Now that copies of The Darkly Splendid Realm are beginning to cross critics' desks, a couple of early reviews have made their way online.
Don D'Amassa shares his thoughts on the book here.
Mario Guslandi gives his impressions on Hellnotes.
I was quite happy to see Mario reviewing because he reviewed my first two collections as well, so it's nice to see the tradition continuing.
Both these initial reviews reflect precisely what I suspected was going to happen with The Darkly Splendid Realm: some people would love some stories in the book, others might latch on to different ones. I'm perfectly content with this.
As I've stated earlier, I tried to make this new collection as diverse as I could without turning it into a novelty book. My only criteria was that the stories maintain a literate tone and had their customary dark shading. Since I'm forever going on about how richly diverse horror fiction can be, I thought it best to put my money where my mouth is. That's why readers of Realm will encounter cosmic horror, weird tales, ghost stories, visceral body horror, vignettes, a novelette, a story set in ancient Gaul, and an essay about fear. It's designed to be a banquet; an unsettling one mind you, but a banquet just the same.
Even if you find one entree to your liking I'll consider this book a success. But hopefully there will be more than a few readers who savour the entire menu. ;-)