Posts Tagged ‘extreme horror’

GREATER EXTREMES PLAYLIST

When you've been to Extremes, been forced to go to More Extremes, and it's still not enough...(1)

 

Jesus Christ, you say, the book’s only just come out and this guy’s already got a playlist knocked up for it.

Well, to be fair, the playlist was pretty much already largely compiled, simultaneously with putting the book together, so there’s that. In any case, without too much preamble, I shall present the recommended playlist to accompany the reading of Greater Extremes. As always, it’s pretty heavy on the metal-that’s what I write to mostly (not exclusively) and these are the kinds of songs applicable to events, mentions, situations occurring in the various stories. If you haven’t read the book-and since it just came out I’d be doubting you have-you’ll most likely be able to get some notions about what’s contained in the stories just from this list.. Yeah, there are a fair few supernatural elements cropping up in this one. If Extremes was heavy on human monsters and the hideous deeds done by folk to one another, and More Extremes was rather musical in theme for several stories, this beast here is the one that ventures into monstrous realms of the other kind.

There are werewolves, there are vampires (none of the watered down shifter stuff running rampant in fiction and infiltrating horror book charts, and that sort of thing), the undead are here, ghosts (not obvious ones-well spotted if you can pick exactly where they appear), demons, creatures of my own creation and so forth.

However, enough of that. I said I’d get into this without much preamble, and here I go dribbling shit. So, fuck that..here’s the playlist.

Check it out, check out the book.

Vampyria-Siebenburgen

Bloodsuckers-Judas Priest

To the Wolves at My Door-Soulfallen

The Wolfpack-Satyricon

Return of the Vampire-Mercyful Fate

Wolf Moon-Type O Negative

The Howling-Within Temptation

Thrown to the Wolves-Death Angel

Oracle-Diabolical

Them Bones-Alice in Chains

Bones-Baest

Pyromancer-Sahg

The Fun Lovin’ Criminal-Fun Lovin’ Criminals

Insect-Spiral Architect

Locust-Machine Head

Sewer Dwellers-Fornication

Betrayal-Master

Undead Rising-Sepulcration

Swarm of Zombies-Facebreaker

Sometimes They Come Back-Sadist

Big Truck-Coal Chamber

Rusty Cage-Soundgarden

No Way Out-Dope

Last Stop to Nowhere-Septicflesh

Now, Diabolical-Satyricon

Snowblind-Black Sabbath

I Don’t Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)-Marilyn Manson

I See Demons-Book of Black Earth

Came Back Haunted-Nine Inch Nails

Pour Some Sugar on Me-Def Leppard

Girls, Girls, Girls-Motley Crue

Crown of the Kings-Keep of Kalessin

GREATER(1)

From the dark, unhinged recesses of Jim Goforth’s mind, emerges another gruesome collective of stories delving into extreme realms.
The world is full of monstrous people, monstrous things, monstrous deeds.
What happens when you become involved, hopelessly ensnared in a nightmare world from which there is no escape?
What happens when a lifetime of bad decisions comes back to haunt you?
What happens when you are pushed into the darkest of corners, when the world you thought you knew becomes something else? Something horrifying, something ugly?
The latest volume in the Extremes series assembles more horror tales that wallow in filth and fear, in perversion and pain, monstrosity and mayhem.
All manner of things can drive a person to extremes. And beyond.
You can go to Extremes; you can even go to More Extremes. Now and then, Greater Extremes are called for.

https://smarturl.it/greaterextremes

 

 

 

 

 

2018 WRITING WRAP

Untitled design(4)

This is basically an extended version of a Facebook post I put up earlier, which I figured I’d add here too, with a little more in it.

At the start of the year, some folks might recall me setting myself something of a challenge, which was to try and release either a book a month or the equivalent of that. At that time, aside from writing, editing etc. I wasn’t working full-time, so time was in abundance, albeit never enough to get everything written I want. That’s just a standard state of affairs, regardless of how much time I might appear to have. Always too many ideas, be they for short stories, or novels, or short stories I wish to expand into novels or any number of things. I always work on multiple projects at any given time, and even so, I’m still being bombarded with ideas. Some are good, some are terrible, others tend to grow on me, but if they warrant writing or they need to be written they usually stick around until they get written.

In any case, that challenge did not come to fruition. Barely a month or so after setting that bold, and foolhardy, challenge, I was back working full-time, and time was no longer a commodity I had a lot of. After being out of full-time work for a few years, I must say I got used to the idea of having so much time in which I could get things written, and of course, in that time, I did get plenty written. Which is why, seemingly inundated with what should be enough time to either get new things written, polish up old projects, or compile stories into collections etc. etc. I threw myself under the bus by setting myself a challenge that would have probably only ever been met had circumstances and situations not changed in any way. But, naturally, they did, and after a few years out of full-time work I was right back into it. Consequently, as per usual, I didn’t get everything written I wanted, or planned to. Still, several of my earlier books were written while working another job full-time-Plebs was written in snippets on lunch breaks, sitting in parks and all kinds of things (Stay tuned for a post some time down the track which is going to explore a whole bunch of trivia and things you might not have known about various books, including Plebs and others)-so it’s not impossible to get things done; they just get done a little slower than they otherwise might. So after getting a new book out early in the year, things definitely slowed down throughout coming months. I was still writing, putting books together, working on an assortment of projects, but not with as much time as was afforded to me earlier on.

I did however get some books out there.

Harvester’s Trade, an all new novella revolving around a group of dangerous, violent convicts being transported to an unknown location by bus was my first release, and it came out while I was still swamped with plenty of time to set foolish challenges and work on new material. Then there was Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving. This one was a collection comprised of several of my lesser known stories and tales which were drawn from niche anthologies or books which didn’t particularly have a wide readership. Some works in here were quite restrained and dare I say, tame by my standards, while others were probably a little more what most folks familiar with my work would be expecting.

Extremes came along next, and this one is pretty much exactly what its name would suggest. This is a collection of some of my most extreme horror tales, again from myriad anthologies. The difference between this and Disquiet is that several of the stories contained within this book were originally published in books that were pretty big, featured some of the biggest names in the game, and hit a much broader audience than the works featured in Disquiet. Nonetheless, Extremes, despite being comprised solely of reprints still remains to this day my biggest, and fastest selling book. Page reads in Kindle Unlimited for this have also been pretty insane and continue to carry on that way. There are a lot of stories in here which were a hell of a lot of fun to write and while they might rank as some of my favourites in that regard, I wouldn’t necessarily say they are all the best of my work. Still, I have my own opinions on why this book in particular is so popular-some I’ve explored in earlier blog posts, some I plan to explore in a future post. Stay tuned for that.

Havoc Vulture followed Extremes, and unlike the two previous books this one was all new, a novella that originally started life as something else, as many of my books end up. The initial plan for this was for it to be a short story in a collection of tales which would all draw their names from some of my favourite black metal songs. The themes or subject matter or what-have-you contained within those stories wouldn’t essentially have anything to do with the song itself-for example, I planned to write one entitled Blizzard Beasts from the Immortal track (and album of the same name) which is pretty self-explanatory. Scary motherfucking beasts in the snow with a bunch of fools trapped in a cabin or some such shit. Instead, Havoc Vulture (which for those who don’t know, is a song from my favourite band Satyricon’s album Rebel Extravaganza) turned into more, a novella to be precise. Based around a bunch of sixteen year old black metal fanatics in a small country town who are first thrilled to discover an infamous band is coming to play a show in their town, and then distraught to find the powers that be in the town have stamped all over the idea of that happening. This one tossed up a conundrum regarding what various sub-genres of fiction and so forth can be construed as. I made mention of the fact that there are two schools of thought on what is considered young adult fiction. One suggests it is the material, topics, subject matter and so forth-things which are targeted directly at a young adult audience which makes a book YA. Another school of thought-and this is where I tend to disagree-is that if the main characters or protagonists of a particular book are teenagers or children or of a young adult age then that in itself makes a work YA. As I mentioned I strongly disagree with that notion for multiple reasons, but it’s something I’ve already covered elsewhere, and have no plans to reiterate it here.

