An Anthology of Dark Minds

Edited by Robert Everett & Scarlet Duperre

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

The notion that horror fiction is a genre on the wane is by now an established cliché, constantly belied, however, by the increasing number of new writers trying their hand at it.

Here is yet another horror anthology providing a stage appearance to a bunch of newcomers endeavouring to be admitted into the community of horror authors. Needless to say, some succeed and some fail, but that's only natural.

The reviewer's task, under these circumstances, is to pretend he hasn't read the bad stuff (thus giving the debut writers a second chance) and to focus only on the good material, provided there is some.

Diabolic Tales does feature several fine stories, for example Junkyard Dogs by R A Gonzalez, a chilling, well written tale where two boys have to face a frightening, horrible truth.

Another winner is Clown Smile by Peter N Dudar, a dark, horrific story, definitely not for the squeamish, where the theme of the femme fatale is revisited and clothed in a particularly sinister wrap.

Sometimes an author displays a great writing talent even though the resulting work is not quite accomplished, as in Setting the Stage by Justin M Klodner, a rather confusing tale of madness, offering a few remarkable horror moments.

In the truly diabolic Secret Persuasions by Jeff Tikari, a heartless man and his dumb wife try to kill each other for opposite reasons, while in Hana K Lee's disturbing Dollshouse a poorly smelling old doll intrudes between stepmother and stepdaughter.

J Livingston contributes Revelations of the Lamb in Four Parts, the bizarre but effective portrait of a weird filmmaker whose work is imbued with the dark and the horrific.

By far the best story in the book is Ken Brosky's High Stakes, a tense, masterly told story revolving around an exciting game of Russian roulette.

We welcome those new talents and wish them a long and fruitful career in the genre. Cheers.

Diabolic Tales I: An Anthology of Dark Minds edited by Robert Everett & Scarlet Duperre. Diabolic Publications tpb, 195 pp, $19.95'

Website: - www.diabolicpublications.com

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