It is a musty scent carried on a chilled wind, it is a hushed whisper lurking from behind an ancient tree. The squelching of damp, decaying leaves. The glow of smoldering ash. It is Quiet Horror and it settles in your bones.
As a young reader the day I found horror was a life changer. Gravitating towards Stephen King and Clive Barker, as most from my generation did. I fell in love with dark words, cherished the fear. A few years later, with a license in my pocket and the means to venture out on my own, a trip to a recently opened used-book store changed things further. It was there that I found a copy of Charles L. Grant’s The Hour of the Oxrun Dead, a novel (one of many) set in the Author’s fictional town of Oxrun Station. It was then that I realized that while Horror in general pushed my buttons, intimate small town horror turned the screws. I cruised all the used-book stores in the area and picked up anything and everything I could find from Mr. Grant, an author I couldn’t find in the big box book retailers (get used to that, kid). Dialing the Wind, The Orchard, The Bloodwind. “New” stories taking place in familiar locations with recognizable faces popping up here and there. It called to me, and it made perfect sense. Stephen King incorporated the same style of connectivity, this was just on a smaller scope and filtered through the amber light of Midwestern town in the fall.
It’s a wonderful moment for a reader when you stumble upon a book that reminds you of the euphoria felt when a particular genre first reach out and snared you. Something that reminds you of exactly why you became a fan of a particular genre. A book that acts as a portal to another place, another time.
Enter Welcome to Moon Hill, a Grantesque collection of quiet, intimate dark fiction from Anthony J. Rapino. I found my way to Moon Hill on a recommendation from author Todd Kesling. I eventually checked it out and the old feelings all came back to me. It was a nice moment.
Fast forward to now, right this moment, when a chilled breeze carrying a sent of smoke and earth is emanating towards you, calling you back to Moon Hill, by way of Todd Keisling’s Precipice Books. Remastered, expanded and retitled Greetings from Moon Hill is requesting your presence again (or perhaps it’s for the first time), seeking funding through an ambitious and perk filled, multi-media crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter.
It’s proof that Todd wasn’t just putting on a cheap salesman suit and pushing a buddy’s book, he was trying to help a book he believes in find it’s audience.
Synopsis from the Kickstarter page:
“Your definition of weird is about to change.
Somewhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania, nestled between the forests and foothills of the Poconos, you’ll find the forgotten town of Moon Hill. It’s a surreal place of arcane magic and natural wonder, where a hint of autumn lingers in the air, the leaves are always turning, and the shadows grow long no matter the time of day.
You might say Moon Hill is special, a pocket of Americana frozen in time, filled with eccentric characters and deathly secrets that transcend dimensions. And like most small towns, it also has a dark side.
We’d like to show it to you.
Fans of Rapino’s fiction will find some familiar stories in these pages, many of which were previously released digitally in his collection, Welcome to Moon Hill. All of these stories have been revised, and in some cases, completely rewritten to provide a more cohesive experience for the reader.
However, Mr. Rapino also wrote new content exclusive to this collection, including the unsettling tales ‘The Topsy-Turvy Man’ and ‘Halloween on the Hill.’ Perhaps the biggest inclusions are ‘Reality Engineers,’ a novella that was previously only available in audio book form from In Ear Entertainment, and the first three chapters of Rapino’s forthcoming novel, ‘The Shadows of Flies.'”
So there you have it. A sweet rerelease package containing as little or as much content as you’d like. Every little bit helps the dream become a reality. I sincerely hope this project comes to fruition and finds it’s audience. It is a great read and something any fan of dark fiction can get lost in.
Full disclosure, I have a stake in this as a contributor. I’ve made my pledge towards Greetings from Moon Hill because I feel it’s important to support Horror, also to support the art that moves you. Otherwise that art goes away. If it is also important to you, go check out the campaign page and see all of the goodies involved. I stand behind Greetings from Moon Hill.
Tell the boys ZDubbz sent you.
P.S. Some of the sculptures involved in the campaign.