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Great issue, with each of the three stories offering different brands of strangeness. The stories are a little longer than is usual for this series of collections.
I think James and the Dark Grimoire is hilarious. The scariest thing in that story is the valet’s capacity for obscure facts and assorted trivia. He’s a bit alarming, but handy to have around. Writer’s Block is one of my recent favorites. I read the book installments, as each episode was published. This is the first episode of that story, and I enjoyed revisiting its beginning.
The Don is the latest addition to the story Daniel Smith started with The Tower. This episode brings some cohesion to the previous events as the invaders begin to organize in an unusual fashion. Creepy, too.
There are three new stories in this volume, featuring a wide variety of storytelling to suit all tastes. Let’s start with:
Kevin Lauderdale’s “James and the Dark Grimoire” – Reggie is planning on attending a wedding of a friend. Along with some family drama from his Aunt Agnes and with assistance from James, his highly capable butler, they’re roped into a task of the utmost importance: finding an antique book called The Necronomicon. But what is the book going to be used for and by whom? As events threaten to escalate out of control, this madcap farce brings on the chuckles with each page. The humorous melodrama culminates in an ending that simultaneously surprised me and had me raucously laughing out loud as it played out.
Hank Garner’s “Writer’s Block” - Stu is a bestselling novelist with a deadline looming and looking for inspiration, he powers up an old antiquated typewriter and writes up an outlandish little story to see if it will help. But when this story comes true the next day, he cannot believe it. What he does next with this unusual typewriter is humorous and unpredictable, leading to a thoughtful and touching ending that left me with a big smile on my face. A sparkling tale filled with personality and gentle charm that perfectly captures the idyllic life of a small town and its calm lifestyle.
Daniel Arthur Smith’s “The Don” – Don Vita and his henchmen are eating lunch when they hear an explosion and all of the power goes out. The mystery further deepens when a man wearing a blue silk suit walks in. What does he want, what strange powers does he possess and why is he there? The author is clearly having some fun here with The Don’s story at first but it takes an ominous turn when we learn what the man in the suit wants. Startling in its revelations, shocking in its wide scope and thrilling as it all comes together, the darkness that has been looming over the author’s previous stories in this serial are finally and triumphantly unleashed in all of its glory.
“The Don” begins the second act of the main storyline that has been weaving through the first five “Canyons” collections, cohesively unifying the entire storyline and it is BIG! I’m really looking forward to seeing where this central story goes in forthcoming volumes.
All three stories in here feature humor as well as gloom, gathering together the offbeat, the abnormal and the just plain weird into another sensational, intriguing and breathtaking collection.
Please note I was given a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2016
The Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 6 is the crazy continuing series from Daniel Arthur Smith and buddies. Freaky short stories in a compact bundle of three or four, one of which is an on going Manhattan-Style-apocalyptic-Worlds-End-Tale.
James and the Dark Grimoire: A wonderfully weird story to be read in the voice of your favorite Sherlock Holmes.
Writer's Block: This one's seriously wonderful, as to be expected by God old Hank.