I was familiar with Kevin Lucia before reading his work. We’ve crossed paths many times on the convention circuit. Tall, nice, friendly and warm and gracious…
I’d better stop before the cartoon hearts start floating above my head.
His debut collection, Things Slip Through, is a unique creature, from the Bradburyesque (think Dandelion Wine) structure and setup to the very creepy images and scenes that mark it like lesions or scars.
The stage for this gathering of tales is as nifty as the tales themselves: Clifton Heights, New York. Just like any other small northeastern town, save for the ghosts and demons and creepy crawlies that seem to lurk there. Or do they?
After a particularly gruesome and brutal case, a local lawman meets with other pillars of the community to discuss the bizarre history of the town and what really lives there. We meet a writer who predicts dark things, and it is through his journals that we get our stories.
We meet the town drunk, riddled with guilt over his brothers death and the odd loop that guilt creates. We find a child taken by an imaginary friend and a man who meets a gruesome end along a road that goes on and on and on.
A lonely girl and her demonoid pal wreak havoc while a man discovers he has more power over his model train set than one should be comfortable with. There are eerie phantoms and dark memories staining the walls. People are as haunted as the locales in these fables. They crisscross one another like autopsy stitches.
Lucia knows what he’s doing. He has studied the masters and taken adequate notes and has written a classically structured, darkly fantastical book. A love letter to both 50s dark fantasy and 80s pulp horror, written in red and bound in heart. Things Slip Through is a solid and entertaining journey through a very strange town.
Available from the fine folks at Crystal Lake Publishing.