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What's Being Said

... about Rob's stories and books, that is.... in public at any rate.


"Hood has gone on [from Day-dreaming on Company Time] to produce many fine horror stories and establish himself as one of this country's leading horror authors." (Steven Paulsen and Sean McMullen, "The Hunt for Australian Horror" in Aurealis #14, 1994)

"Rob Hood is Australia's master of dark fantasy, seducing the reader with stories that are lavishly grim and rife with a quirky, unpredictable inventiveness. He takes us along streets we prefer not to travel, even in daylight, and finds humanity in the blackest of shadows."(Sean Williams, author of the best-selling Orphans trilogy, Metal Fatigue, the Geodesica series, The Books of the Change, The Resurrected Man and much else besides)

"Rob Hood is a brilliant fantasist. I've seen work penned by Hood that is absolutely luminous, unnerving, and original. This man can write!" (Jack Dann, author of The Memory Cathedral, The Rebel and numerous SF works, and editor of the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology, Dreaming Downunder)

"Aussie horror's wicked godfather" (Black Magazine)

Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead

...a brilliant fantasy novel of the type we seldom get to read these days. Dense and exotic and full of ideas. It's also full of sword & sorcery action, and the type of cosmic horror that leaves you paranoid about your own reality. Really, what more could you ask for in a book?

Andrew J. McKiernan

Review on Thirteen O'Clock

"Creeping in Reptile Flesh" (collection)

Robert Hood has been writing chilling, sickening, funny and thoughtful horror for longer than he cares to remember. Creeping in Reptile Flesh brings together some of the best from his twistedly evil mind including three previously unpublished works.

Robert’s writing has many shades. His heroes are often people just like you and me. Beset by the horrid and supernatural, they rise to the challenge or sink beneath the slime. Whatever happens, there’s humanity there, the best of us and the worst of us on show... There are many types of horror here to suit many tastes and all of them will please the discerning reader who enjoys good tales told well.

Keith Stevenson

from Aurealis #43, as archived on the Aurealis website

Simply a class act from the artwork to the stories contained within its pages. A must-have addition to any horror fan's bookcase, it will have you wanting to check out more Robert Hood material.

Jeff Ritchie

Review on ScaryMinds website

An impressive, very personal and thematically cohesive collection of stories from horror writer, Robert Hood, and nicely laid out by Cat Sparks. Creeping shows the significant contribution Robert has made to the Australian horror genre.

13th Annual Aurealis Awards: Best Anthology/Collection Category Judges' Report

Hood's collection Creeping in Reptile Flesh (Altair Australia Books) was the finest Aussie collection released in 2008. Although the book's distribution is limited, it contains several of Hood's best stories and spans two decades of his career.

Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Australian Shadows Award 2008 Judges' Comments

... [In regards to the title story] Combine large whacks of political exposition with the amorphous workings of an undead electorate, and we have social horror that is valid enough, but damn obscure.

Once we lumber over this intellectual hump, the collection thankfully picks up pace. The central theme for Hood is menacing decay, both bodily an environmental, and this focus showcasess his ability to move from old-fashioned confessional-style horror, complete with tentacled tropes, to rather wonderful absurdism. ... While an uneven anthology, it is well worth pushing through for stories popping with Hoods' quirky comedy rhythm.

Talie Helene

Black: Australian Dark Culture, Issue #3, November 2008

Immaterial: Ghost Stories

.... Through these (and five other) stories, Hood demonstrates a talent for storytelling, as well as showing us his fascination, not only with the immaterial world that surrounds us, but also with the immaterial connections that form between friends, family and even strangers. Whether or not there are real ghosts here is not important – but each of the stories represents a journey away from the comfortable, the stable and the secure, pulling their protagonists towards a world where not everything is as solid as it appears.

Devin Jeyathurai

on ASif website (2005)

...The breadth of the storytelling both in style and content is just one of the many delights of Immaterial. Fifteen very different tales, 3 of them published for the first time, make this a fine collection from one of our leading proponents of the art. Buy it.

