Take a drop of Joe R. Lansdale’s blood. Then a slice from David J. Schow’s scalp. Scrape some phlegm off Tarantino’s tongue. Inject some of Robert Rodriguez’s sperm. Pour in some Karo syrup. Mix it in a blender. Pour. These are just some of the ingredients of Stephen Romano’s unique work.
“(Stephen’s stories) have that kind of magic where you take something wild and wooly, and tell it in such a way that you just can’t doubt it. They make you feel, and they make you think, even if they are for the most part, disturbing. Fact is, THE RIOT ACT may be the best new short story collection I’ve read in years. Stephen Romano isn’t fucking around. He means to get under you skin and crawl, bump around inside there, and with these stories he manages just that. I promise you this is one of the most intense and unique story collections you will ever read … and you’ll find another thing, a small touch of humanity, trying hard to survive in a place not too unlike the world we live in. A place where stories are all too accurate metaphors of what Mark Twain called “the damned human race.” Bless you Stephen Romano, for you have recognized what we all should know. The whole of the human race has sinned.”
JOE LANSDALE, best-selling author of THE BOTTOMS and BUBBA HO-TEP
Stephen Romano is the Robert Rodriguez of horror! Whether he’s writing short stories, novels, comics, screenplays, or designing movie posters, it seems there’s nothing this cat can’t do.
His voice is polished, clean, powerful, and more than all that, CONFIDENT. This is a guy with a vision, a real narrative style, a dark and mesmerizing worldview. It’s as if Joe Lansdale, Dave Schow, John Skipp, and Norm Partridge all had a long, wild weekend in Vegas replete with moonshine, .45s, snakeskin boots, twleve kilos of uncut Colombian coke, Five Thai hookers, and the dug-up corpse of Jim Thompson, spent three days out of their minds, and woke up the following morning to find little baby Steve Romano in the middle of the hotel room gurgling, “Daddy! Daddy!” And yes, that really IS the only way to explain how solid his fiction is. Brutal, full-on street-cred, sharp, insightful, human, authentic, bloody, savage, asskicking, but smooth and altogether pure. Seriously, you’ve got to check him out
TOM PICCIRILLI, Bram Stoker award-winning author of THE DEAD LETTERS and THE MIDNIGHT ROAD
Stephen Romano writes like he’s on fire. And I don’t mean with some funny notion like The Muse, or the Lord. No, he writes like someone just SET HIM ON FIRE. The screams are real. The pain and the outrage are real. It’s like he’s trying to get it down—all if it—before the lights go it completely. THE RIOT ACT is some of the most urgent, blistering, breathlessly paced, microscopically observed, mordantly hilarious, heartbreakingly hopeless, and utterly devastating bloodbath fiction ever burned into print. These stories are like Bouncing Betties: blowing up at crotch level, and firing shrapnel straight through the brain! Stuff like this makes me proud to be a horror writer.
JOHN SKIPP, best selling author of THE SCREAM and JAKE’S WAKE
Stephen Romano is a literary gunslinger who shoots from the hip and aims for the heart, since he’s not interested in talking prisoners. This is one storyteller you do NOT want to mess with.
PHILLIP NUTMAN, award-winning screenwriter of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
Stephen Romano is Jackson Pollack, and (his work) is a canvas dripping with blood red energy. Within the pages of THE RIOT ACT lies a hyper-kinetic ricochet inside the technicolor skull of a true pioneer of urban nightmare.
KEALAN PATRICK BURKE, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of KIN and CURRENCY OF SOULS
One of the greatest homage to B-cinema ever undertaken . . . SHOCK FESTIVAL is a breathtakingly thorough overview of over 100 movies and a slew of filmmaker and actors who never existed — but which you’ll believe actually did by the time you finish reading. And your eyes don’t even have to touch the words to be convinced, thanks to the down-to-the-smallest-detail perfect collection of posters, newspaper ads, still photos and other visuals Romano and his art team have created.
