I first stumbled upon Suspended in Dusk when I was browsing Facebook one rainy day a few months back I can t recall which one of my friends was raving about it, but her words about it an emotional gut punch piqued my interest An emotional gut punch sounds like something I d like.So I went online and had a poke around, searching for some reviews to read before I purchased it I didn t get much further As soon as I saw that Jack Ketchum had written an introduction to it I decided to just take the plunge and give it a go.Best decision I ve ever made.Suspended in Dusk is, to put it simply, stunning In both its vision, and its execution.As soon as I started reading it I knew it was going to be good Ketchum s introduction set the tone Words like fresh and auspicious debut ramped up my excitement, and then the first story Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter brought tears to my eyes and knocked it out of the park I was hooked from that moment on.As I ripped through this anthology I was taken on an extraordinary and confronting journey that explored that fascinating grey area between day and night the dusk of our world, and of our minds Whether it was Dullemond s harrowing tale of a human mission to Mars, or Campbell s creepy story about a man buried alive, this collection brilliantly mined that rich vein between day and night and good and evil Like psychological horror This anthology has it in spades Splatterpunk You will find enough to satisfy your thirst within its pages Cannibals Vampires Monsters both human and inhuman This anthology has you covered in every possible way And as I read, I was struck by just how many of the authors I d never heard of before Names like Karen Runge, S G Larner, Ben Knox and Sarah Read All new to me as a reader, but all with absolutely remarkable stories in this book.And therein lies the secret behind the success of this wonderful anthology Whilst it does include household names like Ramsay Campbell, Jack Ketchum, and Angela Slatter, it also includes a good amount of unknown writers from across the world who are allowed to shine within its pages with their stories I can t think of another anthology offhand that has replicated this, and I have a deep respect for Dewar for doing it Every single tale stands on its own two feet, and rightfully deserves its place within the anthology Every single story is also unique and enthralling in its own individual way Whether it s taking a vampire story and turning it on it s head Reasons to Kill by J C Michael , or fat campers donating their blubber to an evil entity Fit Camp by Shane McKenzie , Suspended in Dusk utterly absorbs your attention and simply refuses to let you step back from it.The editing is also superb Most anthologies usually have a low point or two as you work your way through them, but Suspended in Dusk starts high and never falls It is relentless, wonderfully balanced, and terrifyingly good This is a credit to Dewar and publisher Books of the Dead, who have brought this collection together with masterful hands I would never have known Dewar was relatively new to the industry either if it hadn t been pointed out at the start of the book.I literally cannot fault this anthology It was a delight to read from start to finish Riveting, emotionally thrilling, and darkly addictive, this is the sort of book that I live for Suspended in Dusk is THE horror anthology that we all must have on our shelves period My friend was right Emotional gut punch indeed 5 out of 5 stars. Really good horror anthology The linking thread is that all of the stories are somehow tied into dusk, whether that s when the story is set or that s when the bad things happen.Some stories of note At Dusk They Come Probably my favorite story in the collection, classic monster horrorA Woman of Disrepute Cool Ghost StoryReasons to Kill Post apocalyptic vampiric horrorNegatives Really creepy haunted carnival taleFit Camp What really happens at those weight loss camps for kids Quarter Turn to Dawn Aquatic zombies A Keeper of Secrets Eerie, just very eerie.As with most anthologies, some of the stories are hit and miss, but this one had hits than misses If you enjoy creepy short stories, especially with a supernatural edge, pick this one up. A good compilation of short stories in the horror vein Nothing sent me reeling, but it s worth reading if you are of a mind The tried and true Ramsey Campbell scores with Digging Deep Alan Baxter s Shadows of the Lonely Dead is another standout, featuring a hospice worker who takes empathy to a whole new level My favorite is Outside In by Brett Rex Bruton The narrator laments the loss of alliteration Noir ish goodness, and the ending is simply fab. I ve admittedly not read a lot of anthologies Part of the reason for this is the simple fact that any collection of various creative people s works inevitably results in as many possible outcomes of quality I ve read or tried to read a few anthologies before, only to be sorely disappointed by the large number of stories I disliked So it was, then, with some skepticism, that I approached editor Simon Dewar s Suspended In Dusk.Boy, was I not prepared for what I got.Not just some, but most of the stories