Kristopher Triana has given us a nifty basket of weird and gritty fiction with Growing Dark. I always like reading the blurbs a book garners, I just do. But when you get a blurb from Jon Mikl Thor, A-hem! Jon. Mikl. Thor of the metal band Thor and the fabulously Z-grade horror film, Rock n' Roll Nightmare, well, Sir, you're playing for keeps!
There are ten stories that make up this collection. We begin with "From The Storms, A Daughter," a very dark tale of a town in the soggy grip of a black rain, that brings about strange events and stranger beings. Followed by "Eaters" which shows us an new solution to that darned Zombie problem. In the titular story, a boy is dragged into manhood and the outcome is far more savage than anyone expected. "Reunion" give us just what the title promises, but shades blacker. "Before The Boogeymen Come" is a shadow comic piece about those creatures of the closet and how they strive to secure their claims. "The Bone Orchard" is a weird western sort of tale, set in a brothel where things get strange as a black substance with a voracious appetite comes to call.
The rest of the stories that make up this collection are fine sharp blades but it's the end piece that really kicks the boot in. "Legends" give us a pair of dead movie stars tracking down demons... Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin hunting evil. It is a wild and wholly fun story.
Triana writes well, succinct and lean but with enough of an eye for detail and a good strong wield of the pop culture reference. My God, He mentioned Billy Joe Shaver in a story and I nearly swooned, for real! At times reminiscent of early Lansdale while sometimes toeing that chalk line that the splatter punks drew on the asphalt. But Triana struts his stuff confidently and doesn't much care if you care or not.
Growing Dark is available from Blue Juice Books
Or purchase a copy from Amazon