Keith Stevenson

Review in Aurealis magazine

Robert Hood might not be the exact modern equivalent of Blackwood, but the ghost stories in his Immaterial ... are all clever, well-constructed, and (mostly) subtle, offering a variety of voices and tones, from the wit of Dahl or Collier to the unflinching nihilism of Ligotti. Although some partake of splatterpunk’s excesses – a vengeful skeleton gruesomely dissects a thug in "Dem Bones," for instance – most of these pieces mix humor with understated creepiness. I particularly enjoyed "Blurred Lines," in which a blind man’s hearing becomes so acute as to shatter the normal barriers of space and time, much in the manner of the great horror flick X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963).

Paul Di Filippo

Review in Asimov's Science Fiction -- online

Each entry in Immaterial while nominally having a central idea of ghostly happenings does venture into territory not normally associated with the chain rattlers of say the British tradition. In short Robert Hood has taken a sub genre, given it one hell of a shake up, and pretty much put his own stamp on it. No one tells a ghost yarn quite like Mr Hood, and with Immaterial you never know quite what to expect from each story.

... the stories contain more ideas than meet the eye initially and a re-read is essential to getting full value out of them. Robert Hood's writing style is easy to read and you will find yourself falling into the stories as each tale weaves its magic. The only disappointment for me was that the book ended and I was left wanting more... one of the best ghost story collections you could ever hope to get your hands on. 10/10

Jeff Ritchie

Review on (2009)

"A Helping Hand"

"A Helping Hand", by Robert Hood, gives us a chance to breathe normally, albeit momentarily. This is a clever story about mental problems and how they confuse reality, and is perhaps one of the more literate of the issue, although the central theme of pulp-style horror is still prevalent, and it’s not long before we are breathing heavily again.

Marty Young

from a review of Dark Animus #7 on ASif website (2006)

Of the 7 stories offered, the most impressive is “A Helping Hand” by Robert Hood. Hood cleverly weaves a tale that is simply creepy from start to finish.

Russell B. Farr

from a review of Dark Animus #7 on ticonderogaonline (2005)

"Escena de un Asesinato"


"There is more than a ghost here. The spirits haunting Morley twist time and causation to keep him trapped, unable to find peace.Strongly disquieting. Recommended."

Lois Tilton

from a review of Exotic Gothic 4 (ed. Danel Olson), Locus Online (July 2012)

"A truly chilling story."

Sam Tomaino

from a review of Exotic Gothic 4 (ed. Danel Olson, PS Publishing), SFRevu (July, 2012)

"Latin America provides the right environment for a couple of great stories. In Robert Hood's beautifully crafted "Escena de un Asesinato" a Zapatist ghost takes revenge by means of a picture taken by a professional photographer..."

Mario Guslandi

from a review of Exotic Gothic 4 (ed. Danel Olson) on the Thirteen O'Clock review site.


Challis says she's interested in showcasing stories that transcend the clichés of the horror genre, and this is wonderfully illustrated by the selection of stories. Take Robert Hood's "Autopsy", for example. Its wonderfully depraved opening sequence, in which the "hero" performs a savage autopsy on a living subject, could be written off as exploitative. However as the story progresses it becomes clear Hood has more than just gore in mind. A few plot twists establish this as a captivating (albeit still utterly depraved) highlight of the anthology; a fine, imaginative piece of storytelling from a great Australian author.

Tim Kroenert

from a review of Book of Shadows (ed. Angela Challis), ASif website (2007)

Robert Hood is a well known Australian dark fiction author, and he is well represented in this collection with "Autopsy". A gore filled tale trails off into the truly bizarre and leaves a satisfaction that comes from reading something truly odd.

Paul Mannering

from a review of Book of Shadows (ed. Angela Challis), ASif website (2007)


... This is a tough novel which is exciting, memorable and sensitive in its treatment of the issues and, finally, satisfying and optimistic. Hood uses a variety of contemporary language techniques effectively. The pain and raw emotion of the descriptions of the dream sequences, of madness and panic attacks brought on by grief, guilt and disorientation after the accident, are powerful.

CBC Judges Report appearing in the 1999 Notable Books list

... Kel’s story is a quest, much of it nightmarish, where he steps out of society into an underworld of homeless people and violence which seems to mimic the anguish in his own mind and the journey he has to make towards acceptance.

Review in Magpies Magazine, Oct. 2000

This is a short, punchy, and empathic novel of grief, loss, and life on Sydney’s mean streets.... There are no easy one-line answers ... The novel is tender, yet uncompromising, meticulously honest in its dealing with Kel’s emotions, and it feels right in a manner which can only be informed by wisdom and personal experience.

