Richard Laymon Same Vein



BOOKS YOU SHOULDN'T BE WITHOUT!




Click on the title of the book you wish to view or just scroll down

  1. Charles Beaumont - The Howling Man

  2. Robert Bloch - The Complete Stories (3 Vols.)
  3. Robert Bloch - The Kidnapper
  4. Robert Bloch - Night of the Ripper
  5. Robert Bloch - Psycho
  6. Robert Bloch - Screams

  7. David Eddings - The Belgariad & The Malloreon

  8. Harlan Ellison - The Essential Ellison

  9. Philip Jose Farmer - The Riverworld Series
  10. Philip Jose Farmer - The Dayworld Series
  11. Philip Jose Farmer - The Exorcism Series

  12. Richard Matheson - Collected Stories
  13. Richard Matheson - I Am Legend

  14. Robert McCammon - Swan Song

  15. David Schow - The Kill Riff
  16. Dan Simmons - Carrion Comfort
Clicking on any book title will bring you back to the top.


THE HOWLING MAN
by Charles Beaumont

Remember that TWILIGHT ZONE episode? The one that gave you nightmares? Chances are it was written by Charles Beaumont.
Beaumont's talents also helped bring to life such cinematic terrors as "The Premature Burial" and "The Masque of the Red Death." As a writer of short stories, his contribution to the landscape of our nightmares is unequalled.
THE HOWLING MAN is the definitive collection of Beaumont's most haunting work. Here are the classics: "The Hunger", "Miss Gentibelle", "Free Dirt" along with five never-before-published stories.
THE HOWLING MAN features introductions by Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Roger Corman, Dennis Etchison, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and many other masters of horror and dark fantasy. They offer illuminating tributes to Beaumont - as a friend, a colleague, and a man whose dark magic left an indelible stamp on modern horror fiction, and on their own imaginations.

RATING
10/10

REVIEW

Charles Beaumont was a master. And sadly, he was cut short in his prime, dying before he reached 40. Where Rod Serling was God's gift to TV, Beaumont was God's gift to short stories. It is no accident that Serling, Beaumont and Richard Matheson hung around together, and there is no doubt that they fed on eachother's creativity. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in a Serling-Beaumont-Matheson meeting.
The Howling Man is the best collection of Beaumont work you will find anywhere. From his Twilight Zone adapted stories to his last few as illness overpowered him, you won't find anything better than this. A lot of these stories you won't find anywhere else anymore. Stop your searching through old copies of Amazing Stories and Alfred Hitchcock Presents and just buy this book now.


THE COMPLETE STORIES OF ROBERT BLOCH (3 Vols.)
by Robert Bloch

Best known as the author of Psycho, Robert Bloch is world-renowned for his stories of horror, mystery, fantasy and science fiction. Many of the stories in this 3 volume set have been unavailable for decades. The stories are in his classic style of gripping suspense, science fiction and fantasy and are a must for fans of the genre.
RATING
10/10

REVIEW

This 3 volume set could be called the "Bloch Bible" as it traces Bloch's early works, all the way through his "Psycho"-led blockbuster years and further. Never a nicer man would you meet, and never a more twisted story you will read. Bloch was the bridge from the olde worlde H.P. Lovecraft horror to the new world modern day horror writers of today. Everyone read him, everyone respected him and here for the only time is so many of Bloch's works presented in such fine form and in such a format. Don't just buy one or two, buy the whole three volumes because Bloch will keep you up all night, screaming your head off.

THE KIDNAPPER
by Robert Bloch


Steve Collins is looking for the Big Score, the crime that will set him up for life.
He thinks he's found it. He's going to kidnap Shirley Mae Warren, daughter of a wealthy banker and industrialist. The $200,000 ransom will get Collins his new start.
He can't do it alone. He'll need help. First, Shirley Mae's nanny, Mary - for her, Collins is the perfect lover. Then, a driver and front man - the man Collins calls his best friend.
The plan goes wrong. And Collins must decide whether he sacrifices all to save himself.


