“Everyone carries a shadow,” wrote analyst Carl Jung, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”
Few of us see the shadow with any clarity. Turn around for a peek, it slips away. Our violent, sexually tinged fantasies are indulged regularly in darkened theaters, savored in eerie prose, celebrated in song, sometimes reluctantly encountered within the depths of a reoccurring nightmare. When we do look hard at one, long enough to recognize it as our own, the experience can challenge reality. We can then choose to become wiser as a result–or spin totally out of control…How many fragments of a shattered mirror could you examine and still survive?In this collection, his first in nearly ten years, award winning author Harry Shannon gives us twenty three short stories, some published here for the first time.
Table Of Contents
Introduction by Rick Hautala
Blood and Burning Straw
The Easy Way
A Handful of Dust
And the Worm Shall Feed
All The Dead Lie Down
Thus Was His Death
Mobius Dick (with M. Stephen Lukac)
The Fever Called Living (with dgk goldberg)
The Name of the Wicked
Darkness Comprehended (with Gord Rollo)
In Darkness, Screaming (with Jack Fisher)
The Need For Illusion
Concrete Gods (with Kealan Patrick Burke)
Some are Born to Endless Night
The Place of Excrement
Suffer the Children
A Host of Shadows
A Few Notes
A Host of Shadows was my first journey into Harry Shannon’s fiction, and what a journey it was. A Host of Shadows is staggering in scope and imagination. This is no simple short story collection; this is a group of macabre tales from somewhere dark…very dark.
Mr. Shannon knows what scares us and brings it to life with vivid detail, impeccable writing and atmosphere that literally drips from the pages. In short, this is a must for anyone who loves short fiction.
His tales are varied, deep and disturbing. The frights range from a terribly lonely woman, to a nurse that will give you second thoughts about checking into a hospital again to the earth itself.
While all the stories were extremely strong a few of my favorites were;
Lucky – Things are not always what they appear to be as an unfortunate soul discovers in this one.
Night Nurse – You will never look at the nursing profession the same way again.
The Fever Called Living (with dgk goldberg) – A gripping desolate tale of loneliness and pain.
Darkness Comprehended (with Gord Rollo) – For you zombie lovers Mr. Shannon and Mr. Rollo deliver a skin crawling tale with an ending that will leave you breathless.
Concrete Gods (with Kealan Patrick Burke) – My favorite of the book and one of the best short stories I’ve read this year.
These are only just a few of the highlights contained in Mr. Shannon’s latest collection. One of my favorite books this year and a must read. I highly recommend it.