News & Blog

Road of Bones

Road of BonesRoad of Bones by Christopher Golden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A short novel that moves quickly, ROAD OF BONES is a grueling horror adventure that never lets up. Author Christopher Golden locates the action on the real-life Road of Bones, the Kolyma Highway in Siberia, Russia, a setting with a dark, tragic history. In fact, that history is so unsettling I kind of wish it had played more directly into the horrors with which Golden confronts his characters. However, the novel goes in a different direction, one that I found equally compelling. No spoilers here, but Golden dips into Russian folklore that dates back much further than the Road of Bones itself and even nods toward cosmic horror.

The characters are okay. You don’t get a lot of time to get to know them before they’re running for their lives, but none of them felt unrealistic or cartoonish to me. My favorite character, and also the character I think is the strongest, is Ludmilla, an old woman who has taken it upon herself to bless the spirits of the road. My only real complaint about the novel is that I wish she had played a larger role in the story.

Aside from its fast-paced plot, the novel’s atmosphere is its strength. You really feel the brutality of the subzero temperatures and unforgiving wilderness, and Golden doesn’t shy away from describing what those conditions can do to a person. Novels, especially horror novels, are made or broken by their endings, and here Golden absolutely nails it. When you reach the end, you won’t be disappointed, save perhaps for the fact that this high-octane, heart-pounding novel is over.

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A New Guest Post at Ink Heist

I wrote about some of the amazing and weird real-life science behind my new novel The Stone Serpent, and Ink Heist was nice enough to publish it! Check it out if you want to read about mad scientists in Italy in the 19th century, a lake that turns living tissue to stone, and the saddest story you’ll ever hear about a hunting dog!

Click here to read “Turning to Stone.”

My Boskone Schedule
I have my final schedule for Boskone, which will be held February 17-19 in Boston! Here’s where you can find me:
Friday, 7 PM, Marina 3
Gritty, grim fiction fiction and suspense are natural bedfellows. What is it about their synergy that works so well, especially in video and film? How do you walk the line between mystery and suspense when there are monsters tearing their way through the plot? And how do the tropes within dark fantasy, science, and horror help generate or amplify those nail-biting moments that keep viewers from looking away from the screen during those moments of do or die?
Mike Allen (moderator), Nicholas Kaufmann, John Langan, Toni L.P. Kelner/Leigh Perry, Stephan Ward
Saturday, 1 PM, Marina 2
Writing and submitting inevitably means stories will be rejected. Some writers find it easy to keep going in the face of rejection, while others don’t. We discuss techniques for keeping up one’s spirits during the struggle toward your first or next publication. Pros share their clever anecdotes and real-life tales of woe when it comes to tragic turn downs. Through the laughter and the tears, you may even pick up a few tips and tricks to increase your chances and avoid the “rejectomancy” spiral of doom.
Marisca Pichette (moderator), Esther Friesner, Ian Randal Strock, John Langan, Nicholas Kaufmann
Saturday, 5:30 PM, Griffin
Our group reading will feature five horror authors who will each read from one of their published or in-process works. They will also host an author Q&A as time permits.
Nicholas Kaufmann (moderator), Max Martinelli, F. Brett Cox, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Bracken MacLeod
Hope to see you there!
A Study in Emerald

A Study in EmeraldA Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The famous detective from Baker Street investigates the murder of a member of the royal family only to find the corpse isn’t human in this graphic adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2003 short story of the same name. A fun, fast-paced adventure filled with Easter eggs and homages, A STUDY IN EMERALD is Gaiman at his most cleverly playful, with an intriguing twist at the end. Rafael Albuquerque’s art perfectly matches the story’s tone. A fun little gem!

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