First published back in June of 2023, author and artist turned editor Dan Henk’s anthology ‘The Never Dead’ collected together stories from some of the best names from the world of indie horror. The collection aimed at harking back to the horror of old, with whispers of a reality that lies just beneath the surface of our mundane lives.

Solipsism In The Switchgrass – Ryan C. Thomas – 20 Pages
Ed Lordge was making his way back from the writer’s convention when he overbalanced and then came flying off his bike. He and his bike hit the kerb at speed, flipping Ed off the road and smashing him into a small boulder that lay submerged in thick switchgrass. As he lay there, at the edge of the grassy field, the forty-year-old horror author realised he was hurt, in the middle of nowhere, and submerged in a vast sea of thick, tall grass, obscuring him from the vision of any passersby.

Lordge guesses he’s either broken or dislocated his hip. Furthermore, from the white-hot pain which engulfs him every time he moves, he senses he’s probably also busted a rib or two. So, he lays there, alone, not sure what to do or how to make his presence known to anyone who might be in the vicinity. 

If he doesn’t move, the pain is just about tolerable. If he moves, he screams. But no one hears him. No one comes. Or at least, no one willing to help. Because, unfortunately for Ed Lordge, as bad luck would have it, he’s fallen into the wrong field. Any other field wouldn’t have been a problem. But not this field. This field is different. Very different…

Opening up the anthology we have a wonderfully pulpish offering from US author Ryan C. Thomas. Despite the numerous smatterings of grisly brutality nestled within the tale, Thomas’ story is nevertheless a deathly-dark black comedy at heart, playing with the fact that extreme horror authors aren’t the psychotic madmen people often assume them to be, despite all of the fucked-up imagery they conjure up within their books. 

This principle is the main building blocks for the story, however, Thomas doesn’t keep the story contained within such a small cage for long. He lets this short tale extend its legs and find its own way in the world. And jeez does this thing go fucking wild!

Think a cross between Danny Boyle’s ‘127 Hours’ (2010), Richard Laymon’s ‘Midnight’s Lair’ (1988) and John Christopher’s ‘The Little People’ (1966). Sound like an odd concoction?! You Betcha! There’s so much more within the fabric of this story than just some extreme horror author laying injured in a field of tall grass with no one around. Once things start escalating, trust me, they REALLY start escalating. Furthermore, the sheer imagination exhibited in the short tale, as well as how outrageously unpredictable it is from the get-go, absolutely wins the reader over. This is so much fun to read and so frigging over-the-top. A damn fine start to an anthology of weird horror!

Cosmic Catapult – Christine Morgan – 17 Pages
The Cosmic Catapult was undoubtedly the fair’s main attraction. As a daredevil spectacle, nothing beats the towering twin spires with the two-seater carriage suspended between them. Simon Bodean had been working the ride for over forty-years. He knew every nut and bolt of its construction. Everything about how it ran.

His daughter, Ava, was just as familiar with the ride. She’d even helped jazz it up with lights and lasers. Although despite their combined experience, neither Simon nor his daughter had ever seen anything like what happened the day the Cosmic Catapult made the news. One minute a pair of pretty, young girls were strapped into the twin-seat and then thrust into the air, the next, at the very apogee of their catapult flight, the pair had simply vanished into thin air. Never to be seen again.

All that was left when the twin-seater returned to its grounded position, was an empty seat with the safety bar and two seat harnesses still firmly in place…minus their two occupants…

How many of us have gazed up at those giant fairground slingshots and imagined the safety harnesses failing at the very apex of the flight?! It’s the stuff of absolute nightmares. US author Christine Morgan has used this fear-inducing idea and cleverly bolted on a dark cosmic horror edge to it. Something whispered and suggested, but not seen. A hint of something beyond our comprehension, beyond our darkest nightmares.