Review in Aurealis #24, 1999


Violence is an inherent quality of ‘masculinity’ so it is unsurprising to find it represented. “Men bring fear to others rather than allow it to make them weak”. Robert Hood’s “Birth Mark” is set in the Intractable City, a far-future world where humans have shed their organic bodies and those emotions that bring instability to society. Birth, a spontaneous condensation of all human experience, is random, but regulated to ensure that chaotic forces remain discarnate. Thus “Birth Mark” is less about masculinity, but instead questions its place within a society that no longer needs hunters. But is such a society stable, and what would happen if a “hunter” finds a way to be born? Although at first difficult to conceptualise, Hood’s Intractable City does eventually find form.

Kathryn Linge

from a review of cØck (ed. Andrew Macrae and Keith Stevenson) on ASif website, July 2007

"Creeping in Reptile Flesh" (story)

[Creeping in Reptile Flesh] is a novella, a sinister tale of black magic, the walking dead, and party politics. The story works on two levels. On the surface, it's a suspenseful piece of writing, drawing the central character and reader through a number of levels of lies and betrayal, as he seeks to unravel the mystery of John Cowling and George Clarbridge, and a series of dark visions that plague him. The mystery eventually takes him outside Canberra to a place where illusion and reality meet. It's a tense, intriguing story, and it also works as a powerful metaphor for the power struggles in contemporary politics, as well as the mass media's power and culpability. Highly recommended.

Benjamin Payne

from a review on Not if You Were The Last Short Story on Earth (blog), 29 November 2008

You will however have to approach "Creeping in Reptile Flesh" with an eye to detail; the author has more than one story arc happening in the novella that goes toward explaining the final confrontation. The novella is a well-constructed piece of writing that sets the tone for the rest of the collection.

Jeff Ritchie

Review on ScaryMinds website

"Dead in the Glamour of Moonlight"

Robert hood's "Dead in the Glamour of Moonlight" meticulously re-creates the thought processes of a man whose Keatsian obsession with the transience of beauty inspires him to end his girlfriend's life at what he sees as its moment of perfection. This is a thoroughly chilling tale, utterly convincing in its narration, but the neat revenge-fulfilment closure of its ending imples a "poetic justice" which, in view of the bloodshed that has occurred, is not real justice at all... But that's precisely the point.

Van Ikin

from a review of Bonescribes: Year's Best Australian Horror 1995 (ed. Bill Congreve and Robert Hood) in The West Australian

"First Moment of Dying"

"First Moment of Dying" by Robert Hood is a very nice inversion of the Lazarus myth. Morgue/Autopsy stories are always on the creepier end of the scale for me and Rob Hood seems to delight in constructing just these sort of tales. This one takes deliberate religous symbolism as its method of resurrecting the dead but the sender of the symbolism is (thankfully) never fully examined. Instead, "First Moment..." leaves religion as a plaintive and unanswered cry from the dead and moves to show us the world from the newly risen's point of view. The ending leaves the wider implications of the story very much open to the reader to ponder. This is a great thing. We know what happens when the dead take over the world, we've all seen the movies, but "First Moment of Dying" shows us a more intimate look at where it all might begin.

Andrew McKiernan

from a review of Shadowed Realms #11 on Horrorscope (2006)

"First Moment of Dying" is a zombie story told from the perspective of the zombie. Robert Hood tells us about a rape victim who not only comes back to life after having her throat slashed, but wakes up next to her attacker’s body. The concept isn’t that unique, but Hood pulls it off with style and good form. I think the opening could have been cut, but all in all, it's an effective story.

M. David Schafer

from a review of Shadowed Realms #11 on Tangent Short Fiction Review (2006)

"Flesh and Bone"

"Flesh and Bone" by Robert Hood. A thought-provoking riff on the daikaiju that have roamed our cinema and TV screens since the 1950s.

