The Epitaph Issue #12 (Sept. 2011)

Issue #12 (September 2011)

The Epitaph
Journal of the New England Horror Writers (NEHW)

The NEHW Board of Directors:

Tracy L. Carbone – Co-Chair
Stacey Longo – Co-Chair/Secretary
Dan Keohane – Treasurer
Jason Harris – Director of Publicity/Webmaster
Tim Deal – Director of Publications
T.J. May – Director of Events
Scott Goudsward – Director of Social Events
Danny Evarts – Member at Large

NEHW News:

The NEHW Committee has a new co-chair, Stacey Longo. Longo has taken over the position after Dan Keohane decided to step down from that position and take on the responsibilities of Treasurer.

I want to thank members Jennifer Yarter-Polmatier, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Stacey Longo, Dan Keohane, Danny Evarts, Dan Foley, Kurt Newton, Nathan Wrann, Raven Starr, Scott Goudsward, K. Allen Wood, Greg X. Graves, Nathan Schoonover and Ron Winter for participating at the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair.

I would also like to thank Robert Heske and Tracy L. Carbone for sending their books to be sold at the booth.

NEHW Publicity Committee:

Would you like to join the publicity committee? Committee members will help find information for website entries along with writing entries. They can also bring up their own ideas for entries. For more information or to join the committee, send an email to Jason Harris at

Shirley Jackson Awards information:

The 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards are open to submissions. Publishers, not authors, should contact JoAnn F. Cox at about specifics.


From Rod Heather:

Heather’s new publishing venture is now open for submissions. Check out the website,


From Craig Shaw Gardner:

Gardner and Jeffrey A. Carver will be teaching their “ULTIMATE SF WORKSHOP” one more time at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge, MA from October to December. This workshop covers fantasy, horror and science fiction writing. Graduates have sold novels, gotten big-time agents, and sold lots of short stories to pro markets (one grad has a story in the current F and SF). Craig is a former president of HWA and a New York Times bestselling author. Jeff is a Nebula nominee. We’re looking for people who are serious about writing and want to push their prose to a more professional level.

Interested? Go to for more information.

From Greg X. Graves:

On September 1, 1889 Labs published Greg’s first novel, Codex Nekromantia. It is a light-hearted urban fantasy about three necromancers who overwhelm a city with zombies, and the survivors of the assault. The serialized online release will be wrapping up next month as well.

From Kurt Newton:

Newton’s novella, The Brainpan Concerto, is available for preorder on the Sideshow Press site. Here are the particulars:

Sideshow Press page link:

Cover art link:

It is available in Limited Hardcover Edition, which is a case-bound hardcover with graphic cover, 5 x 8,″ 145 pages, fully-illustrated, signed, numbered, and limited to no more than 70 copies

From Kristi Petersen Schoonover:

Schoonover’s short story “Vanity” will appear in Dark Opus Press’ forthcoming anthology, In Poe’s Shadow, in which writers were asked to submit a modern tale directly paying homage to or inspired by one of Poe’s short stories.

“Vanity” owes itself to Poe’s little-known short story, “The Oval Portrait,” which is Schoonover’s favorite piece of his. If you’d like to read “The Oval Portrait”—it’s short, in fact it’s under 1300 words—you can read it at (The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore’s extensive online archive):

The first round of revisions on her forthcoming horror novel, Bad Apple, is complete! Bad Apple is coming from Vagabondage Press Books this November. To learn more about her novel and read some advance praise, visit her temporary Bad Apple page:

The Smoking Poet’s Zinta Aistars recently gave her collection Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World an in-depth review, noting that the stories “are imaginative, and each one, in its own way, left me squirming a bit in discomfort as ghost stories should. You can read the full review here:

From John Grover:

Grover announces Terror in Small Doses for only 99 cents!
Available for the first time on Kindle. Terror in Small Doses is a re-release of the limited edition print chapbook by the now defunct Nocturne Press. Six flash tales of horror and the supernatural that make a great sampler of the author’s work. All new cover art was done by the artist of
the original, Kirk Alberts. This is a Kindle exclusive … get your copy today at =digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1314234425&sr=1-1

From Jeffrey Thomas:

Thomas’s novella, Beautiful Hell, is now available for pre-order on the Dark Regions Press website,, in trade paperback edition (first 100 copies signed by the author), with an e-book edition forthcoming.

