Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New, Lower Price!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Butcher Knives and Body Counts

Due out this summer from DARK SCRIBE PRESS!

(Little essay by me on THE FUNHOUSE, which is why I'm announcing it here.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

German of D2L2!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Impulse Purchase

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Most Hated Villainess in Film

This is part of an LOTT-D roundtable this month on Villainesses.

I am trying to avoid "Favorite" or "Best" Villainess, as I don't think that's how I feel about her. I've picked Nurse Ratched from One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. The combination of fears of immasculation, castration, medical horror, the indifference of a bureaucracy, and then all topped off with the hero's feelings of guilt and complicity in Billy's death - she's got it all. Never mind the hair. The only gal I think would come close would be Annie in Misery, but there at least we get the satisfaction of her being killed. Nurse Ratched is victorious, barely scathed by McMurphy's attack. My parents were kinda cheap and would never pay for a babysitter, so I ended up seeing lots of R-rated movies as a kid. Most I have no recollection of whatsoever. But the scene when they open the door and see Billy splattered all over the walls of the cell - that left me traumatized for the rest of my life.

New Review

Very detailed (but no spoilers!) review of the original DYING TO LIVE - over here at the HORROR ZINE! (Hard to believe any regular visitors here don't already own a copy, but maybe someone new will wander in!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I think we'll keep this simple. If you've read DYING TO LIVE: LAST RITES and you post a review to Amazon or your blog or website, please flag it to me here or on my FB. (Yes, it could be a negative review, but then why would you want a free book written by me?) The first five I hear of will get a FREE copy of

THIN THEM OUT - the great zombie story I wrote with Julia and RJ Sevin


ORPHEUS AND THE PEARL bound with David Dunwoody's NEVERMORE




Sunday, March 20, 2011

Survival of the Dead

It being on Netflix (which I finally broke down and bought two weeks ago), I finally saw it.

I guess I should lead with the good news: not as bad as many reviews indicated. Doesn't make your eyes bleed or cause cancer.

On the plus side: gorgeous filming and composition of shots. The fall colors, the ocean, the horse - all were breathtaking. Decent acting by horror movie standards. The mercy-killing scenes were really quite emotional.

On the big side of minuses: the foregrounding of family dysfunction while zombies mill around outside has been part of Romero's work since NIGHT. But this seemed to take it to a ridiculous extreme. (And with no real justification for it - we're totally left to imagine what set this off.) The action sequences were way too slapstick: comedy wasn't sprinkled in to make the gore more shocking - every kill had to be the most ridiculous, Road Runner type absurdity that could be imagined. And each fight scene follows on a scene of emotional suspense, so the tone is wildly uneven and frutstrating. And tactical things just didn't make sense (even by horror movie standards). In the space of a couple minutes, a group of five armed people in a zombie infested world splits into five individuals in a way that leaves you yelling at the TV. And perhaps most frustrating to me, Romero takes something that he nods to several times in other films (DAWN and LAND for certain) - the valuelessness of paper money in this scenario - and makes it a central plot device. Why in the world would the protagonists be so obsessed with it at the end of the film, having undergone everything they have, and even highlight it in the final voiceover? If the point is that they are so shallow and stupid as to still value paper money, then it just contributes to another deep problem Romero has (esp in DIARY) - unlikeable protagonists. But by the end I'd started to think maybe the survivors were better, and then I get hit with that.

So I have to say, in conclusion: if family dysfunction in front of a zombie apocalypse backdrop is what you're looking for (and I think it's a fine, interesting, engaging scenario), THE WALKING DEAD is just doing it so much better than this. If it's undead comedy, SHAUN OF THE DEAD or ZOMBIELAND does it much better. If it's social criticism, then DAWN is the best, but others have followed suit. This is just a weird confusion of all those, and it leaves you frustrated and shaking your head.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NickC Scores the First LAST RITES Review!

Electronic Version(s) of D2L3

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Disaster Relief

No, no "Tsunami Anthology." I think this'll be a lot quicker, and I hope more effective.

It's not exactly a "sale" - it's more like those tote bags you get when you donate to PBS. Except it's a lot nicer than a tote bag (not that there's anything wrong with PBS tote bags).

Donate to the Red Cross for their earthquake / tsunami relief. The link is HERE.