Gary Kemble

2007 Judge's Report for Australian Shadows Award nominees

"God of War"

Robert Hood writes prosaic poetry that shows you can fill a page with delight based upon very little actual plot. "God Of War" is filled with rich imagery and smoothly composed sentences that carry you along to the sudden ending. The central character has become a god in the sense that he embodies war at all levels. The unquestioning obedience from his underlings means he must take matters into his own hands when he finally decides that being maintained by cybernetic enhancements to ensure that his human mind can plot strategy is quintessentially dull.

Paul Mannering

From a review of Borderlands #8 on ASif website (2007)

"Ground Underfoot"

Robert Hood makes another appearance in Aurealis #23, the magazine’s special WorldCon issue. "Ground Underfoot", despite the science fiction overalls, is really a ghost story. In a world shattered by the random and destructive visits of a giant monster, insurance companies are making a killing (literally). The companies rely on people sensitive to the appearance of the monster to calculate their rates, and penalise insurance cheats with execution. Danforth is a hitman for one of these companies, but unbeknown to his employers he is also a sensitive. Sent on a mission to recover the world’s leading authority on the monster, lost or kidnapped somewhere in Sydney, Danforth discovers there is something about his talent that even he was unaware of.

Simon Brown

from a review of Aurealis #23 on Australian SF Online (2000)


Some pieces are brain-bendingly philosophical in their intent, like the title work and ‘Rotten Times’ which appeared in Aurealis #27/28, and my personal favourite, ‘Heartless’ (first published in Aurealis #31) which manages to be both viscerally gruesome and a cool-headed debate about whether the ‘soul’ resides in the heart or in the head.

Keith Stevenson

from Aurealis #43, as archived on the Aurealis website


In a magazine filled with much light and humorous fiction, Robert Hood's "Howler" stands out for its portrayal of a world into which the forces of evil are trying to enter to destroy it. The relationship between Liz and Ian is real, as is Ian's conversion to belief in the strange story Liz tells him about the howlers. Hood does include a smidgeon of humor in the story, but it seems forced and unnecessary.

Steven H. Silver

from a review of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #9 on Tangent Short Fiction Review (2003)

"Howler", by Robert Hood, could seem like an excuse for sex, drugs and rock&roll: you have to, to keep the monsters at bay. Liz and Ian are teenagers who have to save the world from nasty extra-dimensional monsters who howl before they break into our world. Easy.

Alexandra Pierce

from a review of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #9 on ASif website (2007)

"In the Service of the Flesh"

Robert Hood’s “In the Service of the Flesh,” has perhaps the finest opening line in the anthology. A man mutated by a radiation overdose into a flesh-eating zombie is visited by a pair of evangelists who get a different taste of the afterlife than that which they were expecting. It’s alternately funny and stomach-churning, and even manages to offer a moment of poignancy.

The pick of the stories are those already mentioned, by Dedman, Dowling, and Hood... ... as good as anything from overseas...

Colin Harvey

from a review of Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror 2007 on The Fix website (2008)

Robert Hood’s opening line to “In the Service of the Flesh” immediately captures the reader’s attention, setting the stage for a humorous journey as seen through the eyes of a zombie evangelist.

Martel Sardina

from a review of Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror 2007 in Dark Scribe Magazine, February 2008

Robert Hood's “'In the Service of the Flesh' was a venture into 'eekdom'. It's gore, it's zombies and it's clever.

Donna Maree Hanson

from a review of Aurealis #37 on ASif website (2006)

'In the Service of the Flesh' is Rob Hood’s latest contribution to the zombie genre, and it’s a beaut. I can’t say too much about it without giving away the plot, so I’ll limit myself to mentioning only that it’s laugh-out-loud funny, and boasts levels of gore that would make George Romero blanch. This may well be the very best zombie tale I’ve ever read.

Chuck McKenzie

from a review of Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror 2007 Edition on the Horrorscope website, 4 March 2008

"Instructions for Pandora's Box"

"Instructions for Pandora's Box" by Robert Hood is the type of story one used to see in the 70's in SF magazines and anthologies, but which is too seldom seen these days. The eminently dislikeable Mr. Felix Barker, EUS Director of External Policy for the State Ministry, receives a package that only he can see. It comes with instructions for opening of an ominous nature; the unhappy, power-mongering Barker attempts to assure himself of its reality or potential throughout the elegantly-written tale. It's a good, solid SF story with a nice retro feel.

