Black Horse and Other Strange Stories

Jason A. Wyckoff. Tartarus (www.tartaruspress.com), $50 (266p) ISBN 978-1-905784-41-7
In several of the 16 inventive tales that make up Wyckoff's first collection of weird fiction, characters sidestep effortlessly—and, to their dismay, obliviously—from the world of everyday normality to dark and dangerous realms that about it. In "The Highwall Horror," a hole in an office cubicle's padding proves a portal to a dimension inhabited by insectoid entities. "Panorama" tells of a man who loses himself in an alternate reality painted by an artist friend. In "The Trucker's Story," movers packing up exhibits from a museum of oddities discover afterwards that each has unaccountably "lost" several years of his life. Though most of these stories skirt the surreal, a number are straightforward tales of horror, including "Raise Up the Serpent," in which children rescued from a Satanic cult prove not to be the innocent victims their benefactors take them for, and "Intermediary," a clever exercise in psychological horror. Although somewhat stilted in their telling, these tales are the work of a writer skilled at navigating the twists and turns of his unconventional horror themes. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 00/00/0000
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