It's one of those shorts that’s just so enjoyable to read purely because it’s so damn original. Yeah, there’s not a huge amount to it other than its core idea. But that’s all it needs. A wonderfully original idea that just works so darn well.

Avert Thine Eyes – Jeff Strand – 13 Pages
Everybody else within the nearby vicinity had fled as soon as the ancient evil materialised. You’d be a fool not to with a gigantic glowing octopus-like monster, hovering a mile above their heads in the very heart of the city.

However, Gerald, Edward, Roy and James decided upon an alternative course of action. Instead, they simply tried averting their eyes. After all, one would have thought gazing upon such a horror would unwind a mere mortal’s mind? And this would surely be the very worst time to be dipping one’s toes into insanity?

Instead, they’d try to stay calm, assess the situation, and choose the best course of action from a carefully considered perspective. Now that was a plan that all four of them could get on board with. Well, until the thing plucked Arthur up with one of its colossal tentacles and dashed the poor sod into its vast fanged mouth. Perhaps they needed a new plan?...

Ha! Is this one entertaining as hell. It’s basically four of the politest, most reserved, most quintessentially British characters, standing beneath some goliath cosmic beast from another dimension, and essentially discussing their options in a very calm and diplomatic way.

Sounds ludicrous, sounds utterly surreal, well it is! This story is quite simply a masterpiece in wacky horror humour. It’s laugh-out-loud brilliant from start to end. It should however be noted that nowhere in the short does Strand make mention of the four characters being British. However, it’s that stereotypical cliché which the British have been assigned with that makes me pull such a comparison. And for this reviewer at least, making them British only adds to the story’s hilarity.

Anyway, the end result is a magnificently amusing and utterly entertaining read that’s delivered entirely through dialogue. This one is frigging brilliant!

Witchblood – Tim Curran – 15 Pages
When Kirt Vanderheim perished within the flames of a huge house fire, all sorts of rumours were cooked up. Kirt had been the president and founder of Graveworm Records. A legend within the metal community.

However, only individual man knew what really happened to Vanderheim that fateful night. Only one man knew the real truth. Because he was the only one who was there with Kirt when it all happened. When the two of them played that infamous, long-lost second record of WitchBlood’s.

Etched on blood red vinyl and without any sleeve notes or identifiable markings, the existence of the record was the stuff of legend. And Kirt Vanderheim had found a copy. Possibly the only copy left in existence. But playing it had cost him his life…

From one metalhead to another – this story is absolute genius. Ok, so if you’re not a metaller, then I’m not sure you’ll get exactly the same kick out of this tale as I did. Although I’m sure it’s still a darn fine read whatever your musical persuasion. However, for anyone with a penchant for metal, in particular Black Metal, you’ll probably grin from ear to ear during this short. Why? Because it’s drenched from wall to wall with inner-circle jests. From the grindcore / goregrind / slam band names, to the tongue-in-cheek rewriting of Black Metal history – man, this is just so frigging good. 

The fictional ‘Witchblood’ are a sort of pre-Venom rewriting of ‘Bathory’. Their legacy forms the foundations of the story. And it’s from the gloriously dark roots of this cross-pollinated band, that Curran’s penned a monstrously entertaining satanic-cum-cosmic horror offering. Hail Satan! Hail WitchBlood! Hail Curran!

Bad Sounds – Patrick Lacey – 18 Pages
Ever since he was a young boy, Seth had always loved creepy soundtracks. Over the years he’d become somewhat obsessed with collecting tacky tapes containing these sound effects which were invariably accompanied by creepy mood music, intended to add some eerie ambience to Halloween parties. 

Which was why Seth was over the moon to find a tape with the title ‘Bad Sounds’ emblazoned upon the cover. He’d found the tape lurking in the depths of Jake’s Record Shop. The cheesy cover alone was enough to win him over. And it would go great on his radio show - The Sounds of Sound Effects.

