Just ask resident horror fiction writer Brian Asman, a skilled artist who delights in gore. Noted for his short stories dripping with absolute weirdness, some even lined with creep, Asman is one of 16 writers featured in “California Screamin’,” a new publication sure to delight and entertain those who relish the ghostly, sinister, eerie, absurd and disturbed.
The eclectic array of stories, edited by Danielle Kaheaku, transforms the land of “perpetual sunshine, swaying palm trees and blue waters lapping at sandy beaches” into California’s dark side of “wraithlike fog, dense shadows and hellish heat.” Stories lined with “primeval specters, soured fantasies, transplanted vampires and bizarre geography,” tap into a “Twilight Zone” of fiction sure to surprise America’s Finest City.
Asman’s story, Bumming Smokes, leaves little to the imagination of “I need a smoke.” An odd, dry humor conjures up images of San Diego’s clicks, leaving no doubt of his opinion of “those” people.
He writes, “Especially after the last lady – typical upper-middle-class Whole Foods shopper. Some kind of Japanese or Chinese symbols linked up the inside of her arm, wearing a tank top covered in mandalas. Carrying a purse with a faux-Warhol photo print of Nelson Mandelas. The kind of chick who actually thinks the universe cares about her. Like Jupiter’s trying to make sure all her stupid chakras are aligned or something.”
Admitting that he “writes stuff, mostly horror, but also whatever weirdness pops into my head,” Asman also confesses to loving dogs “way more than people,” and enjoying a barrel-aged beer on a sunny Southern California day with punk rock blaring in the background.
Bumming Smokes is not for the faint of heart. Nicotine aficionados, however, are sure to enjoy the journey of the jones.
“California Screamin’” is replete with stories to engage an audience who enjoys the art of the bizarre. As noted in the introduction written by famed writer and Southern California resident, Jonathan Maberry, “The stories in this book represent, for some of the contributors, their first published works. They are, without a doubt or reservation, worlds better than my first story.”
Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author and comic book writer. Covering the genres of suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy and action. Mayberry has won the Bram Stoker Award five times.
He describes “California Screamin’” as a book that contains “terrific stories. Lots of shadows. Lots of horror.” The self-described weird kid applies the same label to the authors. “My readers are weird, because – like me – they dig that kind of thing,” he writes. “So are these writers. Weird and delightfully delicious.”
No ghastly ghoul or party should be without a copy of “California Screamin’” to highlight Halloween!