Exploring Dark Fiction: A Primer to Han Song
Hello ScareTissue Readers!
I am spending a lot of time with books lately, and next up on the review list is the fifth book in the series called Exploring Dark Fiction: A Primer to Han Song. This collection comes from Dark Moon Books. It is edited by Eric J. Guignard, and includes commentary by Michael Arnzen, Ph.D. What makes Dark Moon Books unique is that there is an intellectual element to the press. They publish a wide array of dark fiction, along with anthologies, short story collections, and novels. The Exploring Dark fiction series is really great because it explores authors from different cultures. So without further ado, let’s get to the review of A Primer to Han Song!
I was excited to read this work because I can’t recall ever reading any Chinese dark literature, or any Chinese literature for that matter. All the stories have been translated into English for this collection. Han Song is known primarily as a science fiction writer. The essays and interview with Han Song were really important for me as the reader, because it helped me understand the state of sci-fi in China. Science fiction is basically a form of horror for Han Song, the stories are dream-like, surreal, and upsetting, but they also speak to the state of life in China, socially, economically, spiritually, and mentally. In Han’s stories, life is often a journey, but along the way you aren’t sure what’s real.
My favorite story from this collection was the most horror-like one of them called: Fear of Seeing. This was a tale about two parents, whose newborn is born with eight extra eyes. The child scares them, but at the same time they are in awe. The end of this tale, as all of Song’s tales in this collection, is dark, somewhat depressing, as well as mysterious. Song’s stories have a deeper message, and to me this one played off the fears of being a new parent.
I would recommend this book for fans of mystical, surreal bizarre, and over the top writing. Some of the stories are complex, but give them time, and an open mind, and I’m sure you will become a fan of Han Song. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
The Weevil Dead