Although Seth had to admit, there was something not quite right about the tape. Something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, but it made him feel uneasy. But not as uneasy as when he eventually plays the tape to all his late-night listeners. This tape was something else entirely. Something evil…

Patrick Lacey can certainly write a gripping yarn. The fella’s got a certain charm about his work that instantly pulls you in. This short is no exception.

The sheer intrigue of what’s on this strange tape bubbles away from the very beginning. A sort of audio take on ‘The Ring’ (1998), infiltrating the mind of the listener to instigate them to do some bad shit. Yeah, it might not necessarily be hitting a homerun with originality, however, what it lacks in fresh imagination, it more than makes up with in creepiness and downright masterful storytelling.

As I said at the start, Lacey’s got this way of pulling you into his stories, and he absolutely achieves that here. Sucks you in then creeps you the fuck out! All with his tongue undoubtedly lodged firmly in his cheek. And it all works so damn well.

The Beach – Dan Henk – 16 Pages
Tim’s parents had rented a room at some cheap hotel near Carolina Beach. They’d let Tim bring his friend, Drew, with them. The pair had spent most of their time down on the beach, searching for sand hoppers. Curious little crustaceans which Tim brought back to the hotel in a bucket.

It was only later that evening that he noticed the coin nestled amongst the squirming sea bugs. An old coin of unknown origin. There was something strange about the coin. Perhaps it was valuable? Tim decided he should probably have someone look at it. A local fisherman maybe? Hopefully they might have some idea where this strange old coin came from…

Here we have the first of two shorts from fine artist, anthology editor and all-round fucking creative genius – Dan Henk. If you’re not familiar with Henk’s work, then I urge you to take five to check him out. Enough said.

Now, onto this weirdly eerie and ever-so-slightly Lovecraftian short tale. To be honest, it’s a bit of an odd one. Almost Stephen King-esque in how it’s set. With the two young boys exploring the beach and searching for sand hoppers during those hazy summer months. However, the story soon starts to twist into something decidedly creepier, with a feeling of dread hanging over the whole thing.

The ending seems to almost creep up on us, as if we’ve just woken from a nightmare to find reality is far worse. Furthermore, only in the last few seconds of the piece do we get some small iota of what’s actually happened. However, there’s still a fuck tonne left hanging in the air, unanswered. And that just makes it all the more unsettling.

Revolution – Bobby Lisse – 32 Pages
It had been almost six months since the Earth stopped rotating. Half the world was freezing, the other half burning. Geography had made solar messiahs of the world. One thousand miles away from the tragic death of a young boy named Dylan, mankind’s final conflict was primed to explode.

Jerrod was part of the Shield Pledge Security. A force of ex-military who’s sole objective was to protect the prison-like complexes which housed vast solar farms. Police who protected the life-giving facilities which captured the last of the power available to mankind.

In this post-turn world, mankind was at war with itself. Desperation bred violence. Jerrod was acutely aware of this. It made him wary. It made him observant. Which is why, when he saw the blind preacher, with his charred skin, speaking out to a large gathering of followers, Jerrod felt danger within the blistering still air. Jerrod saw something far more troubling than a blind preacher speaking the words of God. This was something else entirely…

Damn, am I a sucker for a good dose of post-apocalyptic fiction. Here we have a somewhat unique play on the last vestiges of the world. Earth has stopped spinning. The areas on the planet which remain habitable, are now dangerous environments full of sheer desperation. Oh, it’s a good set up alright.

Despite this being only a short story, US author Bobby Lisse has nevertheless managed to paint an evocative picture of this dying and dangerous new world. If you’ve read Simon Laws’ excellent novel ‘Bringing Forth The End Of Days’ (2009), then expect a short venture into something akin to this. A story which brings together the apocalypse with some good-old fashioned religious zealots. Fucking nutters hellbent on the new era of mankind.

