{Graveyard Shift} To celebrate the release of The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones is this week’s warden.

I want this to be a platform for EVERYONE within the horror community; authors, publishers, bloggers, reviewers, actors, directors, artists. I could go on, if you work in the genre then you are more than welcome to apply for the job.

The rules are quite simple…

You are invited to imagine yourselves as warden for an old graveyard, and choose eight books, preferably horror/dark genre, to take with you to cover your shift; here you can discuss why you chose the books.

As well as the books, wardens are allowed one song/album to listen to. Again, an explanation for this choice is required.

You must also discuss one luxury item you can bring, which must be inanimate and not allow communication.

If you’d like to take part in The Graveyard Shift then please submit an application to gavin@kendallreviews.com

A new shift is about to begin. The warden for the week’s #GraveyardShift is…

Stephen Graham Jones

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

You can preorder the limited edition hardback of The Only Good Indians from SST Publications

Don’t forget to you the Kendall Reviews Exclusive 12% discount code KendallReviewsTOGI12

Hey, I’m suddenly Francesco Dellamorte—Cemetery Man. Or maybe I can be those punks in Return of the Living Dead, hanging in the graveyard. They’re kind of my heroes. But, really, I’ve always wanted a job like this. I used to daydream about getting to work in a security booth on the loneliest highway. I could just sit there encased in plexiglass and read all day, maybe look out at a buzzard every now and again. Too, I’ll pretend here that this eight-hour shift is going to last forever, so I can be in . . . kind of the happy version of Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” where I’m bricked in and hidden for all time, sure, but the bricks are books, and I can pull them down. And these books aren’t all or even mainly horror, either, probably because I don’t only read horror. None of us do, right? It’s my favorite genre, it’s where I live and breathe, but I think walking through other fields is how we can keep the genre we call home vital, in that burrs from those other fields stick to our pantslegs, and when we come back to where we love, those burrs fall off, take root, grow up into strange plants that bear unexpected fruit. Here’s some of the burrs stuck to my pantslegs, that I’m shedding with each step through these alleys of the dead:


Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. The ending of this book completely ambushes me. A good novel will be sneaking images and phrases and possibilities into the staging area of your mind for three hundred pages, and the really good ones—and this is one of the best—will then find that one gesture at the end that releases all of that at once, so that it flows back into the narrative, almost enchants it in that you now know that this is the only way we could have gotten to this amazing place. I forever want to pull of the feat Love Medicine does. I’ll forever be trying.

It by Stephen King. This twenty-seven-year cycle is such a cool premise. I mean, Lester Tooms from the X-Files would have a similar cycle ten years after It, but of course—as with so much—King got there first. But what makes this one truly magic for me is the nostalgia King engages throughout, for the era of his own childhood. I didn’t grow up then, was born in 1972, but all the same, I felt like I was back there, riding that bike, running from that werewolf. By being so particular, King was able to somehow make that childhood general enough that it applies to all of us. And, of course, like all of us, I still steer wide of those yawning-open drains in curbs. Kind of afraid we do all float down there.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I mean, yeah, I for sure prefer stories about the Old West to be stories where the Indian wins. Still? Lonesome Dove completely wins me over. And its sequel Streets of Laredo, too, which is maybe the best sequel of anything I’ve read—and that’s counting Speaker for the Dead, even, which, for me anyway, is about the highest of the high bars. And, this isn’t the John Wayne old west. Maybe that’s why I like it? The characters here are petty and flawed, with good intentions. Those are the people I tend to identify with on the page the most.

Daytripper by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. I still don’t think I can summarize this one. Okay, I could summarize how it makes me feel—connected to something larger than myself—but the actual mechanism, or even just the basic facts of what was going on in what I just read? Some dude’s writing obituaries, maybe. And it’s a father-son story, sort of. I don’t know, but it completely works, and is a book I read over and over, not so much trying to figure it out as just wanting that feeling again, that release. Just to touch something magic. That’s the best thing a story can give you, finally.

The Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia Butler, which has been published in a single volume, so I’ll sneak it in. Of all the aliens I’ve read and been enamored of, been terrified of, been jealous of, wanted nothing to do with, the Oankali are the ones that have felt the most real, have been the ones best realized and rendered—best thought-through, maybe that’s what I’m trying to get at. And, thought through as only Octavia Butler could. Well, okay, her and Ursula Le Guin both had this, I guess. But the Oankali seemed more just about themselves, less about trying to make some point about the world I lived in. I’m forever smitten with Lilith’s Brood, here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin. Okay, an imaginary volume that has this and The Killing Moon bundled together. Neither of them are all that long, really, and, as gripping and tense as this plot is, as well-thought-out as this world of ninja monks in dreamland is, the pages just fly past. I’ve read through this twice already. It’s my favorite of all the Jemisin I’ve read, and I’ll be reading it again, and again.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Will I never not be reading this book? I hope not. As far as I’m concerned, this is as good as comic booking can get. It’s a rare case of an intricately-plotted narrative percolating up through a manically-detailed artist’s vision. This was Moore and Gibbons at the height of what they could do, I think, and having them both cooking together for twelve issues, and using made-up versions of throwaway characters to say something important about all of comic books, and maybe about the world we live in . . . I aspire to someday do something ten percent as good as this. Or to read something half as good.

Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven. I think about this novel all the time. Something about it is just perfect to me. It’s what happens, yeah—an amusement park swamped and isolated by a hurricane, so all the workers and guests crew up into Lord of the Flies—but, just as much, it’s the Studs Terkel-oral history way it’s told. I also fall for this in Max Brooks’ World War Z, in Liz Hand’s Wilding Hall. There’s just something so compelling about the form, like a documentary on the page, except the actual events are whispering to me that this is made-up, which only wraps around, like Strieber’s Communion and Majestic—or even Capote’s In Cold Blood or Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina (each presented as fiction)—to make it somehow more true.


As for albums, I don’t even have to think about that, and winnowing it down to one’s already done, in my head and in my heart: Bob Seger’s Nine Tonight. It’s kind of a greatest hits, but I still consider it an album in the sense we usually do—an intentional piece, of a theme, ordered in a progression meant to impart . . . something. And, this doesn’t have “Still the Same,” which I’ll never not love (was the first Seger I ever heard), but I’ll trade it in this case for the live version of “Against the Wind”—specifically for when Seger says “now we’d like to do something from the new album, this is the title cut, it’s called ‘Against the Wind.’” When I listen to this album, which I do a lot, I imagine having been there in 1980 when it was recorded at the Boston Garden, and hearing “Against the Wind” for the first time, and, just, how my whole world and conception of everything would have shifted, and my heart would have reached out to try to fill this huge space.


As for a luxury to have with me on this graveyard shift . . . some reading glasses, so I’m not Burgess Meredith in that The Twilight Zone episode from the first season, where he’s finally got time enough to read all that he wants to—the world’s fallen apart around him—but, oops, no specs. And, yeah, for sure, sitting in a graveyard with reading glasses on, absorbed in a book, that’s no way to keep a weather eye on my surroundings, meaning all manner of monster or dead person can and probably is going to be sneaking up on me. But that just means I need to read faster, to get one more page in before it’s all over.

The Only Good Indians: Stephen Graham Jones

Signed Limited Hardcover Edition:

  • Limited to only 400 signed and hand-numbered copies
  • Personally signed by Stephen Graham Jones on a specially designed full-colour illustrated signature page
  • Larger 6.14” x 9.21” trim size
  • Printed on a heavier 100gsm acid-free paper
  • Bound in premium cloth with coloured head and tail bands
  • Hot foil stamping on the front boards and spine
  • Offset printed and bound with full-colour endpapers
  • Sewn binding for increased durability
  • Stunning dust jacket artwork and interior illustrations by Francesco Giani
  • Including extra bonus material not published in other editions

Exclusive Kendall Reviews Discount Code

Paul at SST has been incredibly generous and offered all Kendall Reviews fiends an exclusive discount code.

Please enter KendallReviewsTOGI12 at the checkout to receive an incredible 12% off the cover cost of The Only Good Indians

Secure your discounted copy today directly from SST: The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones has been an NEA fellowship recipient, has won the Jesse Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, a Bram Stoker Award, four This is Horror Awards; and has been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Award. He is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.

You can follow Stephen on Twitter @SGJ72

To find out more about Stephen please visit his official website www.demontheory.net

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.