After that I put out From the Vault, which was something entirely different for me, or at least for what most readers would expect from me. This was neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, nor was it by any stretch of the imagination new, at least not to me. This one was a collection of roughly fifty poems which I originally wrote way back in the nineties as song lyrics. These were drawn from a collection of hundreds I wrote way back then, and followed no theme whatsoever aside from the fact that most of them were works which explored darker themes. Essentially, the pieces here signify the very start of me blending horror and heavy metal, something I continue to do regularly (check out Havoc Vulture, Undead Fleshcrave, numerous other works for some prime examples of that). Not all of these poems/songs/what-have-you were horror, in fact many of them were not. However several were, and they serve as some of the earlier forays into horror from me. At this time I’d also written a couple of horror novels, but did little more with them aside from writing them. Anyway, that book acts as a nice little trip down memory lane, and also provides a bit of insight into the history of some of my writing.

What would end up being my final release for the year was More Extremes, which again, is pretty much what its name indicates. More extreme horror tales, following in the footsteps of Extremes, and setting up a series which at this stage is open-ended. It could become just three books, it could span beyond ten. Who knows? For now, it’s just the two of them, though I already have numerous stories and ideas for the next installment, largely because several of the tales I planned to be in More Extremes didn’t end up in there.  I had intended to have eight tales in here, with an even split of reprints and new material, but of course since I was now working on stories amidst full-time work and numerous other activities which cut my writing time down drastically, it was taking longer than I anticipated for the book to come together. As a result I replaced one of the unfinished new stories with a much older piece, in fact a longer story from a book that is now no longer in print in order to get the book out before the year elapsed. Ultimately, with the inclusion of that tale, alongside a couple of others which were remarkably musically themed, More Extremes ended up quite heavy on the horror fused with metal I made reference to before. That was unintentional, but it worked out well given the fact I decided to dedicate the book to a good friend of mine who passed away earlier in the year, who was a massive metal and horror aficionado (also a metal musician with a hand in horror movies. RIP brother Killjoy.So while the end result wasn’t an even split, there are still several all new stories included in More Extremes, and you can rest assured that the next volume will be largely, if not completely, made up of all new stories.

I also put together Triggered, and Punk Vs Metal (with Michael Fish Fisher handling most of the editing for the punk side and the creation of the book’s cover), and wrote a few stories for various other anthologies, but since none of those were specifically just my work, they can’t be counted in the release of my books. Still, despite not hitting the original planned number, and knowing as soon as I was back at work, that I never would, I’m still pretty stoked to get the books out that I did. Now I have something of a head-start on next year, but again, we’ll wait and see how much of what I want to get out actually gets out. Stay tuned for these upcoming projects which will be coming out in no particular order. Murder Academy, The Forgotten, Greater Extremes, Clans (which is an expansion of my story in Punk Vs Metal. It has a few horrific moments, but genre-wise it isn’t intended to be horror at all. It’s actually more urban and is quite a lot like a long-running story I started writing when I was a teenager, and plan to revisit as a series some time down the track-probably sooner rather than later), and several others. Follow-ups to numerous novels as well as a crossover novel combining characters from at least two other works are also in the plans, but as mentioned above…time. We’ll see what happens. Anyway, links to the books that did come out are located just below. Check ’em out, leave ’em a review, good, bad, or ugly, and stay posted for new books coming in 2019.

If you spend your life doing bad things, sometimes bad things are going to come for you. Ten dangerous criminals are just about to find that out.

http://smarturl.it/harvesterstrade

HARVESTER'S TRADE

 

Don’t play in the woods after a storm, don’t assume you’re safe inside your comfortable family home, and whatever you do, don’t hold a giant party without inviting the locals.

That fear you’re starting to feel isn’t irrational, it’s real.

Terrible things are going to happen.

http://smarturl.it/disquiet

DISQUIET(3)

 

Assembled together for the very first time are several of Jim Goforth’s most extreme horror stories to date, though not merely extreme in terms of content and themes. These tales delve into the great pains taken when souls are confronted with situations that require a severe response, plumbing the depths of depravity, perversion, brutality, horror, and fear.

Horrific events can unfold when people are prepared, or forced, to go to extremes.

http://smarturl.it/extremes

EXTREMES

 

Freedom’s Way doesn’t see many heavy metal concerts. Certainly not those of the black metal persuasion.

There’s a good reason why they tried to stop this one.

Vulture are coming, whether they’re welcome or not.

http://smarturl.it/havocvulture

 

Copy of HAVOC VULTURE

 

Words from the past. From the dark. From the vault.

http://smarturl.it/fromthevaultdark

 

FROM THE VAULT(1)

 

Sometimes, people are pushed to their absolute limits, made to go to extremes. Sometimes it’s not enough.
Sometimes, they have to go to more extremes.

http://smarturl.it/moreextremes

 

EXTREMES(2)

 

 

 

CARNIVAL OF CHAOS/FESTIVAL OF THE FLESH PLAYLIST

The last time I posted here I made mention of the fact that I had a playlist all sorted for Carnival of Chaos and Festival of the Flesh. Therefore, in the interests of shining a bit of light on those particular books, here is aforementioned playlist. Well, after a bit of standard rambling.

For whatever reason, these books (which are of course the same story spread over two volumes) have slipped a little under the radar in comparison to several of my other books. I suspect it might have a bit to do with the fact they first emerged as part of the Project 26 thing where 26 books came out with each one representing a letter of the alphabet. These included novels, anthologies, collections, novellas etc. and while this project was an ambitious one, it also turned out to be a little confusing for people. Consequently, Carnival and Festival, which were never originally intended for that project, but as standalone novel(s) on their own, I offered up because the alliteration in the titles went well with the whole alphabet notion. Nonetheless, various circumstances have several of the books from P26 being unpublished or released or what-have-you, so Carnival and Festival are now separate from that, so why not push them a little, because, why the hell not?

Little known fact. I started writing the stories that would become these books back around the same time I started writing Plebs. Neither they nor Plebs were originally written with titles, and they were all intended to be just short stories, novellas at most. As it turned out, Plebs became a six hundred page monster, and Carnival/Festival even longer, so much so that it needed to be split into two separate entities-the Carnival, of course, and the Festival. Just on the off chance folks hadn’t yet cottoned on (the whole numbering thing of Project 26 muddied the waters a little and had a few people scratching their heads over which to read first) to the fact that these books need to be read in order for the story to make any sense, Carnival comes first, followed by Festival which is the culmination of the massive, sprawling story.

Anyway, as most would know by now, Plebs gained the upper hand in getting written first, and ultimately published a long time before Carnival/Festival were either finished or published. Nonetheless, those stories were eventually completed, quite some time after the initial concept occurred. Years down the track in fact, which was also the case with Plebs, with a re-reading of what I had written already re-igniting the desire to complete the tale. These are characters that I love as much as those in the Plebs series, and ones that have been around just as long. And if you thought Plebs was brutal, bloody, violent and so forth, but haven’t yet encountered Carnival/Festival, rest assured both of these books tend to make Plebs look a little tame. Definitely not works for the faint-hearted at all, so if you dig the thought of getting yourself well and truly blood-drenched and bathed in depravity, dive in.

But, enough of that, here are those playlists, one for Carnival of Chaos and one for Festival of the Flesh.

As is to be expected, there are a lot of metal tracks here, some brutal, uncompromising extreme metal to suit various components of the stories and some of the pretty heinous subject matter, but not exclusively. Compared to some of the other playlists I’ve whacked up here, these ones are pretty eclectic, spanning from the usual platter of heavy metal in numerous sub-genres to rap, rock, sixties tunes, even some dance going on here. And yeah, you’ll probably notice one or two tracks by Insane Clown Posse in here, and be all, what the fuck? Well, those fuckers have made a fortune writing tracks and albums about Carnivals and whatnot, and I genuinely don’t mind some of their songs, so in keeping with the themes of the books, they slot in here juxtaposed nicely against some of the other fare on offer.

