The Spectrum Collection is the second release from Dark Continents Press. Like it's predecessor, Pray, it offers up an excellent read.
Within its pages are ten tales of dark speculative fiction, from in the main relatively new authors. There are tales of ghosts, evil old women, vampires, zombies, and mutant spider women. So far so good.
It's common in such collections that the quality can vary greatly between each story, from excellent to plain awful. Thankfully John Prescott, knows his stuff, the tales told here range from very good to excellent. There are a couple of poems here, I won't comment on them as I have never got poetry, well other than dirty limericks.
So what are my favourite tales.
The Elms, Morecambe - Simon Kurt Unsworth. this is a heart wrenching ghost story, that sticks with you long after finishing it. Simon Kurt Unsworth is quickly turning into one of my all time favourite short story writers.
Wicked Appetites - Sylvia Shults. A tale of vampires, mutants and an author trying to make in big in a world after the Happening. nice twist at the end
Lemminaid - Carson Buckinham. An extremely well crafted chilling ghost story about revenge and retribution. . This is only the second time I have read Carons' work. Must change that and track down more of her work. This is writing of a first class standard.
Archies Tale David M. Youngquist It pains me to pick a zombie tale, I'm just burned out to the zombie genre. But credit must be given for a well told and action packed zombie tale, that keeps me reading to the end. A hard task for zombie tale.
The End of Leonard Bangston - John Prescott. A tale of getting to know your family a little to well and the nasty old woman who lives at the end of your street. That's all I,m saying other than it will be a long time before I eat brawn again.
Come on folks support the new boys in town and grab your self a copy.
There are two things in life, outside of the family, guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. Good heavy Metal, and good horror stories. Can you imagine the smile on my face when I cracked open this collection short and not so short stories each inspired by a heavy artist.
David T Wilibanks has assembled one hell of a squad for this heavy metal horror heaven.
Spooky Tooth by Randy Chandler,
Iron Maiden by Matthew Fryer,
Black Sabbath by Steven L. Shrewsbury,
Judas Priest by David T. Wilbanks,
Motorhead by Kent Gowran,
Slayer by L.L. Soares.
The hit rate is damn near perfect, each of these tales are are highly deserving of inclusion in a book of this calibre. It must be said though that the tales themselves are only inspired by the bands names and do not actually have anything to do with their namesakes, just in case you are one of those odd people that don't like metal.
My favourites of the collection, and trust me it was hard to sewlet just three.
Black Sabbath, are example of what a how zombie stories should be written. There are more dangerous things in a world over run by zombies than the zombies. I also liked the fact the zombies due to natural rotting would no longer be a problem, given enough time.
Spooky Tooth by Randy Chandler, having never read anything by Chandler before, it was fun discovering a new author with which to feed my book reading addiction. Spooky Tooth, is a excellent twist on the werewolf story.
And finally Motorhead by Kent Gowran. In an ideal world Kent would be a lot more prolific and a lot more famous. A tale of a gas station robbery gone wrong, with a giant snake, is a hard fast paced balls to the wall story. With the final line being just perfect.
In future if I see Kent's name in a table of contents, then you get bet your last dollar I'll but that book.
On a side note it was a pleasure to see that each "page" of the book corresponded to a "page on the e-reader. I hate it when you turn a page and it goes from 1 to 1-2 then 2.
Available in all the usual on line stores.