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Book Review: Now That We’re Alone by Nicholas Day

“Nicholas Day isn’t restrained by any genre in particular and wields them all as an arsenal to create stories that go beyond boundaries.”

 

Nicholas day comes out with genre guns blazing in his first collection, Now That We’re Alone, published by Bizarro Pulp Press, an imprint of JournalStone. The cover is artwork by Jim Agpalza is outstandingly creepy with a character that resembles Day removing his face to display the entity beneath. The interior art was done by the extremely talented Luke Spooner and it adds another level of darkness to the whole experience of reading these stories. It opens with a foreword that describes the early parts of his journey as a wordsmith and some of his short story publications and work as a screenwriter, a self-described snapshot of those years.

The first story, ‘This Is Why Johnny Is In Therapy Now’, is just a flash, a glimpse into the nightmare of what happens when a child plays with a gun. Like the blast of a shotgun, it’s over quick but leaves devastation behind. ‘The Ghosts In Winter’s Wake’ reminds the readers what happens to naughty boys who hide from their mothers, and what vengeance winter holds. The narrator of ‘Chomp Chomp’ isn’t quite sure what happened to Abby so many years ago, was it just an accident or something much more horrific. He’s talked into swimming in the same currents in which she died, testing his luck against an old legend. His answers rest beneath the murky surface of the waters around Turtle Island where Chomp Chomp is said to live. ‘Bright Red Mass’ is the twisted aftermath of a man who loses his wife in an accident and the horrid thing he does to be close to her again. ‘Negative Space’ is about a man who brings his dead wife’s lover over to show him something unbelievable, that she still exists but only in their periphery but his intentions are to show her something as well.

‘Snow Like Lonely Ghosts’ introduces the reader to Lewis, a man who dreamed of eating like most men dream of sex. After losing his mother to the same obsession with eating his life spirals out of control and he finds himself left with nothing but memories of his past. Tim thinks Mrs. Zmora is just a crazy old woman when she measures his footprint in the snow with a piece of thread and then burns it, he soon wishes his assumption was true in ‘Spoiling’. ‘My Unshaped Form’ is a uniquely twisted story of a golem unleashed in the old west after a farmer is murdered.

In ‘Jacks’, A girl is left in charge of her little sister for the evening. A man knocks on the door and warns that the girls shouldn’t be in the house alone. His reason to be so concerned is beyond creepy but she isn’t sure if she should believe the stranger, until she comes face to face with the truth. A werewolf’s woman ain’t nothin’ to fuck with in ‘Beast Mode’. It’s a bloody, brutal free-for-all. Perfect for fans of true werewolf horror that harkens back to the eighties classics about lunar rampages and tearing flesh apart. Closing out the cast of stories is a futuristic bizarro-punk tale about G.G. Allin in space, ‘G.G. Allin And The Final Flight Of The Chrysanthemum Byzantium’; it’s extremely weird and excellent.

The afterword gives the audience insight into the writing of these stories over the years and their publications. Afterwords like this are always nice; they feel like a personal glimpse into the mind of the author and a chance to see some of the inspiration for their mindset while going about creating such memorable work.

Nicholas Day isn’t restrained by any genre in particular and wields them all as an arsenal to create stories that go beyond boundaries. His prose excites the reader; eliciting emotion to come naturally, never is it forceful or tears the reader out of their imagination but instead leads them like some crazy ass pied piper towards the culmination of a story. Those who aren’t familiar with Day’s work will be seeking him out after reading this collection. Its one hundred and thirty one pages of genius that will leave the reader hoping Nicholas will write a million more stories that are so packed with imagination and raw emotion to entertain their brains.

                                                                                                                                MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Bizarro Pulp Press
Paperback: (131 pp)
Release Date: 1 August 2017

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