The world of horror is full of old tropes and rehashed ideas, it's a genre that is often accused of being unoriginal, musty and stale. Scratch beneath the surface, brush away the dust and peer beneath tarnished glass and you will find a genre brimming with talent and brilliant ideas. Some of these books like Enter at Your Own Risk: Dark Muses, Spoken Silences will command your attention. They force the genre to pull itself up from the gutter,. Dark, dense stories that command your attention, devoid of blood soaked horror, the stories held with in it's pages illicit feelings of fear and terror, via a subtle, macabre style of story. These atmospheric tales take their inspiration from the genres past masters,such as Poe, Lovecraft, and Irving. Using these past masters most famous works as a foundation for their tales, some of the genres modern masters take us the readers on a re-imaging through the gothic heart of horror.
Please don't be under any misconceptions about this anthology, it is a dense a complex tome that befits it's heritage, but it is also one that is ultimately rewarding. In a world full of distractions Dark Muses Spoken Silences is an anthology will require your full attention. Deep dark and heavy prose is a common theme to the anthology, but stick with it for what you have in your hands is a true masterpiece of modern Gothic terror. Dr Alex Scully has assembled a team of writers who know and love their heritage. They treat their source material with a great sense reverence, while at the same time managing to bring some new to the story.
Some of my personal favourites were Poe's Black Cats by Timothy Hurley. Hurley makes inspired decision to tell the story from the point of view of character who never appeared in the source material.
Mike Chinn's Considering The Dead, tells the story of the Necronomicon, this twisted and surreal story manages to channel Lovecraft's style perfectly while still managing to remain fresh.
Perhaps the best story in this anthology is the final one. I'll be honest I'm not familiar with the source material, Jon Michael Kelley's The Silent Highwayman is near perfect story. Telling the story of when Ruthven, the vampire, of the source story meets with Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin.
I will be honest here, this book challenged me, it pushed the comfort boundaries of my reading, and for that alone I am glad I read it.
Some of the most enduring masterpieces of Gothic fiction are as intriguing for the stories they don’t tell as for those they do. The voices hidden in the wall of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat;” the secrets buried beneath the earth of Sleepy Hollow in Washington Irving’s legendary Headless Horseman tale; the dreams of a monster and an ancient book with a life of its own in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu;” and stories that reveal Polidori’s hypnotic, archetypal Vampyre as far more than what he first appears to be. In Firbolg Publishing’s third volume in the Enter at Your Own Risk series, ten modern storytellers reimagine the mysterious characters lurking within four classics of Gothic literature. As you read the original stories, a sinister whisper drifts in on a cold chill. But there are other voices beneath the whisper. You can hear them crawling out of the growing darkness. Then the whispers become a scream...
With an introduction from acclaimed author Gary Braunbeck, Dark Muses, Spoken Silences invites you into the hidden shadows of four of the most famous dark fiction tales ever told.
Are you brave enough to enter?
Author of Taste of Tenderloin and The Confessions of St. Zach
“Audacious, innovative, shocking – a kaleidoscope (where all the colors are dark).”
Author of The Pines and Willy
"I am blown away by the beauty, terror and imagination of this brilliant book."
Author of Manhattan Grimoire and Hell’s Door
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