Anyway, enough gibberish. Get in and check it all out, and if you haven’t yet Carnival of Chaos and Festival of the Flesh, go and rectify that situation right now. And if you have, perhaps re-reading them with the enhanced experience of these playlists cranking in accompaniment, then that would be a good idea too.

 

CARNIVAL OF CHAOS

Black Seeds of Vengeance-Nile

The Discipline of Revenge-Cannibal Corpse

Carnival of Lies-Obsession

Loyalty-American Head Charge

Knife Party-Deftones

Twist of Cain-Danzig

Tonight in Flames-Cradle of Filth

Stuck in the Middle With You-Stealer’s Wheel

Planet Caravan-Black Sabbath

Money-Pink Floyd

Dead Bodies Everywhere-Korn

Dog’s Out-DMX

Sledgehammer-Peter Gabriel

Bulls on Parade-Rage Against the Machine

Go With the Flow-Queens of the Stone Age

The Lonely Bull-Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

The Hunt-Sepultura

Dreamhouse-Deafheaven

In Your Nightmares- KidCrusher

The Wild Hunt-Watain

Carnival-Project Pitchfork

Southern Comfort-X-Method

Tequila-The Champs

Jump in the Fire-Metallica

Sweet Leaf-Black Sabbath

Halls of Illusions-Insane Clown Posse

Blood Red-Slayer

Loco-Coal Chamber

Up All Night-Slaughter

Take Me Away-Insane Clown Posse

Hunting Humans-The Misfits

Blessed by Gore-Avulsed

Cannibal Crave-Broken Hope

Just One Fix-Ministry

Fuel For Hatred-Satyricon

Blades of Steel-Imperious Rex

Mirror, Mirror-Candlemass

Rain-The Cult

Let’s Fuck-Dope

Carnival of Rust-Shining

Freakshow-Skillet

Hounds At Ya Back-Destroyer 666

carnivalpromo

Part one of an ultra-violent, splatterpunk, visceral expedition into a world of revenge, pain, perversion and bloody death. Come along and snare a ticket to this carnival, but proceed with caution. Survival is not guaranteed.

http://smarturl.it/carnivalofchaos

 

festival cover

FESTIVAL OF THE FLESH

Total War-War

The Fight Song-Marilyn Manson

Hammer Smashed Face-Cannibal Corpse

Strength Beyond Strength-Pantera

Return to Serenity-Testament

Scratch My Back-Roxx Gang

Sex Action-L.A. Guns

Closer-Nine Inch Nails

Kings of the Carnival Creation-Dimmu Borgir

Murderer’s Row-Power Trip

Creepshow-Skid Row

Festival of the Flesh-Blessedbethyname

Carnival is Forever-Decapitated

Random Acts of Senseless Violence-Anthrax

This Shit Will Fuck You Up-Combichrist

Death Machine-Myrkskog

Rid You of Your Flesh-LIK

Eaten-Bloodbath

Feast of Flesh-Exmortus

Everyone Leaves-Mortiis

The Flesh and the Power it Holds-Death

Mercy, Severity-Mudvayne

Fear of the Dark-Iron Maiden

Violent Demise-Body Count

Hung on a Hook-Alice in Chains

Code of the Slashers-Cannibal Corpse

Covered in Blood-Insan0

Maze of Torment-Morbid Angel

Divine Art of Torture-Necrophagia

How You Gonna Reason with a Pyscho?-Insane Poetry

Sixpounder-Children of Bodom

Lords of Depravity-Sodom

The Perverted Beast-Darkane

Dead and Dripping-Cryptopsy

Justifiable Homicide-Dying Fetus

Heroines-Diablo Swing Orchestra

Carnival of Souls-Savage Messiah

Only One-Slipknot

Everyone I love is Dead-Type O Negative

Crashing Down-Trail of Tears

festivalpromo

Hidden within a seemingly innocuous horror-themed carnival exists something far more disturbing. Where those with dollars and depraved desires find everything they seek catered for.

Peel away the bright, colourful facade of the carnival and you’ll find the hideous heart that is the Festival of Flesh.

http://smarturl.it/festivaloftheflesh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Extremes

EXTREMES(2)

It came out a little later than I’d originally planned, with Halloween being the last date I’d aimed for (after not being able to make previous release plans), but it has finally climbed up out of the murk and mire in all its grimy, bloody excess.

What the actual fuck is he babbling about now, you may ask, and indeed, it’s a fair question.

What I’m babbling about this time, is of course, More Extremes.

The second volume in what will be an ongoing series of collections featuring some of my stories that venture into more extreme realms of horror is out now. This one, as I make mention of in the introduction, didn’t exactly end up as initially envisioned, where I aimed to have an even split of previously published works and new material, but all the same, rest assured there is some new stuff in there.

Unlike Extremes, which was comprised solely of reprints, and stories which were gleaned from bigger anthologies and books with a fairly wide readership, More Extremes only has two stories which featured in books that a fair few people would have been likely to read, namely the Tales From the Lake antho series from Crystal Lake Publishing, and Matt Shaw’s Masters of Horror. The rest of the tales that have appeared in other publications are lesser known, so there’s a good chance many folk won’t have even stumbled across them yet. One of them, and ultimately the last story I decided to add in (just clarifying, not the last story in the TOC) is one of my earliest originally published stories, and it first emerged in a book that is no longer available.

I went with this piece, not just because it fit the bill in terms of theme, but because I hadn’t finished any of the original lot of stories planned to accompany those that do appear, and also for the fact that it is no longer available in print anywhere. On a bright note, with all of those tales started that I was tossing up ideas on which would be in More Extremes, now means the third volume of the series is already well on the way. I anticipate there won’t be such a gap between this latest release and the next, with that in mind. In actuality, there are now five different (and all new) stories being worked on, and if I keep getting bombarded with ideas at the rate I am, I’ll have Extremes 3 and 4 sewn up before I know it. Considering I haven’t been writing for other anthologies of late-with a couple of exceptions-all of the new works I end up writing will be solely for either the Extremes series or for other collections of mine. I have numerous of those in the works, but whether they all see the light of day is another matter. There are novels I need to be working on as well. Just not enough hours in the day, particularly when so many other aspects away from writing tend to monopolise a lot of my time.

If you’ve read Extremes, you may have an inkling of what will be contained within More Extremes, but then again, you may not. None of the stories are connected in any way to those in the first book, nor are they all in your face, bludgeoning, bloody brutality, severed limbs and decapitated bodies. Well, to be fair, there is a good deal of that going on, but as I’ve stressed numerous times, that’s not at all the only type of horror that can be considered extreme. Extreme horror, despite what some may think, is not as narrow in scope as it may appear. It isn’t limited to as much violence as one can cram in to a few pages, it isn’t merely about marrying kinky sex with a fuckload of gore, and a string of increasingly ludicrous scenarios that are intended just to offend or repulse. Story-wise plenty of blunt force trauma and a constant battering of violent excess is always fun, but appreciating that there can be extremity in suggestion and a more nuanced approach adds much more depth. Getting bludgeoned over the head with a sledgehammer eventually gets monotonous, though I accept there is a market out there who will continue to lap that up even if it’s a continual stream of more of the same over and over.

Sometimes, people are pushed to their absolute limits, made to go to extremes. Sometimes it_s not enough. Sometimes, they have to go to more extremes.

Therefore, you can expect to find in More Extremes a couple of tales that don’t necessarily equate to what many people might construe as extreme, going by any narrow definition of the concept, but if you dig a little deeper into them, you’ll get what makes them suitable for this collection.