in this collection were good, if not great And a couple of them, to be frank, were downright phenomenal.After an impressive and impress ed foreward by Jack Ketchum, and an informative and evocative introduction by Mr Dewar, I was a little worried about the fact that the collection opened with Alan Baxter s Shadows of the Lonely Dead, which was heartbreaking and moody, with a curveball ending that was all sorts of exquisite Starting on such a high note was indeed a bold move and while the next story kind of meandered, Armand Rosamilia s At Dusk They Come nicely picked things up again, with some vivid imagery that neatly tied into the brilliant and incredibly creepy cover artwork.A few of the other greats included Chris Lamb s Ministry of Outrage which ought to be adapted into an episode of the UK show Black Mirror, Toby Bennett s macabre tale Made of Bone, and Wendy Hammer s Negatives, which delivered its images with an almost cinematic flair.Unfortunately, as was bound to be the case with an anthology, there were a few stories that didn t quite work for me Some had strong beginnings, yet ended weakly Others left me scratching my head at just what the heck was going on And there were a couple of stories that were so unapologetically pessimistic and harsh that they left a foul taste in my literary mouth Yet unmistakably, each one was very memorable and unique, and helped solidify this anthology.And then there were the really good ones John Everson s Spirits Having Flown was beautiful, eerie, moody, and flat out original, and really helped hold this book on a high note Ramsey Campbell s Digging Deep a reprint from his 2009 collection Just Behind You had me squirming where I sat, squealing aloud, for how wildly unnerving it got And then there was J.C Michael s startling tale, Reasons To Kill While it at first seemed to be yet another post apocolyptic survivor s tale, it quickly took an infinitely darker turn when the true nature of its McGuffin villains was revealed I won t spoil it, as unfortunately other reviews have done I ll just insist that you read it and find out for yourself.If slightly uneven at times, I still look back on Suspended In Dusk with high regards This was easily one of the best anthologies of 2014, and worth a read by anybody who likes some variety in their horror And as of December 2015, it s still available on for a measly.99 This had some very dark stories in it I enjoyed most of them A decent anthology for those who enjoy weird stories about the dark side. Really solid anthology of horror First time editor Dewar went for a binding theme here theoretically, although if you didn t read about it in a foreword, you might miss it Nevertheless, very good selections from lesser known authors I only knew 3 or so , lots of British, Australian ones Majority of the stories was very good, reminded me of Shock Totem s selections Excellent start and finish, mixed bag in between, with serious leanings toward literary horror and, most impressively, consistently original Very entertaining read Recommended. I was given a copy of this anthology to read and review honestly.Alan Baxter s Shadows of the Lonely Dead lovely tale of a hospice worker who brings comfort to the suffering and dying yet left me with a most unusual chill to the bone I will definitely watch for this author.Anna Reith s Taming the Stars two viewpoints, Antoine the unfortunate young man who just happens to end up hanging out with the wrong guy, and Esther the exotic American whore who is dangerous than she appears This one was a little slow but still enjoyable It reminded me a bit of the 1992 movie Innocent Blood where Anne Parillaud plays a vampire who gets mixed up with the mob.Armand Rosamilia s At Dusk They Come Different Thoughts can be dangerous, so, deadly.Icy Sedgwick s A Woman of Disrepute Little slow for my tastes but reminds me of a turn of last century gothic ghost ghoul story.Rayne Hall s Burning A lesson in the righteousness of hatred Nice and twisted.Chris Limb s Ministry of Outrage Insightful look at propaganda and rising through the corporate ladder Had me reminiscing about a guy I dated back in the 80s and giggling out loud Toby Bennett s Maid of Bone The price you pay for what you desire most is never enough Lovely little tale with a taste of the brothers Grimm.S.G.Larner s Shades of Memory Religion interfering where it isn t wanted, imposing when it should stay out of a town s affairs A parallel of our current state of affairs with a super conservative government here in the US J.C.Michael s Reasons to Kill If an epidemic or apocalypse occurs, do you really know your neighbors What about strangers moving in I don t, and are neighbors don t really know my spouse and I Makes me wonder if this just might happen.Ramsey Campbell s Digging Deep A dead man who isn t dead with a cell phone Highly amusing and twisted tale for those who just LOVE those annoying PITA relatives who make your life miserable Beware.Brett Rex Bruton s Outside In This one had me a little confused I felt it was trying to be sci fi noirish but left me wanting Maybe it needs a re read.Karen Runge s Hope is Here this one bothered me like stories of the homeless and hopeless, and