Tag Archives: Tim Marquitz

Manifesto: UF, edited by Tim Marquitz & Tyson Mauermann

Manifesto UFPremise: Strange creatures lurk in the shadows in shady back alleys and street corners, waiting to ensnare and devour unsuspecting victims. Battles between good and evil are being fought by angels and demons out of sight of humans. What we see every day is far from what is actually happening in this world and beyond.

The dangerous and illicit activities of inhuman things are ripe for these fantastical stories. With vampires, were-creatures, ghosts, angels, demons, dragons, wizards, trolls, goblins, and more, the imagination is free to run wild. These are the things that make up the tales told in Manifesto: UF.

Themes: Redemption plays a huge role in this anthology, since many of the main characters have fallen from grace or are making up for shortcomings from times past. In order to regain balance of power or to redeem their previous mistakes, it means helping others who cannot help themselves.

Many characters are also seeking justice for themselves or for the innocent. With enduring conflicts and forsaken people, making up for this becomes possible by conquering the evil at the root of the turmoil. Even if it means sacrificing a piece of themselves, the tradeoff for is sometimes worth the price.

Pros: Strangely, I felt pretty strongly about most of the stories in this collection on both sides of the spectrum of liking and not liking them. There were a few that make me want to go find more from the author, such as RL Treadway’s “That Old Tree” that gives personality into a tree long past its reasonable age, intertwined with the lives of those around it in order to give it an ultimate purpose. I loved the emotion of “Green Grow the Rashes” by William Meikle brought out by a haunting song and the discovery of the joys of existence. Teresa Frohock manages to impart soul into song through a frantic search for a lost thread from the tapestry of Armageddon. There is something in here for most readers, at least if you are willing to winnow through the broad variety of styles and subjects.

Cons: With a few exceptions, most of the stories contain profanity, gory violence, drug use, or explicit sex, with at least one containing all of the above. A few of the stories have an anti-religion slant that is not just indifference toward religions, but intentionally and relentlessly inflammatory that highlights this view in a way is unnecessary, especially since in at least one case I think it actually takes away from the story itself. There were a couple of stories that also felt incomplete, leaving me questioning what was supposed to happen next.

Recommendations: With so many urban fantasy books being written for a younger audience, this set of short stories especially targets adult readers. Manifesto: UF is not for the faint of heart or the thin-skinned. There are several gems in here, such as Teresa Frohock’s enchanting “Naked the Night Sings” and Nikolas Sharps’ humorous “Toejam and Shrapnel” that help to redefine the sub-genre as more than just young adult. While not as seamlessly compiled and unified in voice as Marquitz’s previous Fading Light anthology, Manifesto UF does a better job than most anthologies in showcasing each author’s writing style and will more likely leave you with the knowledge of whether you will love or hate an author’s work. Rest assured this collection contains work from some talented writers. You’ll just have to read through it to find the ones you like.

Tim Marquitz’s website
Manifesto UF on Goodreads
Buy Manifesto: UF on Amazon
Download Manifesto UF for your Kindle
I received a copy from one of the authors to write this honest review.

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Fantasy, Short Story


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Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, edited by Tim Marquitz

Fading Light: An Anthology of the MonstrousPremise: When the sun is blotted out and darkness settles in, the most terrible of monstrosities can take hold. Creatures from other planets or the darkness within us can lay in waiting for the opportunity to strike and devour everything. Will we give into the darkness or grasp onto the last remnants of the fading light and continue to fight for existence?

Aliens, ancient creatures, and the dark hidden traits deep inside people are the foes faced through this anthology of the weird. Fading Light uncovers the things that dwell in the darkness and reveals the horrors they are capable of. It tells the stories of those monsters, but also the people that face them when it matters the most for their own sake and for the sake of humanity.

Themes: One grand theme stretching across the stories in Fading Light encompasses the various aspects for survival, from the everyday physical needs to the challenges on mental faculties that can sometimes be much more important in order to survive.

Our reactions to change, especially for the worst, are brought bubbling to the surface in Fading Light. How do different people react to situations that they never even conceived of?

Fear can be paralyzing to many, but for some the instinctive reaction is to fight. This fight or flight response is triggered as these characters face strange creatures and unspeakable terrors.

Pros: Fading Light is a splendid hat tip to H.P. Lovecraft. Many of the stories take similar strands from his stories and weave them into more modern tales that I am certain the horror master would approve of. Just about every piece in this anthology can stand on its own, even apart from the rest of the collection, as a well-written short story, which is something I think every contributing author should be proud of. More than anything, this collection felt fresh, with something more to contribute than other anthologies I have read. There is a consistency in thought through the anthology, though the mood changes from story to story.

Cons: If you are looking to Fading Light for a comparison to the language and style of Lovecraft, then this is probably the one place where it doesn’t compare. The style is much more modern, which can be a pro or a con depending on the reader. There was more profanity in the dialogue than I care for, which is something that I find unnecessary especially in horror writing. I think it adds a false sense of edginess that comes across as trying too hard. There were a couple of plot devices I felt were overused, especially the Sun being blocked out by some kind of cloud or gas or whatever. For those unfamiliar with weird tales of this ilk, Fading Light might be a little depressing.

Recommendations: As a collection of weird tales, Fading Light brings a fresh sense of uncomfortable giddiness to the realm of anthologies. As a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, this was a wonderful homage without the need for mimicry. Though it had some repetitive elements and more modern language than Lovecraft, Fading Light made me uneasy in a way that only good horror can. Tim Marquitz shows us his ability to gather quality tales and weave them into something cohesive. Horror fans will most likely love Fading Light.

Tim Marquitz’s website
Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous on Goodreads
Buy Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous on Amazon
Download Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous for your Kindle
I received an ebook copy from the publisher to write this honest review.

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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Fantasy, Horror, Short Story


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