The last day of summer is September 22. Which means I have four days left to keep the promise to myself I made when I read Theresa DeLucci’s Tor.com article Bright Days, Dark Fiction: 5 Horror Reads for Summer, and read at least two of her tantalizing selections. Top of my list right now are Michael Wehunt’s Greener Pastures and I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas. But I’m also considering Daniel Braum’s debut collection The Night Marchers.
Braum has a knack for describing the indescribable in extraordinarily accessible language. No mean feat when one is relating stories of extra-dimensional creatures and ancient, pissed-off gods. The plight of the underrepresented features prominently in a number of stories, like the title story (conquered gods of Hawaii,) “The Ghost Dance” (Native American spirits,) and “The Green Man of Punta Cabre” (ancient gods of Guatemala.) The latter story in particular was full of pathos as a missionary struggles to understand the true gods of his flock, and the ugly exploitation they suffer at the hands of civil war and invading corporation’s greed… My favorites were the desert horror of “The Moon and the Mesa” and the final story, one original to this collection, “The Sphinx of Cropsey Avenue.” A melancholy surrealist piece about riddles, misfortune, and familial duty finds a man, his fortune-telling girlfriend, and her son all linked as a found family, inextricably connected to a larger universal mystery steeped in ambivalence.
Read Theresa’s complete article here.