Anthology Review: Suspended in Dusk

Title: Suspended in Dusk
Editor: Simon Dewar
Publisher: Books of the Dead Press
Year Published: 2014
RRP: $99c Amazon

I made two resolutions to do with my reading habits at the beginning of this year:

1. To read a wider range of genre fiction, including genres I am not so keen on
2. To review, read and interview a wider range of Australian authors, editors and publishers for this blog

I have pushed myself to read a bigger amount of horror and short story collections, so I jumped at the opportunity to read Simon Dewar’s new anthology Suspended in Dusk: a collection of fresh horror shorts from new and established writers. I am no horror aficionado, but as a layman on the outside looking in, this anthology has much to offer to any eager readers.

From the blurb:

A time between times.

A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.
A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.
Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.
Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.

Or was it all just a trick of the light?

Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction:

Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, S.G Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, J.C. Michael.

Introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum.

The collection features a range of horror writers from UK, USA, South Africa and Australia and includes tales of the weird, the zombie apocalypse, unexpected spirits and murder, graveyards, spraying body parts and ghosts of history past. All 19 stories are inspired and linked by the theme of ‘dusk’ – whether the literal definition of the transition from light to dark, or more metaphorical permeations of evil or the in between space between good and evil, moral and immoral, good and bad.

Highlight stories were those by Alan Baxter (on the darkness within), Anna Reith, Arman Rosamilia, J C Michael, Ramsey Campbell (with a clever take on the universal fear of being buried alive), Wendy Hammer (with her tribute to the late Ray Bradbury) and Angela Slatter (with a spin on who’s playing at villain and victim, hunted and hunter). My absolute favorite story, however, came from Brett Rex Bruton with his thoroughly post modern hard boiled crime story told out of order, featuring tongue in cheek cliches left, right and centre, and literary plot devices that were central to the crime taking place (the object of everyone’s desire is a literal maguffin in a box).

The anthology is currently 99c on Amazon, so if you like horror or short stories or just taking punts on emerging writers, this is the anthology to buy!

Suspended in Dusk: 4/5 inky stars

You can buy the anthology here.

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