Salt Water Tears

Salt Water Tears

Hopkins, Brian A

Hopkins, Brian A

Salt Water Tears is a new collection of stories by Bram Stoker Award Winning author Brian A. Hopkins. Introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck. Cover art by A.B. Word. Stories included are "North," "The Promised Hour," "Crocodile Gods," "Wisteria," "Flotsam," "The Baited Night," "Sand King," "Wind and Sea and Time," "Wrinkles At Twilight," and "Gramps Goes Fishing".* * * "...his stories carry things often forgotten or left behind in both horror and science fiction -- poetry, emotion, and heart ... If you haven't met Brian A. Hopkins, this could be the introduction you need."-- from a review by William D. Gagliani "...another excellent collection of Brian's work ... I found it impossible to put this book down ... Fabulous!"-- Lesley Mazey, The Eternal Night "Over the course of the last year or so we've sold more trade paperbacks by Brian Hopkins than we have any other writer ... [Brian] seems to be the kind of writer that appeals to our patrons. I like to think that that kind of writer is literate, emphatic, unusual and lyrical ... Better check this Hopkins guy out."-- Mark Ziesing, Bookseller and Publisher "Hopkins displays a fascination with damaged protagonists ... that is almost as strong as the fascination with the ocean and cetaceans ... that is the titular focus of this book. From the distant play of orcas in 'North' to the rotting dolphin corpses center stage in 'Wrinkles at Twilight,' this theme of the pelagic mysteries weaves a fascinating metaphor for the decidedly land-based life led by most of Hopkins' readership ... These are not emotionally satisfying, morally secure stories -- they are challenging, sometimes difficult, and always at least a bit slantwise of the reader's expectation and experience."-- Jay Lake, from a review in Tangent "The sea is the birthplace of all life. It has inspired some of the greatest minds in literature: Homer, Melville, Conrad, Hemingway ... and Brian A. Hopkins ... Hopkins dives deep into the mysteries of inner space and returns with a chest full of literary gems. Submerge yourself in his word. You may never wish to come ashore again."-- Garrett Peck, from a review in Cemetery Dance "This collection is arguably Brian’s most mature and thoughtful one yet. His writing -- always excellent -- is here among the most painstakingly exact he’s ever produced. He never gives into the temptation to use traditional genre tomes and, in fact, knows how to use your expectations of those tomes against you... "-- Gary A. Braunbeck, from the Introduction "Author, Engineer, Martial Artist, and Editor Extraordinaire -- the phrase 'Jack of All Trades, Master of None' need not apply here. With Salt Water Tears, Brian A. Hopkins proves he is Master of All He Surveys, and one of the most important authors of our generation."-- Steve Beai, Author of Widow's Walk "Brian Hopkins writes of the ocean as if he were a part of it. His empathy with whales -- in particular -- is phenomenal, and the subtle blend of intense research and intuitive talent is -- at times -- unnerving. Unforgettable fiction."-- David Niall Wilson, Author of This is My Blood "Brian Hopkins should take five steps forward and join the masters. His writing is eloquent, poignant, touching and delirious. Hopkins manages to both repulse and enchant within a single story, and writes with a quiet melancholy that is reminiscent of Bradbury at his best."-- James A. Moore, Author of Under the Overtree "Brian A. Hopkins has a sensitivity for shadows. But make no mistake about it. This 'sensitive' man will keep you up well past the witching hour. He is a knight from the nightmare realms, the shaman of shrieks, the director of darkness ... well, you get the idea. But he's also a very down to earth guy, almost folksy in some of his approaches. Super Americana. He's from Oklahoma and sometimes reminds me of Will Rogers. He never met a scream he didn't like."-- Charlee Jacob, Author of Dread in the Beast "Brian Hopkins has a rare combination of clear vision, perfect instinct, and mastery of his craft. If you like to laugh and cry and learn, he's your man."-- Nancy Etchemendy, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author of The Power of Un "When I examine my obsession with Fitzgerald and Tolstoy, for Dickens and Dostoevsky, I realize that what keeps me coming back to Gatsby and Anna and the rest is the music I hear when I am with them. That, and my absolute conviction that there is nothing there that I would have had them do differently. So it is with BAH's work. He doesn't simply write; he composes. Long after the reading is done, the melody lingers on."-- Janet Berliner, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author of Rite of the Dragon
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Flesh Wounds

Flesh Wounds

Hopkins, Brian A

Hopkins, Brian A

SF Site Review (by Lisa DuMond) If you've already read some of Hopkins' work, you know the title bodes ill for everyone in these stories. If you aren't familiar with his fiction -- first of all, shame on you -- then a peek at the CD-ROM label should dispel any of those happy thoughts. Flesh Wounds, like Hopkins, goes for the deep cut, the indescribable pain. Oddly, the wounds in this collection are often to the heart, and always fatal. The range of Hopkins' imagination stretches to encompass every dark corner of horror. The darkest corners of the mind, of the unknown, and of the heart, come to light under his sure touch. If you tend toward the ghoulish, you'll be getting a kick in the pants with the first story out of the gate. "Dead Art" explores the link between artistry and obsession. Is it anything goes for the creative? Or is there an indelible line between the love of form and the emotion that overwhelms love? Hate, too, can be an artist's muse. Take the sickly funny "What'll the Neighbours Think?" The concept may have been visited before, but no one has done it better than Hopkins. For some reason, Arsenic and Old Lace comes to mind... Flat-out sick comes at you in stories like "The Woodshed" and "Scarecrow's Dream." But, nothing in Hopkins' writing is ever so clear-edged. Even with the horror headed for you at about light speed, the undercurrent of questions and speculation strikes still deeper. The gruesome violence in "The Baited Night" makes you wonder just how much we actually know about our world, and what amazing and/or terrifying things are waiting just beyond our sight. If I add that it has the feel of Cthulhu Mythos, how many readers will trip over themselves trying to get a copy of Flesh Wounds a.s.a.p.? Sure, Hopkins gives your stomach and your goose-flesh a workout, but he is not content to leave the effect there. Loneliness, loss, and grief are handled as lovingly as any aspect of his fiction. "Out the Back Door" peels back the layers of perception, laying bare the suffering of old age and the painful sirens' song of distant memories. Hopkins sees through the screens of what we would like to think the end of life brings and releases the truth. For me, though, the most wrenching piece in the collection may seem an odd choice. But the sadness and emptiness of one life remains with me, sneaking into my consciousness any time it needs. "Flotsam" is a tender, heartbreaking story of a life unvalued by its owner or anyone who might have helped break through the incredible loneliness. In very few words, Hopkins conveys the tragedy, the longing. With two, short closing sentences, he pours the pain into the reader. In four pages, he strikes at the heart of indifference. And we feel the pointless loss. Gore, torment, terror, and the fears that jab at us all -- Hopkins can give you that and more. Take this golden opportunity to discover some of the sides of this talented and complex author. Horror doesn't begin to cover the scope of Hopkins' world.
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