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30 review for Shadows & Tall Trees, Issue 3

  1. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Uminsky

    This is now issue #3 of Shadows & Tall Trees. I regrettably missed out on issue #1, but once clued in by Ben over at SPECULATIVE FICTION JUNKIE, I have gotten the last two issues of this outstanding journal of dark literary horror short stories. This journal contained 8 fantastic short stories, 1 collection of brief notes and summations of movies, and of course 1 non-fiction literary review. Of the 8 short stories, I can safely say that all ranged from "definitely working for me" to "wildly fanta This is now issue #3 of Shadows & Tall Trees. I regrettably missed out on issue #1, but once clued in by Ben over at SPECULATIVE FICTION JUNKIE, I have gotten the last two issues of this outstanding journal of dark literary horror short stories. This journal contained 8 fantastic short stories, 1 collection of brief notes and summations of movies, and of course 1 non-fiction literary review. Of the 8 short stories, I can safely say that all ranged from "definitely working for me" to "wildly fantastic", no duds in this group... a real kudos to the editor, Michael Kelly. Of these 8 my favorites were: 1) "The Elephant Girl" by Nina Allan: I have never read Allan before and I am kicking myself for having waited so long. If this story is representative of her work, then I have been sorely missing out. Funny thing about this piece... my wife is a kindergarten school teacher and I asked her to read this piece... thinking that some of the key themes would really hit home... they certainly did. Now my wife refuses to read anything I give her, worried that I am simply trying to scare the bejeezus out of her. Not to belabor the point, but this cruel piece of fiction, about a flawed school teacher trying to get pregnant after many heartbreaking experiences, was exquisitely disturbing. I hope to see more Nina Allan published in future S&TT issues. 2) "Sick Man's Salve" by George Berguno: Delicious piece of satire here. I have noticed that Mr. Kelly is not want to publish stories containing traditional and cliched horror tropes in this journal. Of all the pieces, SMS probably most resembles the cliched and traditional of genre tropes (of course for deliberate reason)... such as the search for an esoteric text granting the truth over death, mixed with a musky convent hidden away in the countryside, featuring an ambitious horror writer who seeks to write masterpieces in honor of his literary heroes, etc. However, Berguno does a wonderful job of infusing a gentle mockery of horror writing in this devilish piece of satire. One could theoretically read this as a straightforward piece of traditional horror, however, you'd be missing the point of this piece. For any reader, take a closer look at some of the dialogue (which was pretty funny), further revealing the stories more ironic approach. A lovely piece that provides a more overt satiric interlude when compared to many of Berguno's more serious pieces found in his other short story collections. Well done on all accounts!! 3) "The Quickening" by Andrew Hook. This one had a bit of a Joel Lane flavor to it, with its focus on developing a depressed and alienated protagonist who is slowly spiraling into the void. This one was really dark, much like many of Lane's pieces, with added apocalyptic overtones. Kelly is doing a wonderful job collecting and publishing authors who really have significant literary talents. In addition, the cover art by Eric Lacombe is something else. I'd love to see Lacombe grace the covers of future S&TT issues.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sirensongs

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  5. 4 out of 5

    Craig D.B.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dominik Parisien

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tema

  10. 4 out of 5

    Found Press

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jerome Luc

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justin Steele

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Oakey

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

  16. 5 out of 5

    abcdefg

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zia Beaver

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eldorankin

  20. 5 out of 5

    John H

  21. 5 out of 5

    Trey Athens

  22. 4 out of 5

    karen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda L.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wayong

  25. 5 out of 5

    goodnekovibes

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Lloyd

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cathi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Petry

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Bradshaw

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gary Budden

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