By Mark Cassell
Welcome back to the Shadow Fabric mythos
A Shadow Fabric Mythos Short Story Collection.
Following the success of his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, British horror author Mark Cassell brings you a collection of dark fantasy stories that stitch together a twisted history of witchcraft and the supernatural, of demons, ghosts, and the disturbed.
Twelve horror stories weave truths you do not want to hear.
The collection includes:
Intensive Scare – Three teenagers dabble in the occult and learn there’s a good reason to be afraid of the dark.
Red, White and Black – When a clinical trial goes horribly wrong, a lone survivor finds herself fleeing from a sentient infection.
Meeting Mum – Introducing a new girlfriend to your parents has never been so problematic.
Midnight Clay – An otherwise pleasant homeward journey is interrupted by a demon with a particularly grotesque skill.
And other scary tales…
Each story binds the Shadow Fabric mythos tighter, revealing that everything around us is entwined with a deep-rooted darkness. And sometimes that darkness — the fabric — tears.
A darkness surrounds us, even with the lights on.
Welcome back to the Shadow Fabric mythos. There is no way to make this review reflect the incredible genius of this collection without making the review predominantly personal. The quality of this collection defies regular review methods. So, let us begin.
As stated in the synopsis, Sinister Stitches is a comprehensive elaboration on the Shadow Fabric mythos. The expertly written stories gruesomely expound on the histories and happenings that take place in the novels The Shadow Fabric and Hell Cat of the Holt, taking the reader outside of those books in a concentric circle of the Shadow Fabric’s influence in the greater world.
I personally found “Meeting Mum” to be the most horrific of the stories, although not the most graphic. This particular story has distinctly horrific content. It is written so well that one might be desirous of flinging the book across the room, not advisable with a kindle but my paperback survived the impulse with minimal damage.
“Next on the List” and “On the Vine” are neck and neck for shock factor. These two are short and shocking and might prompt verbal exclamation. “Disturbed,” being among the longer of the short stories herein, is the most comprehensive of the Shadow Fabric mythos, horrifically connecting dots and answering questions from the original novels. “Seeing is Believing” is a haunting and slightly graphic prose.
Each of the stories is unique and uniquely written, bringing its own stitching to the Shadow Fabric. But, my personal favorite is “Welcome Home.” This story takes a real-life horror and stitches it into The Shadow Fabric. Well written, it almost flows like a novella in spite of how short it is. This one will stay with me and I may never vacation again.
If one is curious about the Shadow Fabric, these stories have the stand-alone power to lure one in, darkly vivid in their own right. Return to the Shadow Fabric mythos or sample the genius of Mark Cassell for the first time. This beautiful horror story collection is a must read.
For the folks at Amazon, where this review will be cross-posted, my paperback copy of Sinister Stitches was a gift and one that I will treasure always. It is on the shelf of honor. Get your own.
Get it on Amazon: US Link
Get it on Amazon: UK Link
About the Author: Mark Cassell
Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK where he often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His best-selling debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, is closely followed by the popular short story collection, Sinister Stitches, and are both only a fraction of an expanding mythos of demons, devices, and deceit.
The dystopian sci-fi short story collection, Chaos Halo 1.0: Alpha Beta Gamma Kill, is in association with Future Chronicles Photography where he works closely with their models and cosplayers.
His work has been compared with British horror authors such as James Herbert, Clive Barker, Dennis Wheatley, and Brian Lumley. Also, his influences spread over to the US where he admits to having been first inspired by Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Dan Simmons, and H P Lovecraft.