It's a story that swallows you up. A tightly delivered narrative at a suitably enthralling pace, whilst still maintaining some critical efforts towards character building. Lisse is certainly an up-and-coming author to keep an eye out for. The apocalypse looks a shit tonne bleaker under Lisse’s watch.

Dreamers – Bracken MacLeod – 21 Pages
Maxim Koenig had been suffering from bad dreams. Nightmares. So, when he saw the advert seeking participation in a 6-week paid sleep study, he thought why not?! Although, after only a few days at Niveau’s institute for dream studies, he started to have doubts about the experimental trial. He’s been taking their drug  – the Lucidity Compound – to move him from a passive to a lucid dreamer. However, if anything his nightmares had been getting worse.

It was always the same nightmare. The Corpse Surgeon had been haunting his dreams for nearly two decades. The surgeon’s needle-sharp scalpel constantly slicing his chest open. Exposing his heart. Max was desperate for a cure to stop the nightmares. To allow him a good night’s sleep. But surely this drug wasn’t the way?...

US author Bracken MacLeod has dedicated the tale to cult film director David Cronenberg. It doesn’t take long before we realise why. The story itself is like a homage to Cronenberg. There’s even a scene seemingly pulled straight out of Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ (1990) – a film starring (you guessed it), Cronenberg – shoe-horned into the whole plot.

But damn is it a good plot. And Jesus wept can Bracken tell a tale or two. This whole nightmarish sequence is like some fucked-up scenario that Cronenberg could have dreamt up, but pulling in that nasty-as-hell surgeon from Christopher Smith’s ‘Creep’ (2004), to throw the whole thing into a bucket load of pure unadulterated horror. And god damn does it work.

The short is horror entertainment from start to end. Engrossing and intriguing…what a fine fucking blend.

The Void – Nat Robinson – 17 Pages
Laird watched out of her window as society crumbled and disappeared before her eyes. She’d stayed high up there, in the high-rise apartments, with her sick mother crying out from her room. Watched as the darkness swallowed up everything and everyone.

Out there it was pitch black with a haze of something else. Something residing in the darkness, contained within it. In her mind it was the absence of everything. A void which swallowed up those who unwittingly entered it. Eating up the roads and pavements outside.

After the days had gone by, her apartment began to stink. She’d been living in abject squalor. She knew being high up wasn’t enough. Where there was light, whatever it was would surely go. It spreads from shadows and eats light and anything it touches.

She was waiting it out. Waiting, but not sure what for. Waiting for the end? Whatever that might be…

Nat Robinson is one of those authors who everyone should read. His work is quite simply spectacular. Even his short fiction delivers such a powerful gut punch, it leaves you breathless. This story being no exception.

The short tale is basically a creepy-ass amalgamation of James Herbert’s ‘The Dark’ (1980), crossed with that scene in the high-rise flat from ‘28 Days Later’ (2002), and maybe a touch of Josh Malerman’s ‘Bird Box’ (2014) thrown into the mix for good measure. Yeah, all of those, along with that frigging addictive ‘’ game that was popular back in 2018!

And it’s damn, damn gripping stuff. Our narrator, Laird, tells us her tale of this nightmarish end-of-times scenario. This black void swallowing up everything. With her just hiding away in the shadows of her apartment, as everything around her succumbs to the darkness. It’s bleak. As bleak and apocalyptic as a Rich Hawkins story. One that’s delivered with the character-driven focus of a David Moody vignette. A jaw-droppingly brilliant and powerfully evocative read.

The Ties That Bind – Bridgett Nelson – 19 Pages
Dr Louve Chastain was doing her student residency as a surgeon. Keen to learn, to help the world, to offer what she could to those in need. It was at the hospital where she met Hunter Quintrell. Probably the handsomest of her co-workers. His beautiful blue eyes were enough to ensnare her. So, when he asked her out on a date, Louve could barely believe it. Of course she accepted.

