Each year, anthologies hit the shelves in greater numbers which tends to water down the quality of the stories and stretches themes into mere suggestions. Not everyone can be Ellen Datlow or Paula Guran and cull the best stories from the dark pool of horror authors from across the globe. Familiar names typical fill the pages with only a stray newcomer or two to break into the fold.
Thank God for small presses! When constructed properly, new voices can be heard. Strong voices with something special to say can fill the minds of readers with visions they had not yet experienced.
Villipede Publications has emerged from the darkness to bring its vision to the masses – and does so with strength and clarity.
The editors of Darkness Ad Infinitum have accomplished a great feat: amassing fifteen stories and four poems from non-name brand writers in a collection that is seamless in structure and strong in quality from cover to cover.
Also impressive is the artwork, from the beautifully disturbing cover by Wednesday Wolf to the other nine artists whose works introduce each story. The amount of care and imagination placed into creating this anthology is evident on every page.
But onto the stories, the real reason why readers buy anthologies. The editors have included writers from around the globe which lends itself to a bevy of flavors typically not found in the everyday horror collection. The views and images painted on the pages provide a true variety of terrors, both subtle and explicit, in a manner which celebrates viewpoints many are not familiar. Darkness Ad Infinitum opens with “Longboat” by Becky Relegado, somewhat Lovecraftian in nature yet with a cultural sensibility not found in Innsmouth or Dunwich. That unsettling tale sets the tone for the rest of the book, a fine, strong choice that lets the reader know he or she is in for a ride just a bit different than the typical fare. Kudos to each entry here but the favorites of this reviewer are “Brannigan’s Window,” “The Song That Crawled,” and “The Undertaker’s Melancholy.”
Give some of the newer presses a chance and a smart choice would be Villipede. If their other offerings are up to the standards of Darkness Ad Infinitum, they will likely be around for quite a long time.


About Dave Simms