RATING
9/10
REVIEW

This is Bloch at his most darkest and scariest. And, believe it or not, his most "Lamonesque". A short novel that cuts to the bone, literally. No padding, no unnecessary fluff, this is a ride through hell from first to last page. The kidnapping is central, but also most importantly so are the characters. You'll love them, and you'll certainly hate them, but The Kidnapper is for the most part a character study of three desperate individuals who will try anything to get the break they think they deserve. This is an early, long-lost Bloch novel that deserves to be read by all fine Horror readers. Buy it now.
NIGHT OF THE RIPPER
by Robert Bloch

On the loose in the shadowy, gaslit streets of London's East End - JACK THE RIPPER.
Baffled by the horrific series of murders in Victorian London, Detective Inspector Frederick Abberline is struck by the fact that all the killings have taken place near the London Hospital - famous for its surgeons.
A young American doctor at the hospital, Mark Robinson, comes to share Abberline's suspicions, but finds himself caught in a hall of mirrors in which one person after another seems to be a possible murderer...
Who was Jack The Ripper? In this chilling, harrowing tale of terror, master of the macabre Robert Bloch proposes a new answer - as shocking and ingenious as the conclusion of his classic Psycho.

RATING
7/10
REVIEW

If you enjoyed Laymon's SAVAGE then you'll enjoy Bloch's take on the Jack The Ripper mystery. Set in the swirling London fog and in the rein of the Whitechapel menace, this is the page churning thriller by the man who brought you the award winning short story, "Yours truly, Jack The Ripper" a short story that has never been out of print. There's everything you'd expect in a Bloch novel here, blood, gore, horror and frights, with a few pretty lassies thrown in. A must to have and hold.

PSYCHO
by Robert Bloch

When the Bates Motel loomed up out of the storm, Mary Crane thought it was her salvation. The rooms were musty but clean, and the manager, Norman Bates, seemed like a nice enough fellow, if a little strange...Then Mary met Norman's mother...And the butcher knife...The nightmare had just begun.

Bestselling author Robert Bloch is famed as the creator of that great American horror classic, Psycho, the inspiration for the spine-tingling motion picture. He continued the story of Norman Bates and the Bates Motel - where Death is the desk clerk - in Psycho II and then Psycho House. Now, for the first time, all three suspense thrillers appear in one hardcover volume.

RATING
10/10
REVIEW

Okay, they don't come any better than this. Not only do you get the original and the best, "PSYCHO" in this volume, you also pick up Bloch's two follow-ups "PSYCHO II" and "PSYCHO HOUSE". These are not to be missed. You've seen the film, heard the soundtrack and looked at the poster, but have you actually read the book that started it all? You must own this, there's just no two ways about it. You should be told, however, that "Psycho" and especially "Psycho II" differ from the movie versions so don't expect that you're just going to be reading the movie here. Hitchcock did a good job, but he can't beat Bloch in printed form. All three Psycho novels are richly textured and the characterisation of everyone, even poor old Norman Bates, shines through. This three-in-one edition is a horror-junky's overdose of dreams. Buy it, or I'll send mother around.
SCREAMS
by Robert Bloch

SCREAMS marks the first hardcover publication of three unusual tales of psychological suspense: The Will to Kill; Firebug and The Star Stalker. Both The Will to Kill and The Star Stalker have been unavailable since their first publication.
The Will to Kill and Firebug might be described as literary portraits of Carl Jung's "Shadow" archetype. The anguished protagonists of these roman noirs struggle (often unsuccessfully) against possession by the dark and repressed elements of their own psyches.
The Star Stalker shares a somewhat similar plot with The Will to Kill and Firebug: an unknown killer haunts the protagonist and his social circle. But instead of those earlier novels' guilt-ridden, intensely internal focus, The Star Stalker's narrative is more concerned with the outer world - in this case Hollywood in the Golden era.

RATING
7/10
REVIEW

When you have written for decades, as Bloch had done, some of your earlier and less-well-known works fade out of publication and off the bookshelves. Thankfully, this three-in-one mammoth of a book is just what the good doctor ordered. The Will to Kill; Firebug and The Star Stalker are three of Bloch's earlier novels that deal very heavily with the outcast in society and the dark thoughts and reasonings behind them. A beautifully produced book, with lovingly-drawn illustrations, is just a delight to have on the shelf. A terrific addition to any Bloch collection. But, if you are after your first Bloch, perhaps try some of the above first, where he has refined his skills and honed his craft.
THE BELGARIAD & THE MALLOREON SERIES
by David Eddings

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.
But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years.
Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved - but did not know?
For a while, his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while...

