Kirkus Review of “Ones & Zeroes”

“Walsh (The Jinxed Pirate, 2017, etc.) assembles a collection of horror and fantasy tales populated by dragons, aliens, and other creatures in the shadows.

“In ‘His Friends,’ Cynthia is bored at a party with her boyfriend Jon’s tactless friends. But their company is preferable to that of the mysterious entity that’s lurking outside—something that’s odd, misshapen, and most definitely not human. Walsh often treads conventional territory in these stories, offering mood-setting lightning flashes; vague, moving shapes in darkness; and even a babysitter getting creepy phone calls from a stranger. The familiar setups, however, typically beget surprising turns, as in ‘Someone Else’s Story,’ in which one man’s attempt at playing the hero for a woman in trouble doesn’t quite pan out due to an unexpected twist. ‘Damsel’ also toys with readers’ expectations when a young woman named Gwen tries to find a way to escape a determined murderer. The author employs other tried-and-true horror methods to great effect, often by merely hinting at the appearance of a monster or killer. In the Lovecraft-ian ‘Look the Other Way,’ for example, Laurie Brooks and her husband, Tom, encounter a terrifying creature that Walsh reveals only in snippets—and its backstory is also eerily murky. (‘Finding Bosco’ is an equally good companion piece, taking place in the same town of Faicville, where twins’ search for a lost cat leads them to what may be the very same monster.) The collection also includes fantasy stories that, like the horror tales, have gloomy overtones. There’s a princess in both ‘Collision’ and ‘The Mouse & the Dragon’; in the former, a cleric plans on sacrificing her, and in the latter, she awaits someone to rescue her from a dragon—but over thousands of days, she only sees repeated failures. Throughout, Walsh portrays various spooky things with bold imagery. For instance, the narrator of ‘My Window,’ while lying in bed, stares at a creepy silhouette that she describes as ‘some kind of nightmarish shadow puppet.’

“Unnerving stories that turn traditional plots into fresh, original scares.”

Kirkus Reviews

Continue reading

Advertisements

“Ones & Zeroes” Excerpt

Here’s a brief snippet from one of the stories featured in Ones & Zeroes,
“The Mouse & the Dragon”

The knight charged forth, shield up and spear ready. His armor glistened despite the dreary overcast sky like a chrome beacon amidst his hellish surroundings. The horse’s neigh was loud and triumphant as the clopping of its hooves echoed on the scorched cobblestone. The knight’s banner, an orange lion against a black background, billowed in the wind.

He would’ve been a majestic sight to behold had Hildy not seen it already or known what was coming. Continue reading

“Ones & Zeroes: A Short Story Collection” Now Available

A collection of my short stories is now up for sale on Amazon

kindle coverLook behind the curtain for 14 tales of horror, action, humor, and fantasy…

A babysitter contends with not just an intruder lurking outside, but her own mind…A drug addict saves the world from an alien invasion…In a sleepy town, an abandoned sewage treatment plant houses a sinister force…Man and insect clash in the middle of the night…Mercenaries collide during the sacrifice of a princess…A damsel in distress tries to escape her own story…

Vampires, dragons, zombies, giant spiders and more can be found in this collection of stories from author M. Walsh.

Only $0.99 on Kindle

also available in paperback