Amy Sterling Casil

from a review of Ideomancer Unbound on (2003)

"JAM Jars"

Perhaps even more rewarding than the previous volume from Agog!, this collection of twenty-one stories showcases the wide variety of voices working Down Under. Every piece exhibits at least journeyman competence, while others are masterful. I particularly enjoyed Robert Hood’s "JAM Jars," about an alien-fostered nanotech plague...

Paul Di Filippo

From a review of Agog! Terrific Tales in Asimov's Science Fiction -- online


Exotic Gothic 2 is, unlike last year's Exotic Gothic, an all-original anthology, and it's a damned good one. There are only a couple of stories I'd rate as OK; most are very good indeed, and a couple are right up there with the best short stories I've read this year.

I was particularly impressed by George Makana Clark's 'Blood Reader', Nicholas Royle's 'Very Low-Flying Aircraft' (which contains a particularly brilliant final paragraph), Reggie Oliver's 'A Donkey at the Mysteries', Steve Rasnic Tem's 'Burning Snow', Tia V. Travis' 'One Thousand Dragon Sheets', Adam Golaski's 'A Line Through el Salar d'Uyuni' and Robert Hood's 'Kulpunya'.

A front-runner for best original anthology of the year, as far as I'm concerned...

From the Ramsey Campbell Discussion Board (12 November 2008)

"Luxury Goods"

Robert Hood has cursed his main character in "Luxury Goods" with the name of Luxury. She starts off as a fairly normal person who gets pulled into the mafia-like world of smuggling: not drugs or weapons in this case, but Virtual Enhancement software, which the Kordanians have banned. Luxury gets involved in order to help her boyfriend, but things don't go quite the way they are meant to -- of course. Luxury is a great character: she is strong, and independent, and adapts really well to the situations presented to her. The issue of genetic modification and all the different ways it could be done, and the ways it could get out of hand, is also fascinating to explore.

Alexandra Pierce

from a review of Fantastic Wonder Stories (ed. Russell B. Farr) on ASif website (2007)

"Monstrous Bright Tomorrows"

Robert Hood’s “Monstrous Bright Tomorrows” is a piece that reads like poetry and prose at the same time. Everything is vivid and almost too real at times, heightening the emotional impact and sheer creepiness of the story. Hood manages to capture beauty in his words along with the darkness, something that’s extremely difficult to do well.

Stephanie Gunn

from a review of In Bad Dreams (ed. Mark S. Deniz and Sharyn Lilley), Horrorscope (Sept. 2007)

“Monstrous Bright Tomorrows”, by Robert Hood, brought back memories, for me, of days when I was a kid, when the cicadas were so loud that thinking really was difficult sometimes. The cicadas in this particular story are a lot creepier than those of my childhood.

Alexandra Pierce

from a review of In Bad Dreams (ed. Mark S. Deniz and Sharyn Lilley), ASif website (September, 2007)

“Monstrous Bright Tomorrows” by Robert Hood, a tale of a selfish man and cicadas, is awful in the sense of being unnerving, but strangely hopeful.

Angela Slatter

from a review of In Bad Dreams (ed. Mark S. Deniz and Sharyn Lilley), ASif website (June, 2008)

Rob Hood’s ‘Monstrous Bright Tomorrows’ posits the idea of death as transition, metamorphosis or rebirth as Shuiker, alternately oppressed and enraptured by the ever-present — and deafening — cicadas on his property, is in turn encased underground by an unknown agency. While, as I indicated, this is one of the stand out stories of the antho — playing with a range of complex ideas and effects — it perhaps needed a little more work to tease its layered concepts out and throw them into sharper relief.

Keith Stevenson

from a review of In Bad Dreams (ed. Mark S. Deniz and Sharyn Lilley) in Aurealis Magazine #40 on the Aurealis website

"Peripheral Movement in the Leaves Under an Orange Tree"

My first impression is that this is a well-written and slightly creepy tale about leaves. Being scared by leaves is a clever concept, and Hood conveys a good sense of unease as they move with “crackling whispers” and “ripple with quick movement”. However, Hood’s real cleverness is not revealed until the ending, which is a cracker! We’re relying on the narrator to tell us the truth but how much can we rely on him? He is old, after all, and references to a real estate agent and resentful neighbours suggest that all is not well. Perhaps he’s misinterpreting events - or even a bit senile? Maybe the leaves aren’t moving after all.