RATING
9/10
REVIEW

Okay, forgive us for lapsing into Fantasy and Sci-Fi for a moment, but this really must be done. Many horror fans are also Sci-Fi / Fantasy readers and the following are just a couple of our "Must Have" selection. David Eddings has been around for years and is well known for many Fantasy sagas. But his most famous is The Belgariad series of five books, followed by the sequel series The Malloreon, also five books in length. If there's anything to be said against the two series' it would be that 10 books with the same characters can wear just a *little* thin with the reader, but believe me, you'll enjoy every page. Where does one begin to explain The Belgariad?? Well, let's see. If you threw King Arthur, Merlin, Christ, Xena and the whole case of Gladiators into a cooking pot, added a bit of romance and the action from all of the Lethal Weapon films, you *might*, just *might* begin to get an idea of the story of Garion, warrior-king-who-doesn't-know-it-yet. Buy the first volume, read it, and then make up your mind. If you like it, you've got nine books to go!
THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON
by Harlan Ellison

This book is a portrait of the artist. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be just a "Best of" collection (though it does contain much of his finest work). Rather, it is a sound representation, "warts and all," of the writing of someone who is perfectly, vigorously, cast as the Rebel of his age. Though Harlan's work is widely known and applauded, not enough is made of the sense of social responsibility that is central to it. In fact, this dimension often seems to be deliberately overlooked and the major thrust of his fantasy trivialized. He deals in ideas, sometimes so full of love and compassion that they stun with their simple honesty; sometimes set with barbs and hooks that catch and tear and make us gasp and make us feel. Shakespeare would have smiled fondly. Because that's the dimension of achievement occurring here. Ellison is as close to the pulse of his age as Chaucer and Shakespeare and Dickens ever came to theirs.

- From the Introduction by Terry Dowling
RATING
8/10
REVIEW
Harlan Ellison is a prolific writer who has been everywhere, done everything and won every award possible, and some of those he's won time and time again. Ellison is hard to categorise, as his writing includes gritty urban realism all the way through the spectrum of horror and sci-fi. This is the biggest and best collection of his work you will find. Every story is painted with crystal clear characters and plots that just burn on the page. There's some sick stuff in here, but it's all there in black and white, in Ellison's personal "scorched earth" writing style that you either love or hate. He'll keep you up all night, as you try to work out just who was who and why they were doing what they were doing. Definitely one for the "thoughtful" reader.
THE RIVERWORLD SERIES
by Philip Jose Farmer

It is not like our world - or any world that can be imagined by anyone but Philip Jose Farmer. It is huge and mysterious. It has a central river, rimmed by mountains, with a hidden source and an unknown end. Reborn there is every last soul who ever lived on Earth - from prehistoric apemen to moondwelling future civilizations.
Reborn there is Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator of The Arabian Nights, explorer, brawler, scholar, womanizer - adventurer. His quest to discover the end of the river, the meaning of the world's existence - and lovely Alice Hargreaves (the real life model for Alice in Wonderland) form a science fiction adventure that is already recognized as a classic.

RATING
10/10
REVIEW
Okay, our second lapse into Sci-Fi / Fantasy, but believe me, you'll love every page of the five volume Riverworld series. Phil Farmer has written everything under the sun from Jesus landing on Mars to Tarzan in a sci-fi setting, but the Riverworld series is his biggest and best read. A delight to own and read time and time again. Revolving around a series of characters who have died and awoken to find themselves in this strange land, with just a river flowing down the middle, along with everyone else who has ever died, these wonderfully human characters set off to try and find the end of the river, in the hope it will solve their questions. Are they in heaven, are they in hell, or somewhere else? A great study of the human psyche, as religions crumble and others are born, as future man meets caveman, and as the human mind grapples with the afterlife. Buy it, read it, enjoy it, read it again.
THE DAYWORLD SERIES
by Philip Jose Farmer

For most people in the 35th Century AD the seasons flash by: six out of seven days are spent in suspended animation. The government is a benevolent but watchful dictatorship. One crime they keep a lookout for is 'daybreaking' - disobeying the law that says you come alive only one day a week.
The most dangerous daybreakers are members of a secret organisation who posses a secret beyond price - the secret of extending their lives seven times beyond the normal lifespan.
Jeff Caird is one such daybreaker, holding down seven completely different identities - until one day the insane Doctor Chang Castor escapes. Castor thinks he is God. He also thinks that Caird is Satan...

