Sunday, March 24, 2013


We are very happy to announce that the Special Hardcover Limited Editions of issue #1 are now available to pre-order! The pre-order window will be open for 60 days and will close May 22nd, 2013. The print run for the Special Limited Signed & Numbered Edition will then be set and no more copies can be ordered. So make sure you order your copy today! Don't leave it in case you forget and miss the pre-order window!

Please Note: The Signed & Lettered Edition is limited to only 52 copies and once they're gone, they're gone! If you'd like one of these very collectable editions please make sure you order now before they sell out.

People who pre-order the Limited Edition Hardcovers will be the first to hear about (and be able to order) any other issues we publish.

The Hardcover Special Limited Signed & Numbered Edition is signed & numbered by the editor and will feature exclusive original artwork by Luke Spooner on the limitation page created especially just for this edition, and will never appear anywhere else. These copies are available for only £29.95 with FREE worldwide shipping*!

The Hardcover Special Limited Signed & Lettered Edition is signed & lettered by the editor and available in only 52 copies. This edition will also feature exclusive original artwork by Luke Spooner (different from the numbered edition) on the limitation page created especially just for this lettered edition, and will also never appear anywhere else. These copies are available for only £49.95 with FREE worldwide shipping*!

* FREE worldwide shipping: UK is by 1st Class Post and overseas is by Surface Mail. Please Note: Surface Mail can take between 4 to 8 weeks for delivery. We also offer overseas customers the option of paying extra for Airmail Shipping (just £5.00 more), but we love FREE shipping so we thought it would be great to offer it to our customers!

Both of these very collectable hardcover editions will be printed in FULL COLOUR throughout and will feature exclusive original artwork on the limitation page. The books are case laminate, which is basically a hardcover book without a dust jacket. The cover artwork is printed directly onto the hardcover case. They will be printed using Premium Colour high-quality printing on 70#, 378 PPI White paper, as opposed to the Standard Colour printing of the magazine which is printed on 50#, 512 PPI White paper. So the paper stock for the hardcover editions is thicker and better quality and the interior full colour printing quality is much superior. The magazine print and production quality is excellent but the quality of the hardcovers will be much, much higher!

PLEASE NOTE: Copies are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. You are very welcome to request a specific number or letter and we will try our best to accommodate. We're sorry but we cannot guarantee to allocate the copy/copies you ask for.

These very collectable editions are exclusively available to order from SST Publications. Please visit the link below to the page where you can see the cover art, the full table of contents and also buy now using PayPal.

We estimate that the publication date for these special hardcover editions will be around August 2013.

We are very sorry but:
We cannot offer any wholesale discounts to booksellers on these because of the very limited print run. But booksellers are more than welcome to order copies at full price.

We cannot accept any discount vouchers or codes on these hardcover editions.

The Hardcover Editions of the magazine are not included in the magazine Lifetime Subscriptions.

PLEASE NOTE: As with all of our titles we never personally make any money, any and all profits made are put straight back into publishing our future titles. We publish stuff because we really LOVE to do it. It would be fantastic to be able to make a living from SST Publications but we are really happy just as long as we can recover our costs so we can publish our next title. Thank you very much for your support!

Paul Fry 

Sushi Girl Review

Kern Saxton’s Sushi Girl is an excellent little low budget thriller that succeeds far more than it fails.  It’s greatest accomplishment is keeping in incredible level of tension throughout the entire film, especially with a cast of truly unlikable and despicable characters.  Saxton’s direction paints a gritty world with small subtle flashes that drag the viewer deeper into his world.  Click either image for a full review.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gothic Horror: The Fine Line Between the Formulaic and the Clichéd by Leigh M. Lane

Please Welcome to Cutis Anserina Leigh M. Lane

When the typical reader defines Gothic horror, often the person will mention Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and dark castles enshrouded in fog and thunderstorms.  Perhaps ravens and stylistic prose might fall into the mix.  Some might even add in vampires, werewolves, or similar night-stalking beasts.  When it comes right down to it, however, the term “Gothic” is rather vague to many people.  Often, readers and writers alike will classify a work as being Gothic without really knowing what elements contribute to that classification.  Moreover, some authors will use the term loosely when categorizing their works, filling them with timeworn clichés as opposed to actual Gothic essentials.