You will also find in here a relatively large representation of stories which are in some way heavy metal themed, or contain elements of metal music (three revolve around bands in various different scenarios). This wasn’t done deliberately in any way, but later when I was working on the introduction, I released that was quite fitting given who I decided to dedicate the book to. Aside from my family members-and a whole string of people I mention in dedications and acknowledgements in Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger-I haven’t exactly dedicated many of my books to anybody.

In this instance I did, though not so much as a dedication section, but in reference in the introduction itself. On the day I was writing the introduction I realised it was, or rather would have been, the birthday of a friend who passed away earlier in the year, in fact roughly around the time the first Extremes came out.

This was Frank ‘Killjoy DeSade’ Pucci, a friend of me and my wife for well over a decade. Most folks will no doubt know him as the founder and frontman for Necrophagia, but of course there was much more to him than that. He was a great aficionado of all things horror, and we used to talk horror, metal, and other subjects at great length, so I decided the blend of horror and metal in this collection made it fitting to dedicate the book to him. There was also a long running joke between us that we’d get together and have a cannibal-themed barbecue when he next made a trip downunder, but unfortunately that never came to fruition, so it’s also fitting that there is a story in More Extremes that wanders into domains of those that like to gnaw on human flesh.

I reckon he probably would have gotten a kick out of that tale in particular, but also those others that bring two of our greatest obsessions-horror and metal-together in all their glorious excess.

Anyway, with that being said, I’ll sign off and direct you to More Extremes. Currently only available in Kindle, but will be coming in paperback when I can manage to scrounge up the time to get that all sorted.

And finally, keep an eye out for future Extremes volumes; they might be surfacing sooner than you might think. I do have a slew of potential titles for them, but at some stage I might even throw it open to the public to offer up their thoughts on titles, and consequent acknowledgement in the book for said title suggestion.

Following in the bloody footsteps of Extremes, comes a new collection of horror tales, plunging headlong into worlds where fear, bloodshed, violence, vengeance, depravity, and death rule all else.
What will you do when monstrous things are happening all around you, when desperation drives you? When the extraordinary becomes your ordinary, when terror stalks you around every corner?
What will you do to get what you want? What will you do to escape? What happens when you discover that not everything is as it appears to be?
Gathered here are another selection of Jim Goforth’s more extreme horror stories, some of which are brand new, crawling out of the darkness in the company of others, to share blood-splattered pages for the first time.
Sometimes, people are pushed to their absolute limits, made to go to extremes. Sometimes it’s not enough.
Sometimes, they have to go to more extremes.

 

RIP Brother Killjoy

 

 

Upcoming titles

The first half of this year was pretty hectic with a rush of writing activity, and a few different books coming out. That was largely due to the fact that I wasn’t working full-time, and had some of those works already mostly assembled. I still do have other projects largely put together, but will be releasing them at a later date.

The second half of the year has slowed down, at least in terms of putting books out. I know I’d set myself the challenge of releasing one book a month or the equivalent, but again, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, that fairly bold claim was made when I had surplus writing time, and wasn’t engaged in myriad other time-consuming factors. Nonetheless, there are still books coming.

First off will be More Extremes, which I’ve made reference to around one or ten times already. Following in the footsteps of Extremes (which is still my current best-selling book so far), this will be a collection of my more extreme horror tales, though of course that doesn’t essentially mean they are all loaded up with blood, gore, and violent extremity. There are far more levels to the definition extreme than that, and subtlety can often trump blunt force trauma. A constant wash of the same sort of extremity, or merely choosing to stay in that one lane deadens the impact of what is considered extreme, when one can do more with it than just sever heads and eviscerate bodies. Shit, there doesn’t even have to be blood, gore, and shock for the sake of shock, when simple themes can conjure up extreme thoughts and provoke curiosity.

Unlike Extremes, which was comprised of all reprints, mostly from books which had a pretty wide readership (go figure why this book is my biggest seller at the moment), More Extremes will be split equally down the middle, being made up of half reprints and half new stories. At least that’s the plan. If I happen to suddenly find a fuckload of time where I manage to get more new stories completed than the four I’m currently working on, then maybe that will tip the balance a little. But as it stands, that’s what I’m looking at. Any other Extremes books following this will however, be mostly, if not wholly, comprised of new tales.

Work on this has been slower than I’d have liked, because, again, life, and all those other aspects of it taking ownership of all the time I used to be able to spend writing. However, it is getting there, slowly, but surely, which is a fairly new thing for me. I’m used to writing and getting through things at a rapid rate, so it’s a bit of a change having to contend with things not coming together as quickly as I’ve become accustomed to.

I’d like to say this will be emerging in the next few weeks, and I’ll boldly predict that will be the case, but we’ll see. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

EXTREMES(2)

Once that beast is let loose, I’ll have another book coming along. This one, currently being written, is either going to be a novella or perhaps a full-length novel. Initially I’d planned for it to be a novel, but if I can manage to wrap up the story in novella format, then that’s what it will be. However, I have my doubts that will be the case. I suspect the story will take off and the characters will run themselves far out beyond a simple novella length.

I’ve revealed nothing about this one yet, in regards to what it is even about, and nor will I, at least not immediately. I did reveal the cover on a couple of social media sites last night, but at this point in time, that’s the extent of what I’ll be revealing. It’s not connected with any other novel, series, or anything else I’ve written, it’s something completely new, something I planned to do some time back, but had sitting on the back burner for a bit while I worked on other projects. In the meantime, while you wait for these books to emerge, as well some others which will be along in the future (including Plebs 3, Global Death: The Zombie Trigger, another couple of collections, and a book which will combine characters from two of my books), you can check out the cover for the book that will chase More Extremes out of the gates. Murder Academy.

I actually made a couple of covers for this, one without the tagline, but I reckon it looks better with it. You might disagree, and that’s fair enough, but I’m digging a little slash of red among the austere greys and blacks. I’m looking forward to getting it out there. As always, stay tuned.

MURDER ACADEMY(1)

EXTREMES

EXTREMES

I’ve been a bit lax in posting about this over here, but hey, things have been fairly hectic, and after all, this long-suffering WordPress site is pretty used to getting neglected.

My third release for the year (not taking into account the likes of Triggered) is out now. More appropriately, it’s been out for just under a month. Of course, I am talking about Extremes, the latest collection I’ve self-published while on this challenge I’ve tasked myself of releasing at least a book a month for the year (or the equivalent of one book a month should circumstances arise-more on that later).

Extremes, as the name would suggest, is something that is entrenched firmly in realms of the extreme when it comes to horror. My previous collections (With Tooth and Claw from 2015, and Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving from February this year) are comprised of stories which are a little more eclectic, varying from the more restrained and tame, one might say, for me, but Extremes is unapologetic in where it dwells. This beast is made up of a selection of several of my more hardcore stories, those which splash around gleefully in the mud, blood, and the mire of splatterpunk stylings and extreme horror, though as noted in the description, they aren’t simply extreme in terms of content and themes, but also in regards to explorations of just what people can and will do when they are forced to confront various situations. We could all say we would never do certain things, or could never envision acting in particular ways, but until faced with a scenario where there’s not much choice left, who knows how things will pan out?

Folks will go to extremes one way or another.

EXTREMES PROMO

Eight tales are included in this book, and though many may have encountered the majority of them before (some were previously published in some pretty successful anthologies which hit large target audiences, and continue to do so), this is the first time they have all been assembled together in the same place, making it easier for those readers who’d like to immerse themselves in a whole book of my style of extremity, yet enjoy an assortment of different stories. They’re cultivated from a spread of different books from the last four years or so, though one of them was written many years ago before it found a home anywhere (mind you, at that point I wasn’t actively seeking to have stories published), and each of the stories, as well as being fairly unflinching and brutal content-wise, have their own reasons for being present and their own different messages and agendas.

