Slade (left) with Paul Landers of Rammstein

It’s no secret that your humble EIC is obsessed by the gritty, fascinating and despicably violent psychosexual novels penned by Canadian literary entity Michael Slade (aka the pseudonym of former Vancouver criminal lawyer Jay Clarke). For over three decades, Slade has been crafting dense, pulp thrillers surrounding the serial killer profiling Special X, an RCMP run outfit that consistently runs afoul of perverse madmen (and women) in classic tomes such as HEADHUNTER, GHOUL, HANGMAN, RED SNOW, DEATH’S DOOR and CUTTHROAT; extensively researched , historically accurate amalgams of high art and exploitative trash.

Recently, Slade has been seeping out his back catalogue as digital e-books, so newbies and hardcore Sladists alike can have easy access to these best-selling, cult adventures. And Slade/Clarke, being a lifelong friend of FANGORIA, came to us with a  few scoops about the e-book series…and more.

From the poison pen of Michael Slade himself:


“The best thing about being a Baby Boomer is that it puts you at the right age for all the Big Bangs. By Big Bang I mean there was nothing like it…and then – BAM! – there was.

No-holds-barred EC Comics, the birth of rock-‘n’-roll, the rediscovery of Jack the Ripper, the atrocities of Ed Gein, Hammer films, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, PSYCHO slashing across the screen, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the death of Kennedy, the Sexual Revolution, the Summer of Love, amping up shock rock with young Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD at the drive-in, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, punk rock…and so on. All those jolts hit Baby Boomers at the ideal age.

Sure, those influences and their clones and follow-ons are all still around. But there’s a big difference between being there when the first alien spaceship lands, and being born 20 years after the alien landing.

In the mid-1980s, I had a blast writing GHOUL. My correspondence with Robert PSYCHO Bloch gave me a direct link to H.P. Lovecraft. (Lovecraft killed Bloch in “The Haunter of the Dark” (1935).) GHOUL was actually plotted in St. John’s Graveyard, in Providence, Rhode Island, while sitting in the moonlight on the same tomb where both Poe and Lovecraft are reputed to have sat. Plus, I was backstage with Alice Cooper, and shutting down a bar with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.

Now for a few choice scoops…

Scoop One: A new generation has come of age since HEADHUNTER (1984)and GHOUL (1987) were published. I don’t know a writer who doesn’t wish he/she could rewrite the early novels. Converting to e-books presents the perfect opportunity for that, so HEADHUNTER and GHOUL will be rewritten – and I guarantee, NOT toned down – in light of what I’ve learned about writing in the interim.

Scoop Two: The next Slade novel, # 15, coming as soon as I finish digitizing the first 14 thrillers, is another rock-‘n’-roll shocker. To research it, I spent three hours backstage talking with Rammstein after a recent show (And what a show!!). My law career focused on prostitutes – I defended several hundred, and asked each two questions: “Who was your kinkiest john?” and “What was your most dangerous situation?” – and psychos (over 100 murder cases, specializing in the law of insanity).

Consequently, I love writing femmes fatales. Not women who flash cleavage and leg, and sexually manipulate men as puppets. But women who are as – if not more – bloodthirsty than men. That comes out of having come of age with the 2nd Wave Feminists. And that’s why – I’ve been told many times – Slade has so many female readers.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale —
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.


In the next novel, Inspector Zinc Chandler of Special X – the psycho-hunters of the Mounties – is heading for sexual trouble. Those who have followed Zinc’s story so far – try BED OF NAILS (set at the World Horror Convention and the cannibal isles in the South Pacific) or RED SNOW – will know that he’s being drawn like a moth to flame by more and more outre, uber-dangerous women.”


More digitized Slade, new rock fuelled, sex soaked Slade adventures….we’re in!

You can be too by visiting www.specialx.net.

And if you have yet to thrill to Slade’s 14 existing shockers, may we suggest you start at the beginning…with the devastating HEADHUNTER. If you’re not hooked instantly, we’ll eat this news item.

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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