Review: The Devil’s Coattails

Edited by Jason V. Brock and William F. Nolan

Cycatrix Press, out now

Follow-up to The Bleeding Edge that’s even better than the original.

From the exceptional cover art by award-winning Vincent Chong (which in print form is definitely framable), to the special paper it’s printed on, you can tell this limited edition hardback has been put together with great love and care. That, thankfully, also extends to the stories inside, gathered together by filmmaker and writer Brock and Logan’s Run creator Nolan.

As award-winning critic, novelist and Lovecraft expert S. T. Joshi says in his insightful foreword, it’s rare these days to find an ‘array of good stories with no apologies and no fanfare’. But that’s exactly what we have here, hitting the ground running with the always brilliant Ramsey Campbell (a strange tale of children getting lost and a mysterious ranger figure), through John Shirley’s dip into the life of Wyatt Earp, to the unusual ghosts of Melanie Tem’s ‘Best Friends’ and Nancy Kilpatrick’s ‘Invisible’, as well as taking in moving studies of loss and regret (Brock’s own ‘Object Lesson’, for instance, or his wife Sunni’s ‘Dying to Forget’).

There are also some unusual treats here, in the form of a previously unpublished early short from Alien scribe Dan O’Bannon (the aftermath of a drug binge demon-summoning), Nolan’s take on the classical poem (inspired by the works of Virgil andHomer), Richard Christian Matheson’s short but perfect ‘Interrogation’, a script from veteran TV scribe Marc Scott Zicree of a sadly unproduced Twilight Zone-style anthology series that would have utilised Rod Serling’s lost voiceover recordings – not to mention the gorgeous and varied artwork that fills this volume.

There are other favourites – not a duff story amongst them, I’m happy to report – but sadly there isn’t the space to write about them all here. So I’ll just end by saying, if you’re a genre fan worth your salt you’ll gladly part with your hard-earned to own this one. It’s a keeper.

A must have collector’s item that simply demands a place on your shelf. 10/10 

Paul Kane




  1. Pingback: APPEARANCE: Jason V Brock — Orycon, Fall 2015 as Editor GoH - July 16, 2015

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