Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dark (Horror) Fiction Collection--Little Visible Delight

I was lucky enough to be asked to take a look at a collection of short stories, all in the horror genre, by one of the editors of the book and a member, like me, of the Horror Writers Association of America. (Check out the cool icon on the right side of my blog.)

For the collection: Here's the Amazon link.

And here's a little snippet:

"A new anthology of original dark fiction edited by S.P. Miskowski and Kate Jonez, Little Visible Delight was published by Omnium Gatherum Media on December 6, 2013."

And a short description:

"Often the most powerful and moving stories are generated by writers who return time and again to a particular idea, theme, or image. Obsession in a writer's imagination can lead to accomplishment or to self-destruction. Consider Poe and his pale, dead bride; his fascination with confinement and mortality; his illness and premature death. Or Flannery O'Connor's far less soul-crushing fondness for peacocks. Some writers pay a high price for their obsessions, while others maintain a crucial distance. Whichever the case, obsessions can produce compelling fiction.

Little Visible Delight is an anthology of original stories in which eleven authors of dark fiction explore some their most intimate, writerly obsessions."

Sounds cool, right?  Especially if you're into this genre, like I am.  (Though I hadn't known about O'Connor fondness for peacocks.)  So I thought I'd review a few of the short stories in the collection, over a few blog entries.  This will be a little challenging, because when I like a book, I want other people to read it, but if I write too much about the stories in the book, and give too much away, why would you read them?  So I'm going to err (perhaps too much) on the side of caution, hopefully.  Suffice it to say, if I write about the story at all, I liked it.

I got the permission of one of the editors, so here's a review of the first two stories:

"The Receiver of Tales"

Very well-written, atmospheric, moody tale with a few images that will stay with you.  The writing is so lyrical, and yet so exact (rare for lyricism), and the ending is so well-conceived, that I read it twice.  It's sort of got one ending, when the woman fully realizes her predicament, and then another ending, when she does something about it.  This is a nice extended metaphor about the obsession writers have of writing--though I have to say that my stories are mostly my stories.  But that's just me.  (Enough about me.  What do you think about me?)

One of the few short stories I've ever read twice.  Outside of college classes, that is.

"Needs Must When the Devil Drives"

Never heard of this phrase before, though I like the rhythm of it.  I'll leave the connection between the phrase and the story alone.  You'll have to buy the book!  (Sorry.)  Anyway, this is a well-written time-travel story narrated by a blase, but well-voiced, main character.  It was a nice take on time-travel stories where someone has to go back to kill someone in order to create (or un-create) the future.  It mostly concerns what a philosophy professor once called "The Hitler Paradox."  It goes something like this: Would you go back in time to shoot Hitler before he came to power?  How about if you could only go back in time and meet him when he was just four years old?  And holding a Teddy Bear?  Could you kill him?  You get the idea.

In this one, the main character has to go back in time to kill someone very dear to him: Himself.

Clever story.

That's it for now.  These two stories are well worth the price of the collection, just for themselves.  If this sounds interesting to you, check out these links:

A Goodreads link.

The publisher's link.

And, again, the Amazon link. 

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