RATING
9/10
REVIEW
During the Riverworld series, Farmer took a crack at an ambitious project that was, initially, to be only one novel. It has since stretched into three. The Dayworld series centers around an overpopulated Earth in which people can only be allowed to live on one day of the week. Hence the world that we know it is divided up into seven 'worlds': Monday-world, Tuesday-world...etc etc. Farmer has written this series in a sci-fi / crime style that deals with people who "day-break", that is, they live more than one day a week. This is a thriller series like no other, touching on every sci-fi, horror, crime element and is certainly worth the money to add to your collection. Highly recommended.
THE EXORCISM SERIES
by Philip Jose Farmer

Herald Childe has just seen a home movie in which his partner was brutally murdered, his life fluids drained by a lady with razor-sharp dentures.
Childe is a private dick. He's used to sticking his nose into other people's business, and it's usually dirty. But he's not prepared for the gut-churning horrors which await him as he wades through the LA smog following up a lead in the most disgusting case of his career.
He is plunged into a waking nightmare of sexual brutality and supernatural bestiality; he becomes entangled with a snake-woman; he is seduced by a filthy human sow; and he lays a ghost, only to realize that he's the one getting laid - by a woman working off the frustrations of over a century in ectoplasmic exile.
But what can he do? He can hardly tell the police that he's discovered a crown of sex-mad vampires and werewolves from another universe...

RATING
8/10
REVIEW
Okay, back to straight horror. Farmer is more of a sci-fi writer than horror, but hey, when he lets go, he *really* let's go! The Exorcism two-book series is more horror than anyone rightfully needs between two covers of a book. Every type of murder or sex or fright is included in this tour de force that comes with a warning on the cover of both books, "Warning: This modern classic of horror fantasy contains scenes that may shock the nervous."!!!! You think they're joking, some marketing ploy, right? Right? Think again, my friend, the warnings are there because they need it. These two are hard to track down these days, but if you find them, buy them! And then get ready for the shock of your life.

THE COLLECTED STORIES OF RICHARD MATHESON
by Richard Matheson

"I DO NOT INTEND for this introduction to my colleeted short stories to be either a soul-baring confession or an in-depth psychological analysis of my personality. In the first place, I do not believe that the contents of this volume are comprehensive enough to provide the raw material for a baring of my soul. In the second place, I am not skilled enough at psychological analysis to do justice to an in-depth study of my personality as revealed by these stories. What I plan to do is present a few observations which I hope will cast some illumination on the genesis of these stories and the general theme which runs through most of them.
It has been my contention that a reasonably careful examination of a fiction writer's body of work can reveal a workable profile of the writer's mental state in toto as well as during most if not every step along the creative way.
I am sure that this contention is neither innovative nor profound. But, since I have never applied it to my own work-and, since your acquisition of this book indicates interest, on your part, in my writing-it might prove thought-provoking for you to examine the stories in this collection from the standpoint of their psychological source. I have, with this in mind, stipulated that the stories be printed in chronological order. In this way, I can comment on my mental state along the aforementioned creative way which took place between the years 1950 and 1970."

-- from the introduction by Richard Matheson.
RATING
10/10
REVIEW
Okay, here's the third arm of the Twilight Zone trinity of writers. They don't come any better than Matheson for pure thrills and chills. You won't find a better collection and this is the "bible" for Matheson freaks. Matheson's reputation was built on these short stories and this collection charts his early years right through to his latest works. If you think you've read the scariest short stories ever, you haven't until you've read this collection of Matheson's. If you don't buy another book ever, this is the ONE that must be bought. Now!

