Havoc after Dark: Tales of Terror

Havoc after Dark: Tales of Terror

by Robert Fleming
     
 

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...the world is cloaked in shadow and hearts pound in deafening dread. Every step is suspect, every moment counted, every sound feared. This is the hour when panic takes hold. Terror does not distinguish among class or race or place. See it stalk its prey in a murky basement in Spanish Harlem...under a haunted voodoo moon on a Caribbean isle...by ghoulish candlelight… See more details below

Overview

...the world is cloaked in shadow and hearts pound in deafening dread. Every step is suspect, every moment counted, every sound feared. This is the hour when panic takes hold. Terror does not distinguish among class or race or place. See it stalk its prey in a murky basement in Spanish Harlem...under a haunted voodoo moon on a Caribbean isle...by ghoulish candlelight in a Mardi Gras backroom. These are the minutes when reality fades, defenses crumble, and only the unknown triumphs. No one is spared. Not parish priest, shape shifter, or fortuneteller. Not homicidal boy or cunning woman. Within seconds, paid killers roam city streets and murderers reborn emerge from fearful chambers of the undead. Within minutes, life slips away to ungodly applause, amulets work black magic, and satanic traditions throw blood at the stars. Now is the instant when... Smell it in the heat of lupine passion. Taste it in the lusty wound of a vampire's kiss. Feel it in the eternal caress of a lover to die for. Experience it in every spine-tingling page of these provocative horror tales. From slavery and infinite consequence to Nazi torture and undying aftermath, from suicide of the soul to death of the body, here are stories that cut to the bone and sear the psyche.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In "Arbeit Macht Frei," the best story in this first collection of short horror fiction, a revelatory moment comes when a black WWII GI compares the atrocities of racial prejudice experienced by blacks in America with those known to survivors from the Auschwitz concentration camp: "I couldn't figure which was worse: the actions of these Nazis killing people in bulk or the lynchings of these cracker white folk still fighting the Civil War." The tacit suggestion that horror is a fiction of victimization that cuts across ethnic boundaries is evident in these 14 tales, whose characters wrestle with issues of racial identity but find themselves confronting horrors that are mostly colorblind. In "The Ultimate Bad Luck," a black man cornered in a bayou by a redneck lynch mob is saved magically by a good deed done in childhood to overlooked residents of the swamp. "Punish the Young Seed of Satan" features an inner-city youth whose grim fate in the criminal justice system is less a horror story than a critique of parental irresponsibility and negligence. Fleming's enthusiasm and passion is evident in the themes and flashy details of his stories. Less obvious is the influence of "Poe, Lovecraft, Hawthorne, Bierce, and Collier," whom he cites in his introduction as his teenage reading. Several of the stories are awkward in their construction, and their turn into horror seems largely an afterthought. Many feature coarse stereotypes that thwart sympathy for their characters. Readers may find much room for improvement here. (Mar. 2) Forecast: A blurb from T.E.D. Klein may stir a responsive chord with those who fondly remember Twilight Zone magazine. Tananarive Due's foreword will help alert the African-American horror audience. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
From the tale of a young woman's descent into madness ("Life After Bas") to a harrowing story of revenge and its terrible price ("The Wisdom of the Serpents"), this collection of 14 stories of dark fantasy and horror represents one of the first of its kind by an African American author. Spanning a variety of subjects and times, Fleming's tales rely on mood and tempo as well as narrative elegance to build their atmosphere of terror and surprise. For horror and African American fiction collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A first-time fiction author brings an African-American sensibility to the whites-mostly field of horror in these 14 strongly plotted stories. Fleming's tales lean on moods and soul-states as much as blood. He steps out best foot forward with an erotic variation on the Beauty and the Beast theme: "Life After Bas" tells of Madame Baye, a Creole/Cajun sired by the werewolf Loup Garou and born with a magical caul. In a New Orleans asylum, she insists she has come back from the dead as she "sits in a darkened room, a padded room, a room with wire mesh over the windows." At the same time, we are told that Madame Baye is chained "spread-eagle" to a bed from which she can vanish even when straitjacketed to reappear in another ward. Despite such inconsistencies, the richly finished story would be worth building into a short novel. "The Tenderness of Monsieur Blanc" introduces Roy Capote, Scholar of Death, Democracy's enforcer, and the State Department's golden hit man. Sent on a nasty purging mission into the anguished capital of Haiti, Roy finds himself up against Voudoun and the Undead, whom no bullet can stop. Best of all is "The Wisdom of the Serpents," wherein a wealthy young American truth seeker goes to the Far East and returns buried in the ravaged body of a man in his late 80s. Pleasing expedition into the moon-mad world of the supernatural.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758205759
Publisher:
Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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