This was a weak anthology of stories (in my opinion). Maybe to someone else they will do nicely. To me, not so much.
Most of them are quite bland - lead...moreThis was a weak anthology of stories (in my opinion). Maybe to someone else they will do nicely. To me, not so much.
Most of them are quite bland - leading nowhere. Most of them have a post-apocalyptic feel to them but are too absurd for me. Maybe this was te premise of that movement. Nevertheless there are a couple of stories that I enjoy (with reservations).
First Class of 61. In a world where most mankind have suddenly dissappear and aliens have come to earth. One of these aliens need a "ghost" hunter. The story is a bit better than others but, who are the aliens, why did they came, where are the rest of the population? Neither questions are answerable and the ending as all other stories come short of a proper conclusion. It just happens.
The other story is the Winter on the Belle Fourche. The best of them all but forgettable and confusing. A psychadelic western with sf and fantasy elements. At the same time it's a story about Emilie Dicksison, the writer and how she came to be a writer. Very good twist.
The other good story until the end was "Under Old New York". A post apocalyptic scenery that was well drawn. A girl, under age, is trying to make a living in New York. She mets several people, who either help her or try to give bad directions. OK good. Now, she arrives at the city and the story ends?? Why? What happenend to her? What? Pretty much dissapointing because it was flowing so well.(less)
**spoiler alert** Wanting to know how good was David Daglish and seeing this anthology for free in his website I start reading it. A quick reading.
Thi...more**spoiler alert** Wanting to know how good was David Daglish and seeing this anthology for free in his website I start reading it. A quick reading.
This is a anthology of several interconnected stories about the apocalyptic scenario of Yellowstone eruption. Long has been debated about what would happenend to North America and the World if that supervolcano erupted. The estimatives would be that North America would vanish beneath a mantle of ash and the rest of the world would suffer a nuclear winter.
Would it be a end-of-life scenario? I don't think so. 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora led to know "Year Without a Summer" but in no way a end-of-the-world scenarion. Maybe an USA end scenario. The USA would cease to exist as we know.
Now the stories:
-One Last Dinner Party by David Dalglish was the first story of this anthology and what a beginning. One of the questions of apocalpytic fiction is, when it comes how will you going to face it? It's inevitable, so face it proud or try in vain to hide? Daglish is a good writer.
-Alone on the Mountain by David McAfee - Second story set in the same world as the first. Here we are presented with a survivalist and the first look upon the End of the World as Yellowstone explodes. It is said that if he did probably it would mean a Nuclear Winter worldwide.
-Beach Puppies by Daniel Arenson. In this tale is another tale like the first. How will we face the inevitable? Here we learn about "lottery" tickets some people were awarded to escape the deathly cloud of ash."
-Shelter by David Dalglish. In this tale we follow a child and a father trying to survive the initial impact of the cloud of ash. The first thing that will kill you after the initial blast is ash. It will kill from the inside out. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (the largest word in english dictionary) will occur.
-Beach Puppies By Daniel Arenson. In this tale is another tale like the first. How will we face the inevitable? Here we learn about "lottery" tickets some people were awarded to escape the deathly cloud of ash.
-Toward the storm by David Dalgish is a tale of survive after the storm by Gertrude and Alice, the cat until they met Samuel a wanderer. What do you believe after a cataclysmic event? God? Or is everything a ilusion.
-Last words, uninteresting story. Weak and doesn't fit in this anthology. A few keywords like ASH but that doesn't mean that belongs here. Be careful what you wish for...
-Refugees - is there any hope remaining? The story was an interesting view of the aftermath of the Event and what must a human do to be alive.
-A Harmless American - for decades mexicans violate the border of the USA but now it's the other way around. What would you do if you saw another human being suffering?
-Secret Mission - forgetful story.
-The One that Matters - After the cataclystic event what does it matter? Help is on the way and the only thing that matters are children. Here we see the wide scope of humankind. Some will try to do the right thing while others will be ruled by animalistic side. This is the best part of all apocalpytic fiction.
- Let It continue - A light in the dark. This story is in the same tone of the "The One That Matters" but in a different way. Quite good story. Is life prioritary in this darkness and death?
Overall, good interconnected stories with a post-apocalpytic event. David Daglish is quite good writer and even if he was leaving is confort area and wrote as he wrote then he is an excelent writer. (less)
**spoiler alert** So, this one heck of a ride. A interesting compilation of short stories that deal with Monstrous beings that would wipe out Earth. S...more**spoiler alert** So, this one heck of a ride. A interesting compilation of short stories that deal with Monstrous beings that would wipe out Earth. Some were pretty good that even made me look for other stories from those writers, others I didn't felt that they capture the monstrous bit and even if a good story it didn't belong here. And fortunally small ones weren't that interesting. Overall thumbs up.