I AM LEGEND
by Richard Matheson

"In his own extensive introduction to Richard Matheson --Collected Stories (Dream Press,1989), Richard said,"The leitmotif of all my work ... is as follows: The individual, isolated in a threatening world, attempting to survive."
Robert Neville, the protagonist of I Am Legend, and for the purposes of the book Richard's alter ego, is certainly that. He is also a very implacable individual given to sudden rages at his fate, with an analytical mind and the ability to set himself goals. He is very aware of his objective, and aware also of the means he uses to achieve his purpose. When balked in his course he immediately invents new strategies, always aware of the danger, always prepared to act ruthlessly in order to survive.
Though filled with action, I Am Legend is basically an interior novel of detection as he tries to understand the nature of his enemy--and from whence the enemy came. We are concerned with Robert's thoughts, his fears, his feelings, his fantasies, his plans, because it is through these that we come to know him and thereby to identify with him in his terrifying world.
Richard went on to write," ... Add to this aspect of my paranoic leitmotif: the inability of others to understand the male protagonist, to give him proper recognition. Their inclination (virtual insistence) on victimizing him with ignorance, stupidity, cliche thinking, and unwitting power. That I sometimes give alternative emphasis to the possibility that the male protagonist may be partially responsible for his own problems--that his real adversary is his own mind--does not alter the fact that he is, in the end, threatened by real outside forces. Or, to paraphrase an old joke, just because he's paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get him.""

- from the introduction by George Clayton Johnson.
RATING
9/10
REVIEW
Everyone's seen The Omega Man with Chuck Heston, right? Right?? Pure sci-fi excellence, right? Well, would you be surprised to know that The Omega Man is based on Matheson's I Am Legend? Would you be surprised to find out that the book is at least one hundred times better than the film? Would you be amazed to hear that I Am Legend has been out of print for years and has just been re-printed due to the demand for it? Well, it's all true and believe me, this is the kind of book not to be read at night, because if you do, you won't be sleeping. One for the bright lights of day. Read it, IF YOU SCARE!

SWAN SONG
by Robert McCammon

In a future world born of nuclear rage, an ancient evil as old as time roams a devastated, nightmare wilderness. He is the Man with the Scarlet Eye, the Man of Many Faces, gathering under his power the forces of human greed and madness. He is searching for a child who has the gift of life, a child named Swan, the child who must be destroyed...
RATING
10/10
REVIEW
By all standards, Robert McCammon's SWAN SONG is the crowning achievement of his career and is touted by many as one of the horror genre's finest works of the latter part of the twentieth century. I could not agree more. Combining thrilling apocolyptic drama with rich characterization and poignant symbolism, McCammon's epic novel is a reading experience like no other. SWAN SONG is the Mona Lisa of novels - it is hauntingly beautiful and quite simply perfect. - - Ron Clinton, USA.


THE KILL RIFF
by David Schow

JUSTICE - Lucas Ellington's daughter is dead, trampled by an out-of-control mob at a rock concert turned riot. There was no trial, but Lucas has identified the murderers - the band, Whip Hand.
VENGEANCE - Two of Gabriel Stannard's old bandmates are dead. Whip Hand's former lead singer knows who killed them. Stannard will not be a passive target.
MADNESS - Rock and roll forever...until death.
RATING
8/10
REVIEW
Rock and Roll and horror have gone hand in hand ever since Stephen King hit the scene. But if you're after gore, and I mean GORE, then look no further than the man who defined the term "splatterpunk" David Schow. A thriller in every meaning of the word, this book has an opening page that will suck you in no matter what! Not only did The Kill Riff create a genre, it also created many copy-cat books, but nothing beats the original and the best. I still hear the lead guitar now...get ready to hit the ground with The Kill Riff.

CARRION COMFORT
by Dan Simmons

They are 'mind vampires' - creatures with the psychic ability to 'use' humans: read their minds, subjugate them to their wills, experience through their senses, feed off their emotions, force them to acts of unspeakable violence.
Each year three of them, Melanie, Willi and Nina, meet to discuss their on-going competition of vampirism and slaughter. But this year something goes wrong and they, and their innocent victims, are plunged into a struggle that will determine the future of the world itself.
Ranged against them are a handful of normals: Saul Laski, psychologist and concentration camp survivor, who has devoted his life to tracking down the Nazi vampire von Borchert; Natalie Preston, whose father inadvertently and fatally crossed the path of the ancient and deadly Melanie; Sheriff Bobby Joe Gentry, dragged in while investigating a series of bizarre murders.
Together they create a strange and vulnerable alliance against evil.

RATING
10/10
REVIEW
Stick the bible's "Revelation" and the most horrid book you've ever read into a blender and crank it up. You'll end up with Carrion Comfort, one of the most disturbing (and long) books I have ever read. The word EPIC is not thrown around too often here at RLK!, but there is no doubt about it - Carrion Confort is a horror novel of epic scale and vision and will keep you coming back for more. It's totally un-put-downable...and you'll be glued to your seat with this one. Buy it, you have to, you must!



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