Friday, March 18, 2016

Review News: The Nameless Dark receives stellar treatment in The Haunted Omnibus

After writing everything other than fiction for so many years, I still have a hard time processing the fact that people will sit down and devote hours and hours to reading stories I write, then feel moved enough to compose extensive, detailed, thoughtful reviews on these stories, with the primary purpose of helping draw more readership to certain books and authors. It's a wonderful thing.

Writer Jose Cruz did just this, and posted up one of my favorite reviews The Nameless Dark has ever received at his excellent electronic journal devoted to short dark fiction, The Haunted Omnibus, which is what The Cosmicomicon would be if I was a better reviewer, had better focus, and better taste in blog template design.

Its Mission Statement:
The Haunted Omnibus was established to recognize the long tradition and continued perseverance of the short form within the literature of horror, the dark fantastic, and the Weird. 
Although websites, journals, and awards dedicated to the field and yearly anthologies of the best in short fiction continue to proliferate, the founders of the Haunted Omnibus felt that there was still a need for a space dedicated solely to the discussion of dark short stories, novelettes, and novellas. 
Reviews of anthologies and single-author collections, by their nature, tend to relegate even the exemplary stories to one or two sentences of critical analysis at best, if any mention is warranted at all. The Haunted Omnibus seeks to in part turn this trend around by providing the attention and appreciation that these short works deserve. 
Taking its name from the landmark 1937 anthology edited by Alexander Laing, The Haunted Omnibus provides reviews, essays, and just-plain-fun testimonials of the short horror story’s power, history, and relevance. In this spirit, our single-story spotlights strive to include tributes made by multiple contributors and, when possible, short interviews conducted with the authors to detail their creation of the stories. 
It is our hope that through our efforts at the Haunted Omnibus, fans and readers will engage more deeply with darkly speculative short fiction and afford it the study that it merits.

Edward Gorey
I'll provide an excerpt of the review here, but please do head over to The Haunted Omnibus and poke around a bit:
"We live in a time of plenty. 
In the last decade and change, the rise of small publishing houses and e-reader devices has opened up a doorway through which a veritable smorgasbord of dark fiction has poured forth into the hands of fans who might not have otherwise encountered them. But not even the accessibility or mass proliferation of grim literature can be held entirely accountable for the embarrassment of riches we have today. A similar wave passed during the Great Horror Boom of the 70s and 80s, but the current renaissance we live in now has granted us the gift of quality in addition to quantity. 
This commitment to higher literary standards, along with a special devotion to the short story, has led to the releases of dozens of books in the last few years that all bear the craftsman’s seal of approval, a time when even debut collections hum with a vitality and talent that wouldn’t have been dreamt of in those bygone days of spinner rack terrors. With the unleashing of The Nameless Dark, T. E. Grau has cemented himself as an author whose byline should spark in readers a joyful expectancy for what surprises there are to follow.

Having spent his early days grinding away in the Hollywood dream machine, Grau has instilled the stories collected here with a cinematic beat and tenor. Many of them have the feel of miniature epics, stories of great change that course the classical arc and find his cast of rebels and hard-hearts attempting to desperately pick their way through life’s minefield before butting up against the high-powered electric fence of the unforgiving cosmos. Even at their bleakest—and many of the tales end badly for at least one person—Grau’s works satisfy with the rightness of their narratives, the feeling that the scales of the universe have attained their balance once more regardless of the insignificant lives that were overthrown to do so..."
John Picacio
(4/22/16 edit: Please also check out an author interview published today at The Haunted Omnibus here)

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