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1. Demons
2. The Other End
3. Eclipse Corona (Song Called Youth)
4. Eclipse Penumbra 2 (A Song Called
5. Eclipse (A Song Called Youth -
6. Black Butterflies
7. Black Glass: The Lost Cyberpunk
8. Bleak History
9. Living Shadows: Stories: New &
10. Cellars
11. Haunter of Ruins: The Photography
12. Wetbones
13. Dame Shirley and the Gold Rush
14. City Come A-Walkin'
15. John Shirley: Book Production
16. New Noir (Black Ice Books)
17. Shroud 7: The Quarterly Journal
18. Management Basics: The How-To
19. Transnational Asian American Literature:
20. War Lord (John Constantine Hellblazer)

1. Demons
by John Shirley
Paperback: 384 Pages (2003-04-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$2.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345446496
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Writers from Clive Barker to Bruce Sterling and Roger Zelazny have praised John Shirley’s searing, apocalyptic visions of postmodern hell on earth. Now this perversely brilliant author, one of the seminal representatives on the cyberpunk movement, unleashes his newest masterpiece.


In a future uncomfortably close to the present day, the apocalypse has surpassed all expectations. Hideous demons roam the streets in an orgy of terror, drawing pleasure from torturing humans as sadistically as possible. Divided into seven clans, these grisly invaders–gnashing, writhing, bloodthirsty monsters–seem horrifically to belong in our world.

Ira, a young San Francisco artist, becomes involved with a strange group of scientists and philosophers desperately trying to end the bloody siege. Yet through it all, Ira continues to paint–for in his canvasses lie crucial clues to the demons’ origins.

Yet the demons draw their strength from an all-too-familiar evil–a deadly malevolence supported by some of the greatest powers on earth, concealed beneath the trappings of status, success, and abused power. Ira and his allies– including a compelling young seeress–come to believe these demons didn’t just appear. They were summoned. But the most shocking revelation is yet to come . . .

EXCLUSIVE TO THIS EDITION: The original novella Demons was published as an acclaimed, limited edition hardcover which Publishers Weekly called a “mini-masterpiece.” Now the terror continues, as the sequel story, “Undercurrents,” takes the reader on a macabre journey into the center of the conspiracy that may lay waste to the Earth.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
Nightmarish demons terrorize the world in this sharp-edged tale of horror and humanity from award-winner John Shirley. A young artist from San Francisco witnesses the demons' arrival and the world's response--panic, denial, and even cooperation in the slaughter. He joins a group of people who believe that human action brought the demons into the world and that the power of human consciousness--awareness of one's true self--is the only defense against them. Then nine years later, in the face of a new threat, the group must overcome conspiracy and the world's disbelief to battle demons once again.

Themes of wakefulness and sleep--the struggle for self-awareness against the deliberate denial of what's happening around us--form the counterpoint for the terrifying and often brutal events of the story. This is a fast-paced, finely told horror tale combined with a pointed examination of the ways in which people so often conspire in their own destruction. --Roz Genessee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

2-0 out of 5 stars Stylish with a depth not fully reached
I read this book in two spurts- first read through the first volume and a few chapters into the second, grew very, very bored then a few months picked up the book again and finished reading the remaining 100 or so pages. That about sums up the book i think; its got a good storytelling, with some nice hooks, the demons are descriptive enough, and there is a cosmology described(the golden urn, undercurrent, black pearl, conscious circle, etc etc) but the author only makes vague references to each of their meanings. it seemed that the author wanted to test the waters of conspiracy and occult, but was more interested in metaphysical, new age 'feelings' than delving too deeply. at times the righting was too detailed about things that were simply uninteresting, and then left gaps on things that were interesting, but left unspoken. perhaps this was the feel going for...some attempt at 'deeper' symbolism about society and all- but it was a tough pill to swallow given the graphic nature of some of the scenes [which were told well.], but the book bordered on taking itself too seriously and flirting with the harder core of occult genre. add to it that the second volumen severly brought down my opinion of the first- it was too many characters, too much going on, and the writing was begining to loose its prose, that i put it down for months, only to read it later. the verbocity of the author was good, but the details were lacking- the story had good basepoints but should have delved deeper.

it was a difficult read that had started out good.

5-0 out of 5 stars A PANTS SOILING GOOD TIME, "DEMONS".


5-0 out of 5 stars A great read...
I originally purchased the book simply for the cover and the interesting title.Within the first 30 pages Mr. Shirley has you entirely wrapped up in a world of terror and suspense and he subtly mixs in a clever allegory on the nature of humanity.I have few if any qualms with this book it was a delightful read, and I truly think this would make an excellent movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read
A great novel in two parts. What happens when Demons take over? Does the world end, or does it continue in an eerily similar way... covert predation replaced with the overt? Justice, horror, and a lot of thought provoking ideas make this book well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not your typical John Shirley novel
If you are looking for spatterpunk, Shirely's other books, like New Noir (my favorite), may be more up your alley. If you are looking for something a little more thought provoking, however, read on. Brushing away the constraints of genre, Demons is an allegory for the ages. Exploring political, spiritual and environmental undercurrents in out lives, Shirley's not-to-distant demonic tale is anything but your standard "horror" story. The tale does exact full participation from the reader to reap its bounty, but if you are looking for a more cerebral scare, Demons is your ride. ... Read more

2. The Other End
by John Shirley
Hardcover: 292 Pages (2007-04-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$84.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587671506
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Do you ever think that the human world is hopelessly out of balance, blighted, off track, and the only hope is some kind of apocalypse, some sort of end of the world that would allow the human race a new beginning, a fresh start without...ah...certain people?

You know you don't want and can't believe in the usual "End Times" scenarios that are predicted and ballyhooed by hysterical, superstitious people.

But when you look around at the world as it stands you see Darfur, you see Somalia and the Congo, you see the modern slavery of indentured servitude, you see children sold into prostitution, you see millions starving, you see mindless wars, you see people you care about dying of Alzheimer's and children dying of cancer and millions of others trapped in schizophrenia or living lives of media-hypnotized desperation...

You see a planet beset by a loss of biodiversity, a depleted ozone layer, slash-and-burn destruction of rainforests, and the onset of global warming...

And you know that because the population of the Earth is increasing, it's only going to get worse. This can't go on; something has to change.

What if you could change it? What if you could design your own Judgment Day?

What if there were another end rather than one based on childish interpretations of religion, bias, bigotry, exclusion, and cultural narrowness?

What if Judgment Day came for the whole world and offered true justice?

It would be THE OTHER END. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine hopeful read
After a long wait for the book (I won't ever preorder again) I did get it.As a longtime fan of Shirley's works I was not disappointed.The novel seems very hopeful to me, although others may assert it is wish fulfillment. But why not, we need something hopeful in these times of soft fascism. we need more imagination and a positive vision of something other than faster tanks and more murderous robots and Shirley provides that.Call it positive horror, for some this would be the end of the world, for others with a more utopian egalitarian bent, it is the beginning of something potentially good. ... Read more

3. Eclipse Corona (Song Called Youth)
by John Shirley
Paperback: 312 Pages (2000-11-20)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 193023502X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A Song Called Youth, Book 3. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Conclusion to "A Song Called Youth" Trilogy
John Shirley shines once more, in the riveting conclusion of his "A Song Called Youth" trilogy. After being discredited in the United States, the Second Alliance makes its final stand in Europe. About to unleash genocide as it tries to unite Western Europe under its Christian Fundamentalist Fascism, only the New Resistance (NR) stands in its way. And high in Earth orbit, the NR's chief financial sponsor has his own sinister plans for humanity. Again, Shirley delivers the goods with his fine, fast-paced lyrical prose. Without a doubt, his "A Song Called Youth" trilogy is one of the classics of cyberpunk literature. ... Read more

4. Eclipse Penumbra 2 (A Song Called Youth - Book Two)
by John Shirley
Paperback: 296 Pages (2000-05-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930235011
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A Song Called Youth, Book II ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars dont worry-the end of world will have commercials :)
My review for Episode I of eclipse stills stands for this 2nd part of the series.Shirley raises the bar here for sci-fi/cyber literature.More action, more characters, and more insanity-in a good way. Not only can Shirley write a good action piece he also gives you just enough about the many characters to care about them, or depise them :)If you want a story that has shoot em up action, cyber-tech action, even sex,drugs,and rock and roll than look no further. Shirely may suprise but he does not dissapoint!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fine Work Of Cyberpunk Fiction
Once more John Shirley gives a fascinating, riveting tale about 21st Century Fascism attempting to take hold in the United States and Western Europe, in the waning phases of a conventional war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Dissent and treachery are rife in the leadership of the Christian Fascist Second Alliance (SA) and its primary opposition, the New Resistance (NR). The SA's grip on Western Europe grows tighter as it bids to win control of FirStep, the orbiting space colony. A splendid tale filled with mesmerizing characters that is among the finest works of cyberpunk fiction. ... Read more

5. Eclipse (A Song Called Youth - Book One)
by John Shirley
Paperback: 326 Pages (1999-11)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930235003
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Book one of John Shirley's pre-holocaust series, A SongCalled Youth.

