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Gelb, Jeff

Gelb, Jeff


ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Mysterious Press, Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

CAREER: Writer, editor, teacher. Worked as a disc jockey and music columnist; producer of fanzine Men of Mystery.



(With Lonn Friend) Hot Blood: Tales of Erotic Horror, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989.

(With Michael Garrett) Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Michael Garrett) Hottest Blood, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Michael Garrett) Deadly after Dark, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Michael Garrett) Seeds of Fear, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Michael Garrett) Stranger by Night, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Michael Garrett) Fear the Fever, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Michael Garrett) Kiss and Kill, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Michael Garrett) Hot Blood: Crimes of Passion, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Michael Garrett) Hot Blood X, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Michael Garrett) Hot Blood XI: Fatal Attractions, Kensington (New York, NY), 2003.


(With Max Allan Collins) Flesh and Blood: Erotic Tales of Crime and Passion, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Max Allan Collins) Flesh and Blood: Dark Desires: Tales of Crime and Passion, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Max Allan Collins) Flesh and Blood: Guilty As Sin: Erotic Tales of Crime and Passion, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 2003.


Specters (novel), Bart Books, 1988.

(Editor) Shock Rock (anthology), foreword by Alice Cooper, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1992.

(Editor) Shock Rock II (anthology), foreword by Lonn Friend, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) Fear Itself (anthology), Warner Aspect (New York, NY), 1995.

Also author of short stories.

SIDELIGHTS: Jeff Gelb is a writer who is best known for cocreating and editing the "Hot Blood" anthology series and his newer "Flesh and Blood" series, as well as for Shock Rock and its sequel. One of Gelb's own novels, Specters, finds thirteen-year-old Paul communicating with souls that enable him to see the perpetrators of various murders. Science Fiction Chronicle reviewer Don D'Ammassa saw similarities between this novel and Stephen King's The Dead Zone. A contributor to West Coast Review of Books called the pacing "slick and fast. The book speeds by so quickly, the reader has little time to question what's happening." Gelb frequently contributes to the anthologies he edits.

Gelb and coeditor Michael Garrett were interviewed in 2003 by a writer for, who talked with them about their latest, Hot Blood XI, and the beginnings of the series. The interviewer noted that Garrett was the first to publish King. The two shared a love of comic books, and Garrett and a friend published a fanzine in which King's first story, "I Was a Teenage Grave Digger," appeared. Gelb and Garrett were already friends at the time.

The interviewer asked them how the "Hot Blood" series got started, and Gelb said that he and Garrett "grew up reading horror fiction and Playboy in the sixties, and one day a light bulb went off in our heads that it would be fun to write stories that combined the best of both worlds." They wrote and sold several to men's magazines, then decided to create their own market. This was an opportune time, since horror as a genre was gaining popularity, generated in large part by the work of King and Dean Koontz. When they put out a call for submissions, Gelb and Garrett were flooded. Gelb said, "We had obviously tapped into a very rich vein, as it remains to this day."

Gelb noted that when they began, the series was written for a male audience, but that the writers in Hot Blood XI are about evenly split between male and female. He said that he and Garrett have talked about doing an all-female issue. In Publishers Weekly Penny Kaganoff reviewed the first issue, which Gelb coedited with Lonn Friend, in 1989, commenting on the fact that of the twenty-five contributors, there is only one female. She also said that there is a "redundancy here of female vampires and other monsters, variously seductive and castrating."

Robert Morrish, a contributor to Voice of Youth Advocates, called the first anthology "an excellent collection," adding that it "unabashedly flaunts sex and horror, its various authors gleefully airing the darkest skeletons from their closets, its editors seemingly reveling in the titillating fare—this one is sure to make the Moral Majority blush, if not more." Morrish felt the best story to be Ray Garton's "Punishments," a critique of organized religion, in this case the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and which reveals the consequences of taking guilt to the extreme.

Edward Bryant reviewed a number of the "Hot Blood" titles for Locus, beginning with the first. He also felt that "some diverse viewpoints would have been welcome. After all, sex and eroticism are hardly exclusive male preserves." Of Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror, which began Gelb's collaboration with Garrett on the series, Bryant wrote that it is "a more successful collection…. Both the levels of ambition and of execution are generally higher…. Hotter Blood is acutely readable, occasionally punctuated with moments of genuine stimulation."

