. This alternate reality is the setting for a series of stories by Ian Rogers.

To find out more about the Black Lands, read the history.