Splatterlands: Reawakening the Splatterpunk Revolution (Book Review)

Splatterlands: Reawakening the Splatterpunk revolution

Splatterlands: Reawakening the Splatterpunk revolution

By definition, splatterpunk first emerged in the mid 1980’s as a reaction to the more traditional, suggestive horror story, and was characterised by bloody, visceral, in-your-face horror depicting the true effects, physical and psychological, of extreme violence. This new anthology on Grey Matter Press aims to breathe life (or death) back into the ailing genre by lining up new up-n-comers with more established writers. Dubbed ‘a collection of personal, intelligent and subversive horror,’ Splatterlands certainly delivers. Editor Sharon Lawson explains, “In Splatterlands, we have assembled a collection of stories whose themes intend to show that horror can, indeed, be considered literature. True horror is not just about uncontrolled violence, excessive blood or sexual degradation of women, or men for that matter. And because we believe that, we’ve created Splatterlands, a collection that we call ‘Horror with a Point.’”

A growing band of horror fans believe that the purpose of this much-maligned genre is to push boundaries, if not smash them down with a sturdy axe. And this collection endeavours to do just that, exploring such controversial themes as religious fanaticism, physical and mental abuse, societal corruption and good old-fashioned serial killers, and kicking off in style with with a nasty little shocker called Heirloom, by Michael Laimo. Two of my favourites in this impressively gory set of 13 are Housesitting by Ray Garton, which warns of the danger of snooping, and Party Guests by Chad Stroup, which takes us into the mind of a very disturbed individual. The story that lives longest in the memory, however, is the Defiled by Christine Morgan, a twisted account of Viking rape and pillage that comes to a satisfyingly vengeful end. As you would expect in a collection of this size, there is a small amount of filler, ie. some stories are stronger than others. But the even the weaker stories serve a purpose here as they make the jewels in the crown shine even brighter.

Grey Matter is quickly becoming one of the leading independent publishing houses. Unlike some of their competitors, everything they do is of the highest quality. This is well worth a punt, and look out for the upcoming Dark Visions 1 and 2, which promise to be even better. Look out, fly-by-night publishing houses, there is a new kid on the block. They have your number, a sharp knife, and they are creeping up your stairs right now.

Available from: http://greymatterpress.com/books/

This review also appears in the following places:

http://www.deadpixelpublications.com/
http://morpheustales.wix.com/morpheustales#!supplement/c14cx

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About cmsaunders

I write stuff. Pretty much any stuff. My dark fiction has appeared in Asphalt Jungle, Raw Nerve, Roadworks, Dark Valentine, Screams of Terror, Shallow Graves, Fantastic Horror, The Literary Hatchet, Gore and numerous anthologies. My first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales was published back in 2003, and I've worked extensively in the freelance journalism industry, contributing features to numerous international publications including Fortean Times, Bizarre, Urban Ink, Loaded, Record Collector, Maxim, and a regular column to the Western Mail newspaper. I lived in China for over five years where I taught English during my search for enlightenment, before moving back to the UK in January 2013 to work as staff writer on Nuts magazine. Later, I was senior writer on Forever Sports magazine and associate editor at Coach magazine, before leaving to chance my arm in the world of pro freelance. In recent times I have devoted more time to dark fiction, my latest offerings being No Man's Land: Horror in the Trenches, X SAMPLE and Apartment 14F: An Oriental Ghost Story (Uncut). I also edit, copy write, and ghost write. I am represented by Media Bitch Literary Agency and drink far too much coffee. View all posts by cmsaunders

2 responses to “Splatterlands: Reawakening the Splatterpunk Revolution (Book Review)

  • Anthony Rivera

    Christian. Thank you so very much for that great recap of splatterpunk and also the wonderful review of our attempt to re-ignite the revolution. SPLATTERLANDS has played a very special part in the life of Grey Matter Press, and we are all greatly humbled that it is appreciated by both authors and critics such as yourself. Sincerely, Tony

    Like

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