The next book is titled Hottest Blood, and Bryant joked that "many of us were wondering what comparative would come next." But the fourth book in the series is titled Deadly after Dark. Bryant continued his questioning of the word erotic in the description of the stories of the series, emphasizing that erotic indicates sexual titillation, which he feels is not a component. "Now 'sexual horror' 'd have no problem with," said Bryant, who added that "erotic or sexual, sexy or cautionary, here are fourteen new stories that should arouse a variety of responses, ranging from 'Oooh, wow' to 'Yuck.' As with every preceding volume of this series, there's some extremely effective material."

New volumes of the series were published regularly until 1998, but there was a gap of several years before Hot Blood XI was published. Gelb said that he is proud "that we use so many new names in each volume. It's great to have our 'usual cast' of phenomenal writers, but we also love finding raw talent and working with them to give us fresh takes on 'Hot Blood' themes." contributor Joe Hartlaub reviewed the most recent volume, noting that Hot Blood XI "contains graphic descriptions of sexual encounters, some of them quite, ah, innovative, to say the least. None of them are gratuitous, though. The erotica, however, is not the common thread that ultimately unites all of the stories in Hot Blood XI into a common tapestry. No, there is an almost biblical morality infused into each of these tales or, if you will, a graphic illustration of the ancient caveat that 'one must be careful with what one wishes for.'" Hartlaub praised the editors' contributions, Gelb's "Night of the Giving Head" and Garrett's "One to Die For," and called this volume "by far the best of a heretofore terrific series."

Shock Rock and Shock Rock II contain dark tales with a rock 'n' roll theme, and the former includes one by King about a husband and wife who take the wrong road and find themselves in the haunted town of Rock and Roll Heaven, Oregon, presided over by Mayor Elvis Presley.

Gelb edits the "Flesh and Blood" anthologies with Max Allan Collins. Dark Desire, the second volume of the sex-and-violence series, was called "much better than its predecessor" by a Kirkus Reviews contributor who singled out as outstanding "O'Neil De Noux's titillating comeuppance for a mob holdout, Jon L. Breen's audition for a role in a nonexistent sex film, and Paul Bishop's TV-drama-triangle … models of their kind."

The third entry in the series, Guilty As Sin, includes contributors who write as couples, including Annette and Martin Meyers and Michael Collins, a.k.a. Dennis Lynds, and Gayle Lynds. Barbara Collins offers up "Dalliance at Sunnydale," about sex, life, and death in an assisted-living facility, and her husband, Max, wrote "Lie beside Me," about a retired spy, with Matthew V. Clemens. A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that "Low Tide," the opening story by Dick Lochte, "is a solid hit about a bank robbery with some unusual aftereffects."



Booklist, January 15, 1992, Gordon Flagg, review of Shock Rock, p. 909.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2001, review of Flesh and Blood: Erotic Tales of Crime and Passion, p. 146; March 15, 2002, review of Flesh and Blood: Dark Desires: Tales of Crime and Passion, p. 370; February 15, 2003, review of Flesh and Blood: Guilty As Sin: Erotic Tales of Crime and Passion, p. 272.

Locus, July, 1989, review of Hot Blood: Tales of Erotic Horror, pp. 23, 25; February, 1991, Edward Bryant, review of Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror, pp. 23, 25; February, 1992, Edward Bryant, review of Shock Rock, pp. 19, 21, 58; February, 1995, Edward Bryant, review of Deadly after Dark, pp. 25, 27, 61.

Publishers Weekly, April, 1989, Penny Kaganoff, review of Hot Blood, p. 63; March 19, 2001, review of Flesh and Blood: Erotic Tales of Crime and Passion, p. 79; April 1, 2002, review of Flesh and Blood: Dark Desires, p. 56; March 17, 2003, review of Flesh and Blood: Guilty As Sin, p. 58.

Science Fiction Chronicle, November, 1988, Don D'Ammassa, review of Specters, p. 43.

Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 1989, Robert Morrish, review of Hot Blood, pp. 165-166; April, 1995, Mary Lee Tiernan, review of Fear Itself, p. 33.

West Coast Review of Books, Volume 14, issue 1, review of Specters, p. 34.

ONLINE, (February 14, 2003), interview with Gelb and Garrett; (December 24, 2003), Joe Hartlaub, review of Hot Blood XI: Fatal Attractions.

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