All of them were great fun to write, in fact some of them rank as favourites of my own work, at least with regards to how much fun I had writing them and playing around with various characters. On top of that, there are several from this book that stand a good chance of being expanded into full length novels, or possibly novellas. In saying that, I’m not essentially referring to all the same characters resurfacing, since people who have read any of these stories know that not all of the same characters are left standing when the blood clears. Instead, I’m referring to the concepts created for some of them, the various settings, establishments, notions, lore, and so forth. A couple of the tales, for example, both take place in the same establishment, and I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a series of stories revolving around this place, or alternatively stretching it out into a novel. Most likely, the former idea would work better than the latter, but some of the other tales definitely are going to find their universes widened beyond mere short story form. Which ones they are you’ll just have to wait and see, since that won’t be happening any time soon-I’m inundated with myriad projects I want, and need, to get finished, many of which I’ve tasked myself with.

As opposed to the previous collection, Disquiet, which didn’t contain any specific theme bar the fact that all the stories within it were garnered from niche anthologies and books that didn’t have an overly wide readership on first release, Extremes is themed, and obviously so. These are tales from the darker end of the spectrum, the more visceral and unrelenting, leave-no-stone-uncovered approach to horror, and not for the faint of heart, but in addition to that, there are a few other elements which connect various pieces in the book. Have a read of it, and check all those out.

If you are new to my work and want to delve into it via the short story form first before investigating any novels, where your tastes in horror lie will depend on which book I’d suggest trying first. Disquiet is probably a more measured representation of my work, it definitely hosts some more mainstream types of stories, and more accessible material, but hell, if you came for the extreme, the bloody, the violent, visceral, explicit, insane stuff, then Extremes is the shit for you.

In fact, Extremes seems to be the shit for quite a few folk. Of the three books I’ve released this year, this one is both the fastest selling and highest selling so far.

On one hand this is surprising, on the other, not so much. Firstly, Harvester’s Trade, my initial book release of the year, which up until fairly recently was my highest seller, has been out for a couple of months longer, it is an all new story, and it is only a dollar in price. Extremes, however, has been out for less than a month, is the most expensive of all three books, and contains multiple reprints (albeit, never before available all together in the same place). That’s where the latter being most popular is surprising.

The not so surprising is of course, all in the name itself. Extreme horror is no longer just a novelty, a place for intrigued souls to sate their curiosity or to tangle with the taboo, or to venture into when they’re no longer content with more accepted forms of horror. Pushing the limits, the boundaries, going to extremes as it were, isn’t just a thing for hardcore aficionados any more, and if it is, well, then there are a hell of a lot of them and the number is growing exponentially.

Extreme horror is massive these days, almost to the point where it is as universally accepted as much as any other subgenre or what-have-you. Nor is it looking like interest in it is dying out any time soon, in fact I’d say it is quite the opposite. Some things come and go, fads, trends, fashions, genres and subgenres, themes and tropes dipping in and out of favour, but some things maintain, they don’t fade away. Some become so engrained or entrenched that they’re hard to shift in any shape or form-zombies are a prime example of this; folks consistently maintain they are sick of zombies, that they’ve been done to death, that they’re over-saturated in media, and all kinds of shit like that, and in essence much of that is true, but nonetheless, zombies are mainstream now, and they’ve managed to lodge themselves there. They won’t be going away any time soon, because despite all of those above points, they’re still attracting readers of undead books, viewers of television shows and movies, they’ve become a mainstay. And extreme horror, despite any claims to the contrary, is also now a mainstay, and essentially has been for quite some time now. It only seems more evident these days when there are so many exponents of it out there now-some excellent, some good, some at the far other end of the scale-and and the visibility of it remains high.

It’s here to stay; much like the enduring entity that is the undead, extreme horror won’t be going away any time soon either, regardless how many people say, ah, it will die out, something new will come along to replace it. Something new may well come along and sweep along on a successful wave for a while, but that doesn’t mean extreme horror will die out or go away. Not as long as folks keep digging it, not while they keep looking for more extreme approaches to storytelling. Not while folks are prepared to go to extremes.

Anyway, in light of Extremes riding its own wave of success at the moment, I’m temporarily holding back my next release for a little while, to give Extremes some room to run. Technically, the next book should come out in April to stick with the book a month notion, but putting two out next month is the plan to combat that (this would be in relation to the circumstances I mentioned earlier), and to allow Extremes to hold court a little while longer. With that said, there will be a new book coming, and yes, it is new, not a reprint or not anything anybody will have come across before. Following that will be another with material that while largely new to most readers, is in fact quite old, decades old actually. Stay posted for further news regarding that.

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet gone to Extremes, what are you waiting for? Go on, get yourself a little messy.

What lengths would you go to in order to achieve what you want in life? To fit in and be accepted, to escape a dangerous situation, to attain success, or to attain freedom?
When faced with extraordinary circumstances of horrifying proportions what actions are you going to take?
When it comes to all of the above, and more, there are no limits to what people will do. Desperate individuals will resort to desperate measures.
Assembled together for the very first time are several of Jim Goforth’s most extreme horror stories to date, though not merely extreme in terms of content and themes. These tales delve into the great pains taken when souls are confronted with situations that require a severe response, plumbing the depths of depravity, perversion, brutality, horror, and fear.
Horrific events can unfold when people are prepared, or forced, to go to extremes.

http://smarturl.it/extremes

OUTNOW

 

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FESTIVAL OF THE FLESH

Plebs was bloody. Riders was bloodier. The Sleep was monstrous and Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger was an undead splatterfest.

And Carnival of Chaos was just the beginning of a new venture into bloodshed and brutality.

However, the culmination of that new venture, Festival of the Flesh, makes all of those look somewhat tame in comparison.

festivalpromo

I meant to post about this a little earlier, but inexplicable internet issues resulted in me being offline for a couple of days while my internet provider hustled to find out why their so-called fabulous service was suddenly absolute shit, but in any case, that’s neither here nor there.

If you’ve been playing along at home you’ll know that JEA’s Project 26 has been steadily rolling along, unleashing a series of books every few weeks. Project 26 of course is twenty six books in total, one for each letter of the alphabet, all dropping in completely random order. Among these was Carnival of Chaos (which I’ve rambled on about a little in previous blog posts) emerging on the 6th of October, and introducing folks to an octet of disgruntled ex-carnival workers seeking revenge on the man responsible for their jobless predicament.

On October 21, the second part of the ongoing story revolving around these eight would-be vengeance-seekers, along with a host of others sucked into the maelstrom of escalating violence and peril, surfaced in the form of Festival of the Flesh. This cheerful little excursion into depths of depravity is, as mentioned earlier, perhaps a book that will make Plebs and it’s sequel books seem like a pleasant walk in the park.

Carnival of Chaos definitely has its moments, but it is the foundation of the story, the build-up and setting of various scenes, the introduction of the assortment of miscreant characters that populate this freakish, violent and dangerous landscape. Given where this particular book ends, it should probably come as no surprise that Festival of the Flesh launches into bloodthirsty mayhem almost from the word go and doesn’t let up.

Carnival is occasionally laced with levity, lighter moments and instances of jocularity courtesy of some of the characters, but Festival, not so much. It is grim, bloody, ultra-violent, and keeps the foot on the accelerator throughout. In addition there’s a moment in here serving as a brutal analogy for the reality that the laughter is over. Let’s see if anybody can pick that moment.

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The crew comprised of Loco, Blades, Angelique, Cleo, Stix, Ben, Minx, and Jason have discovered exactly what the Festival of the Flesh is, and the true motivations behind the sinister Mister E. steamrolling their former place of employment under a garish new horror themed carnival entity. Along the way, their reckless and dangerous choices and entanglements have created a snowball effect that has dragged numerous others into the slipstream.

Percy, Jason’s flatmate, a studious, naive fellow, prepared to blindly folow Jason and stick his neck out for him and his friends without fully understanding what he’s involving himself in.

Dawn, gym junkie fitness fanatic blonde who happens to live in the same apartment building as Jason and Percy. Her presence in the right place at the wrong time leads her into a world of deadly obsession, and of course the perverse world of the Festival of the Flesh.

