Sunday 31 May 2020

Read 2020 - 58 - Pareidolia edited by James Everington and Dan Howarth

This is the third anthology from James Everington and Dan Howarth, the previous two were The Hyde Hotel and Imposter Syndrome. These anthologies deserve much more recognition and I look forward to their next (pick me, pick me). I was lucky enough to have a story in their first anthology.

Published in July 2019 (and signed by James Everington and Charlotte Bond), the anthology starts with the excellent Into the Wood by Sarah Read. A homeless girl survives by couch-surfing, when she meets a new man she moves in with him and his daughter, Thea. A disturbing story where the house wants to trap you in its walls. Really enjoyed, and my favourite of the anthology.

What can you do about a man like that? by Tim Major. An intelligent and subtle story about sound engineer Molly and the movie star who she once knew. The silence of an empty room speaks volumes.

The Butchery Tree by G.V. Anderson echoes Sarah Read's story. In a time of clans and princes, a butchery tree, where once boys hung, becomes a table. Madness and delusion stem from a terrible act that leads to one as vile. Anderson's words are delicious. That's all he had time for after pulling the boys' innards out, leaving them to swing by their necks, their broken ribs clacking like wind chimes.

The Lens of Dying by Charlotte Bond is a creeping, haunting tale of past sins revisiting. House of Faces by Andrew David Barker is a sad story about the aftermath of an apocalypse. Poignant given current circumstances. He didn't answer. He couldn't, he was made of windows and dirt. A gut punch of an ending.

Although I preferred the previous two anthologies, Pareidolia is still an excellent read.

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