The Russians didn't use the big nukes.

The ongoing Third World War leaves parts of Europe in ruins. Into thechaos steps the Second Alliance, a multinational eager to impose itsown kind of New World Order.

In the United States ... in FirStep, the vast space colony ... and onthe artificial island Freezone -- the SA shoulders its way to power,spinning a dark web of media manipulation, propaganda, andinfiltration.

Only the New Resistance recognizes the SA for what it really is: aracist theocracy hiding a cult of eugenics.

Enter Rick Rickenharp, a former rock'n'roll cult hero: a rockclassicist -- out of place in Europe's underground club scene,populated by "wiredancers" and "minimonos" ... but destined to play aSong Called Youth that will shake the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Eclipse: Cyberpunk Classic
"...a multinational corporation for hire by those nations who require extra policing power, is gaining prominence in Europe as NATO and the new Russian war machine approach the hard battle line drawn at the former USSR's borders. SA steps into the vacuum and gradually, through a campaign of media propaganda, misinformation, infiltration, and ultimately coup, plans to impose a New World Order. But the idea is an old one. Pure Fascism. For the SA is nothing less than a Racist Army, and their CEO, an evangelical Christian Fundamentalist, envisions a world of "genetic purity...." "...a brilliant political writer/speechmaker with memories of torture, an American student caught behind the lines in Amsterdam, a video editor who's mind has been "robbed" by SA agents, a young "Admin" daughter of FirStep's chief designer, a driven ex-Mossad agent, a rock'n'roll classicist caught in the dangerous pull of a synthetic designer drug and a loyal corvid named Richard Pryor. They are a band of rebels called the New Resistance (NR), and everybody is looking for them." "_Eclipse_ does not know the meaning of "slow." The book is a mélange of poetic language, vibrant description, and vivid characterization. Considered a crucial work in the nascence of cyberpunk fiction, _Eclipse_ is among the very best Earth-based speculations in science fiction history."

4-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC CYBERPUNK
Shirley hits the ground running on this 1st novel of the series.You have great action, good plot, and some nice twist- all set in a future that looks scary close to the present world what more could you ask for!?! Love all the little details that make up the future - the desolve depression which has recently whipped out key banking info from a EMP burst causing a run on banks and ruining the American economy, to the worship of the Grid (internet), the rise of a new militant Russia who has started conventional warfare to solve its resource issue, and throw into that a new nationalist/fascist movement that is way more powerful than anyone realizes and you have the makings for a great series. Since I am waiting on the 2nd and 3rd book I have no idea if Shirley will carry this thru but all seems to start GREAT!Few critiques- where is China?!?With all heck breaking lose you think a superpower like China would be more involved- maybe he will touch on this in future books or I missed the explanation in this book?Shirley tends to almost write in "cliffnote" fashion giving you just enough brushed in character information to briefly understand many different people in his stories. Sometimes it works sometimes you have to remember who this character is and what their motivations are.But these are minor issues- get these books and have a BLAST!Also check out some of the other Shirley books- his Horror stuff is almost as good :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Dated but enjoyable.
I've not got the patience to write a long, coherent review, so I will state only that fond readers of cyberpunk will enjoy -Eclipse-.Although the World War III setting makes -Eclipse- seem very dated (as speculative fiction, this book fails completely), the story is always exciting and very enjoyable.Worth spending an afternoon reading, if only as a light amusement.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping possible future novel
After discovering John Shirley through his short horror fiction, I bought a copy of Eclipse and sat motionless for days to read it.In other words, I could not put it down.While this would be shelved in a store's science fiction section, it really is more than typical spaceships and lasergun fare.It falls more towards cyberpunk but exceeds it with a focus on characters instead of technology.

The basic premise of the rise of a neo-fascist "security" corporation during the starts of a limited nuclear war between the USA and Russia sets the background for the very believable characters, each with distinct personalities and flaws that come to life from the printed page.Mr. Shirley weaves a complex and intertwined tale of guerilla mercenaries, fading rock stars, and fasicst powermongers that would stand proudly with the great works on science fiction.If not for any other reason, his interpretation of developing cultural trends is at the same time illuminating and frightening.

Having only read the first book*, I am anticipating no less enjoyment from Penumbra and Corona, the second and third works in the series.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a complicated read where each page yields a small reward.

* Sometimes I do need to spend a little time reading my college textbooks, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shocking, intense, visionary: a work of genius
World War III started but no one used the big nukes. While the USA and the New Soviets agreed to fight on European battlegrounds (and on a space station halfway between Earth and Moon), fascist fundamentalist Christian forces - under the name Second Alliance - are gaining in influence worldwide. Only the New Resistance sees the destructive power of the Fascists and starts a bitter and seemingly hopeless fight.
As this is only the first part of the recently reissued trilogy, I don't know yet the outcome of the War, but one thing is for sure: John Shirley wrote one of the most intense future histories I have ever come across. The plot is based in the year 2029, and as this is a revised edition (the original version was released about 15 years ago), a lot of the historical background is real and does not only paint an imaginative dark future, but also shows the frightening doings of some actual American congressmen (Trent Lott and the racist Council of Conservative Citizens).
Shirley apparently has a strong dislike for WASPs (understandably), and together with the malleability of people's minds, he paints us a visionary picture of the future that could happen only just too easily.
Very graphic violence (nothing for the faint hearted), strong language and a shockingly surreal glimpse into the future will make sure that this book will have an everlasting imprint to your neurons.
Only one small point of criticism: for a "revised and updated" version, there were awfully many typos and especially misplaced periods and commas, but that doesn't take away one ounce of the intensity of this groundbreaking novel. ... Read more

6. Black Butterflies
by John Shirley
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2001-03)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$14.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843948442
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Including 16 stories never before assembled, "Black Butterflies" follows on the heels of the author's notorious collection, "New Noir". "John Shirley is an adventurer, returning from dark and troubled regions with visionary tales to tell. I heartily recommend a journey with John Shirley at your side".--Clive Barker.Amazon.com Review
John Shirley, often cited as the first writer of cyberpunk,has been for some years a topnotch craftsman of horror fiction. Thosefamiliar with his novel Wetbones and his short story collections, Heatseeker and New Noir, treasurehis work for its antic humor, neon intensity, and oddly endearingdescriptions of graphic horror. It's an indication ofhow unique Shirley is that reviewers have compared him to such variedwriters as J.G. Ballard, William S. Burroughs, Anton Chekov, Philip K.Dick, Franz Kafka, William Kotzwinkle, Elmore Leonard, GabrielGarcia Marquez, and Tom Wolfe.