Obviously, Poe and Shelley are excellent examples of the Gothic genre, although many of their Gothic-classified works do not meet all of the criteria.  Following are some examples of their works that genuinely are Gothic horrors:
  • Frankenstein
  • “The Mortal Immortal”
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher”
  • “The Masque of the Red Death”

What these works have in common are uses—or relatable variations—of the essentials literary scholars agree must be included in the genre.  Among these are a castle (although any large estate will do), a supernatural element, and an escape from some type of defined evil (which typically occurs through some type of maze, but can take place in any physically or emotionally binding location).
Many people will define Gothic as nearly any story with dark themes, which is an incorrect interpretation of the genre.  Bearing this in mind, consider a few other words that have been defined inappropriately as Gothic:
  • “The Cask of Amontillado”
  • “The Raven”
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart”

In the case of “The Cask of Amontillado,” one might compare the catacombs to a maze, although none of the characters escape any type of evil through it.  The story is also absent of a castle, literally or metaphorically, and also contains no supernatural elements.  Similarly, “The Raven” takes place in an unspecified location.  Although set during a dark and stormy night, that is the only element readers can determine actually exists in the story.  “The Tell-Tale Heart” is probably one of Poe’s most grossly ill-identified “Gothic” work.  The story contains no castle, no supernatural element, no maze, and no dark or stormy backdrop.  While it is one of Poe’s greatest works, it is not, under the conventional definition, Gothic.
Unfortunately, many authors will attempt to write Gothic horrors by including a dark element, a stormy night, insanity, or a nice murder of ravens, and what they end up with is a clichéd attempt that falls short of meeting any of the actual criteria.  By studying the genre and reading a vast array of actual Gothic works, writers can avoid such pitfalls.
In my Gothic horror, Finding Poe, I use a combination of traditional elements to make the work true to its genre.  Written with careful attention to Poe’s language, to story is a mindful tribute not only to Edgar Allan Poe, but to the genre he helped to popularize.

About Finding Poe:
In the wake of her husband's haunted death, Karina must sift through the cryptic clues left behind in order to solve the mystery behind his suicide--all of which point back to the elusive man and author, Edgar Allan Poe.
Karina soon finds that reality, dream, and nightmare have become fused into one as she journeys from a haunted lighthouse in New England to Baltimore, where the only man who might know the answers to her many questions resides.
But will she find her answers before insanity rips her grip on reality for good?  Might a man she's never met hold the only key to a truth more shocking than even she could have imagined?

About the author:
Leigh M. Lane has been writing for over twenty years. She has ten published novels and twelve published short stories divided among different genre-specific pseudonyms. She is married to editor Thomas B. Lane, Jr. and currently resides in the beautiful mountains of western Montana. Her traditional Gothic horror novel, Finding Poe, was a finalist in the 2013 EPIC Awards in horror, and has also hit Amazon's paid bestseller list.
Her other Leigh M. Lane novels include The Hidden Valley, inspired by Barker, Bradbury, and King, World-Mart, a tribute to Orwell, Serling, and Vonnegut, and the allegorical tale, Myths of Gods.
For more information about Leigh M. Lane and her writing, visit her website at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manhattan Grimoire by Sandy Deluca

Sandy Deluca’s Manhattan Grimoire is masterpiece of balance between the grit and grime of our world, and menace that exists just beyond our perception.  Deluca creates a sense of peril with nearly every word she writes, only to later reveal the truth is darker than our fears.  Those searching for a dark horror novel with a tangible atmosphere would be hard pressed to find a better read.  

Click Either Image for the full review at

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It is pointless to cut The Evil Dead remake from its NC-17 Form

“…proud of scoring a NC17 when submitted! But we had to cut stuff out to get an R and get the film into theaters."  Director of The Evil Dead Remake Fede Alvarez tweeted this on January 28th.  Due to the simple realities of a studio film and contractual obligations the film will be cut down to what the MPAA deems to be acceptable for an R rating.  There is no serious reason for these actions to take place.

