What I’m Reading – Dark Moon Digest Issue #10
Book Review by MICHAEL ARRUDA
First off, this is a tricky review since my story “Death Takes the Phantom” appears in Dark Moon Digest Issue #10. Nonetheless, I recently finished reading the entire issue and would like to comment on it. I simply won’t critique my own story.
That being said, there’s a lot of cool fiction within the pages of Dark Moon Digest Issue #10.
Leading off the issue is my pick for the best title in the book, “Death Is An Asshole” by Christopher Hivner. “Death Is An Asshole” is a somewhat humorous tale of a good Samaritan helping out Death who it seems has gotten himself lost while searching for an address. You can tell by the title that Death isn’t overly appreciative for the help. This story also features a conversation regarding one of my favorite songs, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. It’s a cool story.
Next up it’s “Tangled, Blue” by S.L. Schmitz, a chilling story, especially for those of us who don’t like spiders. “Simon Dunn: Former Zombie” by Steven Jenkins is an amusing zombie tale that examines the difficulties a former zombie has trying to find a job. It includes some hilarious lines like “Dad. I miss him. I really wish I hadn’t eaten him.”
“Fin” by Rose Blackthorn is a paranormal fish tale where certain unsavory fishermen get their comeuppance by a supernatural entity. While I enjoyed this story, I saw the twist coming ahead of time. Then there’s “Norman Rockwell is Dead” by Alan Zielinski, a story of the perfect family life in the perfect neighborhood gone wrong.
In “Be Careful What You Wish For” by Suzie Lockhart, an unhappy wife unexpectedly gets her wish regarding her lazy husband.
One of my favorite stories was “The Itch” by Jessica Rushing because it was so maddening. It’s the story of a young woman suffering from an uncontrollable itch, and so she scratches, scratches, scratches—. Not a happy ending. And did I mention that the itch in this one is actually a living entity? A neat story.
“Dr. Fulsom’s Experiment” by P.G. Harvey was another of my favorite stories in this issue. A young man seeks help from a doctor because his soul has fallen out of his body. It’s a very creative mix of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. “Florida At Night” by KC Redding is a bizarre yet potent tale of an underwater threat that is as poetic as it is deadly.
My contribution to the digest, “Death Takes The Phantom” is next, and it’s a tale of a back room deal between two beings over the fates of Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Sr. I’ll just add an anecdote, that I wrote this story long hand while monitoring a very long and silent study hall at school.
Next up it’s “Big Bad” by Jack Maddox, a variation of the Red Riding Hood story. The only thing I didn’t like about this one was the wolf character’s name, Jacob, as it reminded me of that shirtless werewolf Jacob in the TWILIGHT series.
“The Letter” by Andy Rigley is a bizarre tale of a lost man stumbling into a weird world involving creepy children. It’s followed by “Rapture” by Chris Castle, a neat little tale about an ongoing human sacrifice, and “Crocodile Rot” by Lydia Peever, a lurid tale about the unsavory business of shooting up with drugs.
“Ash” by Richard Allden is one weird tale I’m not sure I understood.
The issue concludes with “Ripe” by Alice Edward, a mesmerizing story about a family’s battle over generations with a tenacious blackberry bramble, of all things. It provides a strong finish to the book.
If you like weird and lurid stories, you’ll enjoy Dark Moon Digest Issue #10.