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Beneath the Surface by Simon Strantzas
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's review
Jun 14, 2011

bookshelves: anthologies-collections

Beneath the Surface is a collection of short stories that are all firmly set in the weird fiction sub-genre of horror: darkness and despair abound, supernatural creatures arise from the depths to terrorize the innocent and the guilty alike, and somebody always, always dies in the end, leaving the living to wish that they would, too.
Some of Strantzas’ stories are better than others. The first submission, “A Shadow in God’s Eye,” is the story of a man who attends a religious meeting in an abandoned church to see truth in the world. Of course, he gets much more than he bargained for. This is perhaps the strongest tale, and reminds me the most of H. P. Lovecraft’s works. Other short stories, such as “You Are Here” and “Behind Glass”, could have been teleplays for episodes of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Darkside. Unfortunately, several of the other stories are not of good caliber and some, like “Off the Hook” and “In the Air,” tend to drag the rest of the stories down. Plus, unless the reader just can’t get enough of Weird Fiction, trying to read all of the stories at once will potentially make them seem formulaic.
Overall, I can recommend Beneath the Surface for weird fiction and Lovecraft mythos fans. Readers that are new to the genre should probably read a story or two at a time to avoid supernatural parasite burnout.
Contains: Gore, otherworldly possession, violence, despair.
Reviewed by: W.E. Zazo-Phillips

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