Splinter: Alex Wolfgang
Reviewed By Simon Paul Wilson
I recently asked the folk of Twitter to recommend me some new books to read, as I had a bit of cash to spare and was after something new. The first suggestion I received was for a collection of short stories by Alex Wolfgang. I did a bit of research and read some reviews. Everything about this book was coming back positive and the stories sounded like my cup of tea. The cover grabbed my attention too.
I purchased the book and waited for it to arrive.
I love reading short horror stories. I grew up reading ‘The Pan Book of Horror Stories’ paperbacks and was mightily influenced by ‘The Books Of Blood’ by Clive Barker, when I was in my teens. Recently, I’ve enjoyed short story collections by John Langan and Adam Nevill. Both ‘Sefira’ and ‘Wyrd’ blew me away with their originality, as well as scaring me half to death! As I started reading ‘Splinter’, I crossed my fingers and hoped this book would do the same…
It did, and then some.
Splinter and other stories is one of those rare collections where there isn’t a weak link. Each one of the stories here is strong and offer up something different to the reader. As well as being filled with horrors, there is some sci-fi and, in my opinion, there are some moments which could be classed as bizarro.
First up is ‘Travel Bug’, which sets the tone nicely. There were a few moments were I loudly exclaimed ‘What?’ and ‘Ew!’, much to the amusement of my son. Sadly, I couldn’t tell him what it was that had made me react that way!
When I was reading reviews for Splinter, one story seemed to be standing out and getting more mentions.
That story is called ‘Mandibles’.
Yep. That stood out alright!
That has to be one of the weirdest slices of icky body horror that I’ve ever read. The imagery throughout this tale just gets more bizarre and gross. I absolutely loved it.
Like I said earlier, this book is without fillers. Each story had something that appealed to me, and I enjoyed each and every tale.
While it is a little hard to pick a favourite, I’m going to go with the title story.
Yep, ‘Splinter’ is one hell of a ride for sure. Absolutely brilliant.
Something else I really liked about this book was the inclusion of the Author’s notes on the stories. It was a nice little touch and something I’d like more writers to do.
No negative comments from me, this one hit the spot and ticked all the boxes.
Bravo, Mr. Wolfgang.
Please publish more, and soon!
Splinter and Other Stories, the debut horror collection by Alex Wolfgang, follows the surreal struggles and fractured hopes of its ill-fated characters.
Two lovestruck travelers form a sinister bond. A man is given the power to liberate prisoners from their mysterious captors. A woman is plagued by visions of her childhood trauma. An alien entity discovers its true nature – to the detriment of a small community.
These ten short stories will horrify, devastate, and haunt you as they untangle their twisted realities.
Simon Paul Wilson
Simon Paul Wilson is a U.K. based writer of horror and science fiction.
He is currently writing a cyberpunk horror trilogy, the first of which is GhostCityGirl and was published by Not A Pipe publishing in 2020.
Click this link for more info: Ghost City Girl
There now follows a list of writers who have influenced his reading tastes and writing style:
James Herbert. Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Keene, and Adam Nevill.
Simon lives somewhere in the middle of England with his wonderful family. He likes to listen to post-rock and progressive rock at loud volumes. He also plays a mean air bass.
Follow him on Twitter: @spwzen