The novella is set in the world of Thomas’ short story collection Voices From Hades, and the novels The Fall of Hades and Letters From Hades. It can be ordered at the Dark Regions Press website,

From Miranda Doerfler:

Doerfler is hosting a Horror Writers Weekend in Albany, NY on October 7 through 9. Come attend the first annual Horror Writers’ Weekend! You will join your fellow horror writers for a night of horror appreciation, where each of you will get the chance to read your very own horror stories aloud. The event will also feature published horror writers as special guests (to be announced). Attendees will gather at Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany, NY, a dwelling that is said to be haunted, and share your works with other horror writers!

Attendees will enjoy a guided tour by the local Tri-City Paranormal Society throughout the mansion as short stories are read aloud to the group to create a truly terrifying atmosphere! People will also receive an EMP tutorial, test the mansion’s rooms for paranormal activity and take a “Ghost Walk” through the garden after dark. This will also be a great opportunity to speak with published horror authors! Refreshments will be provided by talented ghost hunter, baker and cupcake maker, Amy Bennett.

Want to join the fun? Simply message me on Facebook or email me through the Contact page, with the subject, “Horror Writers Weekend.” Tell me your name, age, what kind of story (or stories) you might want to read at the HWW (vampire, ghost, werewolf, dream demon, what have you), and what city you live in. NOTE: At no point will you be REQUIRED to read. You are more than welcome to come to the event, sit back and enjoy yourself! Taking place October 7 through 9, every night at 7:00 p.m.

Admission to the event is only $10.

Please RSVP to Doerfler by sending her a message through the contact page. All of this information is available on the designated page on her website.

She is also releasing her next publication, Bloody Apparitions, on November 4 on the Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Blood Apparitions contains three short stories: “Til Death,” “Shadow Falls” and “Dead End.”

Til Death: Marriage is the beginning of the end for everyone at this reception.
Shadow Falls: A sleepy town keeps a dark secret amongst its small population…
Dead End: A wrong turn can give a fatal end to this family vacation.
More information on all of her publications is available on the Publications tab of her website.

From Doug Rinaldi:

Static Movement’s anthologies, Tales of Salt and Sorrow and Obsession, are now available through Pill Hill Press and Tales of Salt and Sorrow features his short story “Maelstrom” and Obsession features his tale “Annual Seed.”

In other news, his pieces “Forlorn” and “Last Goodbye Glance” have been accepted into Wicked East’s Behind Locked Doors and Short Sips – Coffee House Flash Fiction anthologies respectively while his short “Cruciform” has been accepted into Tales of Terror & Mayhem From Deep Within The Box, also through Wicked East Press.

From Rick Hautala:

Hautala sold his novel, Waiting, to CD Publications. Already in the CD pipeline are two books—Indian Summer, a “Little Brothers” novella, and Chills, an original novel based on an original screenplay.

From Timothy Finn:

Finn’s story “Dead Heads” has been accepted by Open Casket Press for the upcoming Zombie Buffet anthology. Finn said, “It’s thanks to the newsletter and particularly the news items from Kevin Lewis and Scott Goudsward that I discovered both Open Casket Press and the anthology. Thank you all.”

Rymfire e-books collection, State of Horror: Massachusetts, featuring Finn’s story “Misfortune” is now available as an e-book from Amazon and the print version is available through

From Andrea Perron:

Perron has had a busy month. She booked three radio shows and a slew of engagements for Rhode Island. An article about her book, House of Light, House of Darkness, appeared in Oracle 20-20 Magazine.

There is a new You Tube channel for House of Light, House of Darkness.

Margie Mersky, her SEO Administrator (web woman) has made a video they would like to share. It can be found here,

From J.P. Freeman:

Freeman had one of his stories, “The Anniversary,” published by Wicked East Press. It is included in the anthology, Hannibal’s Manor edited by Jessica Weiss. It’s available on their online store (, his site, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. It is also available for the Kindle and Nook.

He recently started to self publish his own magazine, “Things Better Left Unsaid” which features one of his short stories each month. The first issue is available now through his website, The downloadable version is free.

