"The stories of Simon Strantzas exemplify a style of horror that might be compared to the novellas of T. Read more...
"The stories of Simon Strantzas exemplify a style of horror that might be compared to the novellas of T. E. D. Klein."-Thomas Ligotti
""Burnt Black Suns" demonstrates Strantzas's remarkable narrative skills, his unerring, feverish sense of pace, and his absolute willingness to hurl himself into the darkest ranges of his excellent imagination."-Peter Straub
"In "Burnt Black Suns" Strantzas casts far into time and space to find the alien, and what comes back wriggling inside his net is ghastly."-Adam Nevill
In this fourth collection of stories, Simon Strantzas establishes himself as one of the most dynamic figures in contemporary weird fiction. The nine stories in this volume exhibit Strantzas's wide range in theme and subject matter, from the Lovecraftian "Thistle's Find" to the Robert W. Chambers homage "Beyond the Banks of the River Seine." But Strantzas's imagination, while drawing upon the best weird fiction of the past, ventures into new territory in such works as "On Ice," a grim novella of arctic horror; "One Last Bloom," a grisly account of a scientific experiment gone hideously awry; and the title story, an emotionally wrenching account of terror and loss in the baked Mexican desert. With this volume, Strantzas lays claim to be discussed in the company of Caitlin R. Kiernan and Laird Barron as one of the premier weird fictionists of our time."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In this powerful new collection of short stories, fallible characters trip over their feet of clay and sprawl into encounters with horrors beyond their comprehension. "One Last Bloom" tells of a graduate student in microbiology who's so obsessed with staying ahead of an academic rival that it blinds him to the enormity of a horror that's gradually overwhelming their laboratory. "Emotional Dues" concerns a painter inspired by his hatred of his domineering father and the insidious parasitic relationship that develops between him and a wealthy art patron. In the title story, a man pursues his ex-wife to Mexico to retrieve their young son from the cult she has joined, only to discover that what he has mistaken for a simple case of domestic family abduction is part of an elaborate ritual to bring something unholy from the dawn of time back into the world. Strantzas (Nightingale Songs) nimbly balances sympathetic characters humanized by their flaws with horrors on a cosmic scale so vast that they mock the very notion of human significance. The 10 stories in this book abound with references to the work of H.P. Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, and Robert W. Chambers, and Strantzas deftly demonstrates his ability to hold his own with them. (May)