Note: Interesting or not some writers wrote the title of this anthology in their works... Fading Light. A bit of coincidences don't you think?
Parasitic Embrace by Adam Millard What a way to start. In my opinion probably one of the best tales in this anthology. A volcano A volcanic eruption in Spain draws a cloud of ash to Great Britan but not everything is at it seems. A good horror story that ends suddenly to make you wonder. This story is also a "Dust" variant as you underestant what I say 9/10
The Equivalence Principle by Nick Cato A man believes that the gravitational force is going to dissapears so he walks around with a rope in his waist. Even at work. There is small paragraphes about a being talking. Who was it? Too much unknown and even if in my opinion is a good story it was to vague to be included in the monstrous anthology. 7/10
A Withering of Sorts by Stephen McQuiggan This tale in my opinion didn't fit here even if it is a nice horror story. A family arrives at a small city where they don't like strangers and so the barkeeper explains why. 7/10
Goldilocks Zone by Gary W. Olson This is one of the most bizarre stories in this anthology. As the stars begin to dissapear people are transformed into odd beings (everyone is different type of beings). I enjoyed the conversation between the being and our main character but at the same time I must say that it was a bit too bizarre but nevertheless it belongs here 6/10
They Wait Below by Tom Olbert This tale remind me of a mix between "The Thing" and some odd creature from a lovecraft story. A inspector is working on a oil-ring when he starts to see transformation of some of the workers. As he tries to uncover what its going on he understands that not all things are as they seem. Very nice story. 7.5/10
Blessed Be the Shadowchildren by Malon Edwards This story is somewhat a bizarre tale. I really couldn't get into the tale even if I am to say it was well written unfortunally I coulnd't get into it. The characters didn't appeal to me (even I enjoyed the second part of the story) 5/10
The Beastly Ninthby Carl Barker A historial fiction with a twist of occult fantasy. It depicts a battle in the napoleonic wars between the french and the english. The author brought those vivid images we have of those battles but with occult beings like werewolves. Quite good book. There is some fiction out there with the same premises (Dragons in this case) 8/10
Late Night Customer by David Dalglish This tale remind me of one of those tales in the Twilight Zone. I really thing there was one where a man arrives in a diner trying to escape his nightmares (which in that case was the vietnam war) and everything goes downhill from that. In this case the man is running from a odd nightmarish being and everyone who sees it must start running also. And he really wants to talk to someone. 8/10
Rurik’s Frozen Bones by Jake ElliotThis tale is another tavern/inkeeper/barman tale. It's an historic tale about a man who went finish and lost most of his crew to a kraken and now he is scarred. A berserker hears the tale before setting sail. Good story. 6.5/10
Wrath by Lee MatherThis tale was a christian apocalpyse of some sorts. Quite interesting. The main character really well developed (within a short story possibility). A nice twisted tale. 8/10
Friends of a Forgotten Man by Gord RolloWell this is it. This is a tale that you will want to forget because it's creepy as hell. Imagine a man imprisioned in a subterrean basement who is losing his sanity. Every day leeches are coming to suck his blood and they are their only friends who whisper things to him. Nice ending. Gord Rollo really nailed it. 9.5/10
Altus by Georgina Kamsika This tale depicts something like Meg or something like that. An oceanographer goes where nobody has went. There she finds some begins that nobody knew they existed. Interesting but rather bland story. 6/10
Angela’s Garden by Dorian Dawes This was one of those stories or you love it or hated it. It's a story about a woman that thinks that she has the power to keep at bay some nocturnal evil beings. A nice interesting tale with a great main character. There arent' many out there where the main character is a female grandmother. 8/10
The Long Death of Day by Timothy Baker Skyline & Day Earth Stood remix. 6/10
Out of the Black by William MeikleThis tale was one of the most interesting. This is set in the future where humanity as gone underneath our soil because the sun stop shining. A man goes to the surface for the first time in several generations and what he finds almost kills him. Nice tale. 8/10
Degenerates by DL SeymourThis is one of the biggest tales in here. It's a tale set in the lovecraft mythos but thirty or forty years after his stories. How can you not like it? A woman teacher goes to work in Dunwich where people are starting to dissapear. Nice twist. 7,5/10
Dust by Wayne Ligon I enjoyed this one. It has something of a pseudo-scientific explanation about it. Really interesting. Migration patters in space. What a thought. 8.5/10
Der Teufel Sie Wissen by TSP SweeneyThis tale is set in the WWII where a group of nazi soldiers are trying to kill some man. But this is more that a man. Quite good story and ending. 7/10
