Tag Archive | Calvin Demmer

Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master

Title: The Sea Was a Fair Master

Author: Calvin Demmer

Date of Publication: June 5th, 2018

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Summary:

The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

For the sea was a fair master.

My Review:

I normally am not a big fan of reading anthologies with short stories when they are by different authors because my level of liking the stories fluctuates. However, I have read several stories by Demmer and was excited to see there would be an anthology with only his written words.

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Calvin Demmer is like the king of horror short stories! Anyway, this was a cool ride through tales with dark stuff, fun stuff and all around cool stuff! Gritty and dark while also being thought provoking! His writing is able to sweep me up and suck me right in. Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next!

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Do you like short stories?

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Author Interview: Calvin Demmer

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Book Description:
The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.
The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.
For the sea was a fair master.

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Author Calvin Demmer’s Interview with Author S.J. Budd

 

Book Purchase Links:
Spells and Persuasions: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1520940645
Aphotic Realm’s Banished: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1979474532

Calvin Demmer’s Author Interview with S.J. Budd

What sparked your interest in the horror genre?

I’ve always been fascinated with everything out of the ordinary. I think what really sparked my interest in horror was seeing The Labyrinth movie when I was a young girl. At the time I found it terrifying and instantly loved it! It’s still one of my favorite films!

What’s the best writing advice you’ve received?

I think it’s got to be the simplest bit of advice which is to just keep at it and eventually you will get somewhere. I think the piece of advice I would offer would be to have fun with what you write, because if it’s boring to write it will be boring to read.

You have a story called “I am Witch” in the Banished issue from Aphotic Realm. What inspired the tale?

I was heavily inspired to write “I am Witch” after reading “Of Sorrow and Such” by Angela Slatter which is about witches. I came across it by accident and its now one of my favorite books.  Since then I’d really wanted to write a story about witches and this was my attempt.

You released Spells and Persuasions, a collection of short stories, last year. How would you describe it to those who’ve yet to read it?

This is my first collection of nine short stories that have all been published in various magazines. I’d like to think there’s something in there for everyone who loves horror. The stories within draw on many different elements such as fantasy, sci-fi and horror but are all dark in nature.

Who are some of the female horror authors you believe people should be reading?

There’s some really amazing female horror authors out there. I’m a really big fan of Gwendolyn Kiste whose stories regularly appear in places like Black Static and Shimmer. She’s recently released her first novella, “Pretty Marys all in a Row” which is a great read. Of course there is Angela Slatter who I’ve already mentioned. I’ve just discovered Kristi DeMeester and Damien Angelica Walters who are also superb.

These are the female horror writers who are currently slaying it and you can easily find them gracing the pages of all the top magazines such as Black Static, Nightmare, Shimmer and Apex.

 

Sarah

Sarah’s Bio:
S.J. Budd loves writing short stories exploring dark fictional worlds and its mysterious inhabitants, and is currently working on her first novel. Her day job involves working as journalist for www.findahood.com and she also blogs on her site www.sjbudd.co.uk and her twitter is @sjbuddj.
Her work has appeared in Aphotic RealmSanitarium MagazineSiren’s Call PublicationsDeadman’s TomeInnersinsAphelionBewildering StoriesBlood Moon Rising MagazineShadows at the Door, Danse Macabre MagazineThe Wild HuntMorpheus Tales and Freedom Fiction.
Her debut collection of short stories, Spells and Persuasions, is out now on Amazon.
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Calvin’s Bio:
Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His work has appeared in Broadswords and Blasters, Empyreome Magazine, Mad Scientist Journal, Ravenwood Quarterly, Switchblade, and others. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com.
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What did you think about the interview?

Review: Hardened Hearts

Title: Hardened Hearts

Authors: Gwendolyn Kiste, Somer Canon, Calvin Demmer, Theresa Braun, John Boden, Eddie Generous, Tom Deady, J.L. Knight, Madhvi Ramani, Scott Paul Hallam, Robert Dean, Jennifer Williams, Leo X. Robertson, Laura Blackwell, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Sarah L. Johnson, Meg Elison

Date of Publication: December 4th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

17 stories of difficult love, broken hearts, lost hope, and discarded truths. Love brings pain, vulnerability, and demands of revenge. Hardened Hearts spills the sum of darkness and light concerning the measures of love; including works from Meg Elison, author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award), Tom Deady, author of Haven (Winner of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel), Gwendolyn Kiste, author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe and Pretty Marys All in a Row, and many more.
Hardened Hearts dips from speculative, horror, science fiction, fantasy, into literary and then out of the classifiable and into the waters of unpinned genres, but pure entertainment nonetheless.

My Review:

Honestly, I hate reading most story collections by different authors because the writing styles are so different. Then most of the time I only like a few. This didn’t happen here, though. I definitely liked almost all of the stories! My favorites have to be… Canon’s, Demmer’s Braun’s, Deady’s, Blackwell’s, and Al-Mehairi’s!

What I also liked was that there was a variety in genres, even though I prefer ones that have supernatural stuff, which most of them did!

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40 Ways to Leave Your Monster Lover by: Gwendolyn Kiste – I’ll admit I’m usually not a big fan of second person, like at all. But this one was actually good. I’ll still say that I will never be a fan of second person, though!

