*I received a free copy of this book. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Filmic Cuts returns, with more tales of tickling terror for you to wirelessly inject into your ocular nerves.
This time, take a trip to Tumorville. Have 40 Winks at your local hotel. And ask yourself, Do You Know What Fear Is?
Including stories about the little beings who live in beards, nightmarish football fans, and the black-clad Observer, Filmic Cuts 6: The Lament of the Silver Badger contains 10 new stories from the mind that brought you Kirk Sandblaster, Bad Sandwich, and Wrapped Up In Nothing.
The Lament of the Silver Badger is a collection of short stories in the horror genre. That said, the horror genre incorporates a surprisingly large amount of scope, and Oli Jacobs explores pretty much every style here, so there is bound to be something you like. (The only thing missing was gory/slasher style horror, and I personally did not feel that to be a negative!)
Starting with an old-fashioned Lovecraftian/X-Files vibe, you pass through modern techno-horror, Ancient Mariner style ghost stories, and urban ghost stories. The voice, content and tone of each story is different enough that you could imagine they were written by different authors.
My personal favourites were the more psychological, such as ‘Fort Hamilton’ and the modern take on an old favourite ‘Do You Know What Fear Is?’. ‘Fort Hamilton’ in particular stands out as I found my brain dwelling on the details; puzzling and repuzzling over it. It functions as a Escher Cube or Penrose Steps for the mind instead of the eyes – memorably unsettling.
I also wanted to make special mention of ‘The Tar’ as this stands out from the other stories, as a tale more of hope than horror. As an analogy for mental, physical and/or emotional malaise it resonates strongly, and could easily have led to a bleak conclusion, but surprisingly the author chose to twist this narrative in an unexpected direction that was a refreshing palate cleanser in the midst of the dark feast.
I do think that the collection would have benefitted from an additional round of editing/proofreading as, particularly in the initial story, I noted a few errors that threw me out of the flow of writing, which is a shame in such imagination-rich stories. I did note that the writing became tighter and the style more fluent after the first tale however.
Overall this is a clever and creative collection of horror shorts that I can recommend to fans of the paranormal and psychological.
“My main concern is the Fort itself.”
“The Fort has been well-protected, sir. We have had no…”
“You tell me that, but I beg to differ.”
“You see, Galloway, on this document I have here in regards to Fort Hamilton, it tells me that you – Corporal James Galloway – are in charge of 5 men.”
“Which would make the inhabitants of Fort Hamilton number 6, am I correct?”
“Well, yes, sir.”
“Then why, Corporal Galloway, do I count 7?”
– Oli Jacobs, ‘Fort Hamilton’ in The Lament of the Silver Badger
The Lament of the Silver Badger is available on Amazon right now!