Monday 11 October 2021

IN DARKNESS DELIGHT: Fear the Future, edited by Andrew Lennon & Evans Light

Tomorrow is coming whether you're ready or not . . . 
Twenty-two strikingly original tales of terror from Bram Stoker Award®-winners, bestselling authors, genre stalwarts and rising stars.

Be warned: these are not science fiction stories with a dash of dread. These are visions of the horrifying futures that may await us all.

Humankind’s greatest fear is and will always be the unknown, dreading whatever gruesome horrors tomorrow may bring. The pain of the past is nothing when the worst is yet to come. The only thing you know for certain: it’s going to end badly.

In Darkness, Delight is an original anthology series revealing the many facets of modern horror — shocking and quiet, pulp and literary, cold-hearted and heart-felt, weird tales of spiraling madness alongside full-throttle thrillers. Open these pages and unleash all-new terrors that consume from without and within.

I received this anthology in the mail and it was a pleasant surprise. I mean, look at that cover! So, firstly, I want to thank Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi & Corpus Press for sending me a copy. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Now, here are my thoughts about each story: 

· AIRBORNE by Lisa Morton: What a great way to get this collection started. This shortie packs quite a punch. There's something affecting people and it might be a virus. Or maybe it's an entity. Either way, I was hooked from beginning to end, and enjoyed the freaky trip.

· ERR by Michael Laimo: A horrifying glimpse at a dystopian society where women can't fall pregnant but couples can find help at Chroma-Key. Yikes. What a disturbing future this very dark story presented. I also like how it combined a bunch of SF and horror subgenres to become quite the creepy tale. 

· DADDY'S GIRL by Ben Eads: Is an amazing story. OMFG. It all starts out so apocalyptic until the truth and the reality of the situation hits you upside the head. Wow. Such a powerful story because it's so sad and reminiscent of so much of what's wrong with our world. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

· HUSK by Marshall J Moore:  Is a sad and depressing one. It's also highly distressing. OMG. What this character goes through, how this new world is structured, and what is endured is truly captured in that ominous title. This was another highly disturbing and unnerving piece. I'm still squirming after this nightmarish experience. ๐Ÿ˜ซ

· WE HAVE NAMES, TOO by Michelle Muenzler: Is an android tale with a difference, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I always find it sad that if humans did in fact create robots that look like us, the first thing they would do is abuse the poor things. The ethics of such a situation is intriguing and this is a great example of why.

· THE HAUNTING OF ASTEROID H111 by Van Aaron Hughes: Is such a fun and disorienting twist on the ghost story, in outer space. There's a bit of everything packed into this very dark adventure that toes the line between what's really happening and what's not. Great fun and features a terrific narrator!

· SHOULDA READ THE FINE PRINT, BLANCHE by Ben Lawrence: This is both terrifying and hilarious. The execution was brilliant as Blanche's deterioration grows, but the reason why cracked me up. Says a lot about humanity's never-ending quest to live forever. ๐Ÿ‘€ 

· TRANSFERENCE by Jenn Hopkins: Oh! This is such a sad and creepy tale about a future able to offer withering bodies a better, much younger version. But as Leila finds out, nothing is as it seems... Great little paranoid tale.

· GAME OVER by Andrew Lennon: Takes playing video games to a whole new level of messed up. I understood what was really going on pretty early on, but it didn't make the realisation any easier to deal with. Yikes! ๐Ÿ‘€ 

· SCHROEDINGER'S HEAD by Joanna Koch: Wow. This story turned out to be a highly imaginative, mind blowing experience. I've never read anything like this before, but found the weirdness charming and instantly warmed to Mr. Klein's surreal conundrum. The poor guy.

· LOCUSTS by Dominick Cancilla: Is a quick and terrifying tale of biblical proportions that is very well telegraphed by the title. There's also a creepy, tiny mystery that unfortunately gets answered by the end. Poor Arthur and Emma. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

· THE PAIN ADDICT by Penn Jillette: Is quite the disturbing little story about a doctor with good intentions turned bad, when his addiction to pain overshadows everything that's important. This was bloody messed up!

· THE SLUGGIE REBELLION by William Meikle: Here we have a creepy little tale about what happens when you try to expand your mind at the expense of another creature. It's a little bit Alien and a lot of fun!

· NOISE by Max Booth III: OMG, what a screwed up story about being plugged into technology permanently and what it does to one particular guy. All he wanted was to shut the noise off, instead he gets a very intense, nightmarish situation. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

· SEEKING HARMONY WITH THE INFINITE by Evans Light: This awesome doomsday story features a taste of salvation only to twist everything upside down before you realise what's going on. Wow. Powerful stuff.

· BILLY CAMPBELL'S BONES by Jason Washer: I found this to be a sad and tragic tale about what happens to Billy's bones and how it affects his life. It's morbid and kinda gross, but still one hell of a horrific story. I would laugh if everything about this wasn't SO messed up.

· SURVIVAL IS AN ACT OF SELFISHNESS by Frank Oreto: Such an unexpected and disturbing shortie full of vivid imagery, awful consequences for children, and a terrible future that could end at any minute. Sure, it was totally messed up, but I really enjoyed it.

· BOXED IN by CS Mergo: Is a hilarious look at what can happen when parcel deliveries get totally out of hand. Or don't stop coming and you just can't speak to an actual customer service person to tell them what the problem is. Made me cackle a few times, but it's still a very dark situation. 

· WHAT IT TAKES by Phil Sloman: Just another shocking example of what can happen when you try to take shortcuts in life. You have to put in the work, man. Otherwise, well, you'll have to read the story to know the worst thing that can happen... 

· NEUROWORM by Tim Curran: This turned out to be a gross and clever hacker's nightmare full of body horror and the sense of falling deeper into delirium. I was uncomfortable and grossed out, in the best way possible. And that ending! ๐Ÿ˜ต

· AND THE WINNER IS... by Sheldon Higdon: This is a dark tale about a different kind of lottery full of glitz, glamour, excitement and... death. Yikes! 

· IF I DRIVE BEFORE I WAKE by Eric J Guignard: Is another highly imaginative nightmare of the future. This time, we're dealing with the horror of self-driving cars and it's not a pretty or relaxing sight. Yet, in spite of the horror, I found the writing to be lush and dreamy.

In Darkness, Delight: Fear the Future is an exciting and very dark anthology full of awesome stories that deal with a wide variety of SF horror tales, each with its own unique twist of both subgenres. The writing for every single tale was absolutely fantastic. It's also such a lovely physical book packed full of ominous goodies from a talented bunch of authors. 

This is guaranteed to satisfy both horror and SF fans. Seriously, it's awesome. There's something terrifying and awesome about all the stories within these pages.

One last thing I want to add is that if you're looking for light-hearted visions of our future, you won't find them here. This collection is bleak and deals with the harsher paths humanity might take. I mean, it is a horror book, after all. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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