Edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson
Published by Grey Matter Press December 4, 2013
Review by: Alicia Banks
Synopsis: Somewhere just beyond the veil of human perception lies a darkened plane where very evil things reside. Weaving their horrifying visions, they pull the strings on our lives and lure us into a comfortable reality. But it’s a web of lies…
This book is their instruction manual. And it’s only the beginning…
DARK VISIONS: A COLLECTION OF MODERN HORROR – Volume One includes thirteen disturbing tales of dread from some of the most visionary minds writing horror, SciFi and speculative fiction today. DARK VISIONS uncovers the truth behind our own misguided concepts of reality.
Our thoughts: I’m impressed.
I’ve formed some new and promising relationships with writers and editors published through Grey Matter Press, so when Anthony Rivera, one of the editors of this collection, contacted me about reading and reviewing some short stories, I was willing and able.
This volume is chockfull of some really wonderful horror stories. Every single one is a hit in my opinion. It opens up strong with MISTER POCKETS: A PINE DEEP STORY by Jonathan Maberry. Hard to imagine how someone can reinvent the word vampire yet again, but Maberry has done it. What’s more, the setting for this tale is the center of an entire book series by Mr. Maberry. I’d love to read some more of his work because he seems a rather clever writer.
COLLAGE by Jay Caselberg is creepy. It made me feel icky. I love to feel icky. THE WEIGHT OF PARADISE by Jeff Hemenway was one of my favorites of the entire collection. Who wants to live forever? THREE MINUTES by Sarah L. Johnson speaks to my Catholic upbringing, therefore scaring the living hell out of me.
SECOND OPINION by Ray Garton is another one of my favorites from this collection. I’m a sucker for stories about authors. I also love a short story that is narrated by the killer after the fact once he’s been incarcarated or committed. This one has a nice little twist at the end that made me smile fiendishly. THE LAST ICE CREAM KISS by Jason S. Ridler pulls at the nostalgia of better days past but is disturbing in its outcome. SCRAP by David A. Riley is in my top two for this collection. It’s just so, so good. It’s sad and terrifying and just very well written. I would like to read more of Riley’s work as well. It seems the words and the stories come easy to him.
WHAT DO YOU NEED? by Milo James Fowler had a futuristic feel to me for some reason. It reminded me of the feeling I got while reading DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick (BLADE RUNNER), even though the stories themselves are nothing alike. By the way, if you have not read DO ANDROIDS…, I highly recommend it.
THE TROLL by Jonathan Balog was my favorite story in this volume. Revamping the old Three Billy Goats Gruff tale with a new and modern twist is genius. Evil can be anywhere.
DELICATE SPACES by Brian Fatah Steele reminds me of Lovecraft with a modern flair, so naturally I loved it. If you’re a fan, you will too. RAINING STONES by Sean Logan has a film noir feel with its alcoholic reporter protagonist, dark alleys, and looming time-is-running-out rush. It would make an interesting movie. SHOW ME by John F.D. Taff exudes a feeling of foreboding and dread from the get-go. The story is hypnotic and gripping, much like Joe himself. There’s just something about it. The last story of the collection, THANATOS PARK by Charles Austin Muir closes the book on a high note with its gripping terror and unanswered questions. It leaves you begging for more.
And more you shall receive! Looks like there will be a second volume of Dark Visions out soon. And who knows? There may be one or two more after that. I can’t wait! I look forward to reading the next installment (hint hint, Tony!). You can purchase both on Amazon in both digital and print editions (DV1 is already out, DV2 is slated to release December 17, 2013.) Happy reading.