Supernatural Tales #17
David Longhorn, Editor

Supernatural Tales, 85 pages, $ 10.00
Review by Mario Guslandi

Issue # 17 of Supernatural Tales, a chapbook/magazine rightly considered one of the best-kept secrets in the dark fiction genre, returns with a bunch of brand new supernatural and horror stories penned by a group of talented writers from UK and Canada.

Peter Bell, a rising star in horror fiction whose eagerly awaited first short story collection is forthcoming from Ex Occidente Press, contributes “The Tunnel,” a dark, intriguing tale revolving around the disappearance of a retarded boy that two gypsy children have apparently dragged into a disused railway tunnel. Unfortunately, the author’s usual ability as a storyteller is slightly spoiled by the rather complex and muddled frame into which the tale is embedded.

Michael Keyton’s “Mr Nousel’s Mirror” is an atmospheric, Jamesian antiquarian tale of alchemy and magic were lenses and mirrors become windows to other, secret worlds.

By no means the work of Elizabeth Brown (but I respect the real author’s desire to remain in disguise) “The Dress,” an excellent piece full of eroticism and uneasiness, depicts the ambiguous inheritance received by a young woman.

Richard Gavin contributes “The Language of the Nameless Region” a gentle yarn featuring a scarf and an epic blizzard.

“13 Nassau Street” by Martin Hayes, a pleasant enough tale of traditional style, discloses the peculiar rules of membership to an exclusive, unusual club.

In “Cabin D” Ian Rogers proves to be a good storyteller despite the story’s unconvincing plot where a man voluntarily dies in a haunted cabin.

Katherine Hayes (“Lessons”) scatters doubts and disquiet describing a class trip to a museum where a doll house belonged to a suicidal writer appears to be inhabited by too familiar characters.

A few insightful reviews of genre books and DVDs complete the content of this delightful booklet.

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