I love the horror genre. I grew up with it, staying up late, watching bad horror flicks and even badder ones, sometimes alone, sometimes with my grandma. “Alien” had been my first real taste of horror, when the chestburster blew out of John Hurt’s heart. Last night, the wife and I watched “Aliens” and it was her first time to, and she was terrified. That’s a timeless piece there, folks. It’s not much data, but to me, it’s proof why “Aliens” is highly regarded as the best in the entire damn franchise.

Tom Deady, winner of this year’s Bram Stoker Award for his debut novel, “Haven” has that timeless feel swirling in me. Anybody who’s new to this might say it’s reminiscent to Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” which is, to me, a tribute to some dude named Stephen for his stories “It”  and “Stand by Me” (Originally, “The Body”). Both are excellent stories that should become required reading in schools.

The story begins with Paul Greymore walking out of prison as a free man, where he returns to his hometown called Haven, the place where he was arrested 16 years ago, accused of murdering children.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. We know Paul is innocent all along and it’s just a matter for us to find out what’s really happening. Deady drops hints early in the book to confirm that, so we don’t overthink things through.

What I loved about the book was the depiction of the monster. Better yet, monsters. A lot of people in Haven are pissed that Greymore has returned, and many of them are wary, paranoid, and ready to kill.

While in a way book feels like “It,” “Haven” is much shorter, and points you toward the action without introducing too much backstories from random people that would no longer be breathing and be in one piece by the chapter’s end.

“Haven” is a story about family. Yes, there is a monster in the book, and don’t be surprised by that. But it plays more in the sidelines, always hidden in the dark, compared to the real horrors humanity may inflict on to each other: The horrors what an angry lynch mob can do, domestic abuse, police brutality, and bullying.

I love this book. I gorged through it in two nights. And it’s exciting what other things Tom Deady can come up with.

To wrap things up, here’s “Dead Memories” by Slipknot. Cause, Paul Greymore reminds me of Paul Gray.


Small Wonders

It’s been a while since I’ve done any bloggy stuffs and it would be crap of me to say I was busy.

Anyhow, last month I went to Singapore for a Hewlett-Packard press event, about printers. Yeah, I traveled all the way there just to see some new shiny printers. It wasn’t like being in Drupa for a printer convention, but still, at least I got to travel a bit.

What amused me, were the cab drivers. The first one we took to the Ion mall, the driver had an iPhone 4S. Sure, 5 was long out by then, but if you have a 4S there’s little reason to upgrade at all – especially in the Philippines where features like LTE and NFC are still being developed. Not only did the cab driver had a cool smartphone, but he also stopped the meter when we reached the mall, even though we hadn’t parked yet, and while we were charged 7.38-or something Singapore dollars, he only charged us 7. It wasn’t quite the same as the cab going back, but instead of an iPhone, the driver had a Galaxy S3. There I was thinking, these cab drivers have such awesome phones. I don’t know in other countries, but that is extremely rare in the Philippines. If cab driver owns the latest smart device, people would often assume he bought it from a thief. I’d like to think he worked really hard for it. Besides the drivers, I was in Singapore last year, and I noticed then that there were a lot of constructions. Then my latest visit, there were still a lot of constructions. Which means what? Their progress and development is non-stop, and they continue to renovate and fix things to make everything better. I just wished the same here in Philippines.

Earlier today, I attended Digital Filipino’s e-Commerce convention. It’s basically a seminar for those hoping to learn more how to utilize the digital space for entrepreneur purposes. And one of the speakers, a Vietnamese that spoke with an Australian accent, shared his tale about working in their family cafe, wiping tables, mopping floors, refilling the fridge with beverages. Then about his time as he worked as a programmer, looking at scripts all day, pauses to greet the boss who waves at them. And in my mind, I saw his boss’ face, must be just as miserable. The speaker said he always dreamed of accomplishing something, anything that he wanted to do. So he quit his job and basically started from scratch, he developed websites, one was very successful. And all he claimed he did was just put everything he knew and loved into that website. “Passion-driven” were his exact words. And I have to admit, I was inspired by this, I was moved into thinking of quitting my job and focus all my time into my novels. But let’s be honest, it just isn’t as practical. Regardless, very inspiring. Setting goals and having dreams may be a cliche, but it really is freaking awesome to have some. You may not reach them, you may not find them as expected, but they become guidelines in how you want to drive.

I believe Stephen King said something about don’t write for profit or fame, just enjoy it. It just adds the ‘Passion-driven’ sense that you’re just going to need a lot of perseverance.

Anyhow, I noticed how cheesy I got. So, yeah, let the tumbleweed roll…