Forward their email acknowledgment to me at kimpaffenroth at msn dot com. (You can just delete everything after "Thank you for your gift".)

I'll send the first FIVE people (sorry, I didn't get that many author copies in the mail yesterday, so I have to cut it off at FIVE) a free book (signed or personalized to their specifications). They may choose from


The new edition of ORPHEUS AND THE PEARL with Dave Dunwoody's NEVERMORE.



The anthology THE WORLD IS DEAD


I'll post an update here as soon as I've gotten the five. Thanks.

New Interview!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Box o' Books!

My author copies of DYING TO LIVE : LAST RITES were just delivered! They look fabulous! Mostly because of the great cover art, but the ad in the back for PRINT IS DEAD (a new imprint of CREEPING HEMLOCK PRESS) is also a nice touch!

And that means - just in time for LUNACON, where I have a signing on Saturday! Stop by!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Generation Zombie

McFarland has unveiled the cover for the upcoming collection of essays on the undead and popular culture, Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture. So check it out, and click HERE TO ORDER.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Belfire Press Ebook Sale

This is Read an E-Book Week, and all Belfire and Needfire titles are now discounted 50% at Smashwords (using code RAE50) until March 12th.

ebook week promo

New Interview

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Triumph of the Walking Dead

Got the go ahead to announce the preliminary lineup for this essay collection:

WALKING DEAD essayists

Kyle William Bishop
Southern Utah University English professor, author (American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead)

Arnold Blumberg
Instructor University of Baltimore, author (Zombiemania, The Big BIG LITTLE BOOK Book)

Jay Bonansinga
Author (The Black Mariah, Frozen, co-author with Robert Kirkman of upcoming Walking Dead novels)

Brendan Deneen
Editor, film producer, publisher (former Director of Production & Development for the The Weinstein Company, editor on the Walking Dead novel trilogy for Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press)

Craig Fischer
Professor Appalachian State, comic scholar (The Comics Journal, The International Journal of Comic Art)

Kenneth Hite
Game designer, writer (Zombies 101, Trail of Cthulhu)

David Hopkins
Educator, comic book author, essayist (Karma Incorporated, Emily Edison, Webslinger: SF and Comic Writers on Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man)

Del Howison
Author, editor, actor (Dark Delicacies, When Werewolves Attack)

Scott Kenemore
Author (The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead, Z.E.O., The Art of Zombie Warfare)

Jonathan Maberry
New York Times bestselling author (Patient Zero, Dead of Night, Rot & Ruin)

Lisa Morton
Author, screenwriter (The Castle of Los Angeles, The Lucid Dreaming, A Hallowe’en Anthology: Literary and Historical Writings Over the Centuries)

Kim Paffenroth
Professor of Religious Studies, zombie scholar (Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth, History is Dead, Dying to Live series)

Brendan Riley
Professor Columbia College Chicago, author (Journal of Popular Culture, The Amazing Transforming Superhero.)

Steven Schlozman, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, author (The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks From the Apocalypse, Psychology Today)

Kay Steiger
Editor of Campus Progress, author (The Atlantic, Bitch Magazine, In These Times)

Ned Vizzini
Young adult author (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Be More Chill, and Teen Angst? Naaah...)

Rafael Kayanan
Artist Conan, Star Wars, Amazing Spider-Man, The Immortals

James Lowder
Editor, author (Curse of the Full Moon, Prince of Lies, Books of Flesh series)

New Interview

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I just got back from recording the Prologue to VALLEY OF THE DEAD, which will be done as an audio book from the fine folks at Audible. Check out their offerings now at their website. VALLEY will be out from them later this year.

It sure was an interesting process. You sit in this tiny (phone-booth sized) box, with the walls and ceiling made of small (1") pyramids of black foam. The text is in front of you, on a music stand, and the microphone is about 4" from your face. You wear headphones, mostly to hear the sound person in the other room, who coaches you on which words you're eliding or running through too fast. You do hear your own voice on the headphones, though he had to turn it down for me, or I'd talk more softly, because my voice sounded too loud to me at first. You can stop and restart anytime, as it's all electronic and he just takes it back to whatever point at which there was a problem.

So, interesting!


Triumph of The Walking Dead