Dark Discoveries Publications
Trade Paperback, $13.99
Reviewed by Steve Vernon
Horror isn’t all that hard to find if you know how to look for it. True horror is most likely to be found, peekabooing from behind the camouflage of the commonplace. Like a mattress or an umbrella.
Bill Gauthier has been creeping and festering in the basement of the small press for some time now, just waiting to be discovered. His work turns up in the darnedest of places.
Gauthier’s first story in this collection, “The Growth of Alan Ashley,” made its debut in the pages of Thomas F. Monteleone’s prestigious anthology, Borderlands 5, in 2003. That accomplishment is brass ring enough on the here-we-go-round-again carousel of the horror genre. The tale, an eerie close-up look at what goes on into the making of celebrity will leave you with a hushed and thoughtful wonder. How in the hell can a newbie writer-boy from Massachusetts come up with this kind of insight expressed at this level of craftsmanship?
Bill has been banging against the ice of small press obscurity but he’s beginning to break through in the oddest of places. A strange growth, a battered suitcase, a mattress with a strange impression or an opened umbrella – all of these random manifestations can be the catalyst for creeping cold sweat terror.
Bill Gauthier picks at the scabs of reality and lays bare that truths that fester beneath. The stark and simple imagery of “The Umbrella People” will haunts at a level that is both Bentley Little-like and downright Bradburyesque. “Old Nelly’s High Price” is an eerie EC styled horror tale raked out of the ashes of some mad night god’s summer camp bonfire. “Fun Gus The Tap Dance Man” buckdances us out into the edge of the Twilight Zone before pushing us right over into the chasm.
Catalysts will be available in August 2007 from Dark Discoveries Publications and other book venues. I recommend you pick a copy of this up and give it a read. You won’t forget some of these tales.