Hood talks about narration more in his interview, which is as informative and interesting as Kaaron Warren’s. Unlike movies, a reader (or listener) relies solely on the narrator to understand what’s going on. Forcing the reader into the narrator’s reality can create a sense of intimacy, and this definitely works in "Peripheral Movement in the Leaves Under an Orange Tree”. Hood also talks about other indirect methods of conveying information without "telling” – creating impressions through character interaction or indirect facts. Pride and Prejudice is given as an example and, frankly, anyone who references Jane Austen is ok by me.

Kathryn Linge

From a review of The Writing Show's podcast "Seven Days of Halloween" on the ASif website (2007)

"Pseudomelia for the Masses"

Robert Hood’s “Pseudomelia of the Masses” concerns the emergence of a disturbing trend in work-related body enhancements. This is a well-written piece steeped in paranoia.

Simon Petrie

from a review of The Workers' Paradise (ed. Russel. B Farr and Nick Evans) on ASif website, November 2007


Take Rob Hood’s "Regolith", which opens the collection. A pair of archaeologists find the burial chamber of an aristocratic scholar and kabbalist who sought the secret of eternal life. A worker on the moon is part of a project to bring water back to the moon. Making the connection between the two, this story bridges present and future, the Earth and the Moon, and manages to throw in a peculiar sort of haunting in the process. I know Hood’s propensity for ghosts, and it doesn't surprise me that he’s managed to wedge one in here. Maybe not a ghost. Maybe it's an echo, or an intention. It's still marvellously subtle, and clever, and not a little spooky ... but hopeful, too.

Devin Jeyathurai

from a review of Agog! Smashing Stories (ed. Cat Sparks) on ASif website (2005)

Consider the somber mood of the Moon's last hope in "Regolith." One last shot to establish something, anything, on the barren landscape -- an attempt that may have failed or succeeded beyond the engineers wildest dreams. Such stories make you look at that cold rock shining down on us with more than the usual curiosity.

Lisa DuMond

from a review of Agog! Smashing Stories (ed. Cat Sparks) on SF Site (2004)


Morrigan Books' first anthology, Voices (ed. Mark S. Denis & Amanda Pillar), showcased several fine stories set in the world's creepiest hotel. The anthology itself was a contender, for me, and individual story standouts included Pete Kempshall's brutal police procedural "Just Us", Martin Livings' "Bedbugs", and Robert Hood's flash fiction pieces (titled "Remainders").

Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Australian Shadows Award 2008 Judges' Comments


"<term UNTRANSLATABLE>", by Robert Hood, is a clever cyberfiction story, intersecting old-fashioned science fiction with the internal world of geeks. It is particularly appealing that this story is published on the net. It is a First Contact story, pure geek meets alien.

Gillian Pollack

from a review of Ticonderoga Online #4 on ASif website (2006)

Robert Hood is one of Australia’s foremost horror authors. "<term UNTRANSLATABLE>" is a science fiction story which puts a new slant on alien invasion. The depiction of the central character, Gordon, who spends most of his time on the internet debating about science fiction, treads a line between affectionate parody and less affectionate satire without ever fully slipping over the line. It’s hard to get good gags out of nerdy science fiction fans; the jokes have for the most part been mined and done to death. Hood, then, deserves credit for developing his humour through the character and avoiding all the obvious stereotypes. The piece is funny and its ultimate resolution clever.

Ben Payne

from a review of Ticonderoga Online #4 on ASif website (2006)


The next story is "Touched" by Robert Hood, a ghost story with a twist. Emily finds herself about to tour a house that she lived in once as a child, a house where she found the sad presence of a ghost. She encounters the ghost again and in doing so, comes to a realisation about herself. It's a small little story, but it's lovely. Hood has a very deft touch, able to lead up to things so they make sense, and yet make them surprising as well.

Nicole Murphy

from a review of Fables and Reflections #8 on ASif website (2006)

"Maculate Conception"

Robert Hood's "Maculate Conception" is an effective horror story about a man dealing with his wife's leaving him, which moves to a nicely handled twist ending.

