What an interesting story concerning these two tales: Chizmar’s intro tells of two stories he wrote many years ago that he recently revisited with the intention of seeing them find an audience. In order to to do this he proposed horror heavyweights Ray Garton and Brian Keene join him in giving these stories a new lease of life.
The results are outstanding as Garton and Keene give us two tales of horror, both very different, but both right out of the top draw. I loved the Chizmar/Garton tale of Alex; Alex is a sculptor desperately searching for his muse if you like whilst slowly drowning himself in liquor. A strange discovery gives Alex a new perspective and a lust to be creative again. But all is not what it seems as the sculptor slowly descends into madness and murder.
The Chizmar/Keene story is a bloody ripper too (pun intended). A series of storms and missing children bring about a grisly discovery for a local delivery man in a tale that will please Keene fans immensely. It is shorter than the first one but packs a real punch.
What makes these short stories so good? Characters for one. Not many in either story, but they are focused and play their parts accordingly. Smooth, realistic dialogue – again, not much of it, but it’s the little things like dialogue that can make or break a story, and particularly where a short story is concerned, I want to be sucked in and kept there right until the last sentence. Poor dialogue can pull you out of a story quick as a flash.
Both these stories are superb and I’m delighted that Richard Chizmar decided to unearth and resurrect these two horror gems.
Pick up a copy of ‘Unearthed’ from here.