Sunday, December 10, 2017

Magazine Review: Deciduous #1

Deciduous #1 Edited by Tara Blaine

169 pages

Published by Deciduous Tales

I am a huge fan of the horror short story. One of the biggest problems is the markets for the horror short story shrinks each year. It is always a good thing when a new source comes around. Featuring new fiction and and few classics reprinted Deciduous is a fine entry to the world of dark fiction that comes with a San Diego connection. Associate editor and contributor Brian Asman is here and a part of our local community.

As dark fiction journals go this is a great start, with 169 pages it is pretty much a paper back anthology and while the $14 cover price might scare off a few it shouldn't. The quality level in these pages are really high. The selection of stories is very good, there is not one story that turned me off completely and I tend to expect that in any given anthology. Almost all of them has a stinker.

That said there were stories that were stronger than others and I am not totally sold on what the classic stories added outside of slight vibe. The stories here are generally more on the surreal side of dark fiction. Bless the cracks for example by Brian Asman had Clive Barker ish concept of a world inside the cracks of sidewalk. The interplay between the people who see it and those that don't made it a fun read.

My favorite stories in this issue were Bone Dust by Joshua Chaplinsky and Getting Wet by Adrean Messmer. The dark tone and beautiful written prose of Bone Dust created a rich misery. Reminded me of some the post Apocalypse stories of Brian Evenson. Bone Dust was worth getting the whole thing. Chalinsky is on my radar now.

I didn't know any of the authors by name so I enjoyed the discovery process and that is how it is supposed to work. I would read it again and for those who are serious about short horror fiction should get for sure.

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