cults tend to Well done Tom Dullemond s Would to God That We Were There The trip to Mars always seems to be a long and lonely flight that really FU one s mind Meh.Wendy Hammer s Negatives Identical twins, different as night and day head off to an abandoned amusement park for fun only to have it turn dark and nasty I really liked this one No one can convince me that amusement parks don t harbor dark and evil secrets.Shane McKenzie s Fit Camp There s the tried and true but hard way to lose weight and then there s the Fit Camp way Insert Twilight Zone music here.Sarah Read s Quarter Turn to Dawn Vacation paradise turns into Hell or something just as evil at a beach resort Sometimes drinking one s self into oblivion when your dream vacation goes to crap is the only way to deal with it I ve always believed the vodka tonics protected me from Malaria or at least feeling those mosquito and no see ums biting me when I lived in the Bahamian islands Why not Tequila protecting you from the monsters outside your door I ve been a big fan of Sarah s writing for a while now as she always seems to come up with wonderfully weird, twisted, and horror filled stories to whet and appease my appetites.Benjamin Knox s A Keeper of Secrets A ghostly, impish friend for a lonely, bored child trying to stay amused the weekend of her dead grandmother s wake and funeral, that feeds off secrets The bigger the appetizing Loved this and definitely want to read of this writer s work.John Everson s Spirits Having Flown A trapper of dreams legacy Unusual tale.Angela Slatter s The Way of All Flesh Let s just say that appetites of various kinds can influence one s taste in all things and sometimes one s eyes are definitely bigger than their tummy Deliciously twisted I want from this writer.Overall, I really enjoyed the majority of these stories A couple of original ideas that pleasantly surprised me I would definitely recommend this anthology to my friends and fellow readers with a discerning and dark pallet in their reading diet Thank you Mr Dewar for the privilege to read these gems early on. DUSK A Time Between Times A Whore Hides Something Monstrous And Finds Something Special A Homeless Man Discovers The Razor Blade Inside The Apple Unlikely Love Is Found In The Strangest Of Places Secrets And Dreams Are Kept Forever Or Was It All Just A Trick Of The Light Suspended In Dusk Brings Together Stories By Some Of The Finest Minds In Dark Fiction Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, SG Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, JC Michael Introduction By Bram Stoker Award Winner And World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum Review copy provided by the editor in exchange for an honest reviewFall is finally here and it is my favorite season of all I mean, I run a site called The Horror Bookshelf, so naturally October and Halloween are my favorite times of the year Lately, I have been reading a lot of dark fiction anthologies, which make for perfect Halloween reading My most recent review was for The New Black, a stellar anthology edited by Richard Thomas and longtime readers already know about my love of the anthologies published by Grey Matter Press I am fairly new to the world of anthologies, but it seems like the format is becoming increasingly popular lately Tons of new anthologies and collections are making their rise in the horror genre and television anthology series like American Horror Story and True Detective are generating a lot of discussion among viewers.I was excited to dive right into Suspended In Dusk, an anthology edited by Simon Dewar, after seeing the creepy cover and seeing that the introduction was written by the legendary Jack Ketchum Suspended In Dusk features 19 stories from some incredibly talented horror writers and is loosely themed around dusk, a time where daylight fades into night and where the evils lurking in the shadows are finally unleashed Dewar has collected a pretty diverse selection of stories for Suspended In Dusk, so there is a little bit of everything contained within its pages that will appeal to horror fans Every reader is sure to have their own list of favorites, as all of the stories are highly entertaining and well written, but the following stories were the ones that captured my imagination right off the bat Taming The Stars by Anna Reith is a beautifully written story that follows the paths of Michele, a man who is thrust into a shady job by his friend Antoine and Esther, a woman with a dark secret Their two seemingly separate paths finally converge in a blood filled encounter at the gangster Radouane s house and their lives are never the same At Dusk They Come by Armand Rosamilia is a dark tale that really stuck with me due to the choice of setting I have lived in small towns THe story opens with mysterious, dark figures that seem ripped straight from the stuff nightmares are made of Glowing eyes and armed with sharp claws, these beings emerge from the woods with dark intentions and strike a deal with the narrator offer up your neighbors and your family lives Digging Deep , a story from British horror master Ramsey Campbell, is a frightening tale of a man who realizes has greatest