From Karen Dent:

Her story, “Endless Hunger” has been accepted into the H.P. Lovecraft anthology, The Call of Lovecraft due out in 2012.

From Kevin Lewis:

The Amazon Kindle edition of Creature Feature: A Monster Anthology, which features Lewis’ short story, “The Floodlings,” is now available.

In other news, Lewis’ story, “Merry Christmas, Claire,” will be published in the upcoming anthology, Dead Christmas: A Zombie Anthology. Both anthologies are published by Open Casket Press.

From Dale Phillips:
Phillips’ story, “The Mousetrap” is out now in the current issue of “Over My Dead Body” (

From Matt Bechtel:
The revamped website for Necon E-books debuted this month. The largest and most exciting addition of the new site will be the Live Blog. The goal for the blog is to inspire and engender online conversation about all things related to horror literature. The company also wants to create those aspects in what it does in publishing, e-books, book reviews, author appreciations, etc.
Bob Booth, founder of Necon E-books, has already started a regular feature for the site called “Bob’s Table at Café Necon,” his own personal book review column written in the manner of a discussion around “his” table at the Necon convention. For more information about Necon, check out the website,
The blog will contain a number of posts about writers or titles published by the company, but won’t be exclusively about them. Booth’s first review is of a novel by an author the company has not had the pleasure of publishing. The blog will be about the entire genre. The company sees this as an opportunity for everyone to promote, celebrate, and hopefully thereby grow the field of horror.
The blog will only feature positive commentary about specific writers or novels. They would rather spend their time (and online column inches) showcasing talent and works they like rather than criticizing those they don’t. They may write something critical about an overall theme or trope in the genre which they are unhappy about, or be professionally critical of trends within the publishing industry, which they may not agree with, but they will never use the blog to make any personal attacks.
“In short, you have our word that if you see your name on our blog, you’re going to like what you read next.”
Check out the revamped website,

From Stefan Petrucha:
Petrucha wants to give a heads-up to all zombie and detective fans that from Sept. 4 through Nov. 4 he will be tweeting a quote a day through his Twitter feed, @SPetrucha, from his upcoming zombie noir from Roc Books, Dead Mann Walking, which will be released Oct. 4.
“This is a crass effort at publicity, so if you see one that tickles your desiccated fancy or decaying rib, please share and spread the word,” he said.
There is some supplemental material here,

J.P. Freeman (ME)
Erika Schraeder (VT)
Ron Winter (CT)
Kim Pereira (MA)
Miranda Doerfler (NY)
David Price (MA)
Robert Rumery (CT)
Audra Upton (CT)
Walt Schnabel (NH)
Anthony Laquerre (MA)
Jennifer Provost (MA)
Pat Sheridan (CT)
Kasey Shoemaker (CT)
David Chrisom (MA)
Nathan Schoonover (CT)

– Jason Harris, Editor, the Epitaph: Journal of NEHW
– Stacey Longo, Assistant Editor, the Epitaph: Journal of NEHW

2011 Shirley Jackson Awards’ Jurors Announced

Jurors announced for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards

In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

The jurors for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards:

Laird Barron is the author of two collections: The Imago Sequence and Occultation, both of which won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection. His work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. An expatriate Alaskan, he currently resides in the mountains of Montana. His LiveJournal, Domination of Black, is

Matthew Cheney has published fiction and nonfiction with a wide variety of venues, including One Story, Weird Tales, Locus, Rain
Taxi, Las Vegas Weekly, Web Conjunctions, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and elsewhere. He is a regular columnist for the online magazines Strange Horizons and Boomtron, the former series editor for Best American Fantasy, and a past juror for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Fountain Award. He currently lives in New Hampshire, where he teaches at Plymouth State University and The New Hampton School. His blog, The Mumpsimus, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2005.

