books | music | art | about | contact




Cosmos Books/Wildside Press


When she was ten years old, Veronica Laka disobeyed her father, and talked back when she knew she shouldn’t have. Her punishment came slowly in the form of the "Taps." As her father holds a nail under her fingernail, he taps it with a hammer just hard enough to draw blood, slowly, one finger at a time…

Fifty years later Dr. Veronica Laka may seem like a harmless old lady, but with her partner Dr. Mark Ivy, the pain machine was born, a device that can transfer pain from one person to another. First, they have to figure out how to measure pain on levels. Then, they have to find human volunteers, a person who feels the pain, and a doctor to accept it by going "under the wires." But it would never be Veronica. Ever. She can never forget the "Taps."

PAIN MACHINE on Goodreads.

Cosmos Books was a division of Wildside Press

ISBN: 1-59224-104-2

Donations have been made to the K-W Fibromyalgia Group from the sales of Pain Machine:

Dear Marcy,
Thank you so much for the generous donation. Your efforts in phoning people, writing “Pain Machine,” collecting Zehrs tapes and your kind words inspire us and inform others.
Thanks again,
From the K-W Fibromyalgia Group


"Stylistically, Italiano writes better than many writers who have received (thus far) greater recognition."
-- Bureau 42, Read the full review here.

"Pain Machine struck a chord with me. I just can't shake the idea of it. Definitely recommended!"
-- Summize.

"Like a spike hammered under your fingernail, PAIN MACHINE leaves you scarred. A medical miracle gone out of control, a neurological disease that's all too real, and a doctor who can't escape the legacy of her past all come together in Marcy Italiano's gripping and deeply personal debut."
Nicholas Kaufmann, author of "The Dead Stay Dead" and "The Jew of Prague" 

"Marcy Italiano's PAIN MACHINE is chilling and delicious.  A perfect blend of her captivating story-telling ability and uniquely scary imagination, the result is moving and horrific.  Help me, I feel...the... taps..."
Diana Barron, Bram Stoker Award Nominated author of PHANTOM FEAST

"The PAIN MACHINE hurts so good! Marcy Italiano's writing is sharp and gripping. Darkly emotional themes and scares await if you're brave enough to explore it. Italiano brings the pain!"
Brian Keene, author of The Rising, No Rest For The Wicked, Talking Smack

"Pain Machine is not for the squeamish...I squirmed in my seat while reading each scene, and I’m not easily grossed out. But don't let this fool you. There is also a fantastic build-up of suspense, and the characters are real and believable. A well thought-out debut from one very unique new writer."
Michael Laimo, author of Atmosphere and Sleepwalker.

"Marcy Italiano's first novel, PAIN MACHINE, will have you longing for anesthesia as pain and plot wind up like a dentist's drill reaching a crescendo in your most sensitive tooth. This one delivers shivers and shudders galore!"
Brian A. Hopkins, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author and Editor

Feedback from Readers:

"I would like to let you know I received your book titled 'Pain Machine' the other day. I read it and let me tell you it was a great book it kept me on edge. I just hope I am never hooked up to a machine like that ha ha, and the only Taps I want to see or hear is through the military. ...If anyone out there knows about your book and have not read it they are definitely missing out."
-- Sergeant Tait Warren (email from Baghdad)

"Chronic pain sufferers will really appreciate this fine work of fiction"
-- Kevin Ryan's
Amazon list of Some "Creepy " Horror Books by New Horror Talents

"Pain Machine is horrifying not because of gore and drama, but because it's so easy to imagine that it could happen here, now. It's a fast-paced novel that on one (disturbing) level explores the subjective nature of pain. Chronic pain is debilitating in more than physical ways -- it strikes at our reason, and our compassion and our ability to cope. Pain Machine struck a chord with me. I just can't shake the idea of it. Definitely recommended!"
-- S. Carter - 5 star rating - "Sticks with you for weeks afterwards"

"I read your book last week.  I loved it. You did such a good job of making me understand what Agatha was feeling. And I loved the whole premise of being able to transfer your pain so that someone else would understand it. The characters stayed with me and I found I was wondering about them when I wasn't reading.  Great work.  On a personal note I seemed to be having a lot of headaches, muscle aches and even a migraine over the time I was reading.  I probably just had a bug but my theory was the book IS the pain machine.  ... I look forward to your next book."
Carolyn Kelly

"I just finished Pain Machine late Sunday night and I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I found the double story line eventually converging a cool approach, and I wasn't able to predict as much of the outcome as I thought I had."
Kirk Metcalfe

"I just wanted to let you know that I just finished reading 'Pain Machine', and really enjoyed it! I had tucked it away, after picking it up at Word On The Street for some 'creepy' Halloween reading! It certainly fit the bill! I'll be sure to recommend it to my friends!!!"
-- Lee

"I just finished the book and it was great.  Your development of characters was terrific, I really feel I knew them. ... Pain was something she felt at the beginning but I think it was the more the isolation and separation from people that drove her. When I read the second paragraph on page 176 my heart was aching."
-- Barb

"That was such a great read! I finished it this morning.
Here's what I loved....
I loved the description of fibromyalgia...crocodiles...bears, and boa constructors.
I loved the departed ones' voices. Each was unique, and authentic. You have such a great grasp of language and dialect.
I loved the Isaac and Agatha storyline.
I loved the relationship between Mark, and Veronica.
I loved the ending.
I loved the whole concept. What a neat idea. To experience others pain both physically, and mentally.
Marcy, I raced through the book.
I'm going to recommend it to my yoga participants who deal with fibromyalgia...I think they will get a sense of validation... I'm going to spread the word."
-- Liz




© 2017 P.I.C. Publishing. All Rights Reserved. No part of this website may be downloaded, copied or reproduced without the written permission of P.I.C. Publishing.