Review: Split Scream Vol. 4 by D. Matthew Urban and Holly Lyn Walrath

cover of Split ScreamSplit Scream Vol. 4 by D. Matthew Urban and Holly Lyn Walrath
Tenebrous Press (October 2023)
152 pages; $13 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

This book begins with an introduction by the series editor Alex Ebenstein regarding the novelette. He describes it as “longer than a short story and shorter than a novella,” or between ten to twenty thousand words. As such, the book is presented as a “double feature” of sorts, pairing “Nonsense Words” by D. Matthew Urban with “Bone Light” by Holly Lyn Walrath. The stories have nothing to do with each other beyond being well written and scary, and the whole concept of this book is really quite clever and appealing. Continue Reading

Review: Numinous Stones by Holly Lyn Walrath

cover of Numinous Stones by Holly Lyn WalrathNuminous Stones by Holly Lyn Walrath
Aqueduct Press (April, 2023)
98 pages, $10 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Numinous Stones is a collection of speculative pantoums, a form derived from the Malay verse pantun berkait, which is a form of interwoven verses of alternating lines. This is a difficult form to accomplish, as the repeated lines need to seem fresh each time the reader encounters them, but also echo back to the previous stanza. The tightly entwined stanzas, when executed well, create a rhythmic and incantatory experience for the audience, hypnotizing them in a sonic spell. 

Readers, if you read Numinous Stones, be prepared to be hypnotized. Continue Reading