By Dan Fields
A collection of ten short stories containing the dark, sinister, eerie, and macabre, from Do Not Resuscitate to Old Man Winter and everything and anything imaginable in between.
I’ll be the first to go on record that I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of Under Worlds, After Lives at first. Upon the initial paragraphs, frustration had settled in. Readers from all walks of life I’m sure have been here before. You find your eyes have been scanning the past ten to fifteen pages, but you’ve retained absolutely nothing. It could be a simple matter of too many distractions, or too much on the mind, stress, etc. Or it may very well be something else entirely unforeseen altogether.
The prose is very literary and flourish in style. As opposed to much of the conventional commercial fiction I’ve come accustomed to in recent years, Under Worlds, when given the chance is actually an immensely compelling anthology that preys upon your subconscious long after the final pages.
Author Dan Fields beckons the audience along a thinking man, or woman’s horror story. The terror is equipped with plenty of descriptive imagery. Its evident to see the influences in this authors’ work such as Lovecraft, Poe and possibly Shakespeare. A certain nuance is harnessed within the story telling prowess. As a result, the images that are inspired within the imagination are most unsettling to say the least and Fields manages to conceive his collection of works in an alarmingly refreshing manner of mayhem.
The anthology is the format is no easy feat to execute. Not every novelist can produce a compelling short story. At the same time not every short story writer can unleash a captivating novel. In essence the author has to lure in the reader within seconds, clutch their attention with ruthless aggression while perpetually escalating the conflict between two characters, one in which we sympathize with, another in which we love to hate, hit the pique of their battle, and somehow spawn a spell binding ending, all within ten to twenty-five pages or less. No small order, yet this author seems to possess just the right ingredients to pull it off. Poetic, literary prose or not, Fields keeps you in the pages.
The anthology is the original guilty marathon. Long before the days of binge watching became cool, late night pre-dawn hours were spent on reading, ‘just one more story.’ This excitement and elation can still be echoed today.
A certain element of innovation has clearly been spawned in the creating process. Each tale from Mister Midnight or Punkin Folk are original yet are threaded with a common theme. Spooky tales told around the campfire are reminiscent while engulfed within the pages. Before long, you find yourself beckoning for more. I find a little something different is unveiled and unleashed each time, every story is consumed.
Under Worlds, After Lives is an excellent incentive and inspiration to flex the imagination while killing time. The next time you find yourself prompted to become one with your cell phone or rot your brain in the midst of social media, tear open the pages of a Fields collection of short stories. Ideal for waiting rooms, a long commute, or just lazing around in the summer.
Each tale is adaptable in varying forms. I can foresee any number of these tales appealing to a whole new audience under the audio book media. Screen play adaptations are near inevitable as shades of The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, Creepshow or Tales from the Crypt are prominent. There is truly a little something for everyone within these pages. Fields’ efforts to appeal to a vast audience have not gone unrecognized.
The author’s versatility speaks, (or screams) volumes about the love of the craft. From varying POV’s to a wide assortment of characters and techniques to illustrate emotion, it is no mystery where the author’s love for writing had been conceived.
Whether home schooling or back to school shopping or pre-Halloween planning, Under Worlds, After Lives is your one stop bombastic for the spooktastic.
More by author can be found at danfieldswrites.com