Edited by: Rebecca Rowland
Dark Ink Books
An anthology of tales revolving around the central theme of Generation X horror origins. Prose and foes from twenty-two separate authors contribute to this cornucopia of paranormal, slashers and psychological thrillers. Oh, my!
I’ve become a colossal fan of collections of themed horror in recent times. Quite often it can be comparable to making a mixed tape or attending a drive-inn theatre just to see what two oddities they’d placed upon the marquee together. Ah, and as I digress, the mixed tape. Each individual (albeit often pirated) collection captured from the radio or if you were well off enough to have a dual cassette player, of favorite songs. Full confessional: I had played DJ, many a time in my youth creating collections of varying themes. But these references of simpler times had undoubtedly dated me. Generation Ex-D captures both of best worlds, a horror collection that packs a punch and tales crafted from the “latch-key” era.
Specifically crafted, honed, designed, and marketed to a demographic born between the mid 60’s and early ‘80’s, Rebecca Rowland’s curation truly inspires a little something for everyone, regardless of age, background, persuasion or walk of life. In fact, one does not even have to have a whole lot of prior exposure to the blood and gore realm to enjoy these tales. Quite often it is those without a whole lot of prior experience, tend to enjoy it most.
Even the title itself is a fun, play on words. One of the more popular sub-genres within the horror world is Slasher tales. Or if you prefer tales of serial killers leaving a vast body count and rivers of blood, and banks of gore in their wake. Each of the page breaks within these tales even has a tiny axe emblem. How adorable is that? I’ll cut it out now.
All tongue in cheek aside, it is truly indicative that the authors and contributors within have a love and passion for their craft. They say do what you love for a living, and you’ll never work another day in your life. Reading audiences can safely rejoice, those who worked so hard on this collection have never felt more alive, being among the dead.
Countless references to time-based film, novels, quotations, pop icon cultural characters, etc. celebrate and highlight their love for the game. In fact, one of the very first pages is a dedication for artists who have influenced the authors within. Pretty cool huh? I thought it was just totally rad.
With a selection of twenty-two contributors with varying levels of publishing experience and backgrounds every bit as different as the individual author, Generation Ex-D may very well stand for diversity. Suffice to say I do believe in this case once it was built, they will come. Large reading audiences will flock when the good word has arrived. One does not have to even be of this generation to truly reap what has been sewn. I can see a legacy of enjoyment laid out before us.
However, those of us who were fortunate enough (or cursed, depending upon POV) to be from this era will realize just how special this anthology is that they’d stumbled upon. A certain level of relation, bonding and empathy is accentuated and enhanced. And isn’t that the very reason we search for vicarious escape in entertainment. Whether film, streaming, podcasts, audio books or the written word, aren’t we simply looking for validation in the fact, we’re not alone?
One of my favourite elements is the “about author” section concluding each tale. It enables the reader to get an inside view of what makes her or him tick, where to explore additional reads and in many other cases what other horror related media they may be wrapped up in, such as podcasts, film, columns, or additional published endeavors.
Generation Ex-D was forwarded to me via PDF prior to this review. This is one rare instance in which I believe I will return to the publishing company and purchase a hard copy for later enjoyment. Then again, that’s just my generation.