By Brian Asman
“All I want for Christmas is…..a gift for my girlfriend…?” Tommy has just started a new job within a Christmas supply warehouse and has an epiphany. He’s completely forgotten to not only check his list twice but make a list at all where gifts and his girlfriend are concerned. Just to add additional mistletoe and tinsel to the fray, its Christmas eve and time is running out.
Supervisor Jimmy reluctantly agrees to help the distraught new recruit find just the right gift. When the tandem inadvertently unleash a ghastly yuletide dose of the undead variety the sleepy hollow of Pine Canyon may not see the light of Christmas morn, or any morning thereafter.
Readers may now rejoice as author Brian Asman is back once again with his antics just in time for the holiday season. Perpetually equipped with an infectious, comedic prose the hapless consumer will grapple between rolling fits of laughter and spine tingling grandiose. Our genre’s forever growing audience bears witness to the fact humour and horror are infinitely bound like outcast Siamese twins.
The holiday fanfare of Return of The Living Elves is a little something to entice the sentiment in each of us. Holidays plus memories times conversation pieces equals brilliant marketing in any equation. Our fine folks at Mutated Media know their demographic well and wisely look upon the horizon, making room for future consumers from all walks of life.
The publisher’s format of the inaugural novella within the pages followed up by an accompanying short story from another wicked wordsmith will captivate one and all. It is evident Mutated media is not simply searching for a niche market. This reader is most exited and honored to watch the small press continue to flourish, tantalize and terrorize.
Down to the gory meat of the matter, the text of Asman’s endeavor is void of definitive definition in the conventional sense of any tangible protagonist versus antagonist. The term Christpunk (completely new to this aged and dated critic) comes to mind. What’s truly ingenious about the segue is characters such as Landfill accentuate realism in contemporary life. The days of cookie cutter heroes with squeaky clean morals and opposing villains have been left far behind. In societal evolution the values that remain elusive are the most suspended form of plausible fiction. We get behind the characters we relate to, and Asman does a brilliant job of crafting as such.
The elves and zombies are a fascinating mash up. One is a symbol associated with innocence, a simpler time in make believe youth. Heightening hopes and dreams enhances the epitome of vulnerability. The concept of the undead swoops in ravenously while eclipsing our subconscious, forever breathing undeniable life unto cerebral terror.
Despite what the reading audience may anticipate, the presence of undead elves is much more elusive than what one may guess. Don’t get me wrong, there is an abundance of mayhem, blood and carnage. Yet the true conflict and character development lies within Tommy, Landfill, The Christpunks and even the Clauses and Krinkles (no plot spoilers). The zombie munchkins create and effective subtext, but the true conflict between these pages is the conflict that already exists within.
The Murderous Eejit by Shelly Lyons wraps the publication up, suitable for ooky, spooky exchange. Reminiscent of The Entity, the authors short tale has a twist that would inspire gooseflesh on even the most cynical of readers. A most welcome climax will have readers begging for more.
Mutated Media’s format of two compatible yet contrasting authors’ tales is quite savvy for lack of more accommodating description. Return of The Living Elves is a potential future classic in the making and will satiate a vast new reading audience and hardcore/diehard fans alike.
Call me a sentiment, call me captivated (just don’t call me late for Halloween) but I often associate cherished memories with fiction that resonates with me and vice versa. Without divulging too much dirty laundry, but this novel helped me through a very dark time with family tragedy in vicarious escape. My extended gratitude knows no bounds. Do yourself a favour freaky fiend, grab a copy of Return of The Living Elves, you won’t regret it.