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The End of All Beginnings, by John F.D. Taff Book Review | SFReader.com
The End of All Beginnings, by John F.D. Taff Genre: Horror Anthology Publisher: Grey Matter Press Published: 2014 Review Posted: 8/21/2014 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The End of All Beginnings, by John F.D. Taff
Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths
Have you read this book?
The End of All Beginnings, by John F.D. Taff is a horror anthology of his stories that focuses on the concept of death. In most respects the term Horror is used loosely here. The stories are thought invoking and introspective. One could almost call them literary, but since they have aspects of the fantastic, it still falls into the realm of Speculative Fiction. If you are looking for serial killers and blood soaked clowns, this book is probably not for you, but if you like well written stories that make you think, but also leave you a bit unnerved, then you would probably like what you found here.
The first and longest story (over a 100 pages) is What becomes God. At first, this left me wondering if I was even reading a horror novel at all, but the end has a huge twist. When two young friends find out that one is going to die, the other will do anything to keep him alive.
Object Permanence is just plain eerie. A person with a strange ability to keep things the way they are, as long as she remembers them, decides to keep a whole town locked in time no matter how much the rest of them might suffer.
Love in the Time of Zombies, is up third. A lot of people take a shot at writing a zombie stories these days. Although Taff's zombies are about the wimpiest zombies ever, the story is pretty good, but boy it would suck to fall in love with a zombie.
Next we have The Long, Long Breakdown. Talk about using a science fiction story for an analogy. A father worries over his daughter's safety like every dad out there, but in this case the idea of her seeking to go out into the world and finding her own life is hindered by the fact that most of the planet is under hundreds of feet of water.
Last we have Visitation, which despite its ghosts is more science fiction than horror in my eyes. A lottery is drawn to pick people to head to a planet to see the ghosts of their loved ones. But why would the ghosts of your loved ones be on a different planet? Fen is about to find the truth whether he wants to or not.
I like the fact that Taff was allowed his own book to help fit in his stories of unusual length. Often in this day in publishing we are limited to stories of 5000 words or whole books and little in-between. So hats off to Grey Matter Press for breaking this mold and letting us enjoy these.
Drawbacks here could include that the mix of stories could affect folks that only like a certain style of fiction. Still I think his strong writing would help most people enjoy what they see. Also the unusual length might put people off more than it did me. The 100 page What becomes God, probably could have been a short story. I liked it the way it was, but it was about a 90 page build up to what might take another author just 8.
Overall I was surprised by how good this book was. I enjoyed it and read it pretty quickly, which is always a good sign. I would recommend someone that likes to be taken on strange rides, but in an educated mind twisting way. And yeah, I would read more of his work if I got the chance
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