Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cybernock Reviews: The Second Wave
By Anthony Servante

Welcome back, Cybernock fans. Our second wave of book reviews come from our interviewees from Cybernocturnalism Part II: Through the Cyber Glass: Gerald Rice, Lee Allen Howard, and Franklin E. Wales. Let’s begin with our first author.

Gerald Rice has been writing Horror stories for over ten years and has books online and on paper. His website is His first paper book was THE GHOST TOUCHER (2010); his latest e-book is TALES FROM AN APARTMENT (2012).

Gerald Rice-Tales from an Apartment

Gerald Rice finds horror in the commonplace. He does not want you to go too far to encounter monsters, zombies, or the supernatural. Here in TALES FROM AN APARTMENT, he wants the reader to find it in an apartment building. He gives us eight stories where the tenants encounter their share of horror. Each story is involving and very different from the last, as it should be, if you know apartment living. The prose works well with the themes of tales and adjusts from tale to tale. Rice has a connection with the macabre that he captures well with his short stories. 

As a fan of his novel, The Ghost Toucher, I was pleased to find that Gerald can compact the humor and horror of his longer writings into a few pages. Each of the eight stories is indeed compact and carry much of the creepiness and bathos of TGT with each tale. My favorite story was “The Second Death of Timothy Mosely”, a sad tale without the unnecessary maulin ending that many writers would rely on to make such a story work. I always proceed with trust when reading a Rice story. I know I’ll get horror with a pinch of pathos.

For a selection of Gerald Rice books, visit:

Lee Allen Howard writes horror, dark fantasy, and supernatural crime. His trade paperback publications include THOU SHALT NOT... (anthology) and THE SIXTH SEED. His fiction titles for Kindle include THE SIXTH SEED, MAMA SAID, STRAY, DESPERATE SPIRITS, NIGHT MONSTERS, and SEVERED RELATIONS. 

Howard has been a professional writer in the software industry since 1985. Besides editing fiction and non-fiction, he does editing and layout for health and fitness professionals, medical companies, and psychics.

Howard's writer site is Please visit and subscribe.

He also publishes classics of Modern Spiritualism: MEDIUMSHIP AND ITS LAWS, THE NEXT ROOM, ALL THE SPIRITUALISM OF THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE, FALSE PROPHETS AND FRAUDULENT MEDIUMS OF THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE, LETTERS FROM HEAVEN, and his own IN DEFENSE OF DEPARTED SPIRITS. Lee is a practicing metaphysician, spiritual healer, and Spiritualist medium. Howard reads and writes about metaphysical and consciousness issues on his blog at

Lee Allen Howard-Desperate Spirits

Desperate Spirits involves two tales of Calvin Bricker, Supernatural Investigator, and his dachshund Jerry, who detests otherworldly things. Right off let me say that Lee has a gift for similes and metaphors. Yes, I know they are filtered through the personality of Calvin the divorcee, but ultimately it is the author who channels the main character. The first story “The Vacant Lot” deals with an empty space in the neighborhood where Calvin resides, which Lee describes wonderfully as a “missing tooth on a beauty pageant contestant.” Nice. This lot is the focus of our detective’s investigation and what he uncovers provides the supernatural element that our friend Bricker specializes in. The second story “How I Was Cured of Naiveté” Calvin learns a valuable lesson in uncovering things not meant to be uncovered. The story deals with a haunting presence, a ghostly girl, in Calvin’s residence that leads his investigation not only to the basement but to memories the arcane detective had thought long forgotten. This is my first trip down the horror trail with the Supernatural Investigator, and it was a very pleasant adventure, somewhat akin to the BBC TV stories that are dry yet dripping with suspense. I look forward to further stories with Calvin Bricker.

For a selection of books by Lee Allen Howard, visit:

The author of six novels and numerous shorter works of fiction and nonfiction, Franklin E. Wales prefers the title of Storyteller to Novelist or Journalist. "It's a time honored tradition passed down through our parents and our grandparents," he says. "No matter what I am writing, it is my goal to entertain you with the story I'm telling." 

Born and raised in Conway, NH, Frank now lives with his beautiful photographer wife, Jacki, in the South Florida home they share with their two dogs and a cat named Oz (as in Wizard of).

Franklin E. Wales-Deadheads

I’ve been writing articles and reviews for just over a year now. My anniversary was August. During that time I have read, reviewed and interviewed some major authors in the field of Zombie Apocalypse fiction. So, when I opened the first pages of “Deadheads” and realized that I was about to read another Zombie book, I did not hesitate because the author was Franklin E. Wales. If anything, I expected some new tricks for an old dog. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The novel deals with the post-apocalypse of a zombie breakout and the healing and rebuilding of the human nation. But all is not as it seems. Gage Owens, a zombie killer, is up to his neck in “evolving” undead, smarter, devious, cunning. There is also a hybrid zombie/human that gets around, shall we say. And Frank’s use of humor serves as a release valve for tension, a necessary device for any smart horror book. There's  even a love interest in Sara, the girl Gage rescues, his new partner. We also meet many characters who add to the story from various angles; they are there to move the plot, not to feed Gage’s ego or act as his cheerleaders.

I will not place Deadheads at the top of the ZA genre just because there is a glut of undead books (especially ebooks); I’ve read too many imaginative and creative books with rousing heroes (Darlene Bobich comes to mind) and subtle story lines (think Jonathan Maberry) and many more that I don’t’ have space or time to list, but I will give Frank’s view of the ZA accolades for adding a new twist and put him in my top five best zombie books to date. Gage Owens would eat up the silver screen and the Wales’ smart undead might teach the Resident Evil film-makers how it’s supposed to be done. I look forward to Deadheads becoming a regular series.

For more books by Franklin E. Wales, visit:

That concludes our reviews of our second group of Cybernocks. We will pick up next month with our third group: Lisa Morton, Ray Garton, Mark Rainey, John Shirley, and Graham Masterton (on foreword). See you then.

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