Chad Helder is the author of Pop-Up Book of Death (Rebel Satori Press, 2010) and The Vampire Bridegroom (Dark Scribe Press, 2011).
With Vince Liaguno, Helder co-edited Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet, an anthology of queer horror (Dark Scribe Press, 2008), which won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology.
Helder wrote the graphic novel Bartholomew of the Scissors (Bluewater Comics, 2008) and a series of stories for Vincent Price Presents (Bluewater Comics, 2008-2011), several of which have been adapted into radio plays by the Colonial Radio Theatre in Boston.
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Read reviews for the works of Chad Helder below:
--Michael Arnzen, Winner of the Bram Stoker Award and author of Gorelets
Do NOT let the title of this collection fool you: for one thing, there is far more in this thick collection of poetry than just a vampire, and for another, the vampire bridegroom is NOT what you think it will be. I don't want to ruin the surprise. Get this book and you'll be surprised on every page. It's rife with hilarious retakes on classic tropes of the genre -- from queerings of canonical creatures to masterful mash-ups of fairy tales. Helder has a vivid imagination and the rare capacity to make you feel differently about the world...and a wicked sense of humor. If you enjoy this sort of thing, be sure to look for his other book -- the Pop-Up Book of Death! Neither of these works are for children -- this is not their playground...it's ours and it's a blast.
As an inveterate teller of campfire stories, I found myself reading quite a few of these pieces out loud ... and I can say, without a doubt, most of these tales would scare listeners sitting in the dark. Not because of any attention to gory detail, mind you (although one or two stories do have that aspect) but mostly because of the sense of tension, the sense of dread, and yes, that melancholic desire, the author builds in just a few pages.
--Anthony R. Cardno for Icarus: The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction
Helder's adult, sophisticated fusion of poetry and fear ended up being what I appreciated most: through the lens of poetry, he subverts and reimagines the tropes of the genre, making them his own and challenging the reader to reconsider his or her assumptions ... For fans of horror, the book is one to keep coming back to, perhaps not reading it straight through but sampling the ideas found within.
--Marshall Moore, author of Bitter Orange and The Concrete Sky
Nightmares, horror films, repression, and suspense are the stock and trade of the Pop-Up Book of Death ... The first seven poems in the book are exactly what the title promises, an imagined pop-up book ... They reveal not only the range of imagination that Helder possesses and his concision with imagery, but also the way in which he uses humor to talk about dark things ...
There is something in this book for most readers. The horror fan will finally find poetry that speaks to him or her. A casual reader will be disarmed and drawn in by the use of humor. Queer readers will find new representations of themselves. In short, Pop-Up Book of Death is entertaining and uncomfortable at the same time. It will stay with you just as long as your reoccurring dream about the man behind your bedroom door with the knife.
--Jory Mickelson, author of Slow Depth
Chad Helder’s “Pop-Up Book of Death” makes enough references to zombies, disease, and dismemberment to satisfy any fan of the horror genre, but this is real poetry written by someone who knows his craft, and Helder uses the conventions of horror to do what good poems always do, whether or not they make reference to the horror genre. These artfully written poems offer fresh insight to the darker and more absurd aspects of the human condition ...
I enjoyed this book for many of the same reasons I enjoy a good horror film. I don’t watch a horror film just for cheap thrills and scares, but for the immersion into a strange world that blurs my vision, and challenges me to re-think the world around me a little when I exit the theater. This book does just that.
The writing is good, taking the classic tale of Bluebeard and turning it on its ear rather than recycling the hundred or so renditions before it ... Writer Chad Helder pulled off a nice little magic trick with this one, and with Vincent Price peeking his head around the corners of this book, one can’t help but to like its youthful, electric feel.