The Stranger is pretty good, but Harlan Coben? Meh.

Harlan Coben makes a few jillion dollars a year on his suspense novels (though ‘suspense’ seems like a pretty strong word for his stories. Maybe … “tension novels”?) Generally speaking, I find they have great premises, great hooks, but tend to fizzle out a bit in the final act. That was certainly the case with his recent Netflix adaptation of Safe, despite the strong effort of Michael C. Hall and company. The Stranger, however, manages to beat the odds just a bit. The writing is tighter than usual, the acting from top to bottom is top-drawer, the mid-season twist wtih Stephen Rea (Stephen friggin’ Rea!) is an actual shocker, while the reveal, in that last episode, is heartbreaking.

I think I know why …

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I hate to do it, but … All About COVID-19

I ain’t no doctor, but in my other life as a medical editor, I’ve had to read and learn a lot about COVID-19 ovr the last few week. I’ve even interviewed a couple of epidemiologists about it, so … for what all that is worth, this is I THINK where we stand today, march 11, 2020:

  • Fingers crossed: it’s not as bad as it could have been
  • People are crazy-scared
  • We don’t know nearly enough, and neither do the experts, to either dismiss it OR to start heading for the bunkers.

So hang with me here, and let’s go over a few things. I hope you’ll feel a bit better by the end of it …


The Multiverse Marketplace: A little of everything that’s odd

The Multiverse Marketplace: A little of everything that’s odd

So after much testing, trying, sampling and flop-sweat, we’re launching The Multiverse Marketplace, a site where you can get what we hope is interesting merch of all kinds — some horror-related, some pop cultish, some just plain fun. Professionally designed, made of high-quality materials (no paper-thin t-shirts that dissolve with the second washing), and prices that aren’t any worse than you’ll find at the mall. Click here and see what you think. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it! You don’t want to be a square, do you?

Why doesI Am Not Okay With This feel so incestuous?

Seriously, who are they kidding? This moderately engaging Netflix mini-series smells so strongly of Carrie and IT that it makes your nose twitch. So why are the producers claiming complete astonishment at the parallels?

Don’t get me wrong — it’s well done. But still …

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Morningstar Strain 6: Heroes will be out on April 21!

.. and if you want to get a free download of the first chapter — here and nowhere else — just click on through to learn more about what I did, what comes next and at least a hint of how it all ends.

I was brought in late on the project, and built on Dawn Peers’ work to try and tie up fifteen years of loose ends and unanswered questions. It was an interesting and sometimes heartbreaking process, as I asked myself what would a world with shamblers as part of teh permanent landscape really be like? Could we survive? Would we even want to?

Doing “licensed” work is always a fascinating challenge. i’ve had a chance to do it in a wide range of other peoples’ worlds, fro The Amityville Horror to Men In Black to the granddaddy of all shared universes, Star Trek. Each one is a different but equally fascianting challenge, and this one was no exception. I just hope most folks fine it a fitting end to Zak Recht’s work, and once you’ve read this opening piece — or the whole book, when it shows up in April — I hope you’ll drop me a note and let me know what you think.

The whole process has go me thinking about yet another variation on a theme — another future world (much future-er than Morningstar with a whole different kind of undead walkers around every corner. I’m thinking I’m not quite done with the zompoc sub-genre, so … stay tuned …

Making Funny Horror is Hard (but Snatchers did its damnedest)

I reviewed this fun, frenetic combo of Juno and Gremlins over here on Here’s more …

The nice folks at let me in on some of their screenings and screeners, if I agree to write a little review. Sometimes they’re great (hey, i got to see both chapters of IT that way. Most recently, they gave me a copy of Snatchers (yeah, they get some weird stuff sometimes. That’s what I’m here for.).

One of the most interesting things about Snatchers …

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Introducing the Hollis Collection

Introducing the Hollis Collection

My long-time friend Hollis and I have been making a list of cute, weird t-shirts we should do literally for eyars. So .. now. Here’s the first of many; it’s available on the Multiverse Marketplace just like a ton of other cool stuff (with new items appearing all the time). High quality, easy to wear, and an obvious no-braier for your whole damn team. Lick on the image or right here and it’s all yours!