If we were truly serious about sheltering kids from this type of violent content we would as a society demand the film keep its NC-17 rating.  This would reduce the number of kids from seeing the film.  Instead we go through the predictable motions of feigning concern.  The NC-17 version will be available as ‘unrated’ when The Evil Dead remake comes to DVD and streaming digital, so why bother?  Hell, check out the red band trailer that any kids can see.  (No really, its intense.)  The system does not protect kids from content, and it no longer serves its original purpose of allowing an indicator that a film contains adult content, so that content does not have to be cut.  Yet we keep the system, and the reason is simple. 

It comes down to money, most theatre chains refuse to carry NC-17 films, and most networks and media outlets won’t sell advertisements for NC-17 films.  Beyond seeing artists’ actual work and vision, utilization of the NC-17 would allow me personally to have better experiences when I go to the movies. 

I really enjoy and still get excited about seeing movies on the big screen, in a dark room with my phone turned off.  It is like a sanctuary where I can forget about everything outside for two hours and watch a story unfold.  The only distraction should be the need to pee as the third act begins, though outside forces often seem hell-bent to ruin this for me.  Like the three twelve year old girls, that based on their attire came straight from cheerleading practice when I went to see Rob Zombie’s Halloween.  Or the parents that brought a kid in a carrier to the showing of Saw IV, or the parent who brought a kid to The Cell and when the raped, mutilated corpse was dragged out of the water asked, “Mommy, what’s that?”  The R rating is not serving any purpose.      

I will not be afforded an opportunity to see Fede Alvarez’s preferred vision of The Evil Dead in theatres, because a group of strangers based on secret criteria will not allow it.  I have a problem with this because I was raised to think for myself, in a house where censorship, in whatever the form was considered the true obscenity.  And a movie with demons possessing the living and needing to be hacked to pieces, is not appropriate for younger kids, regardless of how much blood is on screen. 

*Bonus fun fact, the average 12 year old has seen video of an un-simulated sex act. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mile 81 by Stephen King

Mile 81 is a novella that plays to all of King’s strengths and trademarks.  Pete Simmons is a foul mouthed kid living in Maine who stumbles across an unpleasant supernatural creature.  The cast builds and shrinks pretty quickly and this may be one of King’s highest per page body counts as a plethora of well thought out and developed characters quickly become fodder for the dark creature.  

This novella reminded me a great deal of IT with the kid’s investigative nature, trumping the evil.  Though much like IT I found the final climax to be very disappointing.  In the end there is much to like in Mile 81, yet a few glaring weaknesses.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Naima Haviland reviews Where the Dead Fear to Tread

Naima Haviland author of Blood Room reviews Where the Dead Fear to Tread.

              "I not only enjoyed Where the Dead Fear to Tread by M.R. Gott; I admired it. While the novel is squarely on the violent end of the horror genre spectrum, it blends elements of noir and action film genres into it. Also, Gott created unique and original versions of traditional horror monsters so the villains have motives and powers you won't expect. He added to that the very real human monsters we see all too often in the news. Then he invented new monsters out of his own sick mind (his dreams must be incredible). And he wrote the grossest way to die I've read in a long time, if ever.

Plot: William Chandler is a vigilante rescuing kidnapped children and killing the sex slavers who traffic in them. Kate Broadband is a cop who's working the same beat and is chaffing at the restrictions of going by the book. Each is seeking the same missing little girl. A mysterious woman promises to reveal where the girl is being kept –but first William must rescue a kidnapped boy held in a clinic that is a front for sex traffickers. That might be just another day's killing spree for William, except the clinic's interior is a supernatural realm. 

Where the Dead Fear to Tread is graphically violent in descriptions of fights between adults (scenes with children are only descriptive enough for you to know what happened). But as the plot progresses we learn of William's earlier times and the emotional loss that drove him off the rails. The novel surprised me with this insight; it gave depth to the action. My stake in the plot twists and turns intensified.

If you like the stories of horror writer Lee Thompson, you'll like M.R. Gott. Both write of anti-heroes with nothing left to lose who prowl surreal and hellish landscapes on single-minded vendettas. 