However, Hunter wasn’t quite what he seemed. He was a serial rapist. A vile and cowardly abuser of women. Unfortunately for Hunter, he wasn’t the only wolf in sheep’s clothing…

For her tale, US author Bridgett Nelson delivers a fairly blunt-toothed werewolf offering. It’s a relatively textbook plot – a young woman is taken advantage of by some egotistical fuckwit. However, what this abusive arse doesn’t know is that his victim has a hidden dark side of her own.

She comes from a long line of werewolves. Of course, she eventually reaps her bloody revenge. That said, our antagonist’s comeuppance is a relatively unambitious affair. Where we could have been offered an imaginative vengeance sequence to end it all with, perhaps dripping with visceral gore to appease the gorehounds out there at the very least, it somewhat misses the mark. Instead, it’s all sketchy claws and half-hearted eye-ball chomping. Probably not the author’s best work but still relatively entertaining nonetheless.

Howl Of The Leather Dog – Patrick C. Harrison III – 20 Pages
At twenty-nine-years-old, Brad was at his sexual prime. In fact, he’d made it his mission to have sex with someone every day. When he couldn’t score a hit on the many dating sites he frequented, he’d fall back on Kathleen. She could always be relied upon as a last resort. A sex-obsessed and downright easy older woman, the redhead was nothing short of a real freak in the sheets.

Although the fact that she had a human dog downright freaked the shit out of Brad. Kathleen called it her leather dog. She’d named it Herman. A slightly overweight man, crouched on his hands and knees, with a surgically attached tail, and wearing a black leather dog mask. The thing was freakier than she was. But what Brad hated the most about Herman, was that he’d previously been out-fucked by the goddamn fake dog. That pissed him off rotten. But not tonight. Tonight, he’d give Kathleen the fuck of her life. Whether she wanted it or not…

Holy-fucking-shit on a BDSM stick, is this one messed-up bundle of bizarro depravity! Even the opening two pages of this slab of utter perversion are enough to slacken your jaw. From the outset US author Patrick C. Harrison III doesn’t hold back one iota with his outrageous depiction of Kathleen’s over-used genitalia, unleashing a veritable torrent of wacky descriptors for the cavernous hole presented to our sex-fuelled narrator.

And then we’re introduced to Herman. Here things get even more perverse. A man-dog. Something that takes animal-roleplay to a whole new level. A BDSM fetish which the author has taken to its furthest extremities. Of course, when things go from fucked-up perversion to something far more sinister, the tale shifts up a gear. In comes the bizarro-horror. And as connoisseurs of this fine literary subgenre, we welcome the author’s many explorations with open arms.

A truly unforgettable read…for better or worse.

The Onion Club – Jack Bantry – 10 Pages
The ground around the allotment was absolutely saturated. Nevertheless, John was out there, digging and turning the soil over, ready to plant his onions. Ever since he’d heard about the Onion Club, he’d been determined to take first place in the club’s annual competition. The heaviest onion was declared the winner. Simple as that.

He’d come in last place the previous year. He had no intention of this happening again. Hopefully he’d find a way of securing first place. Of growing that prized onion. John was a very competitive individual. Just how competitive, he might soon find out…

British author and creator of the Splatterpunk Zine, Jack Bantry, offers up the shortest tale in the anthology, with his pitch black comedy piece that finds itself somewhere between a hapless mystery and an accidental horror. Despite its lack of any sizeable punch, the story nevertheless is written with such charm and effortless joy for characterisation, that as a reader, you’re just swept up in it. A thoroughly enjoyable short story that feels decidedly 1970s in its plot and the comically dark twist.

Skinheads Ruin Everything – Dank Henk – 21 Pages
Ryan Argarwal had been living in Virginia when things started to get more than a little fucked up. At twenty-one, he was still living in his parents’ house in Burke. His dad was barely around. His mother was present, but she was usually pretty oblivious to anything outside of her small, suburban world. So, when they announced they were planning a holiday to Florida, Ryan immediately declined the offer to join them. He’d stay home and look after the place. Meaning the minute they were gone, he’d lay on a huge house party.

