Welcome to the slightly fractured and more than surreal world of Cate Gardner, where nothing is as it seems, a world where the absurd is the norm, and where the fabric of time and space are as fluid as mercury and as elastic as a rubber band. A place where hotels exist in a Schroedinger’s Cat-like state of simultaneous ruin and brand new, where mannequins dance to sinister yet silent tunes, where the concierge may be more than just a simple concierge and the ghosts belong to someone else. And where an umbrella may hold more significance than just something that holds the rain off.
Welcome to a supernatural tale like no other…
Nowhere Hall by Cate Gardner is the third chapbook from Spectral Press. The previous two chapbooks by Gary McMahon and Gary Fry were both first class examples of how powerful a short story can be (review here)
So the question here is it third time the charm for Simon Marshall Jones small press?
In short yes it is, Simon, knows exactly what makes for a first class tale of the quiet supernatural tale. Cate Gardner’s tale follows on from the previous two stories, you can view each of these stories as companions to each other. They all share a common ground of evocative, thought provoking, and subdued horror. I’m tempted to say the are like a supernatural Tales of The Unexpected.
This is an extremely layered and complex story, that keeps the readers interest, with the use of some extremely good writing. After finishing the story I was unsure as to exactly what it was about, there was something niggling at the back of my mind that there was more to the story than meet the eye. It has been a long time since I spent the bus journey to work wondering about something other than what I have to do at work. If you know me then you’ll know just how much this story captivated me, and got under my skin. When it suddenly hit me, “bloody that’s what it was about” I not going to tell you what I think it was about, mainly because I don’t want to spoil the surprise, plus as is won’t to happen, I may well have got the wrong end of the stick.
Cate’s writing is first class, I’ll be honest, my heart lies firmly in the realms of trashy pulpy horror. However when faced with such a wonderfully atmospheric and emotional tale then I am quickly converted. It seems this year has been about broadening my horizons, and I am glad that Cate has pushed my horizon that little bit further forward.
Sadly this issue has like the previous two editions sold out. However, there are still subscriptions available for future editions. I highly recommended you take one out. These limited edition chapbooks are not only excellent fiction, the production values are first class as well. Simon Marshall Jones should be extremely proud of this range.
You can get your subscriptions HERE