By Eric S. Brown
Cover art by Russ Dickerson
Eric S. Brown, 29 years old, is an author with an active imagination. In his collection: Dying Days, you’ll find 19 tales of horror and cross-genres. All the stories are quite short, a few were perhaps too short to really get into the characters and the settings. Most of the stories were ‘telling’ more than showing, which robbed me of any feelings towards the huge cast of characters.
In the Introduction, Jason Brannon tells us the end is coming and introduces us the mage called Eric S. Brown and this collection. Jason’s introduction was awesome, and pumped me up to read the collection as quickly as I could.
Eric seems to like to cross genres. “To Reach the Gates of Alavon”, one of my favorites in this collection, contains cross-dimensional travel, aliens, mythic warriors and a group on a quest that was fun to read. It is one of the longer stories in this collection at 10 pages. Another great story is “The Return”, a great story but it needs work to make us feel for Jack. There was no emotion to follow his realization. A good thing was the vision of reckoning day. This story had little show, and apart from Jack the rest of the cast were 2D at best.
Quite a few of the stories contain futuristic elements making the collection part SF / part horror.
Some of the ‘talk’ needs to be improved, but he’s a new guy (to this reviewer at least), so mistakes aside (yes there are a couple, not big but noticeable), this first collection is a great start for the young writer. Most readers will find 5 or 6 stories they love in this book and these stories make the $11.95 asking price well worth it.