Dread Central Joins Boycott of Dorchester Publishing - Dread Central
Connect with us

Dread Central Joins Boycott of Dorchester Publishing

Published

on

There was a time when the name Leisure Books was synonymous with horror novels. When it came to mass market paperbacks, Leisure ruled the horror world. Authors like Ed Lee, Craig Spector, Brian Keene, Richard Laymon, Graham Masterton, Jack Ketchum, and even Stephen King have published with Leisure, which was owned by Dorchester Publishing.

Horror Author Brian KeeneUnder other lines Dorchester publishes romance, thrillers, westerns – you name it. However, in 2009 things began to go sideways at Dorchester. Within months the company as it was known was gone: sales and editorial staff fired, reports of shipments to stores and authors delayed, creditors piling up along with unpaid royalties to authors.

In mid-2010 Brian Keene (pictured right; Ghoul, The Rising, Urban Gothic) forged a deal with the company for the return of all publishing rights to his work in return for the forgiveness of all money owed to him by Dorchester. This was the first truly serious sign of trouble heard in public.

Skip ahead to early 2011. Dorchester Publishing has reinvented itself as a strictly-digital publisher of e-books. The plan is to dive into the new era of publishing and drag itself out of financial trouble. 2011 saw many of its titles released in e-book format for many different devices.

Problem is, Dorchester doesn’t own all of the titles it continues to sell, including several of Keene’s titles. Keene, a very open voice on the Internet, raised a ruckus. Many other authors spoke up, relating similar circumstances of stolen work, unauthorized e-books, unpaid royalties, and rights held hostage.

This month Keene organized a movement to boycott Dorchester. A hashtag on Twitter and a Facebook group later, over 200 professional authors and over 10,000 consumers have joined the boycott.

Boycott Dorchester PublishingDread Central is now announcing that we are joining this boycott.

We cannot sit by and allow a company to directly harm the industry and genre that we love and support. As one of the few large horror sites to cover horror novels, we’d be ethically repugnant if we supported Dorchester’s efforts to profit off the work of Keene and others illegally and immorally.

We will no longer cover Dorchester’s releases. We will not review them or post news about them. Until and unless Dorchester comes out of this dark time and makes things right with its authors, we’re done with them and strongly encourage the horror community to join us. Don’t buy Dorchester/Leisure books, not even discount books in a clearance bin at Wal-Mart. Definitely do not buy any Dorchester e-books or download any ‘free’ e-books. (Yes, Dorchester has been releasing free e-books from some authors without authority.)

Some names in the horror genre that are already supporting the boycott are Craig Spector, J.F. Gonzalez, F. Paul Wilson, and Christopher Golden. A full list (as of 3/25) can be found here.

Dorchester has responded through Publishers Weekly as follows:

Dorchester CEO Bob Anthony and senior editor Chris Keeslar said they understood Keene’s frustration but said they are also frustrated by the situation. Anthony said the call for a boycott is “truly regrettable and not necessary to get our attention, since he has our attention.” According to Anthony, after being notified by Keene that some sites had been selling e-books for which Dorchester had reverted the rights back to Keene, Dorchester sent suppression notices to the vendors. After Keene reported that some sites were still selling the e-books, Anthony said they sent another suppression letter telling the vendors they expected the e-books to be removed from sale. “We expected the vendors to act accordingly,” Anthony said, adding that “we respect the right of reversion.”

Anthony acknowledged that in rebuilding Dorchester the company has had to “prioritize its cash flow.” This has resulted in not all authors being paid the money they are owed and that Dorchester had committed to pay when Anthony took over from John Prebich last November. “All authors will be paid in full,” Anthony vowed. The Keene controversy has been a setback to Dorchester’s turnaround efforts, but Keeslar said Dorchester is committed to rebuilding.

Keene, on his official website, fired back:

Here’s the thing, Bob. This keeps happening repeatedly, despite your assurances of sending “suppression notices” and despite your expectations that your “vendors act accordingly.” For three months, I’ve been asking for an explanation of why it keeps happening. I’ve yet to receive one. So despite your claim, I don’t think I’ve had your attention. I don’t think any of your authors have. But we do now.

A great breakdown of everything that’s happened so far with this drama can be found on Making Light.

We’ll continue to follow the Dorchester story and report any important changes as they happen. Hopefully, the continued public pressure on the company will force them to repent and make things right with the authors that built their company. At that time you’ll see Dorchester/Leisure news and reviews here again. Until then, stay tuned to Dread Central for news and reviews of horror books from all other publishers!

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Boycott unfair practices in the comments section below.

Image Type 1:

Continue Reading
Comments

Reviews

Children of the Fall Review – This Israeli Slasher Gets Political

Published

on

Starring Noa Maiman, Aki Avni, Yafit Shalev, Iftach Ophir, Michael Ironside

Directed by Eitan Gafny

Reviewed out of Utopia 2017


Slashers are a subgenre of horror that are often looked down upon. After all, what can a movie about a killer slaughtering multiple people have to say about, well…anything. Those of us in the community know full well that this is nonsense and that any kind of horror movie can be a jabbing (no pun intended) commentary on society, culture, politics, art, etc… And that’s precisely what Eitan Gafny aims to do with Children of the Fall, one of the few Israeli slashers ever created.

