Booked & Caleb J. Ross, Two Names That Go Great Together.

I’m going to keep this update short and sweet so you can get to your homework assignments.

Those crazy cats at Booked have been reading again.

This time they tackle not one, but two new Caleb J. Ross novels, As A Machine & Parts and I Didn’t Mean To Be Kevin.




See I told you, short and sweet. Click here to listen to the podcast and click the colored links above to BUY CALEB’S BOOKS!


2012: The Year of the Bat-Dragon

Happy New Year!

Talk about late, huh.

The Christmas and New Year season taps my creativity. There’s just too much stuff to do, plus the Daily Grind is typically busy as Hell during December. I’m not going blame my absence or lack of creativity on Skyrim or Batman: Arkham City. Okay, okay, so I am going to blame it on those two games. Deal with it.

So what’s in store for Obscuradrome this year? Let me start by saying WriterDrome is coming back, hopefully this month. Expect some guest posts there as well. Don’t know who the guests will be, but the good news is that some of them don’t know either. I’m working on Sirens this year for Write Club 2012, as well as a couple of novellas and some short stories. 2011 was a stellar year for me publishing wise, so I hope to repeat my successes again this year. And as always, I’ll be promoting (pimping) my friends successes as well, so be prepared.

Okay, back to reading/writing for me, see you guys real soon.


Booked Podcast Reviews In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words & Interviews Thundadome Writer’s Collective editor Michael Paul Gonzales

Talk about the ultimate stocking stuffer for the holidays, this book is it. Independently produced, and for the reading impaired, it also has some kickass photos. In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words contains photos from the stomping ground of Thundadome Writer’s Collective editor Michael Paul Gonzales and features 26 stories based off each picture, all exactly 1,000 words. Haunting, compelling, and literally impossible to put down, this collection shows a readers Los Angeles from a fresh and innovative perspective.

Booked Podcast reviews the book, and if you click here you can listen to it.

Please take the time to LIKE Thundadome’s Facebook Page and get a coupon code to save $5.00 off the price. Now that’s something we can all get excited about.

A Gift of Words

Merry Christmas! 

Yeah, no Happy Holiday’s from me, you guys know better than that. It’s Merry Christmas! I want to take a little bit of time here to promote a cause. Of course, we should never forget the reason for the season. Never forget why we celebrate Christmas, and never let the cornucopia of corporate media overkill influence you otherwise.

In spreading Christmas cheer, sometimes we are perplexed by what to buy our loved ones for gifts. I understand, it happens to me every year. As the days tick away, it can get a little nerve-wracking. Allow me to suggest some gifts for those that are hard-to-buy-for who enjoy reading.

Get them books. Seems simple, right? But what books? Well, you can always take the easy way out and buy a gift card at the local Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million, or get one at any outlet that sells Amazon gift cards. At least you will be guiding your friends and family in the right direction. If you prefer a little more personal experience, then please listen to what I have to say, and do not hesitate if you truly decide to do this, because time’s a-wasting. 

First, buy books from Small Presses. Why? Because, like the music industry and film industry, the Small Presses are publishing the best damn books on the market today. I read quite a bit, and of course rarely miss any books by my favorite name-brand authors, but honestly, some of the best books I’ve ever read didn’t come from a traditional publisher like Random House or Doubleday. 

So what Small Press books are good? Glad you asked. And please forgive me if you’ve heard of some of these titles here already. Most are so good they deserve extra mention.

It Came From Del Rio by Stephen Graham Jones, published by Trapdoor Books. Check out their website for some more great titles.






Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs, published by Night Shade Books, an awesome Independent Small Press, and you should definitely check out their catalogue.







The Samaritan by Fred Venturini, published by Blank Slate Press, another small press doing great things.



Stranger Will by Caleb J Ross, published by OtherWorld Publications.







Transubstantiate by Richard Thomas, also published by OtherWorld Publications.