It Breaks My Heart to Watch You Rot by: Somer Canon – Loved this one! It even caused me to tear up! The real scenario of when an immortal loves a mortal is a heartbreaking thing.

What is Love? by: Calvin Demmer – Calvin is the master at writing short stories. So, I wasn’t surprised at all that this one was amazing! Loved the ending!

Heirloom by: Theresa Braun – I found this one extremely addicting and kept wanting to know what the heck was going on! Braun’s writing is flawless, and the story is intriguing!

The Recluse by: John Boden – This was a short, fun story and a freaking heck yeah from me!

Dog Tired by: Eddie Generous – Nice character development, and I’ll just say it has my favorite creature ever!

The Pink Balloon by: Tom Deady – Let me go cry myself to sleep after reading this one, no, seriously!

It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To by: J. L. Knight – This one was extremely relateable, especially if you have lost anyone that means more than anything to you.

Consumed by: Madhvi Ramani – The main guy was ridiculous—which made me like it!

Burning Samantha by: Scott Paul Hallam – I really liked that this put me in Samantha’s head about a boy who feels like a girl. And how the pressure of what other people feel can have an affect on one’s happiness. The thing is, as hard as it is to brush out the world, you have to do what you feel, otherwise, you will live in misery.

Class of 2000 by: Robert Dean – This one felt a little too lifetime for me. I think it was a very important story, but it just didn’t blend in well with the others.

Learning to Love by: Jennifer Williams – Short, but I could feel the emotions from the MC!

Brothers by: Leo X. Robertson – I’m sort of lost by the ending of this one, but it got really, really good with each page!

Porcelain Skin by: Laura Blackwell – This one had a very whimsical feel to it, and I was thoroughly captivated!

The Heart of the Orchard by: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi – Loved, loved, loved this one! The setting, the tone, the writing—all of it was great!

Meeting the Parents by: Sarah L. Johnson – This one was extremely odd, but equals cool!

Matchmaker by: Meg Elison – I felt this was a good way to end the book!

Overall, a great read where happily ever afters don’t exist, but the reader still feels like they get what they wanted in the end!

 

Do you like short stories?

Review: Broadswords and Blasters Issue 2

Title: Broadswords and Blasters Issue 2

Date of Publication: July 17th, 2017

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Summary:

Welcome to Issue 2 of Broadswords and Blasters! In this issue, you will find stories from our new favorite authors. You’ll read about a Hawaiian hero fighting off sea demons, a hard-case detective and his sassy artificial intelligence friend, a stone-builder with serious ethical conundrums, an alien farmer and his strange crop, and the conclusion to Island of Skulls, the story of siblings in-over-their-heads that started in Issue 1. You’ll also meet the retired, grizzled war veterans you see on the cover, a tough bounty hunter in a newly purloined dress, Spanish conquistadors who meet an unfortunate end, and a Wild West sheriff caught in a town that is not what it seems.

My Review:

What an interesting mix of short stories! They were all different yet still pretty cool. From the cover, I didn’t know if this was going to be a little too hardcore adventurous for me. But, I finished it in one sitting, and overall it was pretty awesome!

There were a couple I didn’t quite get, but most were really good! My favorites were “Kauhahoa vs. the Mu” by: Patrick S. Baker, “A Western Promise” by: Calvin Demmer, and “Island of Skulls” by: Matt Spencer!

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Demmer’s story was definitely my fave, though, it gave me some feels even with it being a short story! I have read several other short stories by him, and he has a way of sucking you into a short story with it not feeling like one. In a good way! His character’s are developed and his writing is spot on. Seriously, loved this one!

If you are looking for a quick fun read, check this out! I had also just finished a monster size of a book, so it is nice just to read something short in between!

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How do these short stories sound to you?

Review: Independence Denied

Title: Independence Denied

Author: Calvin Demmer

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

With Independence Day near, Brad Marshall is expecting another routine day at his job as a research assistant. Then he sees a peculiar creature on one of the screens at work. While the rest of the world focuses on a sudden rash of devastating natural disasters, Brad is transfixed by the image he’s seen. He refuses to give up until he knows what it is. The answer he finds, however, will change the world forever.

My Review:

This is the third short story I have read from Demmer, and I have loved each one. They are fun and just what I need in between reading longer novels. This is one that puts a whole new spin on celebrating Independence Day.

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There was some awesome creepiness to the story, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. The character, Brad, felt real again even though it was a short story. I don’t want to give too much away, but again the ending was just awesome!!

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Do you read short stories?

 

Review: Unidentified Fatherly Object

Title: Unidentified Fatherly Object

Author: Calvin Demmer

Date of Publication: June 15th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Fred Garcia decides Father’s Day is the perfect time to find out what happened to his father. As he prepares to search the old, abandoned military base where his father used to work, he hopes for clues as to what might have occurred. Lights at the base, however, indicate that it’s not as inactive as suggested. Fred discovers the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is a dark and dangerous operation that cannot be unseen or escaped.

Review:

So, since this is a short story I don’t want to give too much away, but this one was really awesome. Even though this was a short story, I still connected with Fred and wanted to embark on his journey of figuring out what the heck happened to his father.

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What Fred discovers is a dark and unimaginable find. The writing was good and sucked me in from the get go, and I didn’t release it until that last word. The ending was excellent! This is a great science fiction/horror read for anyone that wants something different!

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