Where the Dead Fear to Tread is a high-octane thriller that packs a wicked punch and a killer bite (and a surprisingly soft heart)."

Naima Haviland likes dead people. Fictional dead people, that is, and the twisted people who make them dead (or undead). She is the author of Bloodroom and Night at the Demontorium, a vampire novel and dark fantasy anthology for Kindle. She takes as inspiration the Southeast United States, including her home in the Florida Panhandle, an ocean paradise with a not-too-distant past full of eccentrics, explorers, pirates, ghosts, and UFOs.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fatale Book 2: The Devils Business

The Devil's Business unravels at a deliberate pace that never lags, and slowly builds up steam to a series of satisfying and cathartic moments.  The Supernatural elements while ever present, always linger at the edge of each page allowing the necessary grit for the story to be effective.   If you enjoy, gritty detective fiction and Lovecraft style horror you will not find a more effective merging, period.    

Click either image for full review..

Saturday, March 2, 2013

M.R. Gott interviews...Werner A Lind

Please Welcome Novelist Werner A. Lind to Cutis Anserina...

Your novel Lifeblood is a century-spanning vampiric romance; what were the challenges in creating the various time periods?

Yes, Lifeblood begins in 17th-century England, but shifts quickly to modern-day Iowa, where my vampire heroine is re-animated.  Then there are a couple of flashbacks, interspersed with the modern-day plot, that show some key events in 17th-century Transylvania, where she originated.  Of course, creating the modern setting in Iowa wasn’t too hard; I was raised there.  But the 17th-century settings required more research, especially the Transylvanian ones, although of course I already had some general knowledge.  (Luckily, I’m a history major.)  Much of what I found on Romanian life and culture (Transylvania is part of modern Romania) was from a later time, but a lot of the details would have been the same in the 1600s, too –the features of the traditional culture don’t change much over time.  The juxtaposition of time periods created opportunities as well as challenge; I had fun in some places with Ana’s total ignorance of modern culture and technology.  (It was a bit of a time travel story, too, in that respect.)

How did the character of Ana Vasilifata emerge?

Well, I knew at the outset that I wanted my vampire character to be female (that fit into the symbolism of the tale).  I also wanted her to come from peasant stock, to be a more normal person, as it were, than the typical aristocratic vampires of literature, who grew up with a silver spoon in their mouths and maybe don’t relate very well to ordinary people as equals.  And because of the type of plot I created, I wanted her to be the kind of person who could both feel love for, and attract the love of, a worthy guy; that shaped some of the kinds of personal qualities she has.  I’m attracted to strong heroines who can fight if they have to, so portraying her that way came naturally (and fits in with her physical vampire strength).  And her Transylvanian roots were something I wanted, both as a nod to Balkan vampire folklore and literary tradition and to give her a touch of the exotic.  From there, it was a matter of honing the character over the 20 years or so that it took me to write the book.

What sets your novel apart from the plethora of vampire centered romance novels in the market today?

Good question, M. R.!  The basic idea of the novel was born in my mind back in the mid-70s, well before the current explosion of vampire-themed romance novels, and for me the romantic aspect was never an end in itself.  It was something I wanted for its inherent power as a literary symbol or metaphor for the Christian gospel, the idea of salvation through the blood of Christ from the sin that corrupts our nature.  Being a Christian, that’s a message that’s important to me to present in my work, whenever it can fit naturally into the story, without being forced in.  (And here, of course, the fit is natural, because the whole concept of the premise and plot is built on it.)  So if it’s a “romance” novel (and I suppose it is!) it’s one that wasn’t self-consciously written to romance genre expectations.  (So, don’t expect sex and “Her bones melted at his touch!” prose!).  It’s also, for want of a better term, “wholesome;” I’ve found, interestingly, that it appeals to quite a few readers who say they usually don’t like vampire books.

What vampire work was the most influential to you as an author?