Stay Go d by Nik Korpon, also by Otherworld Publications.





These should get you started. Now, a word of caution here. Chances are you will not be able to find some, if not all, of these books at your local corporate bookstore. Guess what people? That’s the idea. This is the pause for the cause. Guess who might have these books, or might be able to get them for you rather quickly?

Say it with me now. Your. Local. Independent. Book. Store.

Don’t have one in your area? No problem. By all means, please place your orders with the publishers directly, or go to Amazon. The corporate bookstores that don’t carry these books can order them as well, but that defeats the purpose of my whole post here. Independent Book Stores are run by people who know books, read books, and love books. They’re not doing it because it’s a great way to make money, but because they love what they do. Same with Independent/Small Press publishers. Most authors I’ve spoken with at any length who are published far and wide tell me they enjoy working with small independent publishers the most because they really care about the product, which is the book you or your friend will eventually have in their hands. 

If you find yourself unable to venture too far from the NY Times Bestseller list, please, go to your closest used book store and purchase the book there. It’s not how much you spend, it’s the words within yourself that make all the difference in the world. 

Coming up, another podcast from those Booked guys, and hopefully next week, after a month break, the return of WriterDrome. 

PS. Of course, you could just order the most awesome short story collection ever,   Warmed And Bound.  Just saying…

In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words/ Booked Podcasts

Happy Thanksgiving!

In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words is a brand new collection featuring 26 authors and photography by the editor Michael Paul Gonzales. A resident of Los Angeles, Michael took his photos near his city and let the authors write a story about one of the photos. Keeping with the age-old phrase ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, each story is exactly one thousand words, no more no less. This line up of writers is impressive, and I am honored to be a part of this awesome print collection.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Ryan Wilson – “American Trash”
Stuart Gibbel – “Break on Through”
Craig Clevenger – “Obsolescence”
Nik Korpon – “South of Thirteen”
Dennis Cruz – “Smile Now, Cry Later”
Pela Via – “Bathhouse”
Stephen Conley – “Don’t Feed the Animals”
Grigori Black – “This Was Heaven”
Doc O’Donnell – “Your Personal Apocalypse”
Nikki Guerlain – “Sick Ticket”
Patrick Verhagen – “Swim”
Craig Wallwork – “El Bordello Alexandra”
Nicholas Merlin Karpuk – “Ahm’s Bay”
Nik Houser – “Subtitles for a Silent Film”
H.R. Tardiff – “Walls in the Sand”
Richard Thomas – “The Jenny Store”
Bob Pastorella – “Alexandra”
Simon West-Bulford – “Project Asmodeus”
Jay Slayton-Joslin – “The Fantasy of California vs. The Reality of London”
Amanda Gowin – “Gilded Bones”
Chris Deal – “Padre Nuestro”
Boden Steiner – “Here”
Gordon Highland – “Fry Girl”
edward j rathke – “All the Dreams You Dreamt Retold”
Michael Paul Gonzalez – “Tidal”
Victor Bengtsson – “Venice, Forever”

Please click here for more information on ordering. For those wanting to go the Amazon way, click here to place your order.


Those guys at Booked are at it again, and I’m a little behind in my posting about this, so please accept my apology. First up is last weeks episode, featuring a review of Jonathan Maberry’s latest, Dead of Night. Maberry’s typically hails in the Zombie genre, and this book should fit in quite nicely with those needing an undead fix for the holidays. Click here to listen to the podcast. Then, this weeks episode is a review of Ray Banks’novel Dead Money and an interview Blasted Heathen Allan Guthrie. Click here to listen to the podcast. I’m thinking Livius and Robb must have those fancy 28 hour watches instead of the cheap 24 hour watch I use…where do they find the time? Make sure you check out next weeks Booked Podcast when they review In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words and hopefully get to chat with Thundadome Writer’s Collective editor Michael Paul Gonzales.

