I can taste the talent!
Five deliciously twisted and varied voices united by one truly chilling refrain make up this thrilling and highly original collection of modern horror. Artists will know that the moment of inspiration can come at anytime, anywhere—as simple as hearing a snippet of hushed conversation, catching a fleeting glimpse of something uncanny, or in this case: finding a macabre message scrawled on a seedy restroom wall. I Can Taste the Blood—the words come to infect the reader’s psyche, leading through doors better left shut, down passages better left untraveled. These stories, aside from sharing a dark mantra, relate in regard to the sense of encroaching terror evoked, the artfully rendered closing of aesthetic distance between text and reader, dragging us within a hair’s breadth of an actual psychological threat.
Josh Malerman’s deeply unsettling portrait of outside evil is delivered in a style reminiscent of an Old Testament parable. Feral, starkly primal… J. Daniel Stone’s modern day tale of haunted seekers is a deep, darkly visceral dive into the collective mind of the truly jaded, underground voyeur culture. Sensual, electrically charged writing… Joe Schwartz, also exploring the ugly underbelly of society, delivers a highly disturbing narrative concerning the extremes of moral flexibility, and the fear of truly getting in over one’s head. Thought provoking in the most nightmarish of ways… Erik T. Johnson’s hallucinatory vision is a jarring, psychical assault in which the carpet is continually pulled out from under the reader. Pushing the concepts of horrific fusion and metonymy to new heights, this offering can perhaps best be described as the autobiography of a bad trip—a bad trip come to life… Finally, John F.D. Taff presents us with a sickening, richly developed story of biological monstrosity, yet framed within a genuinely human, interpersonal predicament. Body horror at its finest.
A collage of dark wonders, I Can Taste the Blood brings much to the table—certainly something for all tastes. These are writers to look into and watch out for in the future—compliments to Anthony Rivera and the folks over at Grey Matter Press for uniting them in this exciting, must-read collection.
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Review Written by W.J. Renehan