Black Butterflies is in two parts: eight stories set in "This World"(what we call reality) and eight stories set in "That World"(where the doorswings open into the realm of the surreal, the supernatural). In "ThisWorld" we meet a middle-class white woman who turns a mugging by two black youngsters into her chance to pursue glory as a criminal; a cop who knows his partner is guilty of murdering his wife; two hustlers who throw a sadistic and drug-infested party at the expense of their bound and unwilling host(believe it or not, it's hilarious); "a girl who died from cum"; and two bike messengers whose fate is to join hundreds of other people in a freak accident so hideous it boggles the mind. Almost all of them seem to find some kind of manic deliverance in the most outlandish and horrific of circumstances. In "That World" we creep down a tunnel intoa child's escape from reality, witness more than one scene of surrealcannibalism in the service of sexual pleasure and/or artistic creation, and participate with horror and awe in a religious rite in the final days of the human species.

John Shirley visits some very strange places, but he always comes back to tell of his adventures in a spare, unaffected voice. He can carry you into the edgiest of human situations and bring you back giggling nervously. Take the risk; go on a ride with him. --Fiona Webster ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Gruesome and sexually explicit but well written
Ive known John Shirley to be a cyberpunk writer, and i was surprised to discover that for most of his career he's been a horror writer.

This might be his essential book and contains some of his best horror stories (Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild winner for best collection). He sounds like a horror version of Henry Miller, a humorous version of Clive Barker or an extremely violent and sexually explicit variety of noir (neo-noir? post-noir?).

He mixes horror themes (sometimes of the erotic horror variety) with a cyberpunk writing style, full of suburban slang and characters. Prostitutes (hoardes of them), corrupt cops, drug dealers, transsexuals seem to be his favourite character types. Baptist telepaths, alien bimbos able to make a man pregnant and zombie junkies are the other side of the coin. (the volume is split in two parts: realistic, visceral horror, and over-the-top horror with a supernatural twist)

The gruesome and sexual aspects might be off-putting for some readers, but in most cases are compensated by a healthy and subtle humour in the vein of southern boys Joe Lansdale or Tarantino. It doesnt work in all cases (the reason why i rate it 4 stars) but in most stories the fragile balance holds very well and the feeling of snuff prose is successfully disspated by the quality of writing and characters.

Highly recommended for fans of Tarantino, Clive Barker. And Henry Miller, maybe.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book kinda messes with your head
There are a bunch of short stories in this book that are kinda creepy, kinda weird, and all the way awesome.

They really take you on a journey to the edge of where you might be disturbed. The author really captivates you from beginning to end.

I would highly recommend this book if you like other horror authors such as H. P. Lovecraft.

3-0 out of 5 stars There's only so much one can take
About: Collection of horror short stories

Pros: Lots of blood, gore and sex

Cons: One can only stand so much blood, gore and sex

Grade: B-

5-0 out of 5 stars Let them slice my brain with their black sharpened wings
I am a true lover of anthologies.Why?Because the short story fits so nicely into the crevices of my brain that need topping off in between waits at dentist offices and or that fifteen minute break.

Shirley has compiled a mess of colorful and shivering muses here in Black Butterflies, a definite must-have addition to your anthology collection.

Divided into two basic groupings, This World and That World, Shirley separates the more gritty, here-and-now stories (This World) from the more ethereal and imaginative stories (That World).If I looked at them as a whole, I would say I liked That World collection better, having a more modern, cyberpunk edge to it, but there are jewels in both worlds worth drawing your tongue across to savor their flavors.

Too many stories in all to mention, a few of my favorites would be these:"Barbara", about a robbery victim who turns the tides her way to gain her own revenge."You Hear What Buddy And Ray Did", a brutal but remarkably silly story of drugs, a crazy drag queen, and robbery gone wrong."What Would You Do For Love", a crazy romp with a real redneck bimbo and the level headed rescuer."Delia And The Dinner Party", the best imaginary rabbit ever penned onto paper."Pearldoll", hmmmm, zombie-ism or just plain old absorption?"How Deep The Taste Of Love", a sickening, alien type, cannibal type, gore fest not for the squeamish.

Shirley is talented with words, and is able to take a queasy tale of squishy, nasty things and inject just enough humor into it to make it go down sweet.His characters are never flat and horror in his tales range from mild shivers to a couple of downright convulsions.

Not as gory as Edward Lee, nor as creepy as Conrad Williams or Brian Lumley, Shirley still holds a firm footing that slides down that edge of insanity that us horror aficionados tend to travel nightly, whistling happy tunes as we read of death and destruction, despair and grief.Ah.Great Collection.I highly recommend it.Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Strong stuff, not for the timid or the easily offended.
This collection isn't for the faint-of-heart, nor for the easily offended. John Shirley holds nothing back, and these stories are thoroughly chilling, sexually perverse, and from a world we don't really want to know. We meet characters we don't really want to know such as the title lady in the first story, "Barbara", a victim of a carjacking who in her weirdness takes over the situation and takes her carjackers into her own perverted world. Then there's the cop who suspects his partner has murdered his own wife. A subway trip during an earthquake. A probing into the psyches of slasher movie fans. A televangelist telecasting from one of the most satanic appearing rock cafes. An immortal slaughtering Earth's remaining population. These are stories to be taken one at a time. Maybe they're not all great, but you'll find several you won't forget. ... Read more

7. Black Glass: The Lost Cyberpunk Novel
by John Shirley
Paperback: 304 Pages (2008-11-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1934501077
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Taking the fall for his younger brother, Richard Candle went from being cyber cop to condemned criminal. After four years of UnMinding-, his mind suppressed, his body enslaved-he's released to discover his brother has slipped back into the underworld of the V-Rat, the virtual reality addict. Meanwhile, Candle's harried by the murderous Grist, the head of the world's biggest multinational. But his real enemy is something else: a conscious program, the Multisemblant, a meld of copied personalities, the dark side of five powerful people, with its own brutal agenda. Human society is sinking ever deeper a mire of escapism but Richard Candle, looking for his missing brother, fights his way through the real world of underground stock markets, flying guns, the trash-walled labyrinth of Rooftown and the fringe of the fringe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
I couldn't put this book down and I'm not a big fan of this genre.Now I have to read more works by Mr. Shirley.He's has a twisted mind and an amazing imagination!

5-0 out of 5 stars engaging somewhat cautionary cyber future thriller
In 2033, former cop Rick Candle is being released from the California State Centenary once he is ReMinded.He spent four years of being UnMinded for taking the software piracy rap for his younger brother musician and V-Rat addict Danny.

Slaken CEO Terrence Grist is unhappy with Rick's freedom as the cop came close to destroying his empire.However the Fortune 33 member has a hitman Halido poised to kill Candle.

Rick visits Danny's former girlfriend Zilia, who he is attracted to, but she has no idea where his sibling is.Meanwhile Shortstack hires Rick to protect his underground illegal web.At the same time Grist orders his leading technocrat Sykes to create the Multisemblant, a merging of the personalities of five of the top Fortune 33 members.Soon that new creation will be out of control and after Rick who stands in the way of its personal agenda.

This is an engaging somewhat cautionary cyber future thriller in which Big Business runs the United States any way they want.The story line is action-packed from the moment Rick regains his mind and never slows down as he searches for his brother, deals with his attraction to Zilia and tries to protect Shortstack and his cronies from Grist's killers.However it is the unique Multisemblant that steals the show as the copied conscience of five of the top of the Fortune 33 personalities seems almost God-like with the ability to go almost anywhere in cyberspace.BLACK GLASS is a terrific science fiction tale.

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

8. Bleak History
by John Shirley
Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-08-18)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416584129
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description


Subject: Gabriel Bleak. Status: Civilian. Paranormal skills: Powerful. Able to manipulate AS energies and communicate with UBEs (e.g. "ghosts" and other entities). Psychological profile: Extremely independent, potentially dangerous. Caution is urged....

As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty hunter, or "skip tracer," in the psychic minefield known as New York City. Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control Gabriel, they'll gain access to the Hidden -- the entity-based energy field that connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel's got other ideas. With a growing underground movement called the Shadow Community -- and an uneasy alliance of spirits, elementals, and other beings -- Gabriel's about to face the greatest demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bright future
In the not-too-far-off future New York, John Shirley has created a world that's not too different from our own. Except that in Bleak History, the spirit world (The Hidden) has become a force that manifests itself through various "gifted individuals," giving them special abilities.