Despite Ryan being a tad socially awkward, the party turned out to be a hit. In fact, more people showed than Ryan had ever expected. That wasn’t a problem. Not until the three racist skinheads turned up. Ryan had stood up to them as best he could. But the thugs had come back later, attempting to drown Ryan in his own pool.

Desperately thrashing around in the chlorine water was one of Ryan’s last memories before he woke surrounded by copious amounts of blood and gore. What the fuck had happened? What the actual fuck?...

For his second offering into the anthology, Henk delivers a weird David Lynch style story that’s as intriguing as it is compelling. I reference Lynch because the entire story feels like its set somewhere along the vague corridor between consciousness and a lucid, nightmarish dream state. It’s all oddly unsettling, and not just because of the bouts of copious splatter, but more the sheer unpredictability of what the fuck’s happening. The whole thing pulls you in and keeps you pouring at the pages as you to follow Ryan’s strange and increasingly terrifying plight.

Henk is an author who often delvers into the strange landscape of dream states. The near limitless potential of its scope is more than likely his primary draw to this. And Henk absolutely exploits the imaginative reach available in such a space. More than exploits…he frigging throws the reader everywhere, until we’re dazed and disorientated. And only at the end are we able to wake from Henk’s nightmare, gasping and desperate for breath.

Hatch – Bobby Lisse – 28 Pages
Enid Alsted hadn’t had an easy life. Each pay check was whittled away before she knew it. Merely existing was a struggle. So, when she found she was pregnant with Carlo, Enid was inherently aware life would be that little bit tougher. But having Carlo was all that mattered. Her young son was now her entire focus.

Enid had taken up a job working at a chicken processing factory. Her job was to pluck male chicks from the belt and drop them into the hopper. A job which wasn’t entirely in her nature. To hear the fluffy chicks cheeping before they entered the macerator haunted her. 

Her shift leader, Tina, found Enid’s slow pace infuriating. Too much care was reserved for the chicks. Too much fondness. Perhaps it was time Enid’s eyes were opened to reality. Perhaps it was time Enid was shown the real purpose of what they were doing…

Here we have Bobby Lisse’s second offering to the anthology, and it’s a markedly different affair from the post-apocalyptic romp of his first contribution. Firstly, in this story we have something far stranger, and with a greater focus on the intricacies of human perception. As you can tell from the above brief synopsis, the story follows the endeavours and struggling plight of Enid Alstead. Lisse gives no indication of the time period for when the story is set, although if I was to hazard a guess, I’d set it around the 1920s – 1930s. Although that really is an absolute guess. However, the feel of the piece potentially suggests such an era.

It's a decidedly odd story, which feels in tune with the likes of Ian Watson’s ‘Meat’ (1988), although utilising a struggling single mother’s perspective to challenge the matter. At the beating heart of the tale is a stance against cruelty and the troubling dilemma this hardworking single mother faces. Purposefully or not, Lisse leaves many questions lingering in the air at the end of the tale. Oddities left hanging, not really woven into the fabric of the story, but rather simply there as a mechanism for layering a suggestion of this whole downward struggle.

If I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m entirely sold on the story. I was left feeling empty and devoid of any real response, other than to ponder the snippet of life I’d followed to eventually reach the nightmarish finale. That said, I can definitely see others taking a different view, as this is as much a reflection of a personal ‘human’ journey, as it is an exhibition of nightmares clawing through the consciousness. It’s all pretty damn evocative in a strange meandering way.

Wires – Marc Schoenbach – 24 Pages
In his twenty-three years of working homicide, Detective Moretti had never seen anybody in such a bad shape that wasn’t already dead on the slab. A trucker had found the girl laying in the middle of the road. Her frail young body, ripped to shreds. In the hospital, the doctors had found four hook-and-eye bolts screwed into both of her shoulders, and a further eleven screws were also found embedded within her arms and legs.

