Dark Horizons

Anthony G Williams

Apr 18, 2007
Yet more short stories, from the British SFF magazine Interzone and the British Fantasy Society's Dark Horizons. For someone who prefers novels, I've been reading a lot of the shorter works recently.

[Interzone 222 is reviewed on its own sub-forum]

Dark Horizons goes one better with seven stories, plus five poems and several articles including an interview with Robert Holdstock (ancient woodland magic) and summary reviews of the work of David Gemmell (I haven't yet read) plus the Elfin Fantasies of James P Blaylock (quirky tales which I recall enjoying).

Passing Through by Jim Steel: a brief episode set in a grim medieval world

For a Strong, Healthy Body by Andrew Knighton: the consequences of not properly disposing of factory waste.

Nanna Barrows by Jan Edwards: a sick boy is helped by the traditional healer who lives opposite – but there is more…

The Putrimaniac by Brendan Connell: a gruesome tale of tastes and sensibilities running out of control.

Telemura by Douglas Thompson: a horror-filled house and paint of a strange, magical colour.

Everything He Touched, Burned by Mathew F Riley: life in the tunnels under a city.

Beyond the Fifth Sky by Ross Gresham: navigating the underground seas of a strange planet.

Horror is not my favourite genre and I usually prefer SF to fantasy, so no surprise that Ross Gresham's tale appealed to me the most, although Matthew Riley's atmospheric story also sticks in the memory.

The poems are mostly short and elliptical but I have to mention the heroic Chronicle of a Conflagration by Skadi meic Beorh: a graphic three-page account of a battle between the followers of Odin and Lugh, written in triplets in an epic style.

(An extract from my SFF blog: Science Fiction & Fantasy)