Gabriel Bleak, an ex-Army Ranger now turned bounty hunter, is one of these. Ever since leaving the Army, Gabe has been under the watchful eye of a shadowy government agency that tries to use this hidden world and its gifted people in its anti-terrorism agenda. They want Gabe Bleak, and they'll do just about anything to get him.

Most of Bleak History's plot concerns the pursuit of our hero, and while the chase goes on, the story unravels in some expected -- and unexpected -- ways. The characters are well developed and their motives are understandable. Gabe's inner struggle with his conscious is particularly well portrayed.

Gabe's powers make for some great action: rooftop leaping, gun play, and explosions! Mix in all kinds of help from the denizens of The Hidden, and John Shirley's ability to draw an image in your head, and you've got a book that's quite addicting. The pacing of Bleak History is perfect for a Hollywood film which, according to John Shirley's website, may be in the works. In print form, however, the plot flowed smoothly for the first 90% of the book and then ends rather suddenly. That's not enough to reduce my overall enjoyment, but I wanted Bleak History to be about half again as long -- I liked it that much.

Bleak History delivers on many levels in a way that reminds me of Jim Butcher's Storm Front. John Shirley's got something special here, with loads of promise. I think these characters have more stories to tell, so I'd love to read more books set in this world.

I highly recommend John Shirley's Bleak History to any urban fantasy fan who enjoys a straight forward plot, interesting characters, and a fast pace. --Justin at FantasyLiterature

5-0 out of 5 stars Genre Blending Fun
I have never been to into the whole magic genre that much, with my peak interest coming from the computer game Oblivion and from Star Wars. This book, which highlight's Mr. Shirley's genre blending abilities, weaves a fascinating thriller about a haunted former soldier outsider who teams up with a magic underworld fighting against an overbearing invasive government and a mysterious darker magic enemy. Bleak History creates it's own fantastic world, that doesn't conflict in major obvious ways with our own, highlighting the differences between those with magic and with out while still portraying in a very human fashion. This constant page turning novel will leave you in awe as you paint the picture Mr. Shirley succinctly lays out for you. The plot is as strongly constructed as thriller can be without being overwrought with twists that stop being laid out in advance and begin being just told to you. Mr. Shirley's characters are as strong as they have ever been, with even minor characters being flushed out just enough to make you enjoy them without veering off subject. The author successfully blends genres seemingly without any effort striking a perfectly balance of the staples of his ever-varying style with many different common staples of genres, threading them in a way that makes it all feel new as opposed to the same old plot you've read a thousand times. I would definitely recommend this read whether your fan of magic novels or not, because calling this just a magic novel is disrespectful. Besides who can't love a mutt of a dog named Muddy Waters?

4-0 out of 5 stars A welcome antidoe to other's failures
Finally, a work has come around that serves as a welcome antidote to the greater or lesser failures of Heroes, X-Men, Push and the like.The basic outlines of Bleak History share a lot of commonality with those films:A subculture of mutants with awesome powers trying to lay low to avoid exploitation/destruction from government forces.However, it's what fills in the outline that distinguishes Mr. Shirley's work.

Most of the reviewers of this work have already covered the basic plot and characters, so I'll focus on something else:The believability of the paranormal underpinnings of Gabriel Bleak's world.Mr. Shirley clearly knows his occult/esoteric philosophy. Unlike most of the other entries into the Super Mutant genre, the reasons for the existence of mutants and their powers is as integral to the story, and as interesting, as scenes of those same mutants letting fly with their powers.Mr. Shirley draws from real traditions and occult literature to populate his universe with a well drawn portrait of a world infused with powerful influences from 'other dimensions'.If one has read any Fourth Way literature, one will see its influence not only on some of the names of the books stashed away on characters bookshelves, but in the glimpses of the experience of Gabriel Bleak in the throes of utilizing his mutant power.This gives a layer of depth to the work it might otherwise not have.It also leads me to my only (small) disappointment in the work.In touching on such weighty themes and drawing from such deep resources, I had hoped to glimpse some sort of deeper hidden allegory under the stories of these characters, but mostly found a very very entertaining tale which was happy to push forward at a blinding pace in a very cinematic way.This is a complaint of a personal nature, because I have a deep affection for allegory, and so Mr. Shirley can't really be faulted.The story is cinematic, and moves forward with or without you, at breakneck speed.

I found this book to be highly enjoyable, and heartily recommend it to anyone, especially those who've eagerly lapped up Heroes, X-Men and the like, but was left wanting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Shirley Shines not Bleakly - But Brightly!
My hasband and I have tried numerous books of this new trend towards Urban Dark fantasy, and really only thus far found very few worth reading.

But having read a few John Shirley books in the past, we felt that his latest work is a MAJOR stand-out amongst literally countless new authors coming out every week into bookstores in the Urban Dark fantasy genre.

In short, Bleak History is definately one of Shirley's all-time greatest books! It left open a window for a sequel, and we hope that Shirley delivers one. We would love to see Gabriel Bleak and the ShadowComm come back for another round of dark fantasy adventure.

The entire concept of Bleak History is a great one, although somewhat tried and true for Shirley, as well as other authors. We saw that Shirley kind've drew on his past works - such as his 80's Eclipse Trilogy - as well as his DEMONS novel, mixed them together, and added some new spices - and Bleak History was what came out.

And Bleak History is much better than Demons and Eclipse. The pacing and character-driven prose never let up, and was never boring. For that reviewer that even dared to give Shirley a bad review, writing that Shirley's 'Award-winning' writing is sub par - is totally ridiculous!

Sure Shirley has his own style and voice, and one that fits this genre and type of storytelling. Gabriel Bleak is not your typical hero. Although his past lies in being an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, he doesn't kill wantonly, or easily, when pressed to do so. His relationship with his dead friend's dad, a former POW, showcases Gabriel Bleak as being kind and gentle, although when chased and pressed to showcase his skills in the arcane, as well as being a SFer, reveals a man on the edge.

We also loved the agent of the CCA, who was new, and helped chase Bleak down, only later to being shown that she has a different destiny - with Bleak and the ShadowComm. Great stuff! Solid character writing. (Don't listen to the haters!)

We highly recommend Bleak History to those who not only love Fantasy and Urban Dark Fantasy, but just enjoy such a great book that reads like it should be a Hollywood movie or Cable TV series, with loads of character-driven and action-filled prose.

Please, Mr. Shirley, write a sequel as fast as you can!

2-0 out of 5 stars A promising book brought down by bleak writing.
Bleak History by John Shirley - A promising book brought down by bleak writing.

I found it interesting to come onto Amazon and find all positive reviews for John Shirley's Bleak history, when my own opinions of the book are so low.

While the concept of Gabriel Bleak and his world of magic and the Hidden seems fascinating, the story itself is bogged down by a sub-par writer whose skills in writing scream screen writer over novelist. When Shirley isn't introducing characters by describing their physical appearance in excruciating detail, he's opening scenes with title cuts that are meant to be describing scene openings in scripts, or attempting to tantalize the reader with continuous series of dialogue sentences of vital information that are suddenly cut short.

In Bleak History, Shirley finds himself switching between POV's like a ball passing numbers on the craps table, which is not only a pet peeve of mine because I like to stick with the character you're supposed to be making me love, but also a form of writing I find downright lazy; but it wasn't until a good 100 pages into the book that I realized the reason for Shirley's spastic attention span to Bleak wasn't simply because he wanted to give the reader a lazy peak into what was going on behind the scenes and over Bleak's head, but because following Bleak himself would have made for a boring ride around the block, seeing as the only think Bleak spends the first 200 pages of the book doing is running, being found by CCA, running some more, just to be found again.

Then again, if I'd been paying any attention at all I would have given the summary on the back cover a little more weight and put it back on the shelf after reading, "This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak." because, really, who tries to pull that off when your character is not 007 agent James Bond?

