Excerpt from The Death of Omar Snellings

The Immanent World Vol. 2: Cluichi

The Immanent World Vol. 2: Cluichi will be available this coming Fall. Written by Clive Reznor and illustrated by KC Hunter, this horror anthology will feature eight terrifying stories from the supernatural to the grotesque.

Here is a sample from the initial “wrap-around” story “The Death of Omar Snellings”:


Omar stumbled again as he tried to find his car. Where had he parked it? The throbbing in his head was keeping him from focusing. Too many thoughts were racing through his head, back and forth from the room he had just left, to the fall, to the street, the houses, and the neighbors, but where was his car?
Another spasm in his skull forced him to double over, grabbing at the side of his head. He’d have to go to the hospital first. Something was wrong. He thought that the fall hadn’t harmed him but that was turning out not to be true.

“Mr. Omar!” he heard a young voice call out.

What did these kids want? He wasn’t working now.

“Mr. Omar!” the voice called again.

The pain was shooting on the other side of his head now.

“Mr. Omar! Mr. Omar!” now came several voices.

What in the world were they yelling at him for? He forced his hand from his temple, knowing as soon as he did the headache would intensify but he needed to know what was so damn urgent. Angrily, he lifted his chin up and stared in the direction of the voices. Before he could yell at them in response, the breath he was taking in order to do so was cut short.

The impact of the truck was sudden and violent. How Omar had not heard the horn or the screeching tires as the vehicle slid down the middle of Hanover Street, no one quite knew. Neither did Omar. The truck’s metal grill seemed to appear out of nowhere as he turned to see it, just in time before its pattern was embedded in his face.

A crowd quickly gathered around the scene of the accident. The driver of the truck was in utter shock, the amount of blood and tissue that splattered across the front of his vehicle made him sick.
“Didn’t you see him?” a voice cried out.

“Is that Omar?” another said.

“Yeah, that was Omar.”

“Someone call an ambulance!”

“What for? Someone get a shovel!”

The children, who had been content to play games at the end of the street before all of this had happened, were now consumed with using their smart phones as recording devices. Every single one of them was taking pictures, recording videos, and some even were streaming live on social media to show this tragedy to the world in real time.

“Stop that,” one of the older females of the neighborhood said as she tried to usher the younger children from the scene. “You don’t need to be seein’ this. Certainly the rest of the damn world don’t neither! Go on, get outta here!”

The adults in the neighborhood had just as little compassion as the children. Many of them were recording the event in the same way. The chatter continued in the crowd, people asking questions, throwing accusations, speculating on whether or not he heard the truck or whether the driver could have stopped. A few even vomited after the smell and sight of Omar Snellings’ remains overwhelmed them.

While many knew it was wrong on one level to be gawking at this scene; the gruesome dismemberment of a fellow neighbor, they also couldn’t help but indulge in their voyeurism. Who was to say they were wrong? They were all guilty of it, even the older woman who had told the children to leave was now was just as consumed by the scene as they had been. How many times do you get to see a mangled corpse?

Book Review: The New Weird

The New Weird Review

So what really is The New Weird? In short, it’s an anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer featuring a collection of authors whose works can best be described as — well — strange.

The attempt was to loosely define the genre which itself cannot be readily designed. Fiction dubbed “new weird” ranges from political fiction, weird creature stories, metaphysical journeys, twisting established cliches and so on.

Starting with an essay written by Jeff VanderMeer, you are quickly brought into what this world of fiction is all about. In a sense, the term “new weird” is used to sell books as much as it is to define a genre. It’s not quite horror, it’s not quite fantasy, it’s not quite social-political – it’s a combination of all these things and them sometimes none at all.

What this book isn’t is a manifesto of an alternative to cyberbunk or horror fiction. The VanderMeer’s, along with many of the authors who contribute to this work, scoff at the notion of being confined to a new niche. Yet, after reading the short stories here, you’ll have a clear understand that there is a new sensibility in fiction.

That sensibility has it’s roots in Cthulhu, on through the Books of Blood and into the writings of China Mieville. What might at first strike readers as being a bit too weird actually, by the end, comes across as a refreshing romp through new possibilities and new themes that weren’t quite there in the mind before.

Stand out works in this novel (which has stories included that date back to the late 70s up through today) include Watson’s Boy by Brian Evenson, which features a unique style of prose from the first-person perspective of a boy named Brey who sees the world in simplistic fashion, given that world is nothing but his parents, corridors, keys and an infestation of (possibly) imaginary rats. The Gutter Sees the Light That Never Shines by Alistair Rennie is completely different, being a humorously grotesque tale of supernatural revenge, murder and a strange outlook on men and women. You also have In The Hills, The Cities: a short tale by Clive Barker from the original Books of Blood (yes, the story with the line Trent Reznor borrowed for his 1989 single Sin – “stale incense, old sweat, and lies”), which is one of the first works of fantasy fiction to feature – quite graphically at times – two gay men as the main protagonists.

If you’re interested in unique fiction, horror fiction, supernatural fiction that doesn’t follow the conventional norms of Rowlings, Meyers or any of the more mainstream authors, this is certainly a great introduction into the world of fantastic fiction from another dimension. If you’re easily scared or disturbed, this is certainly not for you as many of the stories are graphic in nature.

 

4 out of 5 stars