Monday, June 4, 2007
Light at the edge of Darkness
Light at the edge of Darkness is an anthology of Biblical Speculative Fiction including "Christian Horror" which is why I agreed to review it.
I have to be honest--do you expect anything less from me? I'm hard to please. I don't like a lot of what's out there, Christian or secular. I have my favorite authors and have been disappointed in the past but I've also been wow'ed beyond belief at other times. So here's my disclaimer: Just because I possibly didn't like few stories in this anthology doesn't mean that I don't like the author and it certainly doesn't mean the project isn't worth while.
I don't think it would do any good to review each story individually because some of the offerings are just not what I read. As a whole, Light at the edge of Darkness gives hope to an up and coming generation of Speculative fiction readers and authors.
Two years ago when I started researching my genre, Christian Horror, it didn't exist. The semantics are still debatable, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. To see an anthology of this type being published shows which way the wind is blowing.
My favorite? A.P. Fuchs deserves to be watched. His story, Undeniable, took me there.
There being that place that I'm no longer reading, I'm living the story, I'm tense, I'm thinking, I'm not distracted, I've blocked out any sounds and I'm in another place with the characters. If you can make me become the character, you've written a good story in my opinion. A.P. Fuchs did that and took me there.
Quite a few of the stories had that Prairie Romance feel to them. Not that they were Prairie Romances, mind you, but they had that feel to them. The flat characters who were driven by an authors need to fit in a few verses of Scripture (because God's Word does not return void,) things were bad, the character made some sort of statement of faith and then the whole world brightened and all the problems magically disappeared--that Prairie Romance style.
I noticed in the horror department, many of the stories wanted to deal with evil, which is fine. But what I like to read is a more realistic approach in that horror and evil generally do not present themselves as the goony under the bed or the ugly beast with bad breath dripping down the side of your neck. The kind of horror I enjoy reading is probably a lot more psychological at its core (another reason I chose A.P. Fuchs as my favorite.) I feel that in this spiritual battle that is life, deception from the enemy is often times the things we think most beautiful and that's where it starts to fade from a black and white world to a grey world of unknowns and horror tucks itself into the comfy blanket of unknown.
So all in all, not a bad book. Some really good stories, some just meh stories and a few really bad stories. But that's just my opinion and like I said, I'm hard to please.