Actually, before I started writing Lifeblood, I’d only read two vampire works: a dumbed-down kid’s version of Dracula (which even in that form made a real impression on me!) and Les Whitten’s Progeny of the Adder.  (During the 90s, when I was writing the book, I read the original Dracula, and I’d read some of Stoker’s The Lady of the Shroud earlier, as a kid –the title character there isn’t really a vampire, but some details of Balkan culture from that novel found their way into mine.)  I was really mainly influenced by the TV series Dark Shadows, where Barnabas and the other vampires are people with moral sensibilities and free will, not automatons of bloodthirsty evil; the former model is the one I gravitated to.  So my conception of the vampire, in my work, is a combination of Stoker’s and that of Dark Shadows –pretty traditional, in terms of Undead physical characteristics and powers/weaknesses. Once I started the writing process, I deliberately didn’t read any vampire fiction by other modern authors, because I didn’t want to be influenced; I wanted to write the novel with my OWN voice.  (I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few modern vampire works since finishing the book!)

Are there any other classic horror creatures you would like to play around with?  If so, which ones?

My short story “Wolf Hunt” (which is available on Smashwords for 99 cents) deals with the werewolf mythos.  Someday I want to tell that story from the werewolf’s point of view, which will require expanding it into a novel; but that’s a project for a later time! 

Who is your favorite fictional character?  How has this character impacted you over the years?

It would be really hard for me to pick one single favorite fictional character; there are so many that I like!  As a kid, I liked the Hardy Boys, Tarzan, and Sherlock Holmes; as an adult, I discovered Manly Wade Wellman’s Silver John, and some of Robert E. Howard’s marvelous creations; in recent years, I’ve come to really admire Harry Potter and his friends, Bella and the Cullens from the Twilight Saga, and Sarah Tolerance, the sword-wielding “agent of inquiry” in Madeleine Robins’ alternate Regency London.  And there are many others, too numerous to mention!  A common thread that tends to bind all of them together, though, is that they’re brave and capable, and that they use their courage and ability to set right what’s wrong and stand up for those who need a defender.  I think they’re pretty good role models on that account; I don’t know how much they’ve impacted who I actually am, but they’ve shaped the way that I’d like to be.

What was the first truly frightening novel you remember reading?  Was your reaction to bury in the closet, or to run out and find other stories like it?

For me, the first novel I found truly frightening was the Hardy Boys book, The Flickering Torch Mystery.  Obviously, now I’d find it pretty tame!  But for my nine-year-old self, the silent, sinister hooded and black-shrouded figures, moving through the pitch-dark tunnels and recesses of a menacing cavern, and signaling who knows what with torches against the night sky, scared the bejabbers out of me and haunted my childhood dreams.  My reaction was to bury myself under the bedclothes at night –AND to keep reading every Hardy Boys mystery I could.  That’s the same reaction I had to the episodes of Boris Karloff’s old TV show Thriller, at that age and younger; I’d pull the covers over my head at night in the hope that if I couldn't see the ghoulies, they couldn't see me –but I’d be glued to the screen the next time it came back on!

What current genre authors are you following?

I’m following all the books of Krisi Keley’s On the Soul series as they come out, and finding them VERY rewarding.  The series opener is On the Soul of a Vampire; the prequel is Pro Luce Habere, which was originally published in two volumes because of its length, and the conclusion to the trilogy will be Genesis.  Hers is, IMO, the best Christian treatment of the vampire mythos I’ve ever read (and I include my own in that comparison!).

What current trends are you finding in the horror field?  Do you find them positive or negative? Why?

Truth to tell, I don’t see myself as a “horror” reader, or writer.  I’m fascinated by the fiction of the supernatural, and all the range of literary possibilities it opens up.  But not all of those are horrific; and while they certainly can be, and I like that approach if it’s well done, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of my interest.  Horror for its own sake doesn’t interest me that much, particularly when it’s horror that’s evoked through grisly, in-your-face violence, perversion and torture porn.  That kind of thing is sort of a trend that I see in contemporary horror, from reading reviews and so forth –the whole splatter-punk school—and I do see it as a negative trend.  Another is the shift from traditional situational horror, where the horrific events are an aberration in the universe, to contemporary existential horror (reflecting modern nihilism and existential pessimism), in which the structure of reality itself is horrific and there’s no hope for deliverance.  (Those are trends that Lifeblood bucks.)

