>Dark Minds Anthology – by Dark Minds Press
Truthfully, Dark Minds can stand tall and proud, this is a beautifully produced book, it is 224 pages of great examples of short fiction, bound up a well put together book with great cover artwork from Vincent Chong and filled with wonderful interior artwork from Will Jacques.
The Anthology has twelve original stories from both well known and lesser known authors. To be honest with the exception of Gary McMahon and Stephen Bacon, I had never read any of these authors before. but don’t let that put u=you off buying this each and everyone of these stories deserves to be in this classic collection.
The collection kicks of with an exclusive original tale by Gary McMahon. The Ghost of Rain shows why Gary is regarded as one the great new UK authors. This is a heart rendering tale of the break up of a marriage, and the disassociation of a man brought on by the downloading of an MP3 of the sound of rain.
Next up is Berlin Sushi by Benedict J Jones, a simple, but highly entertaining tale with a killer twist at the end set in post war Berlin.
The House of Constant Shadow –by Stephen Bacon is a brilliantly realised story of twisted petty revenge, based around a love less marriage.
The Rat Catcher’s Apprentice by Ross Warren shifts the emphasis from dark gritty stories to a wonderfully told spooky bed time story, set in Victorian London. The type of story you could imagine being told by someone sipping brandy next to an old log fire
The Anchorite’s Daughter by Shaun Hammell is my personal favourite of the collection. This was not an easy read, some of the imagery and themes presented here were to me pretty unsettling. So it was no mean feat that Hammell, kept me captivated right to the end of this tale.
Gehenna by Anthony Watson is a beautifully told story of the horror of trench warfare During the First World War. Like many of the stories here, the horror doesn’t come from some supernatural creature, but from the horrors that mankind seems so able to inflict on itself.
Last Laugh by Colin Hersh, sees an old man who has lost all ability to communicate with the outside world being cared for by an unloving family. Despite the dark subject matter and the horrible events of the story, I couldn’t help but raising a wry smile at the end of the story.
The World Shall Know by Jason Whittle, the world is help in the grip of an apocalypse, where a fever will see you getting a visit from The Dr. When her child comes down with a fever a mother will do anything to save her son, from the Dr.
Blood Loss –by Colin Drewery A story of revenge. told from the narrative of a truly horrible person, who actually deserved what he got. A violent pig of man. But what happens when that person becomes more than human. If there is a short coming to the story is it all felt a bit to convenient, as though the twist was added to finish the story rather than being the end point of the story. However, this is still a well written story.
Vengeance of Hades by Joe Mynhardt what starts off as a teens break into an abandon house, quickly transforms into a moving tale of love in the time of a zombie plague, and of love from beyond the grave.
Under a Setting Sun by Clayton Stealback, is a great story of an exorcism gone wrong. this is the longest tale in the collection, and fully deserves the page count. This is a rich story that is filled with great images and great writing.
Bury the Truth by Carole Johnstone is a masterpiece of human despair, a young woman fascinated with what lies beyond the vale, goes in search of what lies beyond.
This is the sort of collection that will stay in your thoughts long after you’ve turned the last page. The stories presented here are thought provoking, moving and full of despair. There are no sparkly vampires, no cuddly werewolves here. The real monsters here are the humans, and the horrors that we can put ourselves and others through.
I highly recommended seeking this collection out, not only will you be helping a brand new publisher and some lesser known authors, you’ll also be getting an excellent collection of top class stories.
DARK MINDS PRESS