Mark Fuller Dillion is a poet and fiction writer from Gatineau, Quebec, who’s had stories featured in several prestigious publications such as All Hollows, Weird Fiction Review and the Alone on the Darkside anthology. In a Season of Dead Weather collects seven of his atmospheric tales of weird horror. Mark is a true fan who puts his years of experience reading and writing in the genre to good use in these stories, carefully choosing the right words to create an evocative sense of place and dread for what lurks around each corner. There is a lyrical quality to these stories, and I very much enjoyed each of them. That said, my favorites were “Lamia Dance”, “Never Noticed, Never There”, “When the Echo Hates the Voice”, “Who Would Remain?” and “The Weight of Awareness”.
- “Lamia Dance” (2005) – A reclusive student goes to an arthouse theater to watch a foreign film called Lamia Dance despite his social anxieties. The film is a disturbing one about a giant snake woman toying with a someone she eyes as her prey. The student has had a long, unsettling history with this film.
- “Never Noticed, Never There” (1999) – A man who excels at perceiving details from his surroundings begins to see figures others do not that are passing through the city. He follows one into a hidden doorway in a wall to a strange destination. This is connected to a mysterious, unsolved disappearance of a husband and wife from their house several years before. This is a very eerie read!
- “Shadows in the Sunrise” (1998) – After an economic collapse has altered world dynamics, a person who’s remained in the remote, deserted town continues to check on their neighbor’s house for them. One day, while leaving, they loses time and finds themself far down the mountain road with twelve unremembered hours gone and red pinpricks covering their face. Their shadow has been altered and something consisting of strange lights begins to manifest.
- “When the Echo Hates the Voice” (2005) – A popular, successful boy who never wants to be alone is pursued by an enormous version of himself that wishes to supplant him. I love the weird, spookiness of this story.
- “Who Would Remain?” (1998) – A woman who has just been released from prison drives out to her mother’s remote farm during a winter blizzard after being unable to reach her or her next door neighbor by phone. When she arrives, she finds the place eerily silent and unsettled. Her mother is alive and bundled in her bed, but troubles have befallen the area, and the weather has them trapped. The mounting challenges of dealing with an ailing mother, the debilitating weather, and apocalyptic troubles outside combine to make this an excellent, unsettling tale.
- “The Weight Of Awareness” (2011) – Decades after he first glimpsed the mysterious line of Victorian houses near the canal, a man returns to see if they were real or not. He finds them, as well as a bunch of hideous statues, in the park below. These statues form strange, hellish scenes of people being tormented by hideous, mythical beasts. Then, the man realizes he’s been noticed by a dark presence watching him from one of the houses above. This is another superb horror tale.
- “The Vast Impatience of the Night” (2011) – A widow has a terrifying encounter while riding her bike home through a foggy valley on a late November evening.
You can download a copy of A Season of Dead Weather for free here:
Mark Fuller Dillon’s Blog: http://markfullerdillon.blogspot.com
Review by Matt Cowan