On top of Shirley's poor writing, were the too long, too detailed CCA agency scenes, whether in prisons or just between agents themselves, which had me squirming in my seat at the blatant injustice that was taking place. That's not to say I can't read that type of thing, and not to say I'm not perfectly aware that it is, in fact, how many people (including our government) have treated others over the years, but is to say that I am just not comfortable reading excruciatingly detailed scenes of physical, mental, and emotional torture. The fact that Bleak History's government irritates me ten times more than it straight up frightened me, made scenes following Lorraine, or any other government agent, like forcing myself to dive into a pool of live worms. I enjoy keeping the realism, but reading a Nazi Germany meets Guantanamo Bay oppression book from the side of the agents who think they're doing the right thing, is not what I signed up for when I picked up Bleak History, which is what leads me to the fair Lorraine.

Call me old fashion, but I like to follow the good guy around, and no amount of Lorraine struggling with her morals was ever going to make me forgive her for what she participated in with full knowledge and choice. The fact that we're supposed to forgive her by the end of the novel and accept her growing relationship with Bleak is not only a bet I would not have cast as a writer myself, but one I feel aggravated and insulted Shirley would believe was a good one to make.

All sarcasm aside, I found Bleak History to be a top rate story written, unfortunately, by a second rate author, who had me flipping to the last chapter little more than halfway through, unable to dedicate myself to reading any further. Standing up against all the fantastic urban fantasy authors out there, there's more than enough competition to assure me I'll never regret not picking up another of Shirley's books, for I'd much rather be reading a Butcher, a Connolly, or a Carey. ... Read more

9. Living Shadows: Stories: New & Preowned
by John Shirley
Paperback: 352 Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080955786X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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John Shirley has been called a "genre outlaw," and there's good reason for that: he was never a genre writer to start with. He's always written beyond the limits and across all boundaries. In a Shirley story a movie producer can be haunted by the violence he creates... a woman can be frozen by circumstance...a man can turn into a mosquito...a man and a woman can yearn to touch even knowing they will kill each other if they do. Shirley's adrenalized yet artful prose takes you from the jungles of darkest suburbia, down mean streets, and just beyond consensus reality...where the shadows take on their own vivid life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars quite possibly the strongest single-author collection I've read since Asimov's Nine Tomorrows
Living Shadows is a collection of twenty gritty stories spanning roughly 35 years of an exceptional career in speculative fiction. As well-respected as Shirley is in the business, he still isn't getting the recognition he deserves (i.e., his own dedicated shelf in every bookstore in the world), and he proves it with every tale in this book.

The first of the collection's two sections features twelve stories grounded in the horrors of reality: standouts include The Sewing Room, about a woman who discovers her husband's darkest secret; What Would You Do For Love?, about a disturbingly freaky illicit affair gone horribly awry; and Brittany? Oh: She's in Translucent Blue, a public-service announcement about why you shouldn't have a drug-fueled orgy while your kids are playing in the backyard. The second grouping is comprised of ten stories of a more supernatural bent: highlights include Sleepwalkers, a Dollhouse-esque (from 1988; I love you, Joss, but John was there first!) story of a man relinquishing his body in exchange for drug money; Skeeter Junkie, about a would-be rapist who gets in touch with his inner insect; and Isolation Point, California, about a man's attempt at romance following the outbreak of a disease that makes people kill each other when they get too close. Also of note is Blind Eye, a collaboration with Edgar Allan Poe born of an anthology of stories that each offered a continuation of an unfinished Poe story.

Shirley's skillful and lavish characterization and attention to detail make each story an unexpected (and unpredictable) delight, whether he's describing a vengeful director's suicide-by-proxy attempt or the twisted surrealism of a reality-warping teenager. This is quite possibly the strongest single-author collection I've read since Asimov's Nine Tomorrows, and one I know I'll be picking up again and again. 5/5 and I'm still kicking myself for not discovering John Shirley years ago.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark, edgy, crazed, excellent.
I've read all John's work (that I could lay my hands on) at least once, most of it twice and lots of it three & four times. His style is unique and many of his concepts prescient. He makes the street side literary. He takes the apparently banal & mundane aspects of peoples lives and shows the true personal depth that most others miss - or wouldn't dare jump into. At the same time he can pull back and reveal the broader cosmic strokes.

All the 'John the Baptist of cyberpunk' stuff aside, while reading this collection it finally occurred to me that John Shirley is the darkside streetwise compliment to Ray Bradbury (I cut my scifi literary intellectual teeth on Ray). And I really can't think of anybody else in the pantheon that's in Ray's particular ballpark except perhaps, to some extent, Phil Dick.

Anyway it was good to re-read these, hopping, skipping and stage diving across the years - as well as hitting the few I hadn't read before; War and Peace is a superb piece of mainstream writing, the Poe collaboration was both surprising and satisfying to the extent that I think Edgar himself would have dug it, and The Sea Was Wet As Wet Can Be trims the concept's of James Dickey's Falling to the essentials and gives it a more satisfying ending. Even 'preowned', the line-up allows the collection to speak with a new energy and urgency. It's almost as if John takes on the role of reporter in a world eating it's own tail. Dark, edgy, often crazed, but all excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Poe of Punk
Here is writing to sink your mind's teeth into. Shirley always delivers and this a compelling and riveting collection of short stories sure to bring reading pleasure again and again. When I received this volume in the mail was all dressed in heavy parka and boots to go outside and I stood at the door sweltering and reading. I just could not put the book down because the stories were so riveting.

"Blind Eye", The collaboration with Edgar Allen Poe is seamless between the old and new master's style. Shirley finished the tail in a way I think Poe would have wholeheartedly approved. A new Poe Story, and new Shirley story, what a combo!

Other pieces which were original, fresh and exiting were "Miss Singularity" a day trip into alternate reality, "The Gunshot" and "Isolation Point, California". Shirley's writing always titillates the mind as well as the senses. He is undoubtedly one of the best writers of our time.

Looking for something special? Try Living Shadows.

... Read more

10. Cellars
by John Shirley
Paperback: 276 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$12.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974290785
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An ancient evil deep beneath New York City turns subway stations into bloody altars for ritual sacrifice. Monsters made of blood arise from drains, an invisible hellhound devours human flesh, feral children stalk the shadowy streets and make murder a terrifying game. Occult investigator Carl Lanyard risks his life, his love, and his sanity as he battles the unspeakable forces of darkness. A modern classic by a master of the macabre in a new revised edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brutal horror at it's finest.
Cellars was the first horror novel I ever read by John Shirley. It was so intense, that authors like Barker, Lumley, Garton, and others positively paled in comparison. Cellars is unflinchingly executed. Gritty, dark, and truly scary - it keeps you guessing until literally the last page. I can't recommend this book for those who like Hollywood horror where everything is happy and fine after the minor scares. For those of you that are tired of the predictable, toothless horror novels that glut the shelves - give Cellars a read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book, although lacking a bit...
Carl Lanyard is an occult investigator that gets caught up in a case of ritual murders below the streets of New York. The deeper he's getting, the more he'll discover about himself and his involvment in the grand scheme of things.

I'd heard a lot of great things about this book and after reading Edward Lee's praise for it, I decided to pick it up. I enjoyed it but wasn't overall impressed by it. It has great characterization, an intriguing plot and enough sex and gore to keep the average horror reader hooked, but I found it lacked something. I lost of bit of my initial interest in the middle of the book; it felt a bit off to me and dragged at times.

It's still a fast read and a satisfying book, just not the masterpiece many are claiming it to be. Then again, maybe my expectations were too high or maybe it's because I've read too many Ketchum, Lee and Laymon books. Keep in mind that this book was published 25 years ago and at the time, it was a fresh take on the genre. The story is still very much relevant today so I guess it's a sign that it has aged well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid
I enjoyed Cellars, but as someone looking to sample the "splatterpunk" genre, I found that it does not match Ketchum's Offseason or even most of the Michael Slade novels in terms of "splatter".