Amber, beachy blonde beauty, with an attachment to Ben, and a distrust of all else. Circumstances have rendered her abandoned and friendless, but for the motley crew that is the ex-carnies, and she’ll do absolutely anything in her power to steer the mission away from entering into the Festival of the Flesh.

Colin Kadogan, Patrick Doolan and Jennifer Brand, police officers tasked by their boss, Chief Cavanaugh to investigate the Carnival, certain that a string of incidents are tied to the new horror creation. Chasing leads on what originally seemed like fairly routine cases, albeit of an unusual nature, these officers of the law are about to be catapulted into nightmarish realms, with Doolan in particular coming face to face with horrendous visions of his past.

And while the malevolent Mister E and his whole sadistic family loom large and threatening over all, behind the scenes lurks another more insidious soul. The demented Desmond Drago, surrounded by ghosts, intent on perversion, damage and bloodshed, stalks in shadows, driven by infatuation and the desire to twist the Festival to his advantage.

While many of these characters and others (including Amber’s duplicitious cordon of former friends) first surfaced during Carnival, they are all on a collision course of violence and horror that will land each and every one of them right in the midst of the Festival of the Flesh.

Come along and join them, but remember, Carnival of Chaos needs to be read first before you throw yourself into the mayhem of the Festival.

I can’t guarantee you’ll have a good time, in fact, I’m pretty sure you’re in for the exact opposite of that.

Available now in paperback and Kindle formats (part of J. Ellington Ashton’s massive Project 26, and most likely the bloodiest of the lot). Should come with several warnings, but doesn’t. Most folks by now should be well aware of what they’re getting into here, and the cover alone should serve as warning enough. This is a bloodsoaked, boobytrapped extreme carnival ride into the sheer depths of depravity and horrific violence. Come prepared.

festival cover

 

Hidden within a seemingly innocuous horror-themed carnival exists something far more disturbing. Where those with dollars and depraved desires find everything they seek catered for.

Hunted by mutant backwoods freaks, pursued relentlessly by the malevolent ringmaster who usurped their former boss, stranded in the deep woodland, and fast running out of options, the remaining few free ex-carnival employees are about to be forced into bloody battle that is only the beginning of a descent into sheer terror.

Having discovered the truth behind the carnival’s existence, these desperate souls know there is only one way to save any of their friends from becoming prized exhibits, and perverse playthings for the sick and bloodthirsty. They must gain entry and take part in the gruesome enterprise that lurks behind the garish trappings and faux horror extravagances of the carnival’s new and improved version.

Blood is going to pour like rain, to a symphony of screams. Bodies are going to stack up. The entertainment to be had here is enjoyed only by the most sadistic and degenerate of souls, and from all walks of life they come, from every corner of society, seeking to indulge their sickest, bloodiest impulses.

Peel away the bright, colourful facade of the carnival and you’ll find the hideous heart that is the Festival of Flesh.

http://smarturl.it/festivaloftheflesh

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CARNIVAL OF CHAOS

Meet the eight souls who used to be employees of a quaint little establishment known by the rather cumbersome name of Chippy the Champ’s Classic Circus and Carnival.

They’ve just turned up to work to find their old boss has inexplicably parted ways with the business, leaving it in the hands of a sinister newcomer with an entourage of brutal staff, and vastly different ideas on how to run his new acquisition.

Not only are most of their old professions likely to be rendered obsolete and not required in the malevolent Mister E’s new vision of a sleek, ultramodern, terrifying Horror Park, but their loyalty to their former employer has them at odds with the new owner from the word go.

Harsh words become physical violence, as assaults and intimidation are carried out upon those unwilling to bend to fit into the new Ringmaster’s grand regime. Threats, sleazy propositions, and warnings that more violence and far worse will follow is just the precursor to all dismissed carnival employees being forced to leave the premises immediately without being allowed any access to personal possessions. There are many terminated employees shown the door on this day, but only these eight make the potentially foolish decision to return at a later date, seeking retribution.

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Angelique. The trapeze artist. Acrobat. Gymnast. A fiery, feisty, compact brunette stunner with a burning desire for revenge. She’s a ringleader, an instigator, and possesses a natural willingness to launch herself into dangerous situations, and the ability to convince others to do likewise.

Ben. The strongman. A six foot five shaven-headed behemoth, comprehensively covered in tattoos, fond of toting around sledgehammers. Powerful, loyal, and keen to right the wrongs he sees perpetuated on his friends. Looks intimidating, but there’s a good heart beneath that muscled, inked exterior.

Minx. The elephant trainer. Blonde and nervous, never a leader, always a follower. The least willing to buy into any vengeful missions, she’s also far too prone to succumb to peer pressure. Born of affluent folks, Minx doesn’t really need a job, but the chance to see her beloved elephants again is a powerful incentive to sway her into joining her wronged co-workers in all they seek to do.

Stix. The clown. With a penchant for food and painfully bright ridiculous clothing, the genial Stix isn’t just a circus or carnival clown at work, he’s a clown in general, fond of pranks and mischief, and a good time all round. More prepared to look for the safer way out of trouble than to plunge headfirst into it, he’s nonetheless also prepared to follow his long-time friends and associates into the pits of hell.

Cleo. The tiger performer. Aloof, statuesque, pierced brunette beauty. With a propensity for profanity, a stubborn streak and a temper, to go with no qualms about speaking her mind, she is among the first of those vowing vengeance on those responsible for the carny crew’s rough treatment.

Blades. The knife man. Short, wiry, and gaunt, Blades is small in stature, but big in intimidation. Blades isn’t merely a catchy nickname plucked out of thin air; this fellow is lethal with anything sharp and carries more concealed knives around than an average armoury. Stix’s sidekick, or more appropriately, vice versa. While Stix brings the jokes and good humour, Blades brings the genuine menace.

Loco. The oddity. The freak. The true ringleader, spearhead and driving force behind all the maelstrom of events the displaced ex-carnival workers find themselves engulfed in. A six foot tattooed, pierced, braided, Mohawked entity Loco is who all the others seek direction from. Looks frightening, genuinely is frightening. Carries around an abundance of secrets.

Jason. The sometime sideshow operator. Jack of all menial trades. Easy-going, metal-loving Jason is the newest member of the Carnival, and not being a true ‘carny’ as such, most likely to be kept around for the new Horror Park vision. Instead, despite being in desperate need of a job, he is first to speak up against those seeking to undo the antiquated notions of the Classic. Quick-thinking, quick-acting, impetuous, impulsive, Jason is the wildcard in the vengeful jobless carnival brigade.

carnivalpromo

 

Spearheaded by the persuasive Loco and Angelique, this intrepid (or insanely foolish) octet bide their time for a week, then meet up once more, with plans to return to the Carnival grounds. Motivated partly by the desire to regain some of the possessions they weren’t allowed to take upon their termination, but mostly by the need to somehow seek vengeance on those they feel wronged them, the disgruntled collective return under cover of the dark.

Soon enough they can see that in that week absent from the place, Mister E, his hordes of workers, and most likely those who elected to remain in the new Ringmaster’s employ have not been idle. Nothing remains of the rustic old, tranquil place of employment they were all used to. In its place is a massive sprawling monstrosity of a creation, a modern Carnival behemoth still in the process of being completely set up. Surrounded by towering chain-link fences topped by barbed wire, this giant entity dwarfs the tiny Classic Carnival it has eclipsed.

This is the Carnival of Chaos, and what they’re about to discover inside is going to change a simple revenge mission into an escalating nightmare of terrifying proportions, where it isn’t just the eight of them being dragged into a slipstream of violence, pain, perversion and unimaginable horror, but many others as well.

 

Carnival of Chaos (which is part of the massive Project 26 creation from J. Ellington Ashton Press) is available now in paperback and Kindle, part one of a two book tale which culminates with Festival of the Flesh (available in two weeks).

