Niall Howell’s Only Pretty Damned is a seriously impressive debut, showcasing a sophisticated sense of craft and a deep understanding of its genre’s genealogy. Centered on a traveling circus making its way through the unforgiving environs of post-WWII America and Canada, Damned is steeped in richly detailed sociohistorical texture.
“This is a duo of brutal stories from writer Mike Thorn. Tied together by the theme of fulfilling a debt to a supernatural creature, the stories differ on their endings between hope for the future and dread.”
“Exhumation started off creepy, progressed to f***ed up and stayed firmly in that position until the very end.”
Marna Larsen is an insightful commentator on all things horror esoterica, so I was thrilled when she reviewed Darkest Hours. On the story “Fear and Grace,” she writes:
“… a reminder about a certain kind of predatory magnetism that simultaneously makes someone charismatic to the masses and also a horrifying monster one on one.”
Destiny of Howling Libraries reviews Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation and welcomes me as her blog’s first ever interviewee.
“This is an excellent double shot of Thorn’s brand of creeping, slow burn horror, continuing from 2017’s short story collection Darkest Hours.
You might know Thorn through his film criticism in the MUBI Notebook or Vague Visages, among others. His fiction has appeared in Dark Moon Digest and Tales to Terrify. His style is somewhere between the weirder short works of Stephen King and the more down to earth works of Clive Barker. I found Darkest Hours to be a surprisingly fun read where I often didn’t know where I was going or why, but when I got there I felt fully satisfied with the journey.”
Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation is another excellent, high-quality addition to Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks! imprint, and also a further demonstration that Mr Thorn is a skilled and deeply imaginative Horror writer able to range across sub-genres at will. Dreams of Lake Drukka is a fantastic short story that really digs into the nature of parental loss, delayed grief and then mixing in elements of supernatural horror; and Exhumation is a fast-paced and gory tale of supernatural dues owed.