Down There & Others by Keith Minnion
White Noise Press (2017)
206 pages; $10.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms
Sometimes, people excel in multiple creative fields, displaying talents many would kill for. Folks such as Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Clive Barker, and the author of this collection, Keith Minnion. Those familiar with the iconic magazine Cemetery Dance will recognize the name as the most innovative illustrator in each issue. Those who picked up the Stephen King/Richard Chizmar bestseller of last year, Gwendy’s Button Box, might notice the illustrations in that book look familiar.
But this is about Minnion’s writing, and although each story is accompanied by very cool illustrations, it’s the stories which matter here. The stories are just as intense and well-written as in It’s For You, the author’s first collection. His writing style lends itself to fast reads, but upon rereading, reveal deeper, darker secrets that might have been glossed over the first time. He will never be accused of overwriting, yet each story feels rich and imagined, a trait only the best in any genre can tout.
As for the stories themselves, many here are available for the first time. Sixteen total (with the first act of a new novel, Dog Star), appear here, with an introduction by Tony Tremblay. They run the gamut from the frightening, to the suspenseful, to the just outright weird (I’m looking at you, “The Blue Cat!”), with not a wasted word within the pages. Other standouts that will creep down your spine long afterwards include “Old Bones,” “The Wampyr,” the title story, which was originally in Cemetery Dance magazine, and the best, hands down: “Little Sister.”
For all of the intriguing stories within, the standout is the inclusion of the first act of Minnion’s forthcoming novel, Dog Star. The reaction to that story will be intense, as it just might blow away his first novel, the stellar The Boneyard.
A great collection that is, of course, recommended for all.