Dim Shores Presents Volume 1 by

megapolisomancy's review against another edition

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A nice first entry for a nice new anthology series of original works (not, as you might expect, all weird/horror, but with some science fiction and fantasy sprinkled in as well) from a publisher mostly known for their chapbooks.

Many Lives Theory (Christopher Burke)
Grief, haunted houses, existentialism, dystopian capitalism, this ran a very real risk of being overstuffed but it works. Echoes of Forlesen (a very good thing), Control, Ligotti, and Steve Rasnic Tem’s criminally obscure “At the Bureau."

Vacui (Jane Sand)
A woman lovingly haunts her daughter and shitty widower. A fresh take on a classic feminist ghost story trope, insightful and apt.

Walls of White (Chiara Nova)
A woman wakes in a featureless white room that fills with poison sometimes. She’s a criminal in a future jail/laboratory, and the POV shifts to her warden who feels guilty. I found this one unconvincing on both prose and conceptual levels.

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells (Richard Staving)
A crone, a girl, carnivorous flowers and escalating wishes. Not really my thing but good enough at what it’s trying to do. Such staccato sentences!

Used Clothes (Paul L. Bates)
A man returns to the small town he fled as a youth and begins to see through the veil with the help of a bookseller and an aged ragpicker. Vastarien meets The Sandman. Folktaleish and rather old-fashioned, OR, if you will, classic and timeless. My kind of thing.

Observer/Experiencer (Jonathan Raab)
Veterans at a weird outpost in CO butt heads with their test subjects (or vice versa?). Excellent -30-/Southern Reach vibes - I do love a weird place story. Good stuff, especially the phone call checklist scenes.

The Divorce of Death and Pestilence (Anna Tambour) Exactly what the title says, plus further drama with Greed, Corruption, Life, etc in a town too small for all of them. Too cute for me.

Gallaher Calls (Samuel M. Moss)
Two siblings pursue Totality through art; they have no contact with the world outside their mansion aside from the disgusting lawyer Gallaher. Evenson rewrites Edwin Mullhouse in a fever dream brought on by reading too much Straub. Very nice.

The Rider (Victoria Dalpe)
A woman "dies" in a dream and finds that she is no longer exactly alive when she awakes, and then runs into some others in the same condition. Weird-as-clinical-depression. Ends just as it gets going. An odd dearth of commas.

A Study in Abnormal Physiology (Eric Schaller)
Darwin and Huxley stand in for Holmes and Watson and investigate a servant murdered and fetus stolen. Ends with a paean to the power of life. Pastiche, and not of a kind that I found enjoyable.

Root and Branch (Jen Downes)
Solarpunk about a mysterious infection striking one of the bio-cities that dot the re-greened Earth. Charming, although it definitely felt like a truncated novel, and I could have done without the poor-man’s-Dr.-John character.

Anemone (Jake Marley)
A sad sack gets dragged to his girlfriend's cult meetings, but, as they say, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living god. Really liked the beginning, kind of a tangentially-weird slice of life; lost steam once the weirdness was centered.

I Will Find You, Even in the Dark (Jessica Landry)
A woman who disposes of dead bodies in a polluted dystopia finds herself haunted. A good ghost story wearing cyberpunk mirrorshades.

jwdonley's review against another edition

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This is an awesome collection of wonderfully strange and horrifying stories. There is everything from the Lovecraftian, to the weird victorian mystery, to futuristic nightmares. Absolutely loved the collection. I'm ready for the next one!