October Month-in-Review and Blog Update

For the last year and a half I have published at least three posts each week across both blogs—a Music Monday post at Hillbilly Highways on Monday, a speculative fiction post at Every Day Should Be Tuesdays on Tuesdays, and a country noir or hillbilly studies post at Hillbilly Highways on Wednesdays.  Not to mention the occasional Throwback Thursday post at Every Day Should Be Tuesday and New Music Friday post at Hillbilly Highways.  It’s fun, but it’s also a grind.  All while I have been getting continually busier professionally and personally, bringing a tiny human into the world and twice having to drop everything for a week and head down those hillbilly highways on short notice to tend to a family emergency.

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SF: Congregations of the Dead by James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge

The man that wandreth out of the way of wisdom shall abide in the congregation of the dead. – Proverbs 21:16

I bought Congregations of the Dead over a year ago on a bit of a lark because it was cheap.  Which isn’t to sale that it didn’t sound right up my alley.  A country noir/urban fantasy/horror mashup with significant pulp influences?  (A secondary character is named Carter DeCamp in an obvious homage to Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp and Manly Wade Wellman’s characters Silver John and John Thunstone seem obvious influences as well.)  What I didn’t realize is how damn good it would be.

Congregations of the Dead is the second in Griffin & Price novel, and I was a little thrown off at first as Moore and Rutledge tied up loose ends from the first book.  But other than that hiccup, I found this an easy entrée into the series.  I will definitely be picking up the other books though.  I would say start with book one, but it looks like it isn’t available right now.

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SF: Harlan County Horrors, edited by Mari Adkins

Over the course of a life hard lived, the minder and the town and the mountain became as one, and no one ever left Harlan alive.

Country noir fits easily with horror.  What is scarier than a long, dark shaft in an abandoned coal mine?  Might our greed for the black stuff cause us to dig too deep?  Might the violence on the surface go beyond the natural into the supernatural?

I was delighted to learn that Apex released a collection of short horror stories set in Harlan County, Kentucky (originally famous for the coal mine labor strife featured in Harlan County, USA and more recently famous as the setting for neo-Western Justified).

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Oddments: Top Five Hallowreads at Hillbilly Highways

I have a couple more Hallowreads coming for y’all.  I am several stories into Harlan County Horrors, edited by Mari Adkins, and after that I will start Congregations of the Dead by James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge.  I am also somewhat distracted by watching AMC’s Preacher.  But I will get reviews posted of both by Halloween.  In the meantime, I’ve already reviewed some pretty damn good horror here at Hillbilly Highways.

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