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Book Review: Spider Season – Author Billy Hanson


By Billy Hanson

Edited by Roz Weisberg

Illustrations by Karl Slominski

Dirigo Entertainment

312 Pages

A collection of short stories to whet the appetite for all fans of the macabre.

Light Sleeper: Trevor stirs to encounter his undeniable fears in things that go bump in the night.

The Clearing: Regressing to 1976 Jeremy Lawson works in the woods where voices provoke him to commit the most sinister of atrocities. Transcend to the present, a young boy succumbs to a most uncanny similar demise.

The End of Edgar Wren: Late night pillow talk unveils unto a nightmare of unfathomable proportion.

Nylah’s Magic: In screenplay format, a young girl’s hidden abilities creates carnage within her village.

Electric Detective: Second of three screenplays, two boys discover a robot that at first appears to be a relic but delivers justice for the troubled boys.

The Red Helping Hand: Three of three screenplays, Pandora’s box for a little girl, Del as she wishes for a better life and vies to live to be cautious what she wishes for.

She Was Perfect: For Cyrus, the vanity within Christie is flawless.

Paris With the Lights Turned Low: Laura will do whatever it takes to close the business deal of a lifetime.

Music From The Gun Room: A father reminisces with his son over a CD recorded with his teenaged band.

Everyone Else is Asleep: A teenaged boy leaves his bedroom to discover the world around him is frozen in space and time.

Dreams come. Dreams go. I’ll briefly share on a personal note that I’d undertaken the journey to publish my own creative endeavor last year. With extremely disappointing results, I’d spiralled into a cynical and jaded attitude towards the horror genre and just about everything it represents today. Suffice to say I’d lost my darkened spark.

Enter Billy Hanson and Spider Season. With more reluctance and resistance than I’d care to admit I’d agreed to read this collection of short stories. It was a slow and admittedly painful process much to the frustration I’m sure to my esteemed editor and the creator of this spell binding odyssey Billy Hanson.

It took all of twenty pages to become fully rejuvenated and my faith in the written word once again. The prose within is infectious, alluring for all readers. Hanson has a very special gift of becoming intimate with his audience, inviting him or her deeper into the cerebral landscape, embedding deep into the subconscious.

The anthology comes full circle from Light Sleeper to Everyone Else is Asleep and when prompting the reader to choose a favourite would be like asking a parent to choose their favourite child. Plot escalation is massive and most effective. The delivery is flawless as an addiction unfolds to the audience, ravenously tearing through the pages to see what happens next.

Character development in each story is often executed in third person persona is handled with ease. Far too often authors new and well seasoned take the easy way out and tell a story in first person perspective. Sometimes a story calls for this delivery and arguably is the most logical way to beckon a sense of empathy. Hanson however tells his stories from third person, yet the characters are not void of relatable qualities. No easy feat for any creator and I admire his pursuits all the much more for it.

Perhaps most noteworthy is the inclusion of three screenplays smack dab in the middle of the anthology. The very presence adds levity and variety to the format. It’s refreshing and the reader gets a break from monotony, a first-hand glimpse at how scripts are conceived before the shooting product.

Each and every story allows the readers to fill in the blanks in terms of dread, unease and foreboding climax. We’re not bludgeoned with a certain truth, which makes the reading adventure all the more personal.

Rest assured I’ve conducted countless reviews for horror novels, collections, etc. over the years. Spider Season is a book that will entice readers to fall in love with the process all over again. I personally want to thank Billy Hanson for helping me find my way again. I highly look forward to additional endeavors penned under his brand.

Five out of five tombstones

One comment

  1. It sounds like a fabulous anthology. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with a screenplay included, interesting.


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