Maura McHugh’s short stories have appeared in markets such as Black Static, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and Shroud Magazine. She is the writer of two comic book series: Róisín Dubh and Jennifer Wilde, and her story “The Nail” will appears in the Womanthology comic book anthology. One of her screenplays was made into a short film, and she has served on the jury of the Octocon Golden Blaster Awards and the Galway Junior Film Fleadh Pitching Awards. She co- organized the Campaign for Real Fear short horror fiction competition with author Christopher Fowler. She lives in Ireland. Her website is

Kaaron Warren has three novels in print: The critically-acclaimed and award-winning Slights, Walking the Tree and Mistification. She has two short story collections, The Grinding House and Dead Sea Fruit. Her short fiction has appeared in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and she was one of the winners of Maura McHugh’s ‘Campaign for Real Fear’. She lives in Canberra, Australia, with her family. Her website is

Gary K. Wolfe is contributing editor and reviewer for Locus magazine, and is a board member of the Locus Science Fiction
Foundation. He has written considerable academic criticism of science fiction and fantasy, including the Eaton Award-winning The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction. Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996 received the British Science Fiction Association Award for best nonfiction, and both it and Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001 were Hugo Award finalists. Wolfe has also received the SFRA Pilgrim Award, the IAFA Distinguished Scholarship Award, and a World Fantasy Award for criticism and reviews. Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature, appeared in 2011. Wolfe is Professor of Humanities and English at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem has called Jackson “one of this century’s most luminous and strange American writers,” and multiple generations of authors would agree.

NEHW at Ninth Annual Middletown Open Air Market

Authors Stacey Longo, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Rob Watts, Kasey Shoemaker, and Dan Foley will be at the Ninth Annual Middletown Open Air Market being held on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate, located at 421 Wadsworth Steet.

There is still room for other interested authors to be involved in this event. Please contact Jason Harris at The cost for participating will be $10. Room will be limited.

For more information about the authors check out their websites: Longo (, Schoonover (, Watts (, and Shoemaker ( Foley doesn’t have a website.

Author Releases Supplemental Material in Anticipation of His New Book

In celebration of author Stefan Petrucha’s release of his new book, Dead Mann Walking, on Oct. 4, he is releasing some supplemental material about the history of zombies.

An Explanation From the Author: In my first draft of Dead Mann Walking, a group of peacefully protesting chakz, pushed too far by the living, go feral, fulfilling the zombie stereotype. As chak-detective Hessius Mann helplessly watches the mess, he broods on the fictional history of the walking dead.

Upon reading this, Ace editor, Jessica Wade, felt it pulled the reader out of the story-world. I agreed, lopping it out quicker than Ash with a chainsaw-hand.

However, to celebrate Dead Mann’s Oct 4 release, what could be more appropriate than restoring it to half-life? So here ‘tis, a quick, quirky look at Z’s from the POV of a PI who should know.

Dead Mann Talking: A History of Zombies

Crowded, surrounded, attacked, the chakz gave the people what they wanted, proof that they were dangerous. It was as though that group-mind the LBs worried about had actually kicked in. Maybe the ferals just never had the numbers before, or maybe you had to be far enough back to see the patterns. I saw them now.

Flashes of chak-bodies moved in elegant waves, like flocks of migrating birds. The livebloods, for all their higher functions, fled without grace. The big picture pulsed and throbbed. But the personal tragedies played out in tiny spaces, as if the two had nothing to do with one another. In the center of the swirls stood the fair-haired cop I’d seen from the window, bullets spitting from his AK-47. They tore some dead flesh. Mostly, he was hitting livebloods before the ferals took him down.

So was this Ezekiel and his dry-bones rising in the valley of death? Was it then, or later, now, or the future? The edges were arbitrary, the beginnings and endings likewise. But as I watched, this was the shit I remembered.

In 1929 W.B. Seabrook wrote about voodoo cults and resurrected slaves in a novel called The Magic Island. It made sense that Haiti, whose population had recently thrown off their shackles, would have plantation slaves for their monsters.

In 1932, Victor Halperin’s White Zombie took it to the white Europeans. The island lust of Murder Legendre, played by Bela Lugosi, put a white virgin’s virtue at risk.

But these were early, proto-forms. There was no blood yet, not like there was on the Fort Hammer plaza. My eyes singled out a male teen, all buff and dressed to shock with Mohawk, tattoos and piercings. He ran half-heartedly, grabbing at the side of his head where his ear had been once. Red liquid dripped between his fingers. Eventually, he slowed and then, simply stopped.

