Greg Gifune's Heretics lives up to the reputation of the writer who brought use Down to Sleep and Drago Descending. The book has already received a great deal of praise from other reviewers like myself and contains the novella which it is titled for and seven shorter tales. Since this book has been reviewed before though, I will not waste your time and mine by telling you about the novella itself but rather on two of the short stories it features that perhaps deserve even more praise than the novella Heretics itself.
Gifune starts of the collection with a tale simply titled "The Ushers of Darkness". A retake on the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" theme yet proves to be highly entertaining in its own right and is made remarkable by the way in which Gifune develops his protagonists, Gloria and Michael. Gloria is already infected (or possessed if you prefer) and the tale is told from Michael's point of view as he tries to discover why the woman he loves is suddenly a completely different person. He enlists the aid of a psychic and discovers the truth at a high price.
But perhaps the best tale of the collection is "Snow Angels." In it, a man tries to save his young daughter from an evil festering in a small town that began long before even he was born. The tale contain no elements of the supernatural but still sings with atmosphere and conjures up a place like Hell on Earth that no one would ever want to visit in real life. Again, Gifune demonstrates his talent to make one care about his characters and their heartbreakers so profoundly that this story will haunt one weeks after they put the book down and at the tale's end, Gifune resolves it in such a way as to leave the reader begging for more.
With a cool introduction by Brian Hopkins included the book is worth every cent of its cover price and is sure to sell out quickly and be reprinted time and time again because Gifune's work has a depth and honesty seldom seen in the genre. Make sure you drop by Delirium Books and order your copy today. This is one you don't want to miss, trust me.
Copyright © 2003 by Eric S. Brown