The latest issue of Cosmic Crime Stories is now available via Amazon and Barnes&Noble. My story Overlay is featured in a lineup of excellent detective yarns in which something just isn’t right. In Overlay, a hired bruiser/private investigator sets out to track down the rebellious daughter of a business magnate, but gradually comes to realize that a more sinister game is being played, one in which he just might be the key piece. If you’re into cosmic horror with a noir vibe, or some cutting edge science fiction, I heartily recommend Cosmic Crime Stories 2021.
Excerpt from Overlay:
“The silence stretched out for what seemed like minutes, grated on my nerves. I shifted my weight from foot to foot and let my eyes wander around.
A picture swam out of the pattern on the dirty alley walls: a figure on all fours passing through some sort of wound, or slit. A dog with a man’s face, or a human form with its back and limbs broken and cruelly rearranged. It was scrabbling out of the gap, or into it, joining a line of similar wretched creatures that weaved through a nightmare landscape, receding into the distance. Monstrous forms towered above them, snatched them up and tore them apart.
Crude and faded, this obscene mural was nevertheless imbued by a hideous vivacity, the colors rich and vibrant, the expressions of terror and agony — or ecstasy — on the faces of the dog-things rendered in exquisite detail. The passage suddenly seemed darker, the walls closer together, moving in. My breath felt stuck in my throat. I rapped on the door again, harder this time.
Online consensus was that Conrad’s video had all the production values of what art cinema mavens called a Bonsaint feature. Armand Bonsaint, according to Jake, was a reclusive avant-garde filmmaker revered in counterculture theater and cinema circles. He made one film every decade or so, selling a limited number of copies to private collectors at exorbitant prices. Jake had never seen one, but he’d heard stories. Rich weirdos screen them to each other at private parties, man. A long shot, but it was the only lead I had.
There was a buzz and a click and the door opened an inch. From the other end of the hallway came a strand of thin blue light and the sounds of a porn flick playing at full volume. I checked the piece in my shoulder holster and moved along.”