CULT OF THE DEAD: Review in Black Static
Derrick Hussey of Hippocampus Press recently sent me a wonderful review of my book, CULT OF THE DEAD, from the current Black Static magazine. Hearty thanks to the reviewer for the kind words!
Story by story, here are some excerpts.
Cult of the Dead: The supernatural aspects are fascinating and have a novelty to them that is missing from most material in this vein, while playing counterpoint to the outré elements is an awareness of human suffering and human greed, things that negatively impact on each other. And while it may not be entirely agreeable to non-Incans, there is a rightness to the story’s end that makes the reader want to cheer.
Dreams of Death: It’s a fascinating tale, one in which even though the protagonist is doomed to fail we cannot help but feel for him and share in the triumphalism of his end.
Necrotic Cove: an engaging study of resentment and what it can do, how we use each other even when we don’t intend to do so
Old Enough to Drink: remarkable and disturbing imagery
Death Doll: Beautifully written, ‘Death Doll’ gives us an original take on the Grim Reaper, with a baby spared only to cause complications further down the line, the story arguing for the rightness of death in its time. I loved the ideas being put forth, and the first person off kilter narration by Death.
Let Me Make You Suffer: a fascinating brew of science, sex, and horror.
The Lagoon of Insane Plants: Endless invention and a constant playing with the tropes of this sub genre. Enjoyable and provocative.
Debutante Ball: a strange and savage story, one in which the feminism bleeds from the text.
Snip My Suckers: the narrative reading like a version of Little Shop of Horrors on speed, I loved every blackly comedic moment of it.
PsychoMildew Love: There’s a gonzo quality to ‘Psychomildew Love’, the story of witch Cora and how she realises her passion for neighbour Warren by turning him into an ant eater, and while it should be absurd Gresh’s prose and her willingness to go the extra bit further into madcap invention result in a story that I thoroughly enjoyed
Algorithms and Nasal Structures: It’s full of ideas and has about it a feel of just desserts served for those most deserving. I liked Amy, and Frank was believable, but not especially likable, which worked fine for the story. And the thing with the scents added an element of novelty.
Digital Pistil: We get another manic story with ‘Digital Pistil’, the tale of two digital flowers in love, which is as crazy as it sounds, but done with considerable panache and conviction, so that their affair plays out like the mirror image of so many unhappy human relationships, with the cat High and Mighty performing a catalytic role.
Mandelbrot Moldrot: charming and inventive…the reader can’t help but be entertained