Ginger Nuts of Horror
Bob Ford is one of those writers that not nearly enough of you are reading. I mean, his world-weary and wise protagonists and everyday situations the swerve into absolutely batshit territory t the drop of a dime, are just a little bit of what makes him such a treasure. I count him among the writers that inspire me most.
Samson & Denial , first published in 2011, was the first Ford book I had read. And it was not at all what I was expecting. We first meet Samson Gallows as he is about to close his pawn shop in downtown Philly. He's tired and feeling less than charitable when the crack head comes in to sell him the head. A mummified head. Not having it to do, Samson gives the chump twenty beans for it and tells him to haul ass. Samson then prepares to go to his little brothers and take care of some other business, counting the take from their lucrative side line of pill dealing. From this point this go from zero to shitstorm, as Samson finds his world not only ripped apart at the seams but he finds that he can't trust anyone or anything...and that the biggest ally he has is a flaky thousand year old head in a bowling bag.
This short novelette is good. It's Lansdale good with everything from double crossing drug dealers and Russian mobsters to modern witch cults, magic and then there's that head. Ford writes in a seamless banter that makes it easy to picture the man just sitting across from you at the bar and regaling you with this tale as though it really happened to him. He's a master.
When Bob told me he had a new novella coming this year, I was ecstatic. When he said it was in the same universe as Samson & Denial, I damn near peed my pants. After seeing him read the opening chapter at this summer's Scares That Care weekend. I bought it immediately. Ford loves the underdog...sometimes the poor bastard that lies even lower than the underdog. In Ring Of Fire, Murph Wildasin is having a shitty day. His girlfriend has drained his bank account, is stepping out on him with the local septic-tank sucker and his meth-head pal, Weasel is always trying to rope him into his current scam agenda. Something as simple as trying to overcome all of this by getting in shape can't even go Murph's way. When he sets out jog a little of the anger and stress away, things go pear-shaped. It begins when Haddon, the septic fellow chases him in his shit tanker and just ratchets weirder and weirder--I'm talking witches and murder and perhaps a swamp monster.
Every bit as charming and fun as the other book. I greatly enjoyed the characters and the odd twists that Ford threw out. I hope that he continues putting out these slivers of this world, hell, I'd read volumes of them. I'll read anything this man writes. I strongly urge you to follow suit.
Samson & Denial as well as Ring Of Fire are available from Amazon and possibly via contacting the author.