Click Here To Purchase These Strange Worlds: Fourteen Dark Tales

Author: Daniel Powell

Publisher: Distillations Press
ISBN: 9780615475219

“A thinny”, says a character in one of the stories in this collection, “is a place where the fabric of our world.. is just a little threadbare..It’s a place where you can look into other worlds.” The fourteen thinnies that comprise ‘These Strange Worlds’ range from the grim and horrific to the darkly funny, and establish author Daniel Powell as an author to look out for in the genre of speculative fiction.

At first glance, Powell’s stories seem to mine familiar territory - haunted houses, midget cannibals, body snatchers and  zombies  are, after all, recurring themes in science fiction/ fantasy  and the reason shows like ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales from the Darkside’ continue
to remain so popular. Yet each story does manage to surprise. 

In Powell’s  twisted stories, the bizarre thrives right alongside everyday ordinariness.  Girls turn into crayons, zombies lure the living with irresistible Ponzi schemes, hotel suites turn macabre band managers.  All the while, menace lurks in the most mundane things – in the smile of a genial salesman, in the unassuming hitch hiker on a lonely road, even in  babies.  In ‘Buy it Now’, an innocent online purchase changes a man’s life forever.  A wall in ‘Brinn’s Mural’ gives new meaning to the word ‘self defense’ when it is threatened by neighborhood vandals.   A man discovers a changeling in place of his baby, in the deftly plotted shocker, ‘Usurper’.   ‘9 Curzon Place’ tells the tale of an apartment inducting musicians into a ghostly rock band of its own making, while an old campus building in  ‘The Light in Greenbriar Hall’ houses  an unpleasant surprise for anyone foolish enough to intrude on its solitude.  The Graduate Student’,  the story of  a college professor with a  unique approach to balancing his work and his writing , offers a  darkly humorous  take on the theme of the undead, And after reading ‘Dinner at Shorty’s’ ,  you might never step into a diner on a lonely road again.

Among the grimmer tales in the book are ‘These Strange Worlds’ and ‘Picture This’, both of which examine the implications of being able to look into the future.  But perhaps the most haunting of these stories is the disturbing ‘Raising Tom Chambers’, about the relationship between a woman and the parasite that literally lives off her, set against the desolation of a post-apocalyptic world.

For fans of speculative fiction, this is a collection that will not disappoint.

Click Here To Purchase These Strange Worlds: Fourteen Dark Tales