Born of Darkness by Stacey TurnerThis tale is another about the christian mythology. Something happens and only a handful survive. A man, his woman and his mother survive and are trying to survive in their isolated house until a little girl arrives. Nice tale and nice characterization. 8/10
Lottery by Gene O’Neill This tale is a remake of Lottery by Shirley Jackson and I really didn't enjoyed because I didn't know where was going. Weak ending. 5/10
Where Coyotes Fear to Tread by Gef FoxNice story that has some other reviewers said it's missing a larger novel behind it (or in front of it). I enjoyed the tale and the mythology behind. 8/10
The Theophany of Nyx by Edward M. ErdelacThis tale sets in the moon where the first colony base is setting. But the base dissappears in a explosion and a dust is coming to earth. But it seems it's more than Dust (like the first tale). Quite good story (and dialogue) 7,5/10
Double Walker by Henry P. Gravelle This story is a nice psychological tale but it doesn't fit here in my opinion. A man thinks his shadow is more than it seems. And you know what? It really is. 7/10
Light Save Us by Ryan LawlerThis tale is quite good. A man is encharged of keeping the generator working but when he goes to get some more oil something happens. Someone says that he is a victim of homophilia but I don't think so, because you can't really understand what is happening. My belief is that he was a some sort of mutant. 7/10
Dark Tide by Mark Lawrence This tale is by a famous author and almost all other tales end badly but this one doesn't. Something liquid/slime is coming from beneath the earth and is engulfing people. A man tries to keep his family far from risk. It's has a brighter ending leaving you thinking that sometimes good triumph (even at the expense of sacrificies). I really don't think this should be the last tale because I expected "bad endings from it". That's my opinion but I cannot argue that is a bad story because it isn't. 8,5/10
Overal, it was a nice anthology with good stories and only a couple bad ones. My only question is.
I pay more from this paper book than those people buying e-books. Why are they favoured? It shouldn't be the other way around? Damn e-books. I really hate them (less)
**spoiler alert** Everyone knows who is HP Lovecraft.Every one knows who is Edgar Allan Poe. Don't you? Poe and Lovecraft are the masters of horror. T...more**spoiler alert** Everyone knows who is HP Lovecraft.Every one knows who is Edgar Allan Poe. Don't you? Poe and Lovecraft are the masters of horror. They are what other writers read and judge. I don't think that there aren't any like him. I enjoy reading Ligotti but he is too unknown. It's hard as hell to get a book by him. Of course Stephen King is the one who should sit nowadays at the throne vacant since Lovecraft removed Poe. But even Stephen King doesn't write the same way as Lovecraft. Even Derleth his protegé and most important the creator of Arkham printing company is way out of league of Lovecraft. Maybe Edward Wagner, Bloch or Brian Lumley tried to reach for the stars but they are not Lovecraft. I have yet to read every single story by him but I know a lot about Cthulhu Mythos.
Derleth changed a lot about what is called today Cthulhu Mythos. Damn, he created the term. Unfortunally he also created the Elder Gods who want to protect humankind. He also gave the Great Old Ones a counterpart of the Eldar Gods going further in the "Seal of R'lyeh" to compare Good and Evil, Christianity and Satanism duality. I don't think Lovecraft ever commented on that.
They are alien beings. They are incompreensible to us. No-one can discern what are their plans or ambitions. A mind would go blank or suffer a psychic attack if he tried to compreehend Their mind. That's why many of them go insane... isn't it?
Derleth also tried to explain a lot about the Mythos destroying (in my humble opinion) what Lovecraft expected to achieve. There are 6 stories... now look at the plots and characters.
-Every single story is told in the first person point of view; -In the first story a man inherits a house full of occult books and his curiosity made him realize the full extend of Cthulhu mythos. The same happened in the second story, the fourth, the fifth and the sixth stories; -It's always male characters. Besides the last story and the second where woman talk on the phone constantly there aren't any woman in it.
-In the first story our main character dies (not the one telling the narrative). -The Second story our main character goes insane -The Third disappears (again it's not the one telling the story) -The Fourth disappears (again it's not the one telling the story) ~The Fifth our main character goes insane -The Sixth disappears to serve Cthulhu alongside his wife and child
The references of the books are always the same. In each story we get the mention of the same books over and over again - Necronomicon - De Vermis Mysteriis - Cultes de Ghoules - Unaussprechlichen Kulten - Book of Eibon - Pnakotic Manuscripts - R'lyeh Text
And of course each tale has the most famous phrase by HP Lovecraft "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn..." "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming..."
