Amazing Stories Magazine

The legendary Amazing Stories Magazine was kind enough to review
A Knife A Fork A Bottle And A Cork. I'm pleased and honored that they liked it.
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Book Review

The Grim Reader, AKA Beavis the Bookhead, penned a nice review of A Knife A Fork A Bottle And A Cork.
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My fish have all read it. The Platies and Rasboras love it, but the Corydoras (ever the critics) think it needs work.

2015 Octobers Frights Blog Hop

For the 2015 October Frights Blog Hop, we have a guest post from Dim Shores publisher Sam Cowan, and a book giveaway

Guest Post:

A couple of years ago I was reading manuscripts for a small publisher and came across this one from S.C. Hayden. Then titled American Idol, now Kill Your Idols, and before I was half-way through the book I recommended that we publish it. It was that good.

Here's my review of S.C. Hayden's Kill Your Idols:

OK, I really liked this book. It is one of the more unconventional and straight-up fun, and often funny, books I've read in a while, bristling with irreverence - literally, as Hayden mocks every major religion I can think of and goes after the very notion of organized religion itself. American Idol tells the story of two friends and a sister who revive the practice of idolatry, not because they believe in it as a spiritual system, but purely for profit (and maybe a little provocation too). This simple premise sets the stage for commentary on many aspects of our modern culture, primarily faith and commerce. And Hayden certainly has a lot to say.

A few surprising plot twists really change the tenor of the story as it unfolds. The general mood ranges from hilariously anarchic tweaking of values and beliefs to more somber and emotional passages, before arriving at a decidedly surreal climax. Hayden starts many chapters with quotes from religious texts like The Bible and The Koran, as well as relevant quotes from folks as diverse as L. Ron Hubbard, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits. A number of the quotes had me thinking they must surely be a joke, but every time I Googled them, I found they were authentic. Wow.

Hayden has a laid-back and conversational writing style that is well-suited to the story and its multiple digressions. At times I was reminded of the great The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Faith, loyalty, synchronicities, and strange numerology as well as shifting perspectives and voices figure into both works. American Idol isn't nearly as Byzantine or completely over the top as Illuminatus!, but the parallels are there, I think.

I was going to say that this is not a book for the easily offended, but I see that most other reviews have that covered. Hayden's targets of parody and scorn are many, and odds are you or someone you love falls into at least one of the many groups within his sights. Hopefully you can take a joke, because this is a book worth reading. There is a great deal of interesting ideas and thought-provoking commentary to be found in these pages, along with an enjoyable and engrossing plot involving well-written characters. A book that can't really be pigeon-holed in a distinct genre, American Idol should appeal to anyone with a sense of humor, an open mind, and an interest in the absurdities of modern American culture.

Sam Cowan - Enthusiast of the weird and publisher,
Dim Shores


So not only is this new edition now available, you can also enter to win a copy through the Big A (You need a US shipping address and an amazon account).

Just Click
HERE to see if you won!

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Two-Headed Dog

Well, the "Story of the Month" turned out to be a lot less than monthly. That's not for lack of good submissions, rather it's a lack of time on my part.

So, I'm renaming the segment, "Guest Fiction Spotlight."

The first story to kick off the new venture is titled "Two-Headed Dog" and was submitted by, Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois.

Two-Headed Dog

Day One/ Dear God, let everything broken be unbroken

Main Street becomes a highway as it leaves town east and west, but we don’t think of grounds privileges as an escape risk. Only a shard of patients have the nerve.

Tiffany: The roadway is not asphalt
but the bodies of Doberman Pinschers Sometimes they come back to life

Still, an urge to swim in her father’s pool, or breasts desperate for her children, conceived so immaculately they are unborn, or needing violence against her pale skin, she hears a voice: run run run.

Day Two/ Everything is gone

but they demand I get out of bed, brush my snaggle teeth
Can't you hold me, Hank? Close, as if I were beautiful?

After years in the madhouse, I am ubermensch, with x-ray eyes. Under ugliness, I see beauty/ under dysfunction, capability. I see Tiffany—before afflictions’s smear—kneel in sunshine, in rich earth, like Mary Magdalene.

Day Three/ Soggy Collard Greens

The other diners scrutinize me—
When you go pee I panic and throw our food on the floor

Tiffany is nowhere in sight At Highcastle Pharmacy, the counter girl asks: who? I stand in front of the lipstick display and read the names of colors.

You buy me a tube
I shake from medication and you guide my hand

I gaze at her new-colored lips. What if all the barriers—including her illness—suddenly collapsed?

Day 4/ Grunge Band Crash-Pad.

Dax: prison tattoos, ragged hair, pinwheel eyes. Couch-bound, he stares at ceiling. His electric guitar body is on his chest, its neck between his legs. “Wazzup, man?” “Tiffany? Yeah, she’s here. Shaggin’ our new drummer.” My heart soars, and falls to the pit of my stomach. I am ready to vomit with elation.

Dax leads me into a room, a bare, cum-soiled mattress on the floor, crushed PBRs. “Probly went to score. You gonna bust her?”

“She’s an escapee, a chronic schizophrenic.”

“Sign, sign everywhere a sign. Dig, you gotta let people tune their own karma. Can’t just lean in like a shade-tree mechanic, spray ‘em with WD-40, and re-torque their mind.”

“So terror and confusion are Tiffany’s fate, and Death under a freeway?”

“I reckon. Man, I gotta head for the McJob….”

Drowsy, I lie on the couch, cover myself with his Fender. I’m a two-headed dog. I awake in deep dark, and sneeze four times, feel dizzy. Meth in the couch cushions? I stand, grip the guitar—an ax— head for the cum room. No grunge punk is gonna mess with my treatment plan

Max Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fictions have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.