C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

Filtering by Tag: horror

The Vicious Circuit: A Series by Robert Brockway

There should be a name for the genre of bizarre sci-fi, modern-fantasy, horror that the likes of David Wong, Robert Brockway and their ilk hilariously bestow upon this unsuspecting world. I like reading these books for a number or reasons, which I will list right now, in no particular order:

The main characters are hapless lay-about who don’t give many shits about anything, let alone the cosmic nightmares they have been thrown up against. They are often found stoned or drunk…or both.

The Dude abides.

The Dude abides.

However, said main characters are often assisted by a strong female counterpart who saves them from both monsters and their own stupidity on several hilarious occasions. These characters range from bookish to bad-ass.


And now that you mention it, stories that involve cosmic nightmares and untold horrors of a Lovecraftian nature are often the tea in which I gingerly pour into my ornate and chipped cup.

Thanks Nick the Rat

Thanks Nick the Rat

The dialog is raw and real with a lot of cursing. Not the Shakespearen pros you’d get from an episode of Deadwood, but rather the, punch-in-the-face gutter-speak heard after a night of heavy drinking…in which the drink of choice is gasoline with a spritz of ginger.


"Act averse to nasty language and partial to fruity tea."

~Al Swearengen

Where David Wong's books take place in, Undisclosed middle America, Brockway takes us into the often traveled streets of New York, London, and the far from glamorous L.A. scene. In Undisclosed, we suspend belief because, after all, this could all be some cruel aliens simulation in some unheard of town. But when the landmarks are found on our SnapInstaFace feeds when the monsters arrive is all the more unsettling.

Both writers also write for Cracked.com, which makes me wonder what the hell is in the drinking fountains over there. It's some pretty potent stuff! 

Keep writing these types of books and I'll keep reading them.

And now that I think about it, a Lovecraftian-themed show, staring Karen Gilliam, Jeff Bridges as The Dude, and Ian McShane would be something incredibly awesome. We’ll call this tale of horror, It Came from the Deep, or The Waking Gods, or The Big Lebowski 2. Co-Written by CGMcGinn, David Wong and Robert Brockway. I’d get top billing though. I wrote this post and found the pictures on the Inter-webs.


The Passage Trilogy

If you're looking for a different kind of horror story, then I recommend, The Passage, by Justin Cronin. It's a novel about vampires, but it's unlike anything pertaining to vampires that you've ever read before. This isn't Bram Stoker and this certainly isn't Ann Rice. And though there is a supernatural element to the story, it surprisingly doesn't have anything to do with the traditional vampire mythos.

The Passage uses science fiction as a sub-genre quite well One example was how the vampires, or 'virals' are brought into this world--through a secret military project conducted on American soil. It's very much like the start of a good Resident Evil game, complete with things going horribly, horribly wrong.

But there's more to The Passage than vampires. Cronin is at his best with the development of both his characters and the world he's created for them. This is a world that pokes at the edges of our own--albeit, a world that has seen better days. Hurricane Katrina has happened in Cronin's world, and it was quickly followed-up by a second hurricane that left the Louisiana coast all but uninhabitable. The children of our current politicians are now running the show, and doing just about as well as their predecessors. These details give the reader a sense of inclusion, which make the unfolding events much more horrifying.

Characters are expendable, but not in the way George RR Martin would carelessly kill-off someone. There's an actual sense of life to Cronin's characters. It's almost as if the story were a simulation of life happening during this horrible event, yet there is still room for heroes to emerge.

The Passage by itself is an epic book. There's a lot in here and it's well worth reading. It's also the first in a trilogy. The Twelve and The City of Mirrors continue the journey where The Passage left us. I really enjoyed getting lost in this world--though at times it proved to be quite sad, and often frustrating. By the end I was left with a peaceful sense of closure.

I added The Passage to the Reading List section of this website, though I could very easily put the entire trilogy in there. I'm just too lazy to spend that much time web designing.

Speaking of the Reading List, go check it out. It's like a blog post, only much much shorter. These are all books I've read and have covered in the blog. But unlike the blog, these are books that stand out as true favorites of mine. I've included the synopsis from Amazon and my own thoughts on the book. If you're interested in buying the book, simply click on the book cover and you'll be magically whisked away to Amazon--or the amazon...I can't remember which. Doing so will also help support this very website.