I would advice to anyone who wants to dwell more on the Cthulhu mythos but only after reading HP Lovecraft stories.
There is also a comic reference that Lovecraft and two other writer friends dissappeared or were killed becasue they knew too much. (less)
What an amazing book. Why did the writer only wrote one book and two novellas? For what I know they were well received by the critics. Maybe he is laz...moreWhat an amazing book. Why did the writer only wrote one book and two novellas? For what I know they were well received by the critics. Maybe he is lazy, like Wikipedia says he is.
Now you've got four stories in this anthology. Each one with, around 60/70 pages. Believe me when I say each story has a Lovecraftian theme or characteristic.
The first story is Children of the Kingdom. New York City blackout of 1977 is the setting. The sewers and ghettos of Manhattan conceal a race of faceless mutants connected to the Gnostic Gospels and MesoAmerican lore. Only the last pages brought a feeling of dread. The rest of the tale is the bulding but unfortunally it felt short.
The second story was Petey a tale about a haunted house. A couple have a party with some friends to show them their new big house and we start learning some of it's secrets. In the beginning I thought "-Unfortunally it ended way short. What?? Who was..? No, what? Darn time lost for a weak finale. I thought that it was missing a page somehow..." Now that I think back I thought it ended like the first. You really have to think about it. It's not those tales of horror or not that it ended, good or bad. No, here you have to think about it and draw a conclusion yourself. Nevertheless the weakest story of the bunch, nevertheless way better than most writers out there.
Black Man with a Horn the third story. Here not only has some Lovecraftian theme but also as a protagonist of some sorts. This tale is told in first person perspective. The writer even say that "There is something inherently conforting about the first person past tense. it conjures up visions of some deskbound narrator puffing comtemplatively upon a pipe amid the safety of his study, lost in tranquil recollection, seasoned but essentialy unscathed by whatever experience hes about to relate. its tense that says: "I am here to tell the tale. I lived through it."
Its a tale about a old writer, like many others out there than are told in the same way of what this writer says... "So this is what I was reduced to - a lifetime work shrugged ff by some blurb-writer as "Worthy of the Master Himself," the creations of my brain dismissed as mere pastiche. And the tales themselves, once singled out for such elaborate praise, were now simply - as if this were commendation enought - "Lovecraftian." Ah, Howard, your triumph was complete the moment your name became an adjective."
It's a funny because the writer creates a satire about the pastiche by creating one. Almost every horror writer knows Lovecraft. It's impossible not to know him. Most of our contemporaneous writers of horror have written something with a lovecratian theme. King, McCammon, Little, Lumley, Robert Howard, Ramsey, Frank Belknap Long, Charles L. Grant, Clark Ashtom Smith, Robert Bloch and many many others. So did they create something or merely copied? My belief is that they create. They use a theme to their purpose. What's so wrong about that? Any fantasy writer created anything after Tolkien? And even Tolkien created something or simply used Folklore and Myth Tales or even Lord Dunsany tales? Sci-fi? Any writer created something after Verne or HG Wells? I think so. They use but create something new. That's life. Everything in life works that way.
Now the tale itself. A elderly man talks to a priest on his way back from Malasya where he learns of his discoviries of an ancient race living there that was the backbone inspiration of something Lovecraft created. Maybe the tales by Lovecraft were not merely fiction. Then the story change to a kind of detective tale and the ending was equal to many the master created. The unease - the unknown. Are we losing sanity to think things that are not really there? Excelent story.
Nadelman’s God is the last story and it ends with a BANG. Excelent. What are we? Our thoughts exist? Yes. So when I put something on paper does it exist? Yes. So what is written down is it real? Are we all creators? Gods? What are myths and legends and religion? Either based on a book or told from father to son. So what makes it more "real" than a horror writer creating a being and setting loose on a world? Excelent premises. Excelent execution. TED Klein should have written more because he is a excelent writer and creator.
Overall, the writing is similar to pulp fiction from the thirties. Some people will be upset with the characterization of black people. Don't forget that Racism always existed but in 1920/1930/1940 this kind of behaviour was accepted.
The characterization of the main characters is at times lacking but wasn't Lovecraft doing the same? What's important is the tale. The horror behind. The atmosphere od fread and the sense that the story was moving to something that will make you crazy if you would understand it.
Would I advice this anthology? YES. Undoubtly YES. To anyone who wants to enter the horror genre or likes Lovecraft writing style but modernised.
This book will stay with me and I bet I will be reading it again after ten or twenty years.(less)