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Jeff Woodward has been writing fantasy stories since he was a child. In his 20s, he began to delve into horror, and more specifically history.
Aside from writing history, Jeff also got his hands wet in horror and fantasy. He was an editor at the now defunct Macbre Cadaver, which gave him his start in the publishing and editing industry. He has interviewed musicians such as Otep, and actors in the horror genre such as Melissa Bacelar.
When Giants Speak, a YA novel centering on a young man in 1980s suburban Chicago who is dealing with combative fellow students, gangs and love, is Jeff's first complete novel. It is the first in a series which follows the protaganist, Mario Vitelli, as he grows into a young man.
Jeff is also a member of the Robert E. Howard Foundation, or REHupa. This fan-group consists of only 30 members at a time worldwide. Pulp-writers such as Howard, Lovecraft and Clark-Ashton Smith gave him the will to write.
on July 07, 2012 :
A short story that gets quick to the point and leaves you thinking that Woodward could have done more with it.
The Alchemist had a lot of potential based off the beginning of the story with the way the main character wakes up and his memory of the night before. We have a solid setting, the right amount of horror and build up. But what he spends building up gets quickly torn down and forgotten with what comes across as a rushed mess of pulp fiction. It's like the story switched its genre half way through the story and became something completely opposite what it was supposed to be, and it left me scratching my head.
There are also a couple editorial mistakes as well, such as words that should have been other words and weren't caught in the editorial process.
But beyond that, the respected elements of pulp and horror, when viewed on their own, are pretty well done and each element could easily have been their own story. It's unfortunate that they got combined into this story, though I will admit that the $o.99 I paid for it on Smashwords was well priced for its length.
In the end, if you enjoy pulp stories, I recommend you pick this up. But if you are looking for a Lovecraftian story, pass this by. Same if you are looking for something horror.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)