3-0 out of 5 stars Shirley's always good, but definitely not his best
I did enjoy this book, I would recommend it to be read, but in comparison with Shirley's other books, it's a bit lacking. It has the same wonderful characterization Shirley always shows, the right combination of drugs, sex, tense moments, and action that he always delivers, but I felt that the second half of the story was a bit rushed, the ending especially. If you just want a good, short read, then by all means, pick this book up, but if you're looking for one of Shirley's better works, I would recommend the Eclipse Trilogy or Demons.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cellars actually scared me!
I've read this book twice (with about 8 years between each reading), and it still scares me. John Shirley has a knack for taking something I do without thinking about it, such as closing my eyes, and makes me SCARED of doing it. In Cellars, he's got New York City subways, and sub-subways, andpsychics, and street urchins, and horrible "blessed" people, andsecret societies, and things coming up from drains, and each horrific eventis more disturbing than the last--all the way to the last page. Shirleydoesn't write many horror novels, but when he does... Well, you have toread one for yourself. The only other book that actually scared me--and Iread a LOT of horror stories--was another John Shirley book, In DarknessWaiting. ... Read more

11. Haunter of Ruins: The Photography of Clarence John Laughlin
by Jon Kukla, Andrei Codrescu, Ellen Gilchrist, Shirley Ann Grau, Jonathan Williams, Albert Belisle Davis, John Wood
Hardcover: 112 Pages (1997-09-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$342.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0821223615
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Self-taught photographer Clarence John Laughlin (1905-85) spent most of his career in and around New Orleans. Dubbed "Edgar Allan Poe with a camera," Laughlin and his haunting images capture -- like nothing before or since -- the weathered elegance and dreamy decadence of Louisianas buildings, streets, and cemeteries.ÂAfter experimenting with photography in the early 1930s, Laughlin devoted himself to the medium in 1935 and had his first showing a year later. In 1948 his book on Louisiana's plantation architecture, Ghosts Along the Mississippi, vaulted him into the pantheon of great American photographers. He continued photographing actively until 1967, and lectured and wrote until his death in 1985. Over the course of his lengthy career, Laughlin produced more than 17,000 negatives and a large collection of writings on the art of photography. This stunning volume brings together 65 of Laughlin's characteristic images, both classic and unpublished -- an eerie gallery of French quarter facades and ironwork, funerary sculpture, Spanish moss, and other details that summon up Louisiana gothic. Accompanied by selections from Laughlin's various writings and letters, as well as essays by eight distinguished writersJon Kukla, John H. Lawrence, Andrei Codrescu, Ellen Gilchrist, Shirley Ann Grau, Jonathan Williams, Albert Belisle Davis, and John Wood --- Haunter of Ruins is the only book currently available on this incomparable American original. Haunter of Ruins was chosen as a winner in the General Trade Illustrated Book Category by Bookbuilders of Boston. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars an overlooked photographer, was ahead of his time
This book probably does more than any other to get inside the strange mind of Clarence John Laughlin. This is Southern Gothic at it's height. Best known as a documentor of crumbling plantation homes, Laughlin himself believed he was documenting something else indeed; he felt the camera can record the psychic impressions and nuances of the spirit world, which permeated the sites he photographed. It's weird stuff, and always overlooked in photo history texts.

If you've ever seen the movie "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" with Bette Davis, you'll realize that it was heavily influenced by Laughlin's still images. The fan of gothic culture will find much to brood upon in Laughlin's work. The fact that the bulk of it was done in the years 1935-1950 amaze people when I show them this book. So, photographers, southern historians, paranormal afficianadoes, and Goths should all check out this and any of Laughlin's unique photographic works.

4-0 out of 5 stars surrealistic and haunting view of new orleans
Laughlin's photography goes inside the beauty and decay of New Orleans and surrounds, yielding a surrealistic view that mirrors much literature, but few photographs, of the area.Laughlin often uses models whose faces are distant yet haunting, and has a marvelous eye for architecture.Much more than photographs of a place, these are photographs that become part of the place.Comments by Laughlin and others that accompany the photographs are definitely an enhancement. ... Read more

12. Wetbones
by John Shirley
Mass Market Paperback: 332 Pages (1999-06)
list price: US$5.50 -- used & new: US$6.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843945257
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A killer is on the loose and an ancient evil is destroying women. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

3-0 out of 5 stars Adequate
Some interesting concepts, but mostly just gruesome.There were some grammatical errors.It was worth the read but I don't expect I'll keep this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars bloody ideas
Oftentimes it's said that too much gore got in the way of some interesting concepts but many times I feel the reverse holds true as well. In this book a few new ideas are raised but it seems like more often then not intellectual ramblings are traded in for splatter. Though I can't say this has the perfect balance for everyone, I can definitely say that it worked well for me. With a fun and different, although not entirely new, sci-fi twist on the vampire theme it manages to stand its own. A large character list and a couple different subplots drive the story forward at a quick pace, despite a few gory entries so extensive they nearly take you out of the storyline.

If your looking for a fun page/stomach turner this is a great choice. It's the first of his books that I've read... and I plan to read some more.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem in the genre
This brutal, disturbing book is worth every second spent reading it. This is horror with teeth, not the weak, watered down stuff that makes it to the screen. Unflinching, dark, gut-wrenching. Shirley's darkest work outside of Cellars, its a must read for fans of hardcore horror.

2-0 out of 5 stars Kinda gross
I didn't like this book that much.It is the literary equivalant to a snuff film.To judge from other comments on this board, it's not even that good of a snuff film.That said, it did hold my interest until the rather predictable end.For this alone I give it two stars.

3-0 out of 5 stars Dripping down to your elbows with gore
Wetbones is not a book that will make one feel good but it makes for a fast paced gross fest. There is a supernatural force under the mask of a glistening silvery worm, feeding on any evil that a human can do. The menacing forces called Astral worms that feed on human addictions take a well know Hollywood couple as hosts; the Denvers. They live in the Doublekey Ranch near Malibu, a place where money, sex, power and death intermixed freely as grotesque things started to happen and people harmed themselves under the influence of the alien parasites. The tale begins with Prentice, a young Hollywood writer who shows up at a hospital to identify the body of his ex-wife Amy. Malnourished and slashed, she is said to have been a masochist who cut herself up and ended up dead. Prentice being overwhelmed by depression cannot shake the image of his blood drainedwife on the cold steel table as he keeps running into similar incidents that involve missing or mutilated people who somehow all partied at the same place; the Doublekey Ranch.

He joins his friend Jeff whose missing brother Mitch was reportedly seen with Amy last. At the same time they try to indulge in the Hollywood racy way of life, where parties overflowed with cocktails, plastic surgery victims who were ready for incestuous romps and drugs freely available started to cloud their minds. The story crosses with that of Garner and his daughter Constance. Garner, a recovered drug addict, turned drug counselor and his teenage kid both ends up doing more that summer than they bargained for. While working at the hardware store, Constance rings up a purchase for Ephram, a bold older man who seems intrigued and fascinated. Little does she know that he has kidnapped and tortured many female victims, luring them with mind control giving them waves of pleasure or punishing them with pain. Ephram has ran away form the ranch using his powers on his own to lure victims and abuse their life sources.

The story is quite intriguing, where all the important producers, writers, agents and movie stars dabble in the forbidden pool, using humans who sacrifice themselves, under hallucinatory waves, who hurt themselves and others and give their life energy to the astral worms. The important ones who party at the ranch feed the worms with humans who in turn give them power. I liked the fact that all the separate story lines of Garner, Constance, Ephram, Prentice, Jeff, Mitch and others were on a collision course that lead to the ranch. I enjoyed reading how they tried to put clues together to help solve the gristly murders and help their friends find the missing loved ones.

