Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
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Thursday, April 04, 2013Out this week! For the Night is Dark.
Released this week is the long awaited anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing: For the Night is Dark. What a line up!
The Dark is coming! Call your friends over. You don't want to go through this alone.
You will be taken back into the past, down to the depths of the ocean and across the borderline between our world and the next. You will see snapshots from the lives of small children, old-time cockney gangsters and aimless stoners. You will journey into the darkest house on the darkest street, wander hospital basements and take a flight in the comfort of first class. You will meet Mr Stix.
This tome includes stories by some of the best horror writers around: G. N. Braun, Carole Johnstone, Armand Rosamilia, Daniel I. Russell, Scott Nicholson, Gary McMahon, Joe Mynhardt, Kevin Lucia, Tracie McBride, Stephen Bacon, Benedict J. Jones, Blaze McRob, John Claude Smith, Tonia Brown, Mark West, Robert W. Walker, Jeremy C. Shipp, Jasper Bark, William Meikle and Ray Cluley.
Rather than simply post an advert, I got hold of my copy and asked the mighty Gods of Facebook for a number between 1 and 20. Fellow Bridgetownian Caitlen leaped in with the number 13. The TOC says to me that's This Darkness... by John Claude Smith (how apt!). Thought I'd read a quick story and give it a slight dissection! So here goes...
This Darkness... has such a bleak voice to it. Usually, when one counts a story as bleak, this brings forth images of specific setting: desolate landscapes, post apocalyptic cities, etc. Smith straight away strikes a note with the reader, as this taste of bleakness most of us have experienced at one point or another. For me, it was in my early to mid twenties, picking up hardly any work for six months and spending my days playing GameCube (remember them?) and drinking with my flatmate. The days blurred. Life just didn't go anywhere. Bleak.
Susie is in such a rut. Even the idea of driving out with her fella and a mutual friend to grab some beers to beat the smothering heat is something to break the monotony of life. The darkness starts to make her feel uneasy...
While the last third of the story is within usual horror trends (with a dash of Barker's The Damnation Game thrown in for good measure!), I enjoyed the set up and the thoughts of Susie in this one. It was very real and not obviously sympathetic, so much so that the highlight was when realisation of her plight hits home.
Just as she feels she has something to live for, the darkness... demands she proves it.
Keen to see the different takes on the darkness theme after my first nibble.
For the Night is Dark is available in print and on Kindle at Amazon and is well worth your book spends!