Review (Part 2) – Dead Letters: An Anthology edited by Conrad Williams

Posted: June 19, 2016 in Horror, Sci-Fi
Tags: , , , , ,

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After a Saturday filled with DIY and an obscene amount of burpees, today felt like the right time to delve back into Dead Letters: An Anthology of The Undelivered, The Missing, The Returned.

Joanne Harris’ In Memoriam seemingly starts off as a very literal interpretation of the brief for this collection, detailing the work of one man within the National Returns Centre (aka Dead Letter Office). However, by turns, each pinpointed by a slight yet significant memory, the story becomes increasingly weirder and creepier. The man in question finds a long lost letter addressed to him, containing a data stick. The consequences are unsettling as his memories unravel to reveal a frightening truth.

Ausland by Alison Moore is an odd, short piece of writing. It’s suggestive and speculative, told from the perspective of an elderly lady meeting her childhood friend after so many decades apart. Ausland touches on a fun idea yet does so from afar, from the point of view of someone who just glimpses a moment of a much larger picture. Quirky and clever, it’s an enjoyable and bite sized piece of work.

Wonders to Come by Christopher Fowler is a bizarre story that twists the notion of an alien invasion with a brilliant flourish. Unlike the other pieces I’ve read from this anthology, Fowler gives a mere sideways glance to the Royal Mail, eschewing it in favour of an encroaching and ultimately apocalyptic tale of an arrogation from outer space. An excellent piece of writing that evolves quietly from thriller to alien killer seamlessly, Wonders to Come is a masterful short story. Turning the idea of ‘visitors from space landing in a field’ to ‘weird entities infiltrate a state-of-the-art super hotel and kill everyone’ was inspired yet it is the writer’s ability to hook the interest from the outset that deserves attention.

This compilation of stories continues to entertain and I’ll be back to read more soon. Definitely worth checking out if you like creepy, strange and scary stories.

Review Copy
Published by Titan Books

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