CarnivalofChaos

Threatened, assaulted, and ultimately dismissed from their jobs, a group of disgruntled ex-carnival workers swear vengeance on the sinister new boss responsible for their state. Coercing even the most unwilling amongst them to join in on the revenge mission, the collective wait, biding their time before returning to the carnival grounds under cover of darkness. Plans for regaining lost property and enacting some simple retribution swiftly turn deadly when a series of grisly discoveries are made.

Now, having unwittingly involved themselves in something insidious and monstrous, this miscreant collective are being hunted by a relentless force. As more people are sucked into the maelstrom, innocent and nefarious alike, they’re all about to find themselves on an escalating nightmare journey into a brutal world of unimaginable pain and perversion.

Snaring a ticket to this carnival doesn’t ensure fun and frivolity. It only ensures carnage and chaos. Survival is not guaranteed.

http://smarturl.it/carnivalofchaos

 

UNDEAD FLESHCRAVE: THE ZOMBIE TRIGGER ULTIMATE PLAYLIST

UNDEAD FLESHCRAVE_ THE ZOMBIE TRIGGER

As the time edges closer to the eventual release of Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger, set to explode in a welter of blood and mayhem, driven by a barrage of blastbeats and monstrous guitar, I figured just for the hell of it, I would throw together an ultimate playlist for the book.

I’ve made mention a couple of times before that yes, as the name suggests, this beast is indeed, a zombie book, a foray into realms of the undead, but that isn’t the be-all and end-all with it. It is a road trip book, a story revolving around friendships and relationships, and the degradation of both, a survival tale, a horror story, and coursing throughout the entire opus is the relentless pulse of heavy metal, more specifically extreme metal. The story focuses on a group of metal fans (who are primarily fanatics of the black metal subgenre) venturing out to attend a much touted performance in their home town by a death metal supergroup going by the moniker Undead Fleshcrave. Needless to say, this is the catalyst for things unraveling in a horrendous manner and a great night out goes to hell in a handbasket pretty promptly.

Outstanding artist Stephen Cooney has been working on cover art for the book (many folk have probably already seen this floating around Facebook, but I’ll include it in here as well) and has managed to capture a perfect snapshot of a pivotal moment in Undead Fleshcrave with sublime work.

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In any case, as the tale is set in metal scenes, contains a high proportion of metalhead characters and is prolifically bolstered by metal music right throughout, the idea to compile an ultimate playlist was something I always thought would be pretty cool. So, with that said, here it is.

Each of the songs included below are either derived from tracks, bands, albums which spring up or are referenced over the duration of the story (and this is the vast majority of them) or are songs which are most fitting to slot right in among the others.

There are three focal (and fictional) towns during which most events occur during Undead Fleshcrave, so I’ve split this playlist into three separate sections to represent the happenings, references and things for each town.

This is just a bit of fun, but when the book is released, it might also be a cool reference point, so when that happens-still hoping to have it out before the year is over-feel free to come back and peruse the playlist. You’ll catch a lot of references, names and so forth that probably won’t make too much sense to folks right now, metal aficionado or otherwise.

It isn’t just a metal book, or a zombie book, or a horror book, it is all of the above and an assortment of other things. I can’t wait for it to be unleashed. Anyway, enough chatter. Here’s the playlist.
ARMADA
1. Armada-Keep of Kalessin
2. Winds of Creation-Decapitation
3. Meat Hook Sodomy-Cannibal Corpse
4. Slowly We Rot-Obituary
5. Slaves and Masters-Monstrosity
6. Unholy Ultraviolent Domination-Burial Hordes
7. Impending Dread-Autopsy
8. Pit of Zombies-Cannibal Corpse
9. Vortex of Confusion-Enthroned
10. Triumph of Death-Hellhammer
11. We Have Risen-Demonic Christ
12. Zombie Ritual-Death
13. Funeral Fog-Mayhem
14. Devour the Damned-Devourment
15. Silence Calls the Storm-Quo Vadis
16. Malevolent Invocation-Vital Remains
17. Night’s Blood-Dissection
18. Collision and Collapse-Fission
19. Meatgrinder-Eaten Alive
20. Dead By Dawn-Deicide
21. Screaming For Vengeance-Judas Priest
22. Revelations in Darkness-Immanifest
23. The Origin of Disiease-Aborted
24. Global Collapse-Kadavar
25. Dead World-Archeon

NOUMENA
1. Sleep–Noumena
2. To Cold Void Desolation–Neptune Towers
3. Mother North-Satyricon
4. Blizzard Beasts-Immortal
5. Freezing Moon-Mayhem
6. Under A Funeral Moon-Darkthrone
7. Dreaming in Red-Dismember
8. Seven Churches-Possessed
9. Chainsaw Dismemberment-Mortician
10. Revenge of the Zombie-Six Feet Under
11. Among the Living Dead-Iced Earth
12. Abominations-Morbid Angel
13. A World of Bones-Carpathian Forest
14. The Armageddon Anthem-Zonaria
15. Shotgun Facelift-Carnal Decay
16. Fucked With a Knife-Cannibal Corpse
17. Enslaved and Condemned-Old Man’s Child
18. Beyond Cops-Waking the Cadaver
19. Ghoul-Tsjuder
20. Season of the Dead-Necrophagia
21. To Kill Without Emotion-December Wolves
22. Conjuring the Dead-Belphegor
23. Supposed To Rot-Entombed
24. Trap Them And Kill Them-Impetigo
25. Welcome To the Graveyard-Feral

BLACKWATER PARK
1. Kathaarian Life Code-Darkthrone
2. Smell the Witch-Mortiis
3. Biblebasher-Deicide
4. Soulside Journey-Darkthrone
5. The Endurance-Deeds of Flesh
6. You Put A Hex On Me-Mortiis
7. Into the Infinity of Thoughts-Emperor
8. Blackwater Park-Opeth
9. Morphing into Primal-In Flames
10. The Sentencing-Estuary of Calamity
11. Scum-Napalm Death
12. Doomed To Walk the Earth As Slaves To the Living Dead-Carpathian Forest
13. Christraping Black Metal-Marduk
14. Transilvanian Hunger-Darkthrone
15. Nemesis Divina–Satyricon
16 Unholy Massacre-Incantation
17. Extremely Rotten Flesh-Grave
18. Sculptor of Flesh-1349
19. Collection of Souls-Master
20. Pile of Skulls–Running Wild
21. Ride The Lightning-Metallica
22. The Great Bludgeoning-Hatesphere
23. Unleashing the Bloodthirsty-Cannibal Corpse
24. Vendetta Assassin-Dodheimsgard
25. Welcome To Hell-Venom

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This was a blog of random musings comparing genres of horror fiction and the like to the variety of genres in heavy metal music (two of my biggest passions), which was originally posted on J. Ellington Ashtons inaugural Virtual Readers Convention, JEAPalooza. I meant to title it as something a little more inspired than Horror and Metal, but hell, that name pretty much sums it up so I’m sticking with it.

HORROR AND METAL

Since I so often make reference to this, either in interviews or general conversation, or just about anywhere whenever the two subjects intersect, I figured I would write something which is a little more of a detailed exploration of the statement.

I am a massive aficionado of both horror and heavy metal, but this doesn’t essentially apply just to my writing, more of a study of how two often misunderstood (or maligned, take your pick) genres in their various fields can be entwined. Personally I often write to a soundtrack of different varieties of metal music; I am often inspired by it both lyrically and musically, and it often works to set out a scene or aid in pacing, or to trigger the right emotion and amplify an assortment of aspects in a certain story. I frequently infiltrate my work with references of a metal nature and often make mention that what I write is a melange of grindhouse splatterpunk and old school classic horror all driven by heavy metal, but that in itself is only skimming the surface in what I mean by the fiction genre and the music genre being so closely aligned, they may as well be brothers from another mother.

Firstly, horror is a massive multifaceted beast. There are so many different styles, types, offshoots and combinations of material which comes under the giant umbrella that is horror, that it is more than a mere genre, it is an enormous extended family breeding a multitude of horrific little subgenre offspring. The question regarding what horror is to different people, comes up so prevalently, and depending on a person’s perspective, personal choice, beliefs or notions, one could ask it of ten random individuals on the street and still walk away with ten entirely different answers.

