The Dark at the End of the Tunnel by Taylor Grant

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The Dark at the End of the Tunnel by Taylor Grant
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (112 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Discover what happens when:

– A wealthy industrialist awakens after ten years in suspended animation, and finds out that the horrors of the past can never be left behind.

– A lonely man realizes that he’s gradually vanishing from existence, into a nightmarish limbo of his own making.

– An author stumbles upon an incomplete manuscript by his deceased father, and makes the grave mistake of trying to complete the story.

– A woman learns that the imaginary voices that haunt the delusional and criminally insane are, in fact, real.

This remarkable collection of short fiction exposes the terrors that hide beneath the surface of our ordinary world, behind people’s masks of normalcy, and lurking in the shadows at the farthest reaches of the universe.

Almost anything can be terrifying if you look at it the right way.

The main character in “The Silent Ones” had a peculiar problem: even though the post office claimed nothing was out of the ordinary, he hadn’t been receiving his mail. What made it all even more bizarre was that no one else seemed to notice how upset he was by this. I read a lot of science fiction, and I’ve never seen anything like this story before. It reminded me why I enjoy this genre so much, especially once the plot progressed and the main character started noticing other strange developments in his life. Seeing how an otherwise mild-mannered guy reacted to all of these weird things made me wish for a sequel. I would have really liked to know what happened next!

There were certain things about “Gods and Devils” that never made sense to me. The storyline was about a space ship’s captain, Vega, who comes out of stasis only to realize that something horribly violent has taken place while he and all of the other humans on board were unconscious while en route to a new home. His confusion and panic was completely justifiable at first. Had he been an ordinary person who wasn’t in charge of the safety of so many other people, his later actions wouldn’t have been so jarring. I had a lot of trouble understanding why someone with as much training and experience as one would need to be a captain would react the way he did later on in the plot, though. It might have made sense for someone who wasn’t particularly intelligent, but it wasn’t at all what I would have expected from a professional with his background.

In “Show and Tell,” Jacob has been sent to his school psychologist’s office to discuss a series of disturbing drawings he created. The pictures showed medical equipment and other things that most children don’t have experience with at Jacob’s age, so his psychologist was curious to see where the boy had learned about them and why he was so obsessed with them. What I liked the most about this tale was how straightforward it was. The narrator laid everything out methodically and didn’t dance around the topic once it became obvious what was happening. While I did figure out the twist early on, it was still interesting to see if my theory was correct. The ending was also nicely handled. It fit in well with everything else that had been established about Jacob and his home life earlier on.

I’d recommend The Dark at the End of the Tunnel to anyone who likes the dark and sometimes gory side of science fiction.

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