Do you have new projects coming down the pipeline you would like to share with us?

One of my friends on the social network Goodreads really liked the character Lorna, who appears in my short story “The Gift” (also available on Smashwords).  She’s begged me to write another story featuring Lorna, so I’m working on one.  I’m also a bit more than half done with my second novel (which I’ve been working on for about six years –I’m hoping it doesn't take 20 years to write, like the first one did!).  It won’t be a sequel to Lifeblood, but rather a totally different tale with different characters, set in Appalachian Virginia where I live now and drawing on the themes and premises of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos (though with a more optimistic outlook than his).  Finding time to write, in the midst of a full-time day job and lots of family responsibilities, is the real challenge that makes finishing any work such a slow process!  But like all writers, it’s something I do because I love doing it; and that’s what makes me persevere.

Thanks so much for interviewing me, M.R.!  I appreciate it a lot.

And thank you for the kind thank you, all the best...

Friday, March 1, 2013

M.R. Interviews...Michael Brookes

Please Welocme to Cutis Anserina Michael Broookes

When writing The Cult of me did you know that there was going to be a sequel?
Yes, the story has always been intended as a trilogy. 
What was the original idea that brought The Cult of Me to life?

The idea stemmed from Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost is the greatest story ever told and but it has some odd aspects. The most obvious is the less than flattering light is portrayed, while I'm sure this wasn't Milton's intention it did seem interesting to me. I originally intended to write the story from God's perspective, then changed my mind. I needed a human protagonist and The Cult of Me was the creation of that character.
What can readers expect from Conversations in the Abyss?
They can expect the revelations of how the universe came to be and the arrival of the apocalypse. It also features a man, made immortal by stealing Lazarus's miracle, now sealed with the walls of monastery.

When writing to do you write would you would like to read, or do you have a specific audience in mind?
Yes, I write for myself. If I don't enjoy the story I have created then I don't publish it.
What character do you most identify with in either The Cult of Me or Conversations in the Abyss?
They feature mostly the same characters. I had fun writing them all, but Friar Francis is my favourite character. He is bold, well educated and dedicated to his purpose.
What active genre authors are you currently following?

Ian M Banks and Clive Barker are my current favourite authors. In fact Excession by Ian M Banks is my favourite novel (
What was the first book you remember being genuinely scared of? Was your immediate reaction to run out and find more, or lock the offending text in your closet and never breathe a word of it to anyone?
It was James Herbert's 'The Rats' that first gave me  my horror book scare. It's a very visceral horror that I'd not encountered before. I immediately looked for more books in this vein.

‘Conversations in the Abyss’ is the sequel to the supernatural thriller ‘The Cult of Me’
Stealing Lazarus’s miracle gifted him immortality. Combined with his natural ability of invading and controlling people’s minds this made him one of the most dangerous people on Earth.
But the miracle came with a price. His punishment was to be imprisoned within the walls of an ancient monastery and tormented by an invisible fire that burned his body perpetually. To escape the pain he retreated deep into his own mind.
There he discovers the truth of the universe and that only he can stop the coming Apocalypse.
Buy now from Amazon:

About Michael Brookes

Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.

Other Books by Michael Brookes

The Cult of Me
For too long he dwelt apart, watched those who passed him by. With his unique abilities he entered their minds and inflicted terrible suffering upon them. They didn't even know who he was. The game has lasted for years, but now the game has become stale. On an impulse he decides to make a final and very public last stand. After surrendering himself to the police he enacts his plan to seize the prison for his final bloody act. 

There he discovers that he's not as unique as he once thought.
An Odd Quartet
A quartet of dark short stories (10,000 words) to thrill and chill.

The Yellow Lady
Grave robbing is a dirty business, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it's not always treasure to be found.

This Empty Place
At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.

Forced Entry
Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.

The Reluctant Demon
A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.

The contest is over, but the sale begins...

Congrats to Kristen on winning the giveaway, but that's not all we have to offer.  Where the Dead Fear to Tread is currently 30% at the Untreed Reads store.  And 23% over at Amazon.