It is often said that critics are failed artists, be they actors, writers, musicians or painters. I am a writer and an artist. Your estimation of my talent is one of personal taste. I am forced accept that, be it good, bad, or indifferent.
I write, because that is what I believe I was put on this earth to do. It's the same with being an artist. For me, these things are an outlet and it wasn't until quite recently that I started sharing that outlet with you. To share ones muse is a leap of fate, but I am far more comfortable being a writer or a reader than I am in the seat of critic.
The Anthology Convention in New Hampshire was a place for writers of dark speculative fiction to meet with like minded folks. It was also a great venue to pick up books and get them signed by the authors. I came back with a pile of books, in fact my extra bag cost me $100.00 to ship home on an airplane. When the clerk, who was completely surprised at the cost herself, asked if I wanted to leave the bag behind, I had suppress the urge to ask her if she was nuts.
No bloody way I was leaving that bag behind. It was full of treasures, books signed by the likes of F. Paul Wilson and Gene O'Neill. And aside from that I had a pile of other books, that included novels and serial anthologies. Not a chance in hell I was leaving that bag. I paid the 100 bucks and got on my plane.
DREAMSCAPES INTO DARKNESS
This anthology is the fifth in the series which delves into theworld of dark desires, ethereal imagery and landscapes which that are often mad and macabre. With Gothic illustrations throughout, it is a treat for the eyes as you turn the pages from one story to the next, and it is also an amalgamation of generations in writing. Within these pages you will find stories by Mary Shelley, Jonathan Mayberry, Gregory L. Norris and many more.
This is a book to curl up with in a warm spot and engulf oneself in a world where trees have windows and demons kings lure admirers. I was enthralled by Roxanne Dents: Heart of Stone in which a woman becomes seduced by a statue of Asmodeus: King of all Demons. As one reads, they are left to wonder if Dent's character, Jane, is actually conversing with the statue or if her world is that of hallucinogenic overload.
Another tale in this book was Patrick Lacey's: The Other Place, in which a young man see's a window on a tree that leads into a parallel universe. Or does it? Is this young man really seeing the window into that other world or is the medication he's on have something to do with the things he is seeing?
There is only one way to find out.
Expertly edited by Dr. Alex Scully, Dreamscapes into Darkness delivers a smorgasbord of talented story tellers enveloped by the masters like H.P. Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a marriage of old and new and the theme of: be careful what you wish for, is deliciously inviting.
This wonderful collection is an invitation that should not be turned down. That is, if you are not one with a faint heart or fear what lurks in the deepest shadows of another's psyche.
Going back to Lacey for a second, I was privileged to hear him read the opening pages to the story contained in the pages of this anthology. There were many readings on that day and I was unable to ask where this story was published. It was a definite surprise, halfway into this anthology to find that lost tale.
|And to my opening statement, about being a critic and the discomfort I feel in such a position? I can honestly say that I have dodged a bullet with Dreamscapes into Darkness. It is a great book for the coffee shop, the easy chair or the back deck.
But be warned.
If the hairs on the back of your neck prickle, B.E. Scully might just be telling you what happened "On the afternoon everything changed."
And it might not be that pleasant...
Pick up a copy of this Anthology, from Firbolg Publishing, by following this link to the amazon page.