fear has come true he has been buried alive Campbell s story perfectly captures the desperation and claustrophobic nature of a very terrifying scenario that will keep you flipping through the pages until you reach the story s utterly chilling conclusion.Rayne Hall s Burning stood out to me because it was one of the few stories that didn t focus on the unknown or supernatural, but rather the darkness that dwells in the hearts of every day people.Karen Runge s Hope Is Here follows Gary, a homeless man hears rumors of a sanctuary for those living on the street run by The Sunshine Group They supposedly offer clean showers and hot meals in exchange for filling out a simple questionnaire that will help them assist homeless people in getting off the streets and rehabilitating their lives Gary quickly learns that this supposedly no strings attached offer of assistance is too good to be true.I am a huge fan of post apocalyptic stories and Suspended In Dusk has a few excellent entries that cover that theme extremely well Angela Slatter s The Way of All Flesh is a chilling story that focuses on a small town in the aftermath of Sweet Bobby Tate is a predator who comes to Wolf s Briar, West Virginia in search of victims in order to combat his hunger Sweet Bobby Tate thinks he has hit the jackpot when he stumbles across the home of sixteen year old Annabel Adams, but realizes much too late that he may be in over his head This story seems to take place in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, but the story focuses instead on how the events have changed everyday people and the lengths they must go to survive.J.C Michael s Reasons To Kill follows a band of survivors who have built a small community and have been surviving in relative comfort until a stranger moves into the community The stranger is a bit of a recluse and makes the townspeople uneasy, but they decide to leave him in peace since he is not bothering anyone However, when children go missing, the leaders within the community begin to suspect their newest resident is hiding something The group starts to become unhinged when they argue over how to handle the situation and when they finally decide to investigate the newcomer s home, they make a series of horrifying discoveries that forever alters their community.I loved Suspended In Dusk because while some of the authors that appear in the anthology are familiar to me, I was also treated to some new writers who I had never heard before I think there is no better feeling than discovering new authors that capture everything you love in a story and Dewar s stellar anthology offers up plenty of those opportunities to horror fans This is Dewar s first entry into the anthology world and I think he nailed it He brought together an impressive cast of authors and crafted one hell of an anthology despite numerous setbacks along the path to publication I will definitely be looking forward to Dewar s work in the future, both as an editor and an author I highly recommend picking up Suspended In Dusk and giving it a read They ve been saying for over forty years that horror s dead I bet they ve they being either blocked horror writers or the reader equivalent of Mary Whitehouse been saying that ever since the genre erupted nearly two centuries ago in the Gothic imagination of a precocious seventeen year old Englishwoman Though to be accurate, horror fiction has existed since anxious humans first learned how to communicate.I love it when the naysayers are proved wrong Simon Dewar s new anthology, Suspended in Dusk, is a celebration not only of the far reaching range of horror, but of its world wide appeal As an editor Mr Dewar possesses the catholic tastes of the much missed Karl Edward Wagner, who loved Jamesian ghost stories as much as he did vampires, werewolves both had to have some original twist , and modern body horror Quiet co exists with graphic, urban with rural, ghosts with splatter Dewar also possesses a keen eye for quality.Nineteen stories for 2.58 is a pretty fine deal, too Though not every theme is to my taste, there isn t a duff piece in the lot if you re a zombie fan this book will put you in dead heaven I really enjoyed Jack Ketchum s entertaining introduction which is also a bit of a horror history lesson All the stories are beautifully written but my favourites included, in no particular order, Alan Baxter s tender and furious elegy Karen Runge s creepy do gooders Sarah Read s awful sun drenched paradise with its neat end flip Tom Dullemond s space oddity, the kind of story that lends itself to repeated readings and a study in terror from the magnificent Ramsey Campbell, who, after over four decades in the business, still packs a powerful punch.Despite being American born, I get tired of horror fiction being Americentric, as so much of the really disturbing stuff doesn t come from American pens I m thrilled to see great horror literature emerging from a variety of countries, as I am to see an anthology that boasts, for a change, a list of names that are new to me Long may these trends flourish it can only be good for both writers and readers I look forward to seeing the future offerings of this very talented editor.