One of the things I appreciate about the stories written by science fiction & dark fantasy author, David J Rodger, is the shared universe aspect. It makes it extremely easy to pick up any single one of his stories and find yourself immediately immersed in that world with a ready-made primer built in to the narration. As you continue to read more of his work, you’ll feel how they all seem to tie together, without being dependent on one another.
The main protagonist for one story feels like he could also be the disgruntled unnamed gentleman briefly mentioned walking down the sidewalk in another. Spheres brushing up alongside each other in their own singular orbits.
I love this collection of short stories. There is a darkness that lingers with you afterwards, a darkness I enjoy going back to. For me it’s like Blade Runner met William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy in a bar, and then H.P. Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones decided to camp out outside that bar and peer inside the windows.
Here are some of my particular favorites in this collection:
Merchant of Oropas
In certain cultures, the possession of an object during magical ceremony can infuse it with qualities that cannot be measured or monitored by scientific means. They are said to become like beacons, within the Astral Planes, guiding or warding other worldly spirits with no restrictions of time, or space.
A tense and fast-paced plot that plunges into the heart of our fear of the ‘monsters’ we make to serve us. Biological intolerance clashes with the vain attempt to rationalise cold-blooded murder.
The Tainted Moor
In the North East of England is a place where something so terrible has occurred, that the locals dare only to speak of it as a warning to survivors thinking of going there. The Tainted Moor. Man has tried to penetrate the chaos of the Infection and brought such calamity upon the battered Earth that even the Angels weep in despair. An indelible stain upon the bruised flesh of Mother Nature.
Stories with sprawling and vast environs, yet give you very close and intimate portraits of the souls trapped within for those who wish to take a look inside.