The doctors had worked tirelessly with trying to nurse the poor girl to health. She’d been in a coma for the past three days. With news of her waking, Moretti had rushed straight to the hospital. He’d promised himself he’d do whatever it took to catch the vile beast responsible for the atrocities enacted upon this young girl.

In fact, he’d made a promise to himself many years ago. It was time to finally action that promise. To stick to his word. For Detective Moretti, this one was fucking personal…

Christ-on-a-bike is this one a gritty, dark thriller. US author Marc Schoenbach has penned a properly twisted tale, which for its grotesque savagery, could sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ (1988) or ‘Se7en’ (1995).

Essentially, we have a hardboiled detective who’s determined to track down some sadistic psychopath who’s abducted a young girl and done all sorts of brutally nasty shit to her. Not in a sexual way mind, but rather in a ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974) kind of vibe. Indeed, there’s one scene in particular that feels like it’s been plucked straight out of Hooper’s masterpiece and resewn into the skin of this short.

Schoenbach’s story is as dark and twisted as it is entertaining. A tightly paced and well executed short, with plenty of attention paid to establishing his characters, layering the storyline, and keeping the momentum going. Basically, a fucking good read.

The Cheap Rooms – Robert Essig – 17 Pages
Haloran and Stephanie Watts had come to Las Vegas to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary. They’d booked into the Imperial Hotel because they didn’t really have the kind of money that could afford a stay anywhere nicer.

However, during that first night, Stephanie had woken to find Hal restrained and with a ball gag stuffed in his mouth. The bed beneath him a mess of torn sheets, blood and gore. She had no idea what had happened. How, her husband had come to be in such a horrific state.

What the hell is going on at this cheap hotel?...

Closing the anthology we have a strange blend of 1980’s style horror injected into a messed-up nightmare setting, all from the decidedly warped mind of US author, Robert Essig. It would be fair to say that the story is an oddly surreal offering, with moments which feel pulled from the likes of ‘Hellraiser’ (1987) as well as the ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ franchise.

The short deals with the notion of Las Vegas being the root of all evil. Greed and gambling being the Gods of this city of sin. Whether Essig himself has a particular stance on the whole matter, or whether it was just a conceptual idea for the plot, I’m not sure. However, it doesn’t feel preachy in any way, but instead reads as a strange and downright surreal nightmare sequence, which keeps getting weirder by the minute.

Essig certainly throws a hell of a lot into the short page count too. The end result is a story which can feel a tad rushed in parts, although, you can’t say it’s not fucking fast paced. This thing is mental. And what a way to end the anthology.

DLS Summary:
Editor Dan Henk set out to compile an anthology of stories harking back to the horror of old. Well, he’s absolutely achieved that. The collection reads like pages torn from ‘Weird Tales’. That’s not to say the stories contained within this book are in any way similar to each other. They couldn’t be further from that. In fact, the whole anthology is perhaps one of the most varied of horror collections I’ve had the pleasure to dissect in a while.

Because of the sheer variance across the stories, it’s really difficult to pick a favourite, or indeed pit one against the other. That said, Nat Robinson’s ‘The Void’, Bobby Lisse’s ‘Revolution’, and Patrick C. Harrison III’s fucked-up ‘Howl Of The Leather Dog’ certainly stand out, after having turned the final page of the book.

It’s also worth noting that each story is accompanied by their own stylised pen and ink illustration by Dan Henk. Furthermore, at the end of the book, Henk has also provided a short bio for each of the authors, in which he’s provided pen and ink portraits of each. And all of these illustrations are fucking outstanding!

All in all, this is an anthology which takes the reader through one hell of a fucked-up trip. No two stories are remotely similar in any way, shape or form. The sheer imagination exhibited across this anthology is exceptional.

Weird, weird, weird tales…

The anthology runs for a total of 315 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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