Michael Cisco. Grimscribe, $20 trade paper (154p) ISBN 978-0-578-83688-1
Cisco (Unlanguage) speculates on the dangers of loneliness in this darkly glimmering collection of 10 horror shorts. There’s nothing in the way of a jump scare here; instead, each of Cisco’s pieces drip with a subversive spookiness, using the horror genre’s tension and pacing to spin tales of how quickly individual perception and sanity comes undone in isolation. In “Intentionally Left Blank,” the narrator hides behind Halloween masks while his mother recovers from a suicide attempt. After finding a severed hand on Christmas, the narrator of “My Hand of Glory” grows in confidence, even as his grasp on reality slips. And in “Oneiropaths,” the narrator attempts to help a friend who feels she is being spied upon. The isolation of each of these unnamed narrators hits close to home in this time of social distancing, and Cisco’s skillful prose conjures a hard-to-place sense of unease that lingers long after the book is closed. This is sure to appeal to fans of weird fiction and literary horror. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/12/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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