So too with heavy metal. While it might be a little easier to try and pigeonhole than horror itself, in that most laypersons might define metal music as loud and raucous with lots of electric guitars and drums, the musical genre is much more than that, with the consideration that just like horror fiction, it is a huge family of subgenres, some of which are so far removed in sound that it is almost inconceivable to acknowledge that they all belong to the one genre. Both horror and metal are also constantly being further broken down into subgenres of subgenres, often to the point where it becomes ludicrous, though from an author’s point of view where you might be writing in some far out deviated branch of horror that has essentially spawned its own name, well you might be the only exponent of it. That should make your Amazon ranking look impressive when you’re sitting at number one constantly with your Cryptozombivamptrollpunk or what have you.

Anyway, let’s break it down a little. You can’t mention horror without thinking classic horror. The old chestnuts, the timeless pieces, old school horror done right; dark, scary, not necessarily needing to be overly violent or graphic to remain frightening, but horrific nonetheless. (After all, what is horror if not horrific? Without an element of the horrific or horrendous to it, then it isn’t really horror after all).

So what then is the heavy metal counterpart to that most dignified and enduring style of horror fiction? Naturally, classic metal itself, the original heavy metal. Where the genre finds its roots. If classic horror was a band it would be Black Sabbath. Feel free to argue and say Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, any other name from this era might slip in more easily, but in terms of imagery and profound impact on everything that followed suit, none are more appropriate than Sabbath. Horror and metal going hand in hand, see where I’m going with this?

We can then move on through the evolution of metal music itself to the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) which can be equated to the crop of supreme horror writers of English descent. I’m talking James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Mark Morris and so forth, and while granted, they are all very different in their styles, for the purposes of these ruminations they are aligned with the Iron Maidens and Judas Priests. Prolific, traditional, high quality and widely revered.

How about hair and glam metal? Lots of party tunes, drugs, sex, rock and roll and life lived to excess? Goes hand in hand with the eighties heyday of slasher and pulp horror. A whole lot of cautionary tales to be discovered in all of that. The eighties exploded with a massive proliferation of pulp horror fiction paperbacks and that decade was rife with glammed up schlocky bands with big hair and even bigger voices as well. Coincidence? Well, yeah, but you get the picture.

Then there is thrash metal. While there is plenty of fun, frivolity and partying in some of these exponents, there were also lyrical explorations of a political nature, concentration and focuses on natural disasters, impending doom, end of days scenarios and social concerns. Nature and environmental horror, either brought on by humanity or natural forces, step up. Thrash metal has your bases covered.

From uptempo, speedy and aggressive, much like some horrific hellstorm of epic proportions or plague of mutant creatures, which thrash metal might be synonymous with, we can shift to something completely different. The slow trudging crawl of doom metal. Sounds akin to the likes of Poe and Lovecraft. Claustrophobic, dark, despairing and dragging one towards something ominous and inevitable. Technically, Lovecraft could slot in just about anywhere in terms of metal comparisons, since bands and acts from all continuums of the genres have been widely influenced by his work (Metallica, Electric Wizard, Mercyful Fate, Innsmouth, Morbid Angel, I could go on for a while here), but in likening his writing style to anything, there is nothing better suited than the bleak heaviness of doom metal.

Gothic metal? Gothic horror. That was too easy. Tales of the supernatural and paranormal, romantic overtures, magic elements, dark and brooding, yet epic subject matter told on a grand scale slide perfectly in right here, whether it be fiction or music. Of course, the entire notion of vampires and other legendary creatures of horror lore fit within the Gothic scheme of things, and they too segue between horror and metal with ease. Poe and Lovecraft belong here too of course, but then again, they are genre jumpers the pair of them, able to straddle just about the entire spectrum of metal and horror. Play any single of album from the back catalogue of Cradle of Filth and there are some grand Gothic horror stories right there in the narrative of any particular song. That particular band might have roots in another genre, but for me they pen some great Gothic horror with their interpretation of metal.

There are no rules which state that horror has to stick to being straightforward horror either and as a result, often it doesn’t. With the ever expanding break down of genres and splicing of genres, not just within the spectrum of horror, but spreading outside of it to other styles, we consequently end up with horror being married to other things in increasingly twisted unions. While this is certainly the case in metal music as well, this eerie blending of things which shouldn’t breed so well together, yet do, I’ll just focus on one aspect of it. For example horror wed with sci-fi. Enter industrial metal.

Here is the meld of horror (metal) with the sci-fi (industrial). Heavy chugging riffs, pounding rhythm sections twisted into amalgamations with electronica and cold clinical synthesised sounds, programming and unnerving sounds to replicate futuristic wastelands or space age technology. Harsh climates and horrific situations set in times far beyond the present. Visions of the future when shit just might go completely pear shaped. Looking for a suitable playlist to soundtrack your bleak epic horror riddled with hi-tech facets where moments of brutal bloodshed or mind numbing fear are surrounded by alien beings and universes not yet explored? Ministry, Aborym, Deathstars, Dodheimsgard, Godflesh; they might just be the kinds of bands you’d be looking for to accentuate things.

There are many many more facets and subgenres of both horror and metal, but rather than go through the whole lot of them and turn this into a fifty page thesis, I will wrap it up with a comparison of what is both my favourite types of horror to write and my principal metal passions. It will probably come as no big surprise to discover that just as all the rest of the genres have their uncanny parallels, what I love to write and read in horror is mirrored in the music I love best.

At the beginning of this concoction of ramblings, I made mention of the fact that I primarily write splatterpunk. Extreme horror. Grindhouse. This is visceral, violent, occasionally confrontational material, not exactly for the faint of heart. I’m inspired by the legendary Richard Laymon, I love Ed Lee, Bryan Smith, Brian Keene, Shaun Hutson, Bentley Little. Jack Ketchum. There’s unrelenting brutality in their work, harrowing violence, sexual content, perversity and hordes of things to throw a shock into the system, but not at the expense of a good storyline and not without some impact and often, a profound message to be conveyed.

With that said, the heavy metal counterparts for such sanguinary literary excursions should probably be pretty self-explanatory, but for the benefit of those who don’t follow heavy metal with as fervent a passion as me, I’ll go ahead and delve into it.

Extreme horror finds its musical equivalent in extreme metal, and there are no more extreme genres than death metal and black metal. It almost goes without saying that the former with unremitting bludgeoning instrumentation and often subterranean vocal stylings issuing grotesque lyrical content which runs the gamut through ultra-violent dismemberments, mutilations, murders, cannibalism, perverse sexuality, undead fiends, bestial creations and serial killers to all kinds of other cheerful fare, and the latter with occasionally satanic imagery and references, equally violent and sexual subject matter, rituals, dark magic and occult themes, misanthropy and other hate fuelled work driven by cold slices of tremolo riffing, blastbeat drums and abrasive vocals are just about the perfect musical complement for that splatterpunk branch of the horror tree. Again, investigate some of the lyrical content beyond any shock value, depravity or musical horror and there are cautionary tales and messages to be relayed.

Admittedly, I could probably write an entire post revolving solely around all the comparisons between extreme metal and horror, and justifying the statement that metal and horror go hand in hand through that alone, but in the interests in keeping all the likenings relatively uniform in length I will leave it at that for now, and perhaps revisit it at a later day in greater depth.

I know I missed out on plenty; literary horror, monster/creature horror, hauntings and paranormal, YA horror, body horror and many many more, but rest assured, they each have a metal genre complement. Maybe some time down the track, I will touch upon all of those and more as well. For now, I’ll conclude this and let you mull over my semi-coherent ramblings. Feel free to agree or disagree, or even dissect your choice of music relative to what you write.

I’m off to write some splatterpunk to a soundtrack of Mayhem.

-Jim Goforth