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  • By Nickolaus Pacione
    Mar 9, 2014
    If you really knew where Damnation Observes came out of -- you might shut up and pay attention without blasting the damn thing here. It got in here for a reason and it deserves a fair chance, now that Janrae Frank is worm food it might get that chance and have new life. The longer version is in Dirty Black Winter and this was the result of a memory I had with a former classmate of my dialog of how she said I have a dark side.
  • By Jenny Torgerson
    Apr 19, 2009
    "One reader's opinion" Several weaknesses that are often seen in the work of writers still learning their craft recurred in the majority of the stories in this anthology. The first, and most common, was the tendency to “over-write” and use stilted language, big words, and complex sentence constructions where more simple and direct language would be much more effective. The second is the lack of specificity, glossing over details that would make the story come alive. Finally, in several stories, the authors used a lot of dialogue tags besides “said”, a classic beginner problem. That said, two stories that stood out were “The Sliding” by Kevin Lucia and “Apartment J” by Gabrielle Faust. In “The Sliding”, a boyhood experience comes back to haunt a man. I liked the Lovecraftian overtones to the story, namely the idea of a curious explorer (the boys) discovering a powerful evil better left alone. In “Apartment J”, a young woman confronts her neighbor about strange noises coming... More > from the neighbor’s apartment and finds more than she bargained for. I think that bad things happening to decent people is much scarier than bad things happening to bad people, and this story delivers in that regard. The two stories disappointed me the most (because they failed to capitalize on interesting and original ideas) were “Mr. Fucking Bothersome” by Dave Rex and “Flower in the Wind” by Rick McQuiston. The opening sentence of “Mr. Fucking Bothersome” proposes, “Imagine…our world without religion.” However, instead of taking a hard look at this, and perhaps exploring some of the two thousand years of philosophical thought regarding ethics and morals, the story takes the easy and predictable route. In the world of the story, people have no morals and do anything they please. In “Flower in the Wind”, the world is suddenly afflicted with hurricane-force winds, forcing the four characters in the story to take refuge in a cave. I liked the twist at the end, but the typos and the general writing problems I mentioned above dragged the story down. The worst two stories were “Damnation Observes” by Nickolaus Pacione and “The Red Cloud Affliction” by Stanley Anderson. In “The Red Cloud Affliction”, a student finds his teacher dead in his classroom, and in fulfilling his teacher’s final request, the student starts a deadly chain reaction. The problem is that the story has no context; it occurs in a vacuum of details such as the time period, location, age of students, etc. It was also difficult to follow the action, and POV jumped in the latter part of the story. I still haven’t figured out what the appallingly bad “Damnation Observes” is about. The writing is so rambling, ungrammatical, filled with illogical sentences, and repetitive that it gave me a headache. The problems included incomplete sentences (and not the kind authors do on purpose to emphasize a point), subject/verb disagreement, misused words, comma splices, etc. This story is a shining example of how not to write, and I am puzzled as to why it was even included in this anthology. It is clearly bad, bad writing.< Less
  • By Janrae Frank
    Feb 8, 2009
    "Re: Re: One reader's opinion" The Sliding and Apartment J were the most enjoyable stories in the book. I'm going to watch for more material by those authors.
  • By vze4jbts
    Dec 23, 2007
    "Re: One reader's opinion" I think his point is that holy rollers don't understand mental illness. Why it took him so many words to say so, though, is beyond me. Aside from that, I also loved Apartment J and The Sliding. Those two were well written.
  • By Jane Stoltz
    Dec 21, 2007
    "Re: If you don't like the anthology, do your own" And this is the type of persona a "serious" publication wants to be affiliated with? May I jest! Here is the email I just recieved from Pacione. There are three of them. You may want to re-think your ramification clause: " didn't plagiarize my story. What made you think that? What the hell made you even think that. You area cunt and need to burn in hell for that remark. " And number 2: "Please kill yourself. I wish you were no longer around -- to accuse me of plagiarism, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" I believe that constitutes as a threat. I take threats very seriously. And number 3: "didn't plagiarize my story. What made you think that? What the hell made you even think that. You area cunt and need to burn in hell for that remark. FUCKING DIKE!" So he copies and pastes and emails me with the firm belief that I am a lesbian. Also, I have to admit,... More > anyone who supports writers that are homophobic do not interest me or (and if I may speak freely) the general census of the reading public. I think you have a wonderful book here. I just can't for the life of me understand why any solid company would pick a notorious homophobic racist for a collection? I would advise researching the submissions and hence, the authors as well. Kevin Lucia's story shines in this one. Pick up any H.P. Lovecraft book. ( Most notably,AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS) to further any doubts in Mr. Pacione's supposed "inspirations." I'm sorry...but a person who threatens people's lives should not IMO be allowed to stain the reputations of real talented authors. I am not alone in my beliefs. This wonderful world of the internet will provide proof of that. Just type in: NICKOLAUS PACIONE in google. That will be enough I think to re-issue this steller book without the infection and let it encompass the readership it was set out to do so.< Less

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Product Details

First Edition
Darkened Horizons
August 3, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.75 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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