HAVOC SWIMS JADED by David J. Schow. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2006. 1st edition hardcover.
Havoc Swims Jaded? What the hell kind of title is that? What does it mean? It sounds vaguely...threatening, doesn't it?
Havoc musters another lucky 13 short stories into the seventh collection of same by David J. Schow, who has won awards for this sort of behavior.
Havoc reigns, as a Hallowe'en Horror Night goes "horribly" wrong, and its featured creatures turn out to be the real thing. Meanwhile, a slimy Lovecraftian monstrosity deals with its daily routine of punching a clock to raise, well, havoc.
Havoc ensues, as a time-displaced trio of friends find themselves lost in a trackless desert zone where there are no "signposts up ahead" at twilight. As your friendly TV remote control displays disturbing new functions. As changing your body image becomes as simple as donning a zip-up human suit.
Havoc cries forth the ghosts of the dogs of war as the Berlin Wall falls, in the novella-length "Dismantling Fortress Architecture."
These and other dark tales of modern disturbance await the pleasure of your discomfiture. You will find, as Peter Straub said, that "Here, all of Schow's glittering weapons are sharper than ever before."
But what does Havoc Swims Jaded mean, exactly?
You'll just have to read the entire book to puzzle that one out for yourself.
Sounds vaguely...threatening, doesn't it?
Trade: Fully cloth-bound hardcover.
Table of Contents:
"The Absolute Last of the Ultra-Spooky, Super-Scary Hallowe'en Horror Nights"
"Expanding Your Capabilities Using Frame/Shift™ Mode"
"The Five Sisters: A Fable"
"The Thing Too Hideous to Describe"
"Dismantling Fortress Architecture"
"Scoop Versus Leadman"
"The Pyre and Others"
"What Happened with Margaret"
From Booklist (Starred Review):
"This is flat-out exhilarating reading, the kind that Robert Bloch, whom Schow admires, never wrote enough of. On the basis of these stories, if the pulps were still around, Schow would be their king."
From Publishers Weekly
"Like 'The Narrative of Dr. Shackle and Mr. Lye,' an invented tale of horror described in one of this book’s 13 stories, the contents of Schow's latest collection (after Zombie Jam) seesaw between 'elbow-jabbing one-liners and almost clinically detached slaughter and corpse disposal.' Most unfold events that are grim and ghastly, but never so bad that Schow can't tease a thread of graveyard humor out of their horrors... The darkly funny 'Obsequy' suggests that having lived a dead-end life is good preparation for returning from the grave as a zombie. In all, this is a solid and imaginatively varied outing from one of horror's most dependable writers."
Fine in fine dj.