“Duran’s stories are smart, spiritual, and creepy.”
— Tosca Lee, NY Times best-selling author.
To most, the term “Christian horror” probably seems like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, there are very good arguments to be made that “horror” is an eminently biblical genre and that Christian artists should be at the forefront of reclaiming it. In Christian Horror: On the Compatibility of a Biblical Worldview and the Horror Genre, novelist Mike Duran explores the Judeo-Christian roots of contemporary horror, the religious themes that frame much of the horror art, and how evangelical culture has come to distance itself from such a potentially rich and powerful medium. Duran looks at Christian artists and authors whose works employ the macabre and grotesque. From surrealist Hieronymus Bosch to Southern Gothicist Flannery O’Connor to the master of horror Stephen King, we can trace a distinctly biblical worldview that frames their visions of terror. Along the way, Duran answers objections while developing an apologetic, not for a new sub-genre, but for a rethinking of the reasons that “Christian horror” has come to be viewed as such an oxymoron. Christian Horror is available in both paperback and ebook.
The Ghost Box: A Reagan Moon Novel is the first in an Urban Fantasy series following paranormal reporter Reagan Moon and his otherworldly antics in the City of Angels. “When Moon is hired by a reclusive tycoon to investigate the events surrounding his girlfriend’s tragic death, he learns of an impending apocalypse about to flatten Los Angeles. Seems that the Summu Nura, ancient gods from a parallel dimension, are looking for a new stomping ground. And Hollyweird is ground zero. What’s worse, Reagan Moon is the only one who can stop them. With the help of an occult archivist and a carefree guardian angel, Moon is forced to confront an invisible world of toxic parasites and dimensional outriders. But no amount of magic can save him from monster that awaits… inside him.” The Ghost Box was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of best independently published novels of 2015. You can purchase the Ghost Box in paperback or ebook.
A subway project on the wrong side of Mother Nature. A neurotic man who drowns in the desert. Tequila swilling seminary students in search of a mythical healer. A war-torn interplanetary lounge for seekers of universal harmony. A military chaplain pursued by the very demon he evicted. A trip home, for the living and the dead. Muses and devils in the Inspirational octagon. A one-thousand pound man who carries something weightier than himself. A machine that can predict marital compatibility down to the most probable future. Surrealism, horror, and occasional humor intersect in these nine short stories from the author of The Resurrection and The Telling. Subterranea: Nine Tales of Dread and Wonder is now available exclusively through Kindle.
Despite his love for words, when ZEPH WALKER sees his body lying on the gurney in the county morgue, he is speechless. Disfigured by his stepmother as a teenager, the hideous scar across Zeph’s face has forced him into a life of seclusion. Cloistered in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town, Zeph is blessed with an uncanny ability to sound souls—to intuit peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but has abandoned the gift to his unbelief and despair. Until two detectives escort him to the county morgue, where he learns that the bizarre look-alike of himself has been found murdered. You can purchase The Telling at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com, and other outlets.
In Winterland, an ebook novella, recovering addict Eunice Ames is summoned into her dying mother’s coma where she must traverse a surreal, apocalyptic dreamscape in search of three generational spirits who have imprisoned her mother’s soul. One reviewer described the story as “John Bunyan Meets Tim Burton.” Winterland is available exclusively for Amazon Kindle and can be purchased HERE
Mike’s debut novel, The Resurrection, is about a quiet coastal town and an unassuming crippled woman who inexplicably raises a boy from the dead, awakening a century’s old curse. Tosca Lee, author of Demon: A Memoir, said of the book, “A brooding and suspenseful debut that will give you goosebumps and make you think long after you’ve turned the last page.” The Resurrection was a finalist in 2011’s INSPY speculative fiction category. Purchase The Resurrection through Amazon, B&N, ChristianBook.com, and other reputable outlets.
Mike’s flash fiction piece The Prayin’ Kind appeared in The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow Issue 5. When Orchids Bloomed from Dead Stringers appeared in Bewildering Stories and was also selected for their Fourth Quarterly Review Editor’s Choice. BreakPoint magazine included Mike’s non-fiction commentary entitled The Mission Field of Young Adult Fiction: Re-Examining Cultural Engagement with the Next Generation. Mike’s short story, En Route to Inferno, appeared in Coach’s Midnight Diner: Back from the Dead edition. He was interviewed by the pulp style horror magazine Rue Morgue, Issue #87, for a piece entitled The Rise of Christian Horror, ABC’s Encounter podcast Sacred Horror: Zombie resurrections and Vampire Souls, and Christian Today magazine. His article “Old v. New” on the evolution of zombie films appeared in Zombies Magazine Spring 2014 issue. Mike’s short humorous sci-fi piece, Father Fayad’s Curious Compatibility Projector, landed in Raygun Revival Issue 48. He also received the Editor’s Choice award for his creative non-fiction essay entitled The Ark, published in the Summer 2.3 Issue of Relief Journal. Coach’s Midnight Diner inaugural edition included his short story, Polly’s Muse, in their genre anthology. It’s a Screwtapian tale full of imps, pixies and uninspired hominids. On Art and Asses, an irreverent exploration into the nature of creativity appeared in the Fall 2007 edition of 316 A Journal of Christian Thinking. Relief Journal included his story, When Bill Left the Porch, in its Second Edition. Mike was chosen as one of ten authors to be published in Infuze Magazine‘s 2005 print anthology and was also a finalist in the 2005 Faith in Fiction short story contest.
In between blogging, Mike writes a monthly column for Novel Rocket (which was selected by Writer’s Digest as one of 2010’s 101 best sites for writers), and has played editor on the Midnight Diner’s Editorial Team. If you’d like to keep up on Mike’s writing, get early info on releases, and get some cool stuff along the way, you can become an email subscriber HERE.
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- The Prayin’ Kind appeared in The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow Issue 5
- When Orchids Bloomed from Dead Stringers appeared in Bewildering Stories
- En Route to Inferno in Coach’s Midnight Diner: Back from the Dead edition
- Father Fayad’s Curious Compatibility Projector in Raygun Revival, Issue 48
- Subterannea in Fear and Trembling
- When Bill Left the Porch in Relief Journal, Number 2
- Raven in Dragons, Knights and Angels, Issue 30, March 2006
- The Jagged Hole in Ferrymoor Two in Infuze
- Seasons Dance in Infuze and Infuze Magazine Best of 2006 Short Stories and Poetry
- Someone in the Circle in Infuze and Infuze Magazine Best of 2005 Short Stories and Poetry
- The Mission Field of Young Adult Fiction: Re-Examining Cultural Engagement with the Next Generation in BreakPoint magazine.
- Old v. New on the evolution of zombie films in Zombies Magazine Spring 2014 issue
- Interviewed in Rue Morgue #87 for a piece entitled The Rise of Christian Horror
- The Ark in 2.3 Issue of Relief Journal
- Bad Evangelism in Serve ezine, Issue 44
- Let Us Decompose in Relevant Magazine Online
- On Art and Asses in the Fall 2007 edition of 316 A Journal of Christian Thinking
- Keeping an Ear to the Ceiling in Relevant Magazine Online
- Of Saints and Serial Killers in The Matthew’s House Project