Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I was already interested in Steven Shrewsbury’s work after reading his short story collection Thoroughbred, and that interest was piqued by meeting him at Hypericon. I was able to purchase his new novel Hawg at the conference.
Hawg takes place in rural Illinois, although the setting could just as well have been the South. It opens with a pair of drug mules sneaking up on a farmer and meeting a fate worse than death. It seems the farmer has a most unusual creature on the farm, what appears to be a half-man, half-hog, seven feet tall with steel tusks, and the instincts of an animal. This is Hawg. After chance exposes Hawg to the drugs carried by the two luckless drug runners, he breaks free of his cage and runs amok throughout the countryside, killing and eating the locals, and raping any female of fertile years. It is never explained why Hawg is the way he is, although there are allusions to Hawg’s father being on board the Eldridge during the Philadelphia Experiment. Local law enforcement is slow to react, but they are soon trying to stop an almost unstoppable killing machine. With two children in the way.
This is a rip-roarin’ action packed adventure, filled with scenes that will offend anyone who can be offended, and a subtle wit throughout. I read the first 50 pages one day, then finished the rest in one sitting.
Steven Shrewsbury is not yet a household name, but he will be, and it is books like Hawg that will accomplish this. If you want to say you were reading him before he became famous, order this now. You may do so at the Horror Mall (click on the banner), or at the Graveside Tales website.

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