Hitch a ride with the master of setting as he blends and bends genres with science-rich, thought-provoking short stories. “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
“A maestro of the field, Gene O'Neill's stories are consistently well-executed. He writes with authority, depth, and loads of worldly and writerly experience, and delivers fascinating stuff.” – Darren Speegle
Along the way you will travel to the top of Mt. George, up and down Napa Valley, through Sacramento, and into the heart of the Bay Area, to the ‘Loin in San Francisco, Hotel Reo, Chapel of the Chimes, the back streets of Oakland, and other familiar dark places. The stories explore quantum entanglement, Visual Migraine Events, electro-shock treatment, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome experimentally treated with Temporary Deep Brain Stimulation. And as you read you may start to notice all these stories are connected in a way.
- “Frozen Shadows” – Coming of age autobiographical
- “The Algernon Effect” – A transgressive love story
- “Transformations at the Inn of the Golden Pheasant” – A damaged vet describes a bizarre transformation
- “On the Right Side of the Road” – An ex-con suffering from Visual Migraine Effects may just save the world
- “Black Tar/Red Alien” – A heroin addict’s confrontation with a horrific alien
- “Broken Lady” – An aging singer pays a terrible price for defending herself during a rape
- “The Shaking Man” – An ex-con receives an experimental treatment for his Tourette’s Syndrome with unexpected results
- “3-Dot People” – An amnesiac man drops literally into the Tenderloin of San Francisco
- “A Faint Scent of Musky Lime” – A fan of the writer Tom Really finds himself experiencing one of Reamy’s horrific stories
- “At the Lazy K” – A historic epic of a ghost plaguing a rehab clinic on an old ranch
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the author:
So what makes this short story collection so special?
I think two major reasons make this collection special.
1. I have given workshops on the value of autobiography in a writer’s fiction. The reader ‘hitchhiking’ on the real emotion conveyed by the writer. The first fifty pages of the opening novella are autobiographical, true, about me going to be raised by my grandparents. Immigrants, with 2nd and 3rd grade educations. But who loved the ‘word’ like most Irish.
2. Even though I write mostly mixed genre stuff, I have been a Stoker finalist twelve times, and garnered the award twice. These ten stories, all published in pro markets, are as close to real dark fantasy horror as I have ever written. Four of the stories were either Stoker finalists or appeared in anthologies that were Stoker finalists/won the Stoker. These specific stories are edgy, no flinch work. One story here is a tribute story to a favorite writer, Tom Really, who died writing a story for F & SF when he was forty-two.
Which story is your favorite and why?
I think “The Algernon Effect,” which is a transgressive love story, is my favorite in the collection. I was an adaptive P.E. teacher for years, working with a lot of exceptional people. I’ve written a number of stories about them over the years, especially for those with no voice of their own, like Algernon.
Why should readers give this Horror collection a try?
Well besides me needing the money, I think the collection may be one of my best. At least it gives readers the ‘feel’ for my most recent work. Also, the introduction by Michael Bailey, in my opinion, is the most honest and accurate review of my writing in general.