In 1943 Jacques Tournier’s I Walked With a Zombie gave us a dead-eyed scarecrow. It was more a symbol. No savagery, just foreboding. It was Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend in 1954 that took it up a notch. The book was sort of about vampires, but they were so much like zombies that the 1964 Italian film version with Vincent Price, The Last Man on Earth, became the prime inspiration for George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

1968, the zombie had arrived. Romero was the first, really, if you don’t count Ezekiel and all the others. What took so long? Well, in those days, the dead moved slowly.

On the plaza, groups formed and collapsed like cauldron bubbles. I watched two families band together. The mothers carried the little ones, forcing the older children ahead. Weirdly, the fathers carried doors, using them as shields. Two danglers and a gleet banged at them. They even tried the knob.

Romero made it biblical again. Cannibal corpses, old friends and lovers among them, children chewing on parents. The condition spreading like plague, and no one knew why or who to shoot. His sequel, Dawn of the Dead, used the same idea, but more directly as social critique, played out in comic-book colors so gaudy you had to get the joke.

I hoped the family made it. Something should survive, and it didn’t look good for anyone else. The elegant swarms had surrounded the LBs, and as they squeezed in, began to lose their pretty shape. Together now, ferals and livebloods pushed and pulled en mass, so many, so close together, they could barely move. Limbs tangled, the center of the blob tumbled, all together, all at once, like football teams in a joint tackle.

After Romero, what could you say? A horde of lesser efforts followed, Fulci’s Zombi 2 notable for an underwater battle between zombie and shark. Then decades passed. 28 Days Later brought some class back to the movies. That was more about plague than the dead, but close enough, and its monsters were fast. The Dawn of the Dead remake followed suit. The books and comics got better – Monster Island by David Wellington, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and later Charlie Adlard (now on TV!). By then people played video games like Rebel Without A Pulse and Left4Dead, shooting and being shot, eating and being eaten. The great democracy of mass media.

The mob in the plaza had formed a single creature, like one of Colby Green’s orgies, many limbs, many mouths, some screaming, some chewing. Stray Livebloods and ferals tried to pull the bodies free, but for different reasons.

The cop with the flamethrower stood at the edge of the mass and stared, unsure what to do. He tried to help, used his free hand to grab a hand and yank, but when a feral came free, a chunk of dripping meat in its mouth, he’d had enough. He let loose with the thrower, turning it on the writhing pile. Before the cop could barbecue the lot, a liveblood clocked him with a crowbar, then dived into the smoldering mess, screaming that he had to find his girlfriend.

I’d like to say all the books and movies fade against the reality, but maybe it’s the reality that fades. After all, who could forget the surprise hit, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? This is the shit that gives us shape, that let’s us understand the world, even build it from scratch. Shakespeare told us. We are such stuff as nightmares are made on, and our little life is rounded with a scream.

The plaza had reached critical mass. The blob broke and scattered. Bodies, some moving, spilled across the street, then onto the long black hospital entrance ramp that had kept the scene arms distant. The tide was coming in.

# # #

How Location Writing Worked for One Author

Location, Location, Location!
By Nick Cato

Although I would later read about it in several books on writing, I discovered “location writing” on my own due to several circumstances at the time.

And the time was 1998.

After years of dabbling with short stories, I had finally plotted my first novel. I banged out the first few chapters in front of my computer, and while I still had the drive to finish the book, something wasn’t right. At first I thought maybe this wasn’t meant to be a novel. Maybe another fifteen chapters and I could shop this thing as a novella. No—that wasn’t it. Then finally, after wasting too much time snacking and staring out the window in contemplation, it simply “hit” me.

I needed to go somewhere to write this thing.

Of course, considering this was a zombie novel, the first place I went was a local cemetery. I had a day off from work so I parked on one of the narrow dirt roads between the tombstones with a mead notebook and Papermate pen. I took in my surroundings (and hoped the maintenance staff wouldn’t bother me) and spent the next six hours writing until my hand told me it was time to rest. Then I grabbed a burger and went back for another hour to re-read everything I had written and made some minor changes.

I managed to get close to eight thousand words done that day, and became a bit too giddy, thinking I had discovered the secret to getting work done. On my next visit to the cemetery a week later, I had spent almost as much time as before, only at the end of the day I had written maybe four thousand words; a good output, but not what I had hoped for.

