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Swamp Witch Piquante and Scream Queen Bisque over a Bed of Rice [Paperback]

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Item description for Swamp Witch Piquante and Scream Queen Bisque over a Bed of Rice by Jason Just M. F. Korn...

Two horrific tales to delight Korn lovers.

In "The White Trash Witches Coven", Keith Ogden accidentally meets a witch in a Super-Usav-Mart. When she invites him to join the coven, he accepts, thinking of evil sorceries and dances with the devil. The gaggle of chatty women he encounters severely disappoints, with their baby pictures, recipes, and addictions to trashy afternoon TV. Is this "coven" just a group of wannabes, or is something more sinister lurking underneath the chicken grease?

In "Pavane for a Scream Queen", Jeff Vincent, freelance writer for Filmland Magazine and as-of-yet-undiscovered novelist, has landed the interview of a lifetime with cult favorite Aurora Sterling, scream queen of the 1950's classic B-movies. But when Dame Aurora cancels and those who worked with her die or go into hiding, Jeff finds himself in the middle of a mystery. What is the secret behind this gorgeous, elegant woman? Is it just Hollywood hype, or something else much older and eternal?

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Item Specifications...

Pages   196
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.44"
Weight:   0.56 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Silver Lake Publishing
ISBN  1931095787  
ISBN13  9781931095785  

Availability  0 units.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Swamp Witch Piquante and Scream Queen Bisque over a Bed of Rice?

Information about author (not part of review):
About MF Korn, author of twelve novels and 240 stories published:

Three of MF Korn's books, CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL AND OTHER STORIES, and ALIENS, MINIBIKES AND OTHER STAPLES OF SUBURBIA, and also SKIMMING THE GUMBO NUCLEAR were mentioned in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection. CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL AND OTHER STORIES was mentioned in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror edited by Stephen Jones. RACHMANINOFF'S GHOST was also mentioned in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror edited the following year.

(Here is review below)

Be Careful D'awlin, Or You Might Get Yaself Stuck in the Nint Level a Hell

by Tony Fonseca

Korn, M. F. Swamp Witch Piquante and Scream Queen Bisque (Over a Bed of Rice). Silver Lake Publishing, 2004. 192 p.

Mais even Boudreaux and Thibodeaux know dat's is' bad luck to sit cross-legged in a funeral home, or dat if you drop a egg, and is' rotten, dat means you husband's runnin' round behind you back, or dat if you find a nickel under the kitchen table, it means that company comin'. Bet dey even know dat if de moon got a ring around it on you birtday, that mean you gonna get married that year.

Dese kind-a supa-stitions-er, I mean these kinds of superstitions-and the belief in witchcraft, is what informs the first of two early novellas by M. F. Korn, collected under the title Swamp Witch Piquante and Scream Queen Bisque. Though hardly horrific in the strictest sense of the word, "The White Trash Witch's Coven" and "Pavane for a Scream Queen" (the word "pavane" refers to the music that would accompany a stately 16th Century dance) manage to be delightful in parts, and just plain fun overall.

For those of you that follow this e-zine regularly, the previous assessment might have come as a shock. After all, various Necropsy reviewers have tackled this Baton Rouge native's genre prose in the past, usually finding it lacking, and sometimes unreadable. And after actually enjoying-without equivocation-these two novellas, I think I see why: Korn seems most at home when he is writing regional fiction, especially when he has fun with his characters, creating recognizable faces for those who are familiar with an area and its inhabitants. The problem is he doesn't do this often enough.

"The White Trash Witch's Coven," by far my favorite Korn fiction to date, is full of 'Yat dialogue (a 'Yat is a person native to certain suburbs of N'awlins, and is usually known for a heavy accent and the use of the greeting "where y'at?") and down home white and black magic. It's also one of those Night Gallery type pieces where dramatic irony plays a huge role, as readers realize the downfall of the main character well before he even begins to suspect that something is amiss. In it, a curious, bored and slightly ill college drop-out named Keith Ogden meets a strange woman in a Super-Usav-Mart (Korn sometimes is over-the-top with his naming), and she recommends a home remedy for his cough, claiming to be a witch and a member of a local coven. This "coven" is made up mainly of trashy country types who live in the Baton Rouge suburb of Dunham Springs (there is actually a Denham Springs located just outside of Baton Rouge). She invites him to join the coven, and of course he accepts almost without question, out of curiosity, but mainly out of ennui. He soon discovers that the coven is composed mainly of chatty-and very catty-middle-aged women, who discuss soap operas as much as they do black magic. To make matters worse, Keith has stumbled along at a time when there is a petty power struggle within the coven. Unbeknownst to him, however, his presence will alleviate these tensions, but at a cost.

Though not nearly as well-written or fun, the second novella, "Pavane for a Scream Queen," is also one of Korn's better products. It lacks the snappy dialogue of "The White Trash Witch's Coven," but it reads well, despite the author's tendency towards solipsism. Jeff Vincent, a budding novelist and freelance writer for Filmland Magazine, manages to land an important interview with ex cult movie starlet Aurora Sterling, a scream queen of classic 1950's B-flicks. Vincent, an interview specialist, chomps at the bit for this assignment, for he has somewhat of a fetishistic interest in the aging actress. Like the first tale of this collection, "Pavane" has a surprise ending, and again it is one that the reader sees coming well before the protagonist. But while "White Trash Witch's Coven" ends tragically for Keith, "Pavane" is a different kind of story, an homage if you will, and as such it has no need of a dark ending for Jeff.

Korn is one of those writers that you just find yourself rooting for. He seems to have good ideas, but not always the discipline and the vision to create whole fictional worlds in a readable style. Perhaps this is because pure horror, that is the kind of horror that intends to instill fear or loathing in the reader, is not his forte. I've always most enjoyed his short pieces where he eschews the idea of unabashed horror and opts for poignancy and tongue-in-cheek humor, albeit it dark and oftentimes degenerate. These two novellas may not appeal entirely to devotees of the Lovecraftian vein of horror. However, those who enjoy eccentricity and local color in a dark tale will find quite a bit to like in this collection.

And who knows, maybe ya'll'll learn some y'at-isms while passin' a good time readin'.

Horror with local color  Mar 8, 2004
"Swamp Witch Piquante," the latest of M.F. Korn's published novels, deviates slightly from the unabashed horror of his previous works to offer a homely, and at times even poignant, view of the feckless, lower middle class women who populate the countryside around Korn's hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To all appearances, they are trailer-dwelling, soap-opera-watching mediocrities who play-act the rituals of witchcraft chiefly to frighten unfriendly neighbors and schoolyard bullies. The protagonist, Keith Ogden, a student of paranormalism, is drawn into their group but has virtually dismissed them as pitiful misfits, crotchety yet harmless. Will he find out otherwise?
Readers not familiar with the local color of Southeast Louisiana will chuckle at the various ailments and folk remedies catalogued in this book, ascribed to an obscure Creole monograph compiled in 1915. While the remedies are not authentic, they capture the spirit of "les traiteurs," the traditional folk-medicine healers of Cajun Louisiana. They are the credible weapons of aspiring witches.
Because of the copious details about Ms. Sally's family life (one of the leaders of the coven), Swamp Witch Piquante seems to move a bit slower than some of Korn's other works, such as "Confessions of a Ghoul" or "Rachmaninoff's Ghost." However, this does not greatly detract from the main pulse of the story and actually fuels the paradox that at some level, even Ms. Sally is an endearing person. The brief descriptions of Miss Eileen's secret altar and unauthorized ritual are especially vivid and convincing.
Recommended for devotees of the horror genre and readers drawn to eccentric local color.

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