First published back in 2016, British author J.R. Park’s chapbook ‘The Festering Death & Contacts’ was a limited edition publication, with only around ten copies having been printed and given to friends and fans (one copy was also given away as part of an online competition in December 2016).

The two stories contained within the chapbook were originally written for the exclusive ‘Hell Of A Guy: Fans On The Rampage’ (2016) anthology that was compiled to celebrate twenty-five years of the Guy N Smith fan convention.

It was at the September 2016 Guy N Smith fan convention that Park purchased a full-colour copy of the rejected artwork by Les Edwards for Smith’s novel ‘The Festering’ (1989).  The artwork is what Park used for the cover image of his exclusive chapbook.

Introduction – 3 Pages
Park introduces his chapbook with a brief overview of Guy N Smith’s annual fan convention, when and how he first came across Smith’s novel ‘The Festering’ (1989) and the impact the cover and story had on him.  Park continues on with a brief description of the ‘Hell Of A Guy: Fans On The Rampage’ (2016) anthology that he orchestrated, the writing of the two stories, and Guy’s wonderful reaction to Park’s use of the rejected image.

It’s only a very short introduction, but one that provides an excellent insight into the reasons behind the existence of the chapbook and the original writing of the two homages to Guy N Smith’s ‘The Festering’ (1989) that the chapbook contains.

The Festering Death – 29 Pages
Curled up in a shadowy corner of the old outhouse, if you looked closely, squinting into the darkness, you could just about make out the rotting mess of the once handsome forester – Tabor.  The man was little more than a bubbling mass of festering flesh, oozing thick pus from the multitude of weeping boils across his body.  A highly contagious infliction which Tabor had contracted after leaving the small village of Garth for the hustle and bustle of London.  There he’d worked the midnight streets of the country’s capital city, raking dung off the roads from the horses and bedpans, cast out the windows of the tightly packed houses.  Not the sort of environment one would expect to meet a beautiful young woman in.  But that’s exactly what happened to Tabor that fateful night.  Her name was Cicell and their chance meeting would change Tabor’s life forever…

The chapbook kicks off with a headfirst dive into the utterly grim and nauseatingly revolting.  Of course there’s no real surprise in this, as the Pulp Master General – J.R. Park – is the man behind this pus-soaked smoking cannon.  Trust me, it’s all good-gory stuff in here, my dear friends.  This first offering, based on Smith’s ‘The Festering’ (1989), takes us back to the initial chapters of the book (17th century era) where we first witness the festering plague doing its nasty work on Tabor’s flesh.  We’re told he contracted this particularly aggressive disease from his visit to the Big Smoke.  In steps Mr Park.  How did Tabor contract said plague?  Well…through this delightfully dark and weirdly erotic tale we get to see exactly what dear old Tabor got up to.  Almost Barker-esque in places, this twisted little offering goes from dark and messed-up to just plain grim.  This is horror.  This is pulp.  This is making me feel fucking queasy.

The story originally appeared within the ‘Hell Of A Guy: Fans On The Rampage’ (2016) anthology and was later included within Park’s collection ‘Death Dreams In A Whorehouse’ (2017).

Contacts – 22 Pages
Ever since his wife ran away with his best friend – taking with her the kids, the house and the final dregs of his self-respect – Andy had started doing whatever he could to pick himself up.  He’d stare at the women on the front of all those top-shelf magazines, fantasising about how he would make love to them.  But today he was after something more than just a glossy magazine.  He was after the real thing.  Her name was Joanna.  He’d found her in one of the ‘Contacts’ mags.  Even in the nineteen-eighties, prostitution was still a roaring trade.  And today he had another appointment with her.  The anticipation had been killing him.  The thought of her firm body.  He could hardly wait.  However, what Andy didn’t know was that the forty-five-year-old prostitute was going to give him far more than he bargained for.  Much, much more…

Eeewwwww…this is one hell of a revolting little tale.  Smith’s original ‘The Festering’ (1989) was grim enough, with all the weeping boils and dripping pustules making you feel decidedly queasy.  But Park’s taken the gross factor a good few steps further, giving a prostitute the highly contagious festering plague, and then letting the story play out with truly hideous results.  It’s as nauseating as you probably imagine it to be.  Furthermore, Park doesn’t hold back one bit with his graphic descriptions of the festering flesh.  And all the time the story’s racing along with a seemingly uncontrollable urgency.  The horrific events just escalating by the second.  Afterwards you feel desperate for a long, scolding-hot shower in order to scrub yourself clean.  Hats off to you Mr Park – you really made me squirm.

The story originally appeared within the ‘Hell Of A Guy: Fans On The Rampage’ (2016) anthology and was later included within the re-released version of The Sinister Horror Company's collection ‘The Offering’ (2017).

The chapbook runs for a total of 63 pages, which includes a double-page spread at the end of the chapbook showing the covers of both ‘Hell Of A Guy: Fans On The Rampage’ (2016) and ‘The Festering’ (1989).

© DLS Reviews



Original rejected cover artwork for 'The Festering' (1989)

Cover artwork for 'The Festering Death & Contacts' (2017)

Original artwork by Les Edwards for 'The Festering' (1989)

Final cover artwork for 'The Festering' (1989)

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