Set on the eve of the Yom Kippur war, the film follows Rachel (Maiman), a young American woman who comes to Israel to join a kibbutz after suffering some serious personal tragedies. Her goal to make aliyah (the return of Jews to Israel) is however hampered by some rather unpleasant encounters with local IDF soldiers and members of the kibbutz. Pushing through, she makes friends with others in the commune and her Zionistic views are only strengthened, although they do not go untested. Once Yom Kippur, one of the holiest holidays in Jewish culture, begins, a killer begins picking off the kibbutz workers one by one in violent and gruesome ways.

Let’s start with what Children of the Fall gets right, okay? As slashers go, it’s actually quite beautiful. There are wonderfully expansive shots that make use of the size and diversity of the kibbutz. The film opens with a beautiful shot of a cow stable, barn, water towers, and miscellaneous outbuildings, all set against a dark and stormy night. The lighting of this scene, and throughout the film, is also very good. I found myself darting my eyes across the screen multiple times throughout the film thinking I’d seen something lurking in the shadows.

The kills, while unoriginal, are very satisfying. Each death is meaty, bloody, and doesn’t feel rushed. In fact, the camera has no problems lingering during each kill, allowing us to appreciate the practical FX and copious amounts of blood used. And if you believe that a slasher needs to have nudity, you won’t be disappointed.

The acting is middle of the road. Maiman is serviceable as Rachel but the real star of the film is Yafit Shalev as “Yaron”. His range of emotion is fantastic, from warm and welcoming to Rachel when she arrives to emoting grief and pain during his Yom Kippur announcement where we learn that he was a child in a concentration camp. The rest of the cast are perfectly acceptable as fodder for the killer.

So where does Children of the Fall stray? Let’s start with the most obvious part: the runtime. Clocking in at nearly two hours, that’s about 30 minutes too much. The film could easily have gone through some hefty editing without affecting the final product. Instead, we have a movie that feels elongated when unnecessary.

Additionally, the societal and political commentary is very in-your-face but the film can’t seem to make up its mind as to what it’s trying to get across. Natalia, a Belarussian kibbutz worker, raises the concept of Israeli racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, her hostility unabashedly pouring out in the midst of IDF soldiers, locals, other kibbutz members, and more. Is there validity to what she’s saying? Undoubtedly. But there is also validity to Rachel’s retorts, which include calling this woman out on her own vitriolic views. This back-and-forth mentality frustratingly prevails throughout the film, as though Gafny was unwilling to just commit.

The dialogue is also quite painful at times, although I attribute this to difficulties with translating from Hebrew to English. Even the best English speakers in Israel don’t get everything perfect and the little quirks here and there, while charming, are quite detracting. Also, why is this movie trying to tell me that Robert Smith of The Cure is a character here? While amusing, it makes absolutely no sense nor does it fit in Smith’s own timeline.

Had this film gone through a couple rounds of editing, I feel like we’d have gotten something really great. Eitan Gafny is definitely someone that we need to be watching very closely.

  • Children of the Fall
2.5

Summary

While Children of the Fall has a lot going for it, it has just as much working against it. Overly long, you’ll get a really great slasher that is bogged down by uneven social and political commentary.

Sending
User Rating 3 (7 votes)
Continue Reading

News

Netflix to Tell The Frankenstein Chronicles in the States

Published

on

There’s still a big part of me that wonders why Universal – or anyone for that matter – has not been able to reboot classics like The Mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Maybe they’re trying too hard? Maybe they keep putting the wrong people at the helm?

Look at del Toro’s The Shape of Water… It’s pretty much a new version of The Creature of the Black Lagoon with a heavier emphasis on the relationship between monster and chosen mate. Even though there are a couple of hokey parts, it really works and is excellent. So maybe we need to look elsewhere throughout the world to meet with success. Case in point: “The Frankenstein Chronicles.”

Variety is reporting that the hit six-episode UK series starring Sean Bean will be coming Stateside and more via the ever-growing streaming service Netflix.

This deal opens the way for Netflix to make further seasons should it resonate with its U.S. and global subscribers.

“The Frankenstein Chronicles” is a re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. Set in 1830s London, Bean (“Game of Thrones”) plays John Marlott, a war veteran and river policeman. Season 1 of the serialized show sees him investigating the case of a corpse made up of body parts from different children and finding the matter involves senior establishment figures and demonic forces.

Continue Reading

News

Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn Returning to the Horror Genre

Published

on

Know what’s funny? We horror fans have known how good James Gunn was all along. It just took the rest of the world time to catch up! Now that Gunn has made his big Hollywood bones with his two Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, he’s returning to the genre to produce a new horror flick! Oh, happy day!

Word came across our desks that Gunn has signed on to produce an untitled horror feature with The H Collective. It was written by James’ brother Brian and cousin Mark Gunn. James will produce the project in between writing the highly anticipated feature Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 and starting production. Gunn’s longtime collaborator David Yarovesky will direct.

The H Collective will fully finance the project and produce alongside Gunn and his shingle, Troll Court Entertainment. Brian and Mark Gunn, Dan Clifton, and The H Collective’s Nic Crawley will executive produce.

The project is expected to go into production in the spring of 2018 and brings Gunn back to his horror roots. The filmmaker, whose credits included mostly fan-favorite horror gems like Slither prior to writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy, is responsible for turning the Marvel property into one of the most memorable franchises in the Marvel universe.

More as we get it!

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Trending