This Sublime Darkness – Greg Chapman
Reviewed By Steve Stred
- Print Length: 109 pages
- Publisher: Things In The Well (October 14, 2019)
After recently reading ‘Netherkind’ by Greg Chapman, I found myself floored when he reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his newest short story collection. ‘Netherkind’ will easily be in my top 10 books of the year and having previously enjoyed everything else I’ve read from Chapman, this was an easy choice.
‘The Sublime Darkness’ clocks in with 7 short stories, broken up with some outstanding artwork that Chapman also did. Really loved the included pieces and I found it added to the overall tone of the collection.
We start off with a bang with ‘The Bedlam Stones.’ This was a super creepy, gothic tale set in the 1880’s. We follow a mortician/doctor who is hired to dissect some recently donated cadavers. While working on one dead body, he spots something and from there Chapman sprints to the finish line. Really great opening piece.
Greg follows that up with the double bill of ‘Exhumation of a Small Town’ and ‘This Sublime Darkness.’ I really enjoyed both stories and it showed even more of Chapman’s versatility. And really, anytime a story starts with a grave shaped hole appearing in someone’s backyard, you can’t go wrong.
‘The Droste Effect’ was up next and the fourth story in this collection really wormed its way into my head. A story about a family dealing with death really changed the tone in the flow, but in a really solid way.
‘The Book of Last Words’ was my favourite story in this collection. A prison guard who is escorting inmates to their execution happens to spot an odd man in the gallery each time. This story really worked well on several levels and I hope Greg revisits this world down the line.
‘The Dream Demons Daughter’ really delivered some fantastic imagery. I loved the incubi and succubus storyline and enjoyed the descriptions of each being.
Lastly, Greg wraps the book up with a great closer. ‘Love/Death’ was an emotional piece to close with and I really liked how quickly I found attached to the characters.
Chapman once again proves just how diverse he is as an artist – from the cover image and the artwork within to the variations on different themes of each story. I can’t say enough good things about his work, and this collection is another high water mark for him. Following up ‘Netherkind’ for some would seem a daunting task, but Greg tackled this collection head-on.
I think this will make for a great Halloween read for many.
This Sublime Darkness
This Sublime Darkness contains seven dark stories of grief, madness and nightmares, from Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Greg Chapman.
In this collection, a small-town secret unearths itself, a stone drives a madman onto the streets of Whitechapel, a man takes a new wife – and the ghost of her mother, a photo album sends a grieving man into a spiral of nightmares, a creature collects the last words of death-row inmates, an insomniac fights nocturnal evils, unaware of the evil within, and a widow has one final embrace with his long lost love…
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In arrived. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here