I’d heard of Jeremy C Shipp through the Pill Hill Press forum, it wasn’t until I joined Twitter that I actually got to know him. Jeremy is an author of novels and short stories, his latest novel – Cursed – was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading one of his short story collections – Attic Clowns – and his short story The Sun Never Rises In The City.
Attic Clowns is a slice of madness all of us have no doubt come across at some point or another in the dark of night. Each chilling slice revolves around a clown in some shape or form, it is used as a manifestation of certain characters quirks and hidden personalities. The imagery Jeremy creates is graphic, worrying and scarily familiar to anyone who’s had a vivid nightmare.
Each tale cranks up the horror, making the reader squirm, painting a picture with flowing prose riddled with colourful language that is not recommended for for use in front of your granny. I’d recommend you not read this at night, after a supper of strong cheese. I doubt Jeremy would claim responsibility for the resulting nightmares – though he’d probably like to incorporate them into another anthology.
The Sun Never Rises In The City is a noir crime story set within a horror tale. It is set in a strange world, that though it is like ours it so obviously isn’t. There is a defined class system of master and serf, the use of the term Sire and and underclass of Dollhouse-like creatures who’s purpose is to bring pleasure to their masters. Mixed in is a technology equal or in advance of ours. I had the distinct feeling of being inside a computer game, or virtual reality world, where everyone who could afford it lived out their fantasies.
This is a hard hitting short story – a little over 5,500 words long – that manages to build a world as well as tell a story.
I enjoyed my brief glimpse inside the twisted imagination of Jeremy C Shipp, sometimes it scared me, sometimes it made me think, but one thing it did do is make me want more.