Friday, September 12, 2014


Heroin in the Magic Now, by Terry M. West, is a super book. I purchased this great book a while back and have to get my review up. Let me say I kept saying WTF over and over again. It was that good. No one will be bored with this fantastic tale. Get your copy now!

Blaze McRob

Book Description

August 31, 2014
"[Heroin in the Magic Now] will definitely leave an indelible mark deep within your soul!"-DIABOLIQUE MAGAZINE

"HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW is a nightmare on acid. It is beautiful, deep and sad..."-Heather Omen, THE HORROR NATION

"One of the most powerful and disturbing... yet incredibly entertaining things... I have read in decades..."-Michael Donner, CREEPERCAST.COM

"HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW is a super edgy, blood-thirsty tale that made me uncomfortable and left me wanting more. I love this story!"-Zachary Walters, THE MOUTHS OF MADNESS PODCAST

"What true horror is all about..."-SCARLET'S WEB

"Terry M. West has created an unnerving horrific masterpiece..."-GEEKDOM OF GORE

HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW is a dark and personal tale by Terry M. West.

HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW explores pain and hell. The story is set in a dark make-believe New York. The Night Things have climbed onto our shores from the shadows and they are now part of the system.

Gary Hack, a down on his luck exploitation film director with an appetite for heroin, finds himself working in the dangerous world of monster fetish videos.

Gary is made an offer he can't refuse by Johnny Stücke, an immortal crime boss. The video Johnny envisions could be the greatest zombie fetish film ever created. But it could also ignite an apocalypse that could destroy the city.

HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW is original, startling and brutal. BONUS: Included with the first tale is a lengthy preview of HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW 2.
**This review is for the Kindle Edition**

Author Terry M. West continues to explore the bizarre reality he introduced readers to in his short story "Hardcore Crust" (which appeared in the anthology Axes of Evil) with his latest novella, the inventive and at times poignant Heroin the Magic Now.

The new story picks up not long after the events of "Hardcore Crust", with that story's protagonist, adult film director Gary Hack (a talented artisan who has found himself churning out pornography due to the twin demons of bad career choices and a rampaging heroin addiction), once again taking front and center as he is approached by a powerful underworld figure known as Johnny Stṻcke to shoot a film for the growing zombie market.

For the uninitiated, the hook in these stories is that they're set in an alternate version of New York where, at some point in the past, magic became reality and otherworldly creatures such as vampires, werewolves, ghouls, zombies and other nasty denizens of the night have become a part of everyday existence.

Aside from his technical prowess (the man knows how to turn a phrase), West's imagination is the star here. There are zombie hookers, Lyncathrope porn stars and street vendors selling magic totems to ward off the various otherworldly beasts populating the streets and alleys of this fictitious metropolis. I really enjoyed how the author used them to mirror the real world. The fact that these beings are the stuff of legend come to life doesn't mean much. Even the most outlandish of creatures can end up homeless or working in a seedy line of work, just like any human being. In one particularly brilliant passage, the mobster character informs Hack that zombies will soon be a demographic all of their own as they will inevitably assume all of the menial labor positions in the work force. It's that sort of observational detail that gives these stories substance and frequently sets West's work on a higher tier than many of the genre offerings currently available.

On the subject of that mobster character, West scores high marks for introducing Johnny Stṻcke, one of his most memorable creations. An imposing figure stitched together from various body parts in a manner evocative of Frankenstein's monster, the mobster exudes an overpowering menace with every line and is effectively sketched as a controlling force not to be trifled with. One hopes to see the character return in future tales.

I also enjoyed the more dramatic passages, where events which evolve out of the film shoot at the center of the story lead to major changes among the few people life has cast as Hack's friends. In these moments, West effectively captures the feel of those bittersweet moments when we realize we're likely saying goodbye to a close friend and loyal companion for the last time, while also successfully conveying a sense of how quickly such things can happen. In this dark fantasy world, as in real life, the departure of friends can come about without warning, leaving an unexpected vacancy where something meaningful once existed. It's also to the author's credit that we are allowed a little more insight into Hack's history, specifically in an effective passage where the character receives a surprising phone call from his ex-wife.

Unfortunately, I do have one issue with Heroin in the Magic Now: The structure of the new story is essentially that of "Hardcore Crust", following the same blueprint: We meet Gary Hack, see how wasted his life is, witness his addictions, he's offered an unusual film shoot and then things on set don't go as planned. Heroin in the Magic Now plays out on a larger canvas with more detail to be sure, but at times it felt like a formula is beginning to set in already. That's somewhat stifling. I would have liked to see more about what happened with Hack following the shoot. I definitely would like to see a more intimate look at his life when he's not on set.

That isn't to say this isn't a great story. It is. In fact, both of them ("Hardcore Crust" is included with this volume and I recommend readers consume the stories in the order they were written) are excellent works. They're imaginative, very compelling, emotionally engaging and very entertaining. It's also worthy of note that, in an unexpectedly moving forward , the author acknowledges that Gary Hack is his fictitious surrogate and that the demons the character struggles against are born of West's own experiences. That revelation didn't surprise me. The personal investment by the author is evident and his intimacy with the material comes through clearly in the prose.

Final Thoughts: With Heroin in the Magic Now, Terry West has created the most compelling and original alternate reality to grace the page in many a year, even when taking into account what this reader found to be a familiar plot structure. The author's skill and imagination are on full display here, and the personal connection West shares with the material invests the story with an emotional quality that is both rare and welcome. It's precisely that quality -not the fantasy/horror elements- that I found most gripping and it's what separates this series from its' contemporaries. If Terry West is going to continue exploring this fascinating new world he's created (And he is. A preview of the next story is included here), I hope we'll have the chance to see even more of Gary Hack the man, rather than just Gary Hack the filmmaker.

I cannot overstate this: Horror fans looking looking for something truly original that will get under their skin need to read Heroin in the Magic Now.
Image of Terry M. West
Terry M. West is a well known author, filmmaker, actor and artist. He has written several books in the young adult field (most notably the graphic novel series, Confessions of a Teenage Vampire) and he has also written several horror short stories as well as the horror/thriller novel, Dreg. His work has appeared (or is scheduled to appear) in FrightNet, Scream Factory, Agony In Black, Lacunae, Jackhammer, House of Pain, Dark Muse, Moonletters, Silent Screams, When Red Snow Melts, One Hellacious Halloween, Deathmongers, Vignettes from the End of the World, Axes of Evil and Zombified 2. He was a finalist for the 1997 International Horror Guild Award for a short story (The Night Out) and he made the 1999 Bram Stoker Award preliminary ballot for a piece of long fiction (Hair and Blood Machine). He was also mentioned on the 1997 TV Guide Sci-Fi Hot List. West's books and collections include:… Read more

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