cover image Aftermath of An Industrial Accident

Aftermath of An Industrial Accident

Mike Allen. Mythic Delirium, $15.95 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-73264-402-1

Allen (Unseaming) overflows the tank with nightmare fuel in this collection of 23 stories and poems that showcase his ability to find the monstrous in almost any setting. Bracketed by two poems (“Six Waking Nightmares Poe Gave Me in the Third Grade” and “The Night Watchman Dreams His Rounds at the REM Sleep Factory”) exploring Allen’s drive to write horror tales, the collection dances through hauntings, carnage, body horror, and psychological chills. Allen gracefully jumps between genres—from the bloody steampunk carnival of “Puppet Show,” to the gritty detective thriller “Nolens Volens,” the urban-legend-infused “Binding,” the corporate dystopia of “Drift from the Windrows,” and the high fantasy world visited in both “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade” and “Longsleeves”—to explore themes of loss, alienation, and existential dread. Original to this collection are “A Deaf Policeman Heard the Noise,” about a ghost desperate to communicate, and “Blue Evolution,” which features multispecies pirates engaging with the alien mysteries of the sea. Readers will be impressed by the variety, intensity, and skilled craftsmanship Allen brings to this collection. These horror shorts are sure to linger in the dark corners of readers’ minds. (July)