Rich Horton

from a review of Passing Strange (ed. Bill Congreve) on LocusOnline (2002)

"Primal Etiquette"

I did not enjoy reading Robert Hood’s "Primal Etiquette", a visceral tale that has about as many body parts as adjectives, but the fact that I read it from beginning to end is testimony to Hood’s skill as a writer. In fact, "Primal Etiquette" is a gruesome gag with quite a funny punch-line. Describing the story at all would likely give the punch-line away, so this is something you should read for yourself; just keep a barf bag handy.

Simon Brown

from a review of Orb #0 on Australian SF Online (2000)


From the [Creeping in Reptile Flesh] collection, I also enjoyed the shorter story, Unraveling, a story about the potential for violence within the human form, the universe of quantum possibilities, and the tiny things that can tip an internal mental struggle over the edge. At heart, it's another story about power, and the danger of human frailties magnified onto larger and larger scales.

Benjamin Payne

from a review on Not if You Were The Last Short Story on Earth (blog), 29 November 2008

"Voyeur Night"

"Voyeur Night" by co-editor Robert Hood is also a worthy inclusion, a horror/SF/crime story that hits all the right buttons, as well as a few that might surprise you.

Martin Livings

from a review of Crosstown Traffic in Eidolon 14, April 1994 • online

"Walking the Dead Beat"

"page after page of undiluted awesomeness all over the board."

Chris Bauer

from a review of Damnation and Dames on Goodreads, May 2012

Shades series

I've mentioned a few times "those of us older folk he [Hood] drags into the narrative as well", which should be fair warning that Shadow Dance has something for the more advanced reader as well as the younger crowd. Heck, if I had to be honest, (and this is just between you and me), the book is a page turner that I couldn't put down. As with his more adult orientated fiction Robert Hood has the ability to cast a spell over the reader and drag him/her into the narrative and force you to keep reading right to the final page.

Jeff Ritchie

Review on ScaryMinds website

I enjoyed the series for its pace, for its sense of the strange and the threats posed, but mostly for the lives of its teenagers. Nathan, Mel, Cass and Shine are an unlikely bunch of heroes, but they step up to the plate and have a go.

Review in Aurealis # 29, 2002

... [Shadow Dance] can gross out, but it has a weird poetry to it...

Lucy Sussex

Review in Sunday Age, 1 July 2001

... [Shadow Dance] has a good storyline, with nothing too predictable. It’s so different from anything I’ve read, I didn’t know what to expect as it ranged from murder to ancient Greek gods. The book ... is definitely not to be missed.

Alex Leahy

Review in Courier Mail, 24 July 2001

In this terrific new series, readers will find themselves transported into the world of ghosts. But don’t think of ghosts in the Ghostbusters style; this is much more subtle!... the Shades series is a gripping new series which will leave ordinary ghost stories in the starting blocks. ... A must-read for horror stories and supernatural stories fans.

Shadow Dance is  part mystery, part fantasy, part thriller, part horror, and a great read in all those categories.” (YARA review)

“[Black Sun Rising] is very scary, and at times funny... This is a great book, but it would be helpful to read the other three books in the series before picking this one up.” (YARA Review)

“[Night Beast] is very fascinating and you can’t put the book down when you’ve started reading... Robert Hood has written the book magnificently. It’s like he’s weaved [sic] magic into every word...” (YARA Review, Year 6 reviewer!)

"Tamed" Robert Hood's "Tamed" develops even further the concept that our own imagination creates the monsters that bedevil and threaten us. Torm is searching for the one who can help rid the world of these manifestations - the "drontagis corruption". He attaches himself to the household of Bryalt, someone Torm believes has the ability to resist, even influence, the corruption and the metamorphosed humans and devils it creates. In reality Bryalt is barely holding back the corruption, and when his mother dies, worn out from hard work and fear, the evil on their farm breaks out in full force. Torm's hopes, however, are kept alive by Bryalt's sister, Eisha, who reveals she too has influence over the drontagis.

Hood's fantasy world is only partially realised in this story, but there is enough there to keep the reader intrigued, wanting to learn more. Most effective, is the corruption itself and how it is manifested, by twisting and changing the dead into a form both horrifying and psychologically atavistic. Torm and the others are confronted with the darker sides of their own psyches.

Simon Brown

from a review of Dreaming Downunder on Australian SF Online (1999)


copyright©Robert Hood 2002-2007

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