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Flesh Welder / Ronald Kelly

thronald_kelly_fleshwelder_cover.jpgCroatoan Publishing / April 2008
Reviewed by: Shannon Riley

War has made Ruin Town, a small settlement near Houston, Texas, living hell for those unlucky enough to be trapped between the two opposing factions. The story is futuristic; set in 2017 in desperate and ravaged region. The military leader, General Jeremiah Payne, is a sadistic butcher who preys upon the innocents who manage to survive the bombs and fighting. Mutilation, murder and rape are all sport to him and his band of mercenaries. The only hope the people have is one man, a doctor known as the Flesh-Welder.

“Flesh Welder,” a story that originally appeared in Noctulpa: Journal of Horror #4 (1990), is now a new chapbook from Croatoan Publishing, and it marks the return of popular Southern horror author Ronald Kelly after a ten-year hiatus.

The strength of Flesh Welder lies in Kelly’s unique writing style that he calls “southern-fried horror,” one that explores the dark side of Dixie, and his characters and dialogue reinforce a sense of authenticity to the tale. There is a delicious sense of mystery at play here, and the suspense in the story builds through anticipation of what the unexpected horror is and when it will be revealed.

The cover design and artwork for this attractive publication is by artist Zack McCain, and the chapbook includes - in addition to the title story - an exclusive interview with the author conducted by Mark Hickerson, plus a two-chapter excerpt from Kelly’s upcoming novel, Undertaker’s Moon, a re-release from Croatoan of his novel Moon of the Werewolf. The chapbook is signed by both author and artist.

Kelly is the author of eight novels published under the Zebra imprint in the late 80’s and early 90’s, including Hindsight, Moon of the Werewolf and Blood Kin. His audio short story collection, Dark Dixie: Tales of Southern Horror, from Spine-Tingling Press was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1992.

Flesh Welder is an exciting comeback story that should please existing Ronald Kelly fans and introduce his work to many new ones.

Purchase Ronald Kelly’s Flesh Welder.

Posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 11:16AM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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