Published by Cemetery Dance Publications on November 2, 2015
Genres: Dark Fiction, Horror, Psychological Horror
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Like the first domino in a chain, the most traumatic episode of a person’s life shapes all things to come.
For a fashion model, the key event is a repulsive facial blemish caused by a photographer with an unusual camera. For a man in a post-apocalyptic shelter, it’s the need for emergency medical attention from the last remaining doctor: his ex-wife. For a homeless man, it’s the realization that the backward-walking man beside him controls world events from his park bench.
Matthew Warner ranges from the 19th to the 43rd century in this collection reprinting eighteen horror and science fiction stories. In the foreword and story notes, Warner describes how his life inspired these tales of infidelity, parenthood, and death. It includes some of his most popular stories, such as “Backwards Man” and “Second Wind.”
DOMINOES IN TIME, by Matthew Warner, is a collection of short stories with one common thread: the domino effect. All it takes is one change, one minor alteration in someone’s life, to set into action a chain of events that could potentially have far reaching consequences. Whether it be something as random as a bottle lying in the road, to finding a stray cat on your doorstep, Matthew Warner has penned an impressive collection of tales that will transport you to places and scenes you’ve never imagined.
As this is the first collection I’ve read by this author, I will say that I was very impressed. HIs overall writing style and imagination had won me over after only the beginning “section” of tales. Of those six stories, I had already rated two of them as five-star material, and a third a 4.5*.
It turned out that my absolute favorite story, in terms of raw emotion and the most vividly haunting sense–that actually sent real shivers through me–wasn’t even in that section!
I won’t go through and detail each and every tale, but only name some of my personal favorites. These included: “Die Not in Vain”–the details involved with this one were so accurate that I could almost “feel” the character’s pain; “At Death We’ll Not Part”–a funeral director’s guilt over the death of his beloved wife does not diminish over time . . .; “Springs, Eternal”–a man so in love that he is willing to do anything to bring his wife back. LOVED the ending!; “Picture Perfect”–it all begins with a blemish on a model’s previously perfect skin . . .; “With the Eyes of God”–gives pause to the question of whether begin able to see and know everything is such a great thing after all . . . ; “Second Wind”–this one was quite an emotional ride; “Backwards Man”–a complex tale that had me questioning all the little “coincidences” and occurrences that surround us at any given moment; and my personal favorite of the entire collection, “Cat’s Cradle”–this story was so eerie and yet utterly convincing that I honestly shivered while reading it! I loved the entire concept, from beginning to end.
As in any collection, each person will have a unique reaction to different themes–based upon their own experiences and preferences. What I will say without hesitation, is that Matthew Warner has such a variety of ideas collected here, that I am certain every horror fan will find something that resonates with them.