Two practitioners of the fantastic were born this day. You might say they were Legends. *ducks and runs* Continue reading
Take the Mormon settlement of the West, mix in some M. R. James and H. Russell Wakefield, throw in a healthy serving of H. P. Lovecraft and a dash of Robert E. Howard, stir in Native American lore, bake in the desert heat and wash down with a lake formed by a damn, and what you’re likely to come up with something that resembles Whispers Out of the Dust.
David J. West has begun to build a body of work in the subgenre known as the weird western, and his most recent book is a solid addition to the field. It’s also one of his most ambitious projects to date. (And I absolutely love that cover.)
St. Thomas, Nevada was settled by Mormon pioneers, but the area had been home to the Anasazi and other tribes long before. The Mormons, many of them anyway, moved away when they discovered they were in Nevada rather than Utah and Nevada wanted to collect several years of back taxes. Still, the town survived until the Hoover Dam was built, and the waters of Lake Mead covered it up.
That much is historical fact. What David does is add a dose of fantasy which he blends so smoothly that you find yourself believing things you know can’t really be so. (At least you don’t think so.) The footnotes (endnotes, really) certainly add to the feeling of verisimilitude. David includes a number of photos he’s taken, which give you an idea of what the area looks like. Continue reading
Before I start the review, I’d like to thank Doug Draa for the review copy and apologize for taking so long to get the review posted. The review copy is a PDF file, and I’d intended to read it while traveling over the summer. For some reason, my ereader (a first generation device) wouldn’t open the file. Anyway, since I hate reading for fun on a backlit screen (which I do enough of for work), it was a while before I managed to read it. So thanks and apologies, Doug. I promise to do better in the future.
There are a total of seventeen pieces of fiction, five poems, a tribute to Parke Godwin by Marvin Kaye,an interview with Joyce Carol Oates, and a look at how one of the illustrations was developed by Jeff Wong.
Overall, I found this issue to be a strong one, though not without a few stories which weren’t to my taste. The theme for this issue is The Undead. And no, not all of the themed stories are about zombies. Just some of them, which is good because I’m not a big zombie fan. But overall I found this issue to be a great read for Halloween. Continue reading