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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


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The reviews are pouring in on Michael Vance’s Weird Horror Tales, the recently published braided novel of horror, science-fiction, fantasy, and mainstream short stories set in Light’s End, Maine.

Tim Walters: Michael Vance's “Weird Horror Tales” is a collection of thirteen stories set in Light's End, Maine. Vance has created a fascinating and detailed background and cast of characters for his continuing Light's End series.
"Billie Hell" is a harrowing tale set in the sordid Light’s End district dubbed "The Alley", an underbelly of rough-and-tumble dance halls and bars, circa 1914. Bishop’s Alley is teaming with drunkards, drug addicts and prostitutes and, of course, is secretly frequented by some of Light's End's most prominent and respectable citizens. From this squalid and decadent scenery emerges the tale's aptly-named title character, Billie Hell. A highly effective story, and one of the more unsettling chapters in the Light's End oeuvre. "Unhinged" features Schlomo Nantier and Charlie Azreal, two boys growing up in the Light's End of the 1920s and 1930s. There are comic strips and pulp magazines (“Weird Tales”, “The Shadow”, “Doc Savage”) and movie matinees, but it's far from an idyllic portrait of childhood friendship in a small town. Issues of race, class and religion are woven throughout this poignant coming of age saga. The timeline extends into the 1940s with Schlomo Nantier shipping out to fight the war in the Pacific, then returning home to Light's End. This tale offers a vision of small town America that, beneath the surface, is much darker than the wholesome Norman Rockwell images often associated with the era. Other tales in this collection include "Face Off", "Random Pairings" and "The Zoo". Michael Vance is a writer in the finest tradition of H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and other masterful purveyors of the imaginative genre. I highly recommend that readers climb aboard and take a trip to the small but unforgettable town of Light's End, Maine. You won't regret it.

Cover artist Keith Birdsong painted the cover for “Weird Horror Tales”, which is an homage to the horror pulp magazines of the ‘30s and ‘40s, and interior illustrations are by artist Earl Geier who is best known for his horror, fantasy and science fiction artwork

The publisher of “Weird Horror Tales” is Cornerstone Book Publishers. Airship 27 packaged the anthology. For more information on Airship 27, go to