Monday, August 3, 2009

A Dark And Deadly Valley

A while back, I mentioned my love for the Weird Western Tales comics of my youth. Right up there with those were Weird War Tales, which concerned supernatural happenings during wartime (usually World War II). When I ran across A Dark and Deadly Valley, edited by Mark Heffernan and published by Silverthought Press, I jumped on it. It is an anthology of mostly original horror stories set against the backdrop of World War II, just like the old comics.

I’ve mentioned before it is getting difficult to compile a good anthology of original material in this day and age. For various reasons, economics makes it hard to pay the rates necessary to attract the biggest names. Well, either editor Heffernan has figured out a way around this, or a number of great writers just wanted to be included, because the table of contents is filled with a roster of the best of the new breed of horror writer.

To the editor’s credit, unlike most anthologies, I didn’t feel there was a truly weak story in this lineup. If I had to choose favorites, I’d say the entries by Steve Vernon, Brian Keene, Scott Nicholson, and Gary Braunbeck were the best, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Definitely recommended. Very cool cover, too.

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