Monday, May 9, 2011

Shroud #2

This morning I had the chance to finish Shroud's second issue, from spring of 2008. I am happy to say this issue didn't disappoint. Again, Mr. Deal finds enough authors to fill this magazine with scares, thrills, creep-out factors and things that make you think. There is something for everyone.

The best part? Without reading the bio's, you woudln't know who the new authors are and who the established ones are.

The issue started with some letters from readers, who all seemed to love the first issue. After that, we hear a little from Tim Deal, the editor, as he discusses his vision for Shroud and how the magazine will continue on, despite our economy. You can see the resiliency of the magazine reflected through his words.

After reading the second issue, one can only hope they continue publishing for a long time to come (given that the world doesn't end first).

There were a whole lot of great flash fiction pieces, including a well written contest that Shroud ran on Myspace.

Out of the stories, I loved Tom Piccirilli and Ken Bruen's co-write of "Be the Darkness." The voice that was carried through most of the story, despite the two authors, was reminiscent of Henry, from Good Fellas.

Nathaniel Lambert's "Pink Elephant" is a sick tale about a family who keeps collecting checks after the death of their uncle. Eventually, things get pretty bad. Well worth the read.

Kaelan Patrick Burke does well with his story, "Haven," where a man returns home to the childhood he left behind. Will it let him leave?

"Beggar's Blessing," is a nasty treat by Marie Brennan and "Ankle Biters" closed the whole show in a way that the title suggests. There isn't a whole lot of mystery with these two, but they left me satisfied and reading swiftly.

All in all, I love "Home," by Maura McHugh. The story reminded me a movie I saw last year; I think it was A Haunting in Connecticut. Interestingly enough, the POV of this unique story comes from the house.

"The Thing in the Woods" is about a couple who have some serious jealousy issues. When they get lost, arguments ensue and a crash leaves them stranded. But what ran in front of their car?

The other stories, like "Hard Soup" and "Amuse Bouche" were also good, but I really liked the interview with Tim Lebbon. Paul Kane does a really nice job digging below the surface and Tim answers without pause. The conversation had me ready to buy Dead Man's Hand.

Tim Deal even jumps in with a movie review and there is a GREAT article called "The Bloodlust of Elizabeth Bathory," by I.E. Lester. Well worth the read.

And how can we mention Shroud without mentioning their art? The cover is a ghost done by the Haunted Art of Thomas Straub, who turns real people into ghosts. The art put with each story also served to heighten the realism of the stories. I can see a really cool adaptation of Shroud on some electronic readers already. I would love to have the images pop up as I read areas.

When will readers track the motion of our eyes, displaying pictures at the right times?

That sums up a lot of what could be found in Shroud. If you haven't checked out this magazine yet, I suggest you take a moment to order one. Try the newest issue, where friends Ben Eads and Stacey B. Longo will be writing this month? I've even heard Brian Keene will play a part in this issue. Exciting!

Have a wonderful week everyone. Happy Monday you Garfield lovers,

Draven Ames


Summer Ross said...

Wow- some intense stuff from the sounds of it- the art sounds amazing and it would be really neat to be reading a creepy story and have something pop up at just the right time! LOL My daughter is into really spooky stuff- I'd love to toy with her that way. Thanks for posting!

dolorah said...

A great review of the magazine. Sounds like my kind of read.


T.M. Frazier said...

Great review