By E.G. Rand
A collection of four short stories under the genre of contemporary horror and not so conventional fears.
Since the pandemic had unleashed upon our society in early 2020, we have all been prompted to make some radical changes. Whether these changes are temporary, extreme, or perpetual could vary as much as one person to the next. As an artist, or at very least someone involved in the creative writing spectrum, a great deal of changes had been bestowed upon us. The very manner in which we approach our past time, (suffice to say the horror genre) can be drastically altered.
Whether your media is film, reading or writing fiction, borderline tragedy in society has been a pivotal turning point for introverts united. Many wonder how we cope within isolation. When proposed this conundrum I have to sort of laugh to myself and think in many ways, I have been preparing for these times my entire life. Few can debate there is much more time to read now. I am reminded of the classic Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith had starred titled Time Enough at Last where he is the last man on earth and left with nothing but his cherished books. We will not divulge the conclusion of that tale, nonetheless. Yet reading has never been stronger. As of late I have had opportunity to pick up revisited classics, finish up works in progress and discover new authors I had yet had opportunity to explore. The anthology is an excellent porthole for this very purpose.
Tombstone Teeth and Other Horrors was an instant delight for this avid reader. It took all of about two to three pages to get an undeniable sensation that the author of this collection is also a fan of written horror first and foremost. Upon a little further exploration, and due diligence it was unveiled E.G. Rand is indeed a bona fide fan of Stephen King, Clive Barker and Shirley Jackson, just to name a few.
The prose, character structure and plot development are all indicative that this author has a true love and passion for the craft. Attention to macabre detail is dizzying. At the same time, one has the impression you could just as easily enjoy hours and hours of discussion about the genre as you would devouring the creative word by this gifted writer.
Tombstone Teeth has mesmerizing tales, compact and told swiftly that pack a punch. From an untrained perspective one may speculate the craft of short story writing is a gateway or an exercise for the novice writer. From personal experience I can profess that could not be further from the truth. It takes a special sense of literary sorcery in order to execute an effective tale that holds all the right components to inspire one to leave the lights on at slumber. E. G. Rand knows the craft well and gets even more savvy with each passing page.
The tales within are crafted for the everyday reader, regardless of walk of life. Within 2021 it is getting further challenging to not only attract one’s attention but keep it invested throughout the tale. Rand splurges not a lot of useless exposition or flowery verbatim. Instead, the focal point is to lure you in, catch your unfaltering gaze and slam the door behind you before you even realize you are engrossed within the fray.
The dialogue is realistic and reigns true of a contemporary society. The author creates characters we love, and we love to hate. It does not take long for a virtual film projector to unleash within the reading audiences’ subconsciousness.
It is difficult to choose a favourite tale. Whether the introductory Tombstone Teeth, the melancholy tone of A Bad Hangover, the chilling unease of The Siren or the hair-raising spectacle of The House on Laurel Lane there is truly something for everyone.
E.G. Rand appears to know the target audience, yet always makes room for more. Discerning readers and brand new to the game alike will be ravenous for more. Always part on a high note and keep them gasping for more. In this shadow, Rand has achieved this in spades.