BEST FICTION BOOK OF 2008 for SHOCK FESTIVAL! While the term mockumentary practically wrote itself, it’s going to take a clever writer to describe Stephen Romano’s fictional alternate history of exploitation films . . . (Romano) has created a vivid universe filled with films you’d love to see and personalities you’d line up at a convention to meet, lavishly illustrated with a plethora of eye-popping posters, lobby cards, on-set still and ad mats for such ficional films as THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS WIFE and STARFIRE BEYOND THE GALAXY. Fans swept up in the recent wave of grindhouse nostalgia NEED to buy this book!
RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE
The kick from watching Don Coscarelli’s Incident On and Off a Mountain Road (adapted by Coscarelli and Stephen Romano from a Joe R. Landsdale story of the same name) doesn’t come from its familiar premise; it’s through the narrative skill with which it unfolds. Incident is a generous and excellent start to an ambitious series.
Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, the Coscarelli/Romano collaboration, (is filled with) gut-churning suspense. It’s essentially one turbo-charged chase sequence . . . a battle to the death between an innocent woman and the psychotic madman she accidentally locks horns with on that midnight mountain pass. It goes from love story to outright shocker, with pretty much everything in between. It’s stripped-down horror filmmaking at its most relentless.
THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE
In Shock Festival, the line between the grindhouse and the daily grind continues to blur, turning Romano’s pseudo-journalistic accomplishment into a genuine revelation, an event that’s rarely if ever been done before outside of the long-gone, sorely missed Deuce: the merging of fact and fiction into something too outrageous to be the truth and too disarmingly ghastly/gorgeous to be anything but.
THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE
INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD gets an A- for sheer, relentless horror!
SHOCK FESTIVAL is GRINDHOUSE meets SPINAL TAP! Romano’s bizarro world of fringe b-movie madness is authentic, raw, hilarious and brilliant.
RESURRECTION EXPRESS is a rip snortin’ white knuckle ride….A page-turner that sinks its teeth into you and won’t let go. Stephen Romano has created a meal you will want to swallow whole—it’s that hard to put down. His damaged protagonist, Elroy Coffin, is a compelling computer freak with criminal skills who you can’t help but root for. A savage and vicious little tale that fans of Don Winslow will lap up. Highly recommended!
Don Coscarelli, director of PHANTASM, BUBBA HO-TEP and THE BEASTMASTER
A high-voltage blast! Stephen Romano’s action scenes are light years ahead of the pack, fueled by muscular prose, terrifying villains, and Elroy Coffin—a protagonist for the ages. RESURRECTION EXPRESS is one of the finest examples I’ve encountered of noir’s evolution into the 21st century.
Blake Crouch, acclaimed author of Run, Snowbound, and Abandon
RESURRECTION EXPRESS whipsaws along at 100mph, with so much momentum that the reader feels like if he hits one bump, he’ll go straight through the windshield.
Tom Piccirilli, author of the International Thriller Writers’ Award-winning novel The Cold Spot
RESURRECTION EXPRESS is a cinematic, hyperkinetic, action-packed thriller
Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST MINUTE
Stephen Romano’s imagination is so scary-brilliant, you should be required to obtain a controlled dangerous substance license before opening RESURRECTION EXPRESS
Duane Swierczynski, Author of the Anthony, Barry, Macavity & Shamus Award-nominated Charlie Hardie series.
Compelling, devastating and brutal, with battle-hardened prose and relentless energy, Stephen Romano has crafted one hell of a first novel. A juiced-up, whacked-out, back-to-the-wall book that reads like a ride through the Knife and Gun Club on the night of a full moon, riding the Resurrection Express will leave you dizzy from betrayal, speechless from reversals, and quite possibly battered and broken by its revelations.
Greg Rucka, New York Times bestselling author of ALPHA and creator of the Eisner Award-winning Queen & Country series
Stephen Romano’s taut prose is as unrelentingly violent and brutal as the story he tells. Resurrection Express is a killer debut that demands attention. A scorching read.
Brian Azzarello, New York Times bestselling author of Joker and creator of the Eisner Award-winning 100 Bullets series
“Stephen Romano steps into the ring with lead in his gloves and a razor in his boot. When you read Resurrection Express you can’t help but take your eyes off him as the pages fly by–and then he’s got you.”
Sean Doolittle, Barry Award-winning author of Safer and Lake Country.