Not discouraged, I decided to write my next section at the area where my next scene was to take place. So I made sure I had a full bottle of Poland Springs and I pulled into an isolated parking spot at my local shopping mall. And wouldn’t you know it? The words flew out of me like I was on fire. Nine thousand words, much of which I kept in the final draft.

During the writing of my novel, I wrote at about a dozen locations, each one giving me a different feel and a new inspiration. Within eight months I had an eighty-four thousand word novel in my hands, and to this day I continue to write on location as often as possible.
While I wouldn’t sell this novel until 2008 (and after close-to twenty thousand words were chopped off of it), location writing has helped me to complete two other novels and over fifty short stories and two novellas, not to mention countless non-fiction pieces.

Location writing also helped me to develop my first-draft system: to this day I still write 85% of my first drafts the old fashioned way (with pen and paper), my second draft coming into play as I transfer the handwriting to computer. While weather and time off from the day job often dictate the amount of location writing one can do, I’ve found it to be a priceless tool in the war to get words out.

If possible, give the Location Writing Method a shot. Find a location similar to the one you’re currently writing about. Don’t worry what others may think as they see you sitting there, jotting or typing away on the laptop; the busier you get the more the world around you fades out. But don’t let it fade out until you’ve FULLY taken in your new writing surroundings. Take your time looking at every nook and cranny, keep the windows open (if you’re in a car as I often am) and make notes of the smells and sounds. Make notes of as many details as you can. There have been times I’ve filled up both sides of a sheet of paper with minor things I eventually added to the background in certain scenes.

If this works for you—and you fail to reproduce the same amount and/or quality of writing upon your second visit to the same place—simply change locations. Or, with your notes handy, try finishing your current section at home while the memories of a particular location are still fresh in mind.

And let me know if it works for you!

Authors to Take Readers to “The Monster’s Corner” Tuesday

Pandemonium Books in Cambridge, MA. will host the launch party for The Monster’s Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 7 p.m to 9 p.m.

Christopher Golden, the editor of the anthology, along with authors Nate Kenyon and John McIlveen, who both have stories in the book, will be on hand signing the newly released collection.

The bookstore is located at 4 Pleasant St. in Cambridge. For more information, go to the website, or call (617) 547-3721.

New Printing For Gaiman’s Gold Book

Borderlands Press has announced that Author Neil Gaiman has authorized an additional printing of his book A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff because of the overwhelming response of the first printing. In a press release, the publishers said there were so many orders for the first printing they couldn’t all be filled.

The book will be $20.00 and will be exactly like the limited, numbered edition, but it will not be signed by the author. It is full of rare or never-before-published material, which is sure to be a collector’s item. The book will ship at the end of October.

If you would like to order a copy, click this link:

NEHW at Middletown Open Air Market

The NEHW will have a booth at the Middletown Open Air Market on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Middletown, CT. Members wanting to sell their wares please contact me at The cost for participating will be $10.

This will be another great opportunity for our members to meet the public and for the organization to get its name out there.

Cover Released for NEHW’s First Anthology

The cover for Epitaphs, the first NEHW anthology, has been released. The anthology is edited by Tracy L. Carbone and will be published by Shroud Publishing. It will be released on Nov. 11 during Shroud’s convention, Anthocon, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The introduction is written by Peter Crowther, who has written over 80 short stories which has appeared in a variety of anthologies and magazines. Along with his fiction writing, he has written about music and the arts.

The NEHW members who are in the inaugural anthology are listed below.

Jeffrey C. Pettengill “To Sleep, Perchance to Die”
Paul McMahon “The Christopher Chair”
Kurt Newton “A Case of the Quiets”
Scott T. Goudsward “Build-a-Zombie”
John Goodrich “Not an Ulcer”
B. Adrian White “The Possesor Worm”
John M. McIlveen “Make a Choice”
Michael Allen Todd “The Death Room”
Rick Hautala “Perfect Witness”
Holly Newstein and Glenn Chadbourne “Stoney’s Boneyard”
Trisha J. Wooldridge “Kali’s Promise”
David Bernard “The Sequel”
David North-Martino “Malfeasance”
Stacey Longo “Private Beach”
Christopher Golden “All Aboard”
L.L. Soares “Holiday House”
Steven Withrow “Lines at a Wake”
K. Allen Wood “A Deeper kind of Cold”
P. Gardner Goldsmith “Alone”
Roxanne Dent “Pandora’s Box”
Michael Arruda “Chuck the Magic Man Says I Can”
T.T. Zuma “Burial Board”
John Grover “Windblown Shutter”
Stephen Dorato “Cheryl Takes a Trip”
Philip Roberts “The Legend of Wormley Farm”
Peter N. Dudar “Church of Thunder and Lightning”