I would have given the book a higher rating if the characters were developed more and if the story moved a little away from addictions form time to time. At times really hard to put down, the pace of the tale would get clouded with strange descriptions of drug overuse and self mutilation dragged over and over before finally reaching the climax, twenty pages short before end of the book.I felt that sometimes Mr. Shirley wrote words like a sick patient in heat, describing disgusting scenes of torture, rape and sickening enjoyment that bad buys got from it over and over and over as it did little to enrich the story. The violence felt slapped on and overused, not reaching its full shock value from the repetitiveness.Overall a gore fest but not a book that haunts me for a long time after reading but it kept me interested enough to finish the story, and the final ending was a good twist considering the entire story and how it was handled.

- Kasia S.

... Read more

13. Dame Shirley and the Gold Rush (Stories of America/8100x)
by James J. Rawls
 Paperback: 55 Pages (1992-10)
list price: US$10.75 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811480623
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Relates how a series of letters, written by a woman known as Dame Shirley and published in a San Francisco magazine in 1854 and 1855, were instrumental in inciting the California gold rush. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Dame Shirley" as a Gold Rush Source
Jim Rawls's book is a wonderful resource for children to study the reality of the typical mining town from heyday to ghost town.It includes a general description of the hardships endured by the miners as well as several examples of the effects of prejudice (and too much whiskey!) on the many "foreign" miners.I would have liked to see a few more direct quotes from the Dame Shirley letters, but the information is given using age-appropriate language and length.Definitely worth the time to read. ... Read more

14. City Come A-Walkin'
by John Shirley
Paperback: 224 Pages (2001-01-30)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$1.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568581912
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Stu Cole is struggling to keep his nightclub, Club Anesthesia, afloat in the face of mob harassment when he's visited by a manifestation of the city of San Francisco, crystallized into a single enigmatic being. This amoral superhero leads him on a terrifying journey through the rock and roll demimonde as they struggle to save the city. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars NeoLiberal Nightmare
City Come a Walkin' should be a neoliberal nightmare. The big banks, run by the mob, have displaced the government in the United States (no other country is mentioned). Digital credit, manipulated by the banks, has superseded money, which is all but banned. The final usurpation of power and the consolidation of a new criminal cartel is being plotted by mob bosses in the major cities of the nation. The corporatized criminals - the Mafioso-bankers - work in clandestine conjunction with culturally right-wing vigilantes, who brutally repress alternative forms of popular expression from pop concerts to prostitution. (Sound familiar?) Cities and their populations have been ravaged by the mob and their fascist conspirators. The venal destruction of the rich historic urban texture of the old is brilliantly contrasted to the enervating banality of the new.

Those who love urban life and who constitute its originality are represented in the novel respectively by Stu Cole, a hard-bitten classic noir individualist and club owner and his star performer Catz Wailen. Both use their particular geniuses to resist the irresistible cultural depredations of the mob. The most memorable character of the novel is, however, City. City is the reified psyche of San Francisco's population, the personification the city's communal angst. It is the city come to life. City, manifesting himself to Cole on a television explains himself: "A TV is a media outlet for the city. A neuron in my brain. The means I use to transfer the image from video to electron-patterns, bring it through the wires and feed it into you TV--it's a form of telekinesis. Manipulating electronics with thought. At night I have the power in every cerebral battery in the city. A brain stores electricity. I can tap in, when they sleep. During the day I have only the power of those who sleep in the day--far fewer, so I am limited. Though I'm bolstered by people watching TV, since that's a form of sleeping. I'm the sum total of the unconscious cognition of every brain in the city. And I'm Rufe Roscoe [the mob's CEO], too--I'm his self-hatred." (58)

The human characters of the novel are moral creatures: the protagonists are moral, the villain is immoral. In contrast, City, like the population from which he draws his life, is amoral. He acts, often savagely and indiscriminately, only in his own interests, in defense of the creative diversity that sustains urban life. Shirley's story is compelling not because of the plot and only partially because of the pace and grittiness of his writing. It is powerful because of its uncanny evocation of the dangers that affect the cities we love to inhabit.

5-0 out of 5 stars There Goes the Neighborhood
Literally! What a book. In itself it's not scary - but its implications are terrorizing. William Gibson wrote the Forward in the edition I read - acknowledging Shirley's primary influence on cyberpunk. This is an early book of his, but while some of the writing is rough, the thoughts he puts to paper are powerful.

Other reviews will tell you about the book (the Amazon description is horrible). There are three main characters. The interaction and flow among them is very fascinating. I couldn't wait for the book to end so I could know how Shirley tied up the loose ends; I didn't want the book to end because I was having so much fun.

If you enjoy reflecting on a book after you have read it, then this is a very good catalyst. I heartily recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat clunky execution; rather interesting ideas
In a nutshell, the plot can be summed up as follows: The Mafia conspires to take over San Francisco. The citizen's collective unconscious, as embodied in City, fights back.

While the plot and prose can be awkward in places, the concepts, and how they are explored, kept me strongly interested. The work is also permeated with little details that give it a distinct cyberpunk atmosphere. This can be fascinating in its own right in light of later works in the genre.

4-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
If you know who Jack Hawksmoor of the Authority is, you will get some of the vibe here. San Francisco is making its own superheroes, to help combat corruption, takeover and neglect of its internal systems, and organised crime control of finance. However, it needs assistants, and ends up possessing those bodies, with their physical forms being destroyed.

Other cities are on a similar path, by the end, without the superhero manifestations. This is superhero in the Authority sense, too.

The protagonist is an aging music club owner, deeply in debt to his mob, who, of course, has a thing for the singer in one of his support acts. The problem is, that City does not trust her.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ups and Downs
This book is definitely an important one as the forward by William Gibson indicates. Still, there is much left to be wanting. Looking back I remember being basically floored by the first fifty pages, and then subsequently let down for the majority of the rest of the book. The main character is hard to like and not in an anti-hero sort of way. I think this probably hints at John Shirley's true talent lying in his short story writing abilities. If I could do it again I would probably try to find some of those first, but overall this one is worth checking out. ... Read more

15. John Shirley: Book Production and the Noble Household in Fifteenth-Century England
by Margaret Connolly
Hardcover: 247 Pages (1998-12)
list price: US$130.00 -- used & new: US$23.98
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Asin: 1859284620
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Product Description
John Shirley's importance as a scribe of late fourteenth and early fifteenth-century vernacular literature (in particular the works of Chaucer and Lydgate) has been well documented. In this survey, the author makes a thorough examination of all extant documents relating to Shirley's life and scrutinizes the physical characteristics of his manuscripts. The book concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that Shirley acted as a bookseller, but plenty to indicate that he lent his books extensively. ... Read more

16. New Noir (Black Ice Books)
by John Shirley
Paperback: 115 Pages (1993-03-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$7.19
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Asin: 0932511554
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Stories depicting minds deformed into fantastic configurations by the pressures of society. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Murderous
Killers just want to have fun or have sex or have drugs. The characters in these stories are folks you do not want to meet. I hope they are not based on folks that Shirley has known.

"New Noir" is a short quick read, but I'm not sure I would have survived more of this. These stories are raw, obscene, violent and scary. But, I'm sorry to say, most if not all of these types of events can be found in police records.

This was my first exposure to Shirley, and I definitely want to read more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
Short and sweet, I loved every story.John Shirley rocks the world.I hope to read more. ... Read more

17. Shroud 7: The Quarterly Journal of Dark Fiction and Art (Volume 2)
by John Shirley, Brian Keene, Timothy Deal
Paperback: 152 Pages (2009-10-28)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
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Asin: 0981989446
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Shroud is excited to offer Shroud 7, more than 150 pages of thrilling fiction, insightful articles, and amazing art encompassing the many exciting facets of dark fiction.In this issue, Shroud is absolutely thrilled to showcase an exclusive excerpt of best selling author, John Shirley's, latest novel.In addition, Shroud 7 will have original and horrific stories and columns from Brian Keene, Timothy P. Remp, Jackie Gamber, Richard Alan Scott, Jason Keene, Michael Knost, Robert Canipe, D.L. Snell, Kevin Lucia, The Brothers' May, Norman Rubenstein, Joel Sutherland, Adam J. Whitlatch, Adam Blomquist, and so many more!More than 150 pages of amazing and intelligent dark fiction.From noir to Horror! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars another quality issue
Inside, there are the usual elephants whose work is precisely as expected. Brian Keene's introduction/teaser for the "Seminal Screams" articles has me practically giddy with promise. Michael Knost gives another insightful heads up on someone we should all be following already: Maurice Broaddus. Speaking of the sinister minister, "Closer Than They Appear" is far and away the best tale in the issue, a painful story of self-doubt, self-hatred and self-destruction that rocked my ass in three pages flat. But you could have and should have been able to figure that out without me to tell you.

