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The Woman Who Hated Halloween
Matthew S. Rotundo
Damnation Press, 112 pages

The Woman Who Hated Halloween
Matthew S. Rotundo
Matthew S. Rotundo is a 1998 graduate of Odyssey. In 2002, Matt won a Phobos Award, and he is a Writers of the Future Contest winner for 2008. He and his wife, Tracy, live in Nebraska. He has husked corn only once in his life, and has never been detasseling, so he insists he is not a hick.

Matthew S. Rotundo Website
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A review by Trent Walters

The Woman Who Hated Halloween is a stand-alone short story written by Matthew S. Rotundo and published by Damnation Books. Rotundo, published in dozens of professional and semi-professional magazines and anthologies, has won awards from contests like Phobos and Writers of the Future. His transparent writing style allows the story to shine through.

The Woman Who Hated Halloween tells of lawyer Janine D'Angelo who defends an occult serial killer who won't help her help him cop a plea of insanity. It's not that he agrees or disagrees but that he's completely emotionless. Now that he's in the process of being sentenced, he appears not to approve of Janine's handling of the case (or maybe she insulted or doubted him), for he appears in her house with a showy display of ooze coming from the walls to tell her she must die on Halloween. Needless to say, Janine is moved by his speech to do her own researches into the occult in order to protect herself.

Rotundo is a writer of tremendous potential. His style and story-telling prowess are sprung from the same spring of those writers who can suck you under and not let you breathe until they've finished their tales. I've read a dozen or more of his tales and enjoy running across others. This tale, though, is presently a bit overpriced on Amazon and could use more development of character and concept. Nonetheless, I will continue to seek out his work. One of these days his story or novel will be 24k, and we early readers of Rotundo will be able to say we knew him when...

Copyright © 2011 Trent Walters

Trent Walters teaches science; lives in Honduras; edited poetry at Abyss & Apex; blogs science, SF, education, and literature, etc. at APB; co-instigated Mundane SF (with Geoff Ryman and Julian Todd) culminating in an issue for Interzone; studied SF writing with dozens of major writers and and editors in the field; and has published works in Daily Cabal, Electric Velocipede, Fantasy, Hadley Rille anthologies, LCRW, among others.

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