Not From Around Here: Obscuradrome reviews Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters/ The Ones That Got Away, by Stephen Graham Jones/ Another Booked Podcast

Last month I went on a mission. With an extra twenty-dollar bill in my wallet, I went into my local bookstore and found Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters in the wild, waiting for me to casually reach out so it could sink its teeth into me. Trust me, I was bitten. Edited by Paul Tremblay and John Langan, this very affordable treasure trove hits all the masters, and includes some fresh blood definitely worth taking a gander at. These twenty-six tales will chill you to the bone. I really wanted to get this review out before Halloween, but I had a couple of deadlines to make, and that work thing that always gets in the way, but you don’t need Halloween to read these stories. I really liked how the stories were grouped together, starting with some familiar faces that felt like a Famous Monsters of Filmland reunion. Here’s some highlights:

Godzilla’s Twelve-Step Program,” Joe R. Lansdale. The master of the macabre truly shows off his writing prowess here, and it’s funny as Hell too.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Jim Shepard. I LOVE it when someone takes a classic film and gives us another perspective. Well Done.

After Moreau,” Jeffrey Ford. Again, another perspective that really surprised. 

Under Cover of Night,” Christopher Golden. Golden is the master of getting into his character’s heads and never letting us up for air. 

Underneath Me, Steady Air,” Carrie Laben. Once you realize who the main star is, you’re so taken by her gifted prose that you can easily forgive her for mining the ole’ Public Domain for this inspiration.

Rawhead Rex,” Clive Barker. A classic, and not for the faint of heart.

Wishbones,” Cherie Priest. The Steampunk Queen shows us that she really can deliver the scares.

Not from Around Here,” David J. Schow. Confession. I bought the book to have this one story. Sorry, I’m just being honest here. The King of Splatterpunk gives us a completely dark and twisted tale that I could spend a whole blog on. Thank you, dear editors, for getting this story, and thank you, Mr. Schow, for writing it. 

The Third Bear,” Jeff Vandermeer. An Epic Tale that doesn’t waste any time. Relentless.

Proboscis,” Laird Barron. One of my new favorite writers. This one grabs you by the throat. 

Little Monsters,” Stephen Graham Jones. The Kevin Bacon of Horror Fiction, and that is meant as a compliment. This short little piece may be the longest paragraph ever written, but it is a damned good longest paragraph.

The Monsters of Heaven,” Nathan Ballingrud. Wow. Raw emotion combined with dread. 

Absolute Zero,” Nadia Bulkin. Mindblowing story. Definitely a rising star in the world of speculative fiction.


 Stephen Graham Jones certainly needs no introduction here. I don’t know why it took me so long to get a copy of The Ones That Got Away, and knowing what I know now after reading it, I could really kick myself in the butt. Nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, this collection represents the best short fiction by Dr. Jones. The first story, “Father, Son, Holy Rabbit” blew me away. This collection includes “Raphael“, “So Perfect“, “Lonegan’s Luck“, “Wolf Island“, (a personal favorite) “Teeth“, and a new story, “Crawlspace” amongst others. (Going back and editing this, I realize I need to write a complete review of this collection. So, coming soon, a full review.) Now available in ereader format, do yourself a favor and get your hands on this one before it gets away again.

Booked Podcast is back to reviewing again, this time tackling a new edition of Chris Doomsdealer Deal’s Cienfuegos and D.B. Cox’s Unaccustomed Mercy. Both of these books may be short, but the stories inside speak volumes. If you click right here, you can listen to the reviews right now.

WriterDrome: Beck Returns To Fight Not Just One Vampire, But To Fight 437 Vampires, er…438 Vampires, um 439, ah…a Whole Bunch of Vampires.

WriterDrome is a monthly ongoing discussion concerning the mechanics and logistics of writing Horror, Speculative, Dark Fantastic, and Noir Fiction. The aim here is to discuss the many dynamics necessary to write, edit and publish these genres in a continuously changing landscape. Remember, opinions mentioned here are just that, opinions. I’m no expert, but I’ve been writing for a long time, and I feel there is a lot I can pass on to my fellow writers. Lively discussion is highly encouraged. 

