Distant Frequencies: Frank Duffy
Reviewed By Steve Stred
One thing you can count on with Demain Publishing is consistency with their releases. Dean and Adrian work hard to discover and publish new authors as well as those who’ve had a number of releases already. With their push to also deliver quality and quantity, they’ve done a wonderful job of spotlighting and showcasing dark fiction as well as science fiction, poetry and general fiction as well.
With ‘Distant Frequencies‘ Frank Duffy joins the Demain team with a collection of short stories that really does cover a wide array of plots/narratives and genres.
What I liked: Duffy really does cover a lot of ground here, which is great for readers. This allows you to see his talent in a number of genres.
Standouts for me were the stories ‘Permanent Hunger‘ which was also the opener. This one was a brutal look at a controlled experiment. Loved the various levels of deceit that played out here and had a Jason Bourne feeling to it. ‘The Seat‘ was a man searching for a greater purpose in life, abandoning everything to seek out a church high in the mountains, only to find something waiting for him. And ‘Not Yet Players‘ was a truly surprising take on a reality TV show. This was fantastic and I would hope maybe Duffy takes this story and expands it into a full novella or novel as the subject matter would make for a fantastic world to revisit.
What I didn’t like: As with every short story collection some will connect and others won’t. I have never once really enjoyed a story that was set in an opera setting, as an example, and that was the final story here. So, while the story was good, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Why you should buy this: Duffy has created his own personal version of Books of Blood. This short batch of stories really does cover a great array of plots and subjects and he creates some fantastic characters and settings within each. A great discovery for me and one I hope you’ll check out.
For the first time, all these stories together in one Frank Duffy collection!
Permanent Hunger – a terrifying human population control experiment pushes one man’s faith to the limits
A Greater Horror – a school reunion reveals a decades-old crime and some very familiar monsters waiting in the shadows
Appearances – an alcoholic businessman is exiled by his superiors to a rundown housing estate, and discovers he has more than one addiction to battle
The Seat – a young teacher searching for answers visits an abandoned Polish church, only find something else is waiting for him
The Places – reality and fiction blur as a successful crime writer grapples with the collapse of his marriage
And When The Lights Came On – Warsaw’s last gas lamp attendant is plagued by a series of bloody visions. But what exactly do they mean?
Not Yet Players – The inhabitants of a provincial village become players in a macabre reality TV show
Among Flames, Darkness – A boy and his father take shelter during a German bombing raid, only to find themselves in even greater danger
The Extra – A failed relationship, a night at the opera, and a young man with romance on the brain.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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