The fun part, the reason I bother to read these magazines instead of buying another book by someone I already know will be great, are the little surprises. Like Jason Keene's "A Picture's Worth", one of those nice, methodical, slow-burn stories that tore my heart out at the end. I've read other stuff by D.L. Snell before, but "The Father and the Skull" struck me more than any of those. A simple, to the point and chilling fable of love and desperation in the face of evil that could also be looked at as a political allegory... damn fine. Jackie Gambler, I'm a bit angry at you.As someone with severe eye-violation issues, "Rose Colored Eyes" was probably the last thing I should have read. Nasty and mean and now there is no way I will EVER wear contacts. I knew they were evil.

I always enjoy the Flash Fiction contests because I like to see the different ways people approach a single prompt or idea (this one based around the theft of a Humpty Dumpty Costume). On this outing, we get serial killers, gangsters, "fuzzy" roll-playing, drug trips and "A Friend in Dee-d" by Mary Daley. In my opinion, that should have won the contest, even though it isn't horror in the strictest sense. This is one of those approaches that seems incredibly obvious, but only after someone else has thought of it. Pure, gleeful genius.

Just when you think I am unequivocally endorsing everything here, we stumble into the moderate flops. "Rabbit", and illustrated story by the Brothers May, isn't bad so much as instantly forgettable, fairly bland and possessed of a cheesy ending dependant upon an overused twist. I can't find it in my heart to be quite as nice to Richard Alan Scott's "Assault at Innsmouth". To begin with, it rips off Lovecraft in the cheapest and least interesting way (using a famous place/creature type) without tapping into any of the themes or atmosphere that made the original work so great. Worse, it is basically a torture-porn short based in sexualized violence, which wouldn't be such a bad thing if not for the scenes in which he has rape victims enjoying the experience. I'm never one to knock the value of shock, but crossing that line actually takes the shock out of the scene and turns the whole into juvenile fantasy. ... Read more

18. Management Basics: The How-To Guide for Managers (Adams Critical Skills for Your Business)
by John Payne, Shirley Payne
 Paperback: 202 Pages (1998-05)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$2.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158062023X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Do you think you know everything about being a manager? Think there's nothing new under the sun? Every manager, whether newly promoted from the ranks or established in their field, needs to keep learning new skills and strategies to keep up in the ever-changing world of business. Management Basics profiles over 100 effective ideas that will help you streamline the management process and keep up with the competition. Written by two savvy small business consultants, Management Basics is a great how-to guide specifically for managers.

Written in practical, no-nonsense style, Management Basics focuses on eleven key management skills, including:

Setting objectives
Managing time
Motivating your team
Running sharp meetings
Making decisions
Communicating effectively
Delegating responsibility

Don't run the risk of losing ground. Use the tried and true methods in Management Basics to make your job as a manager as fun, rewarding, and easy as possible! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars it was really fascinating and a thrilling one
i am presently doing a project organised by the european school of business.the chairman was john payne and in this project we are asked to describe how the new generation of business entrepreneur can surpass andemulate the success of john payne as a business entrepreneur.

5-0 out of 5 stars it was really fascinating and a thrilling one
i am presently doing a project organised by the european school of business.the chairman was john payne and in this project we are asked to describe how the new generation of business entrepreneur can surpass andemulate the success of john payne as a business entrepreneur. ... Read more

19. Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits
Paperback: 336 Pages (2006-02-28)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$21.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592134513
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Transnational Asian America: Literary Sites and Transits examines the diasporic and transnational aspects of Asian American literature and asserts the importance of a globalized imaginary in what has been considered an ethnic subgenre of American literature.The thirteen essays in this volume engage works of prose and poetry as aesthetic articulations of the fluid transnational identities formed by Asian American writers who move within and across national boundaries.With its emphasis on the transmigratory and flexible nature of Asian American literary production, the collection argues for an equally multivalent mode of criticism that extends our readings of these works beyond the traditional limits of the American literary canon.Individual chapters feature such writers as Chang-rae Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, Jhumpa Lahiri, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Ha Jin, with attention to such discourses as gender, space and mobility, transnationalism, identity, genre, and post-coloniality. ... Read more

20. War Lord (John Constantine Hellblazer)
by John Shirley
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2006-01-31)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416503439
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Still a dangerous man to know
I found this novel to be a satisfying summer read. I was led to it because of the author's above average novelization of the first Constantine film. That, and the fact that he is a Bram Stoker award winner and a coscreenwriter on the original CROW made me fairly certain that this book would be considerably above average as metaphysical adventures go.

Not wanting to spoil the story it is impossible to go into any detail. However, the detail in the story about matters occult is very satisfying. There are no embarrassing gaffs. The same goes about details of the main character's background and life- the author did his homework.

Actually, I would call this book a fairly serious addition to the John Constantine cannon. We get a glimpse into just how a man could interact with the forces of heaven and hell and still remain such a bloody-minded mercenary. It takes a lot of personal damage and dysfunction (extending into previous lives) to make a John Constantine:

"What? This world? Taken a look around it recently? Not at all sure I want to prevent it from wiping the slate clean. Might be better. Lives of quiet desperation ain't in it. Most people are in a bloody existential nightmare at best. Hobbesian, it is, and worse."

And this is AFTER he has personally dealt with gods and angels...

4-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
This was good. Shirley is a good writer, and a decent fit for this milieu. He has managed some of the laugh out loud funny Constantine lines, and even an 'alternate reality' movie joke, given he wrote the movie novelisation, as well.

He manages to portray JC as we know him, a bastard, a friend, a scary sorcerer, a drunk, etc.

The adversary is a nasty Sumerian among others minor godling, that John had tangled with in a past life.

Definitely worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars pure magic
As a huge fan of the Hellblazer comic, I'm always excited at the chance to read a new adventure of John Constantine. I loved this book. I will admit that other reviewers have a point, he's a little more action hero in this story than we usually see him. John's also a little more restrained than usual. But I think the liberties taken with the character are a direct result of the stakes Constantine faces in this story. Also keep in mind, faithful readers, every major run of Hellblazer has had "tweaks" to the character. Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, Denise Mina, and others all had the parts of the character they chose to focus on, for the kind of story they wanted to tell. Them's the breaks on a serialized graphic novel format. You're always going to favor certain writers interpretation. It's still all Constantine. Without giving anything away, my favorite part of the character has always been this: just when you think he's done for, he surprises you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Want to play with Fire?
Try Hellblazer John Constantine Shirley style. This book is a great riveting compelling and exciting read. I love the magic twists and turns, the characters grab me and I can get behind them. Constantine leaps right off the page into your living room! Adding a literary and thought provoking Shirley voice to any story line fires it right up into overdrive and beyond. This is the best Constantine of the series hands down. Some like it HOT!

5-0 out of 5 stars Shirley twists J.C. anew
Those expecting a clumsy version of either the movie or graphic novel will be sorely disappointed. This finely crafted novel finds horror legend John Shirley grabbing John Constantine by the throat and making him his own. Remaining true to general J.C. blueprint, Shirley weaves a fast-paced exciting tale, devoid of the unsatisfying deus ex machina one might expect when fantastic characters meet even more fantastic peril. Shirley is known for adding serious meat to his characters' bones and War Lord is no exception. Sit back and allow War Lord to wryly suspend your disbelief throughout this deeply satisfying Shirley-esque ride. ... Read more

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