WriterDrome: Beck Returns To Fight Not Just One Vampire, But To Fight 437 Vampires, er…438 Vampires, um 439, ah…a Whole Bunch of Vampires.

More is not always better, unless you’re talking food or cleaning products. Who doesn’t like more cheese on their pizza? But when it comes to Horror Fiction, usually more vampires doesn’t work. Unless your story follows the logic that more vampires equals less blood, then the Vampire Apocalypse isn’t likely to happen in your story. Of course, they may think they can rule the world, which gives them all the more reason to eliminate one another instead of us tasty humans.

I hate using movies as examples, but I’m going to anyway. The Alien franchise.

(I’m talking about the first two movies. It’s not that Alien Resurrection was a bad film, it was just kind of corny, especially the ending, though that film does have one of Ripley’s best comebacks:

Johner: Hey, Ripley. I heard you, like, ran into these things before?

Ripley: That’s right.

Johner: Wow, man. So, like, what did you do?

Ripley: I died. )

The first one scared the Hell out of us in outer space, where no one can hear you scream. The second film returns us to LV-426, which is now a terraforming colony. James Cameron knows it just can’t be about more Aliens, though more Aliens is one of the logical things that had to happen. There were tons of eggs on the planet, and now there are more people, so logically, there has to be more Aliens. It’s inevitable.

Rule #1. If you must have more __________, make sure you try to even the odds. Cameron does this two ways with the Marines, and bringing Ripley back into the mix. Notice I said try to even the odds. So you’ve got a hundred thousand Aliens. Why not bring in half a million Marines? Job done, but boring, and very short, movie. Nobody wants to see that. The Marines come in ready to eliminate the threat, but find themselves overwhelmed and unprepared. Ripley, on the other hand, has faced these buggers before. She’s experienced, and she’s a survivor.

Rule #2. If you must have more__________, make sure you bring something new to the table. Through very careful misdirection, Cameron leads us down corridor after corridor with Ripley, Newt, and Bishop, killing Aliens, trying to escape the self-destruction of LV-426. We are so caught up in their story, their escape, that when he brings something new to the table, it is both unpredictable yet completely logical. All those eggs on LV-426, something had to hatch them, right? Cameron presents us with the Alien Queen, The Bitch, and let’s Ripley show her who the real Bitch is. By simply including a scene with Ripley using the exosuit cargo-loader early on in the film, he sets the stage for the epic battle between the Bitches. Now, you have use your noggin here. What you bring to the table has to be both unpredictable yet logical. If all the sudden, from out of nowhere, Ash from The Evil Dead shows up with his ‘BoomStick’, you’re going to lose me fast, and probably get sued.

So remember, more isn’t always better, but if you have to have more, follow those two rules, and people will forgive you of upping the Monster factor because you’ve Wowed them by upping the Suspense. Now, if you’re writing about Zombies, well then more is ALWAYS better. There’s nothing better than seeing a handful of survivors fighting hordes and hordes of Zombies, each wave of decaying flesh tearing away at the ranks, decreasing the survivors while increasing their numbers, ripping flesh from the human bodies in a bloody rage of….


Master readers Livius Nedin and Robb Olson at Booked take a slight break from their usual format to bring us two podcasts I have failed to mention here until now. First, there’s an incredible interview with Donald Ray Pollock which you can listen to by clicking right here. Then, the guys join Amanda Gowin and Chris Deal for a review of Craig Wallwork’s forthcoming story “Revenge of The Zombie Pussy Eaters” which you can listen to by clicking right here. This podcast is extra special because it’s very funny, goes off on great tangents, and features soundbites by me. And if there’s one thing you need MORE of, it’s me, right?



Was it something I said?