Nick Cato’s Suburban Grindhouse Memories Column on CKF

Nick Cato’s current column “Suburban Grindhouse Memories” column at Cinema Knife Fight (

June, 1989. I see an ad in the NY Daily News for what promises to be a real wild one. I venture out of the safety of my suburban neighborhood (alone) and hit the still-sleazy pre-Guiliani Times Square for what would be my final visit to the famed area before it was cleansed a few years later. Getting off the train around 36th Street, I see a huge billboard poster for “Lady Terminator,” and attempted to peel it off. No luck. I was offered weed and other substances at least five times during my eight-block trek uptown to the theater. One guy claimed to have switchblades. I kept walking, keeping my eyes straight ahead, hoping I made it to the theater in one piece.

Man, do I miss the old NYC.

“Lady Terminator” played solo, a rarity for a Times Square feature at that time. I attended an afternoon showing, and the place had at least a dozen people in attendance…yet I was thrilled about ten minutes into the film when screams and comments were flying as loudly as any midnight screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” could hope for.

Check out the plot of this Indonesian import: An anthropology student named Tania Wilson (played by the beautiful Barbara Ann Constable in her ONLY credited role) becomes possessed by some ancient queen—while exploring her underwater lair. In a surreal/dream-like sequence, Tania finds herself swimming one second then tied to a huge bed the next. An eel-like creature wiggles up the sheets and into her vagina, causing her to become possessed. She soon emerges on shore (stark naked) and interrupts a lame drinking party where she wastes a couple of losers. After taking one of their leather jackets (yeah, this follows “The Terminator” (1984) quite closely at this point), she begins an all-out attack that’d make Hurricane Irene green with envy. While it’s never clear why this ancient sea witch is bent on revenge, the audience (and I) really didn’t care. Tania (aka the Lady Terminator) goes Tottally Balistic, creating a body count ten miles high via machine guns and a couple of brutal sex scenes (Remember the tag line: “She mates…then she Terminates!” One blurb that lives up to its promise).

Why this woman is turned into a cyborg-type revenge creature by an ancient sea witch is anyone’s guess, but that’s not even a quarter of a quarter of the flaws in this insanely ridiculous action romp. And when Tania starts her killing spree, you’ll either overlook these flaws, ride with it and have the greatest time of your trash film life, or shut the DVD off and continue to be a dullard (This film is actually playing in NYC at a rare screening in a couple of weeks—I’m freaking out that I can’t attend— hence the inspiration for this week’s column).

What put the crowd into a screaming frenzy were several repeated scenes, especially one of Tania spraying a group of military men with machine gun fire: that had to be shown at least five times. I’m guessing this saved the film crew from having to shoot from different angles? Either way, this is the type of thing that makes “so-bad-they’re-good” movies memorable.

I’m a big fan of the original “Terminator.” But, I can sit through “Lady Terminator” a thousand more times without being bored, as it contains more car chases, explosions, gore, violence, nudity and sheer insanity than a dozen low budget rip-offs combined. (It should be noted that star Barbara Ann Constable is also credited as doing the make-up for the film, too).

The most amazing aspect of “Lady Terminator” is it’s ability to entertain to the core, despite a plot that’s all over the place (or not even there, depending on who you talk to), dialogue that’s beyond inept, and question after question after question and confusion on top of confusion. Somehow this pile of Indonesian trash works. It’s a true miracle of low-budget filmmaking that I’ve been contemplating for the past twenty-two years, made worse by my second viewing via a VHS screening in the early 90s.

I think I’m finally ready to seek this out on DVD…although when I do it’ll be hard not to toss it in the DVD player for weekly viewings.

“Lady Terminator” was one of the greatest exploitation films I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen with my fellow Noo Yawk trash hounds at the near-end of the genuine grindhouse era.

I think I’m gonna go cry now…

© Copyright 2011 by Nick Cato