In a very rudimentary sense simulacrum, derived from Latin, means likeness or similarity, a representation or image. One thinks of the mirror image of one’s self it is true in form however reversed but lacks the actual substance of the original that casts the reflection, i.e. the human form standing before the mirror. What is dark fiction, horror, but visceral writings of the gut that inevitably represent the deeper truth of what and who we are and what our nature is truly about. These genres reveal through a vial all that human kind represses, true to form, but lacking enough to be a story, and dream, or a nightmare.
Jason V Brock (without the period) is a visceral writer. As we can see from this delightful anthology of his works, he can rip to the gut and have you attempting desperately to stuff your entrails back inside before it’s too late.
In the forward written by the legendary William F. Nolan, the writer remarks “He (Jason) is a deep thinking individual, even a provocateur, and his work is sometimes extreme, dark and gruesome…he uses it to expose some flaw or weakness in a character.”
My own experience with Jason and his writing tells me that there will always be those that exclaim the man is too controversial. The problem with those views is that it is all too revealing of the gainsayers that are most likely thick with denial. People, critical examiners really, that just don’t want to hear the truth. The fact is, if they don’t want to hear about their own unlovely nature, then they really need to get out of the horror industry all together because they are doing no justice there. If there is one thing that Jason’s stories tell us about, it’s about our lives, our nature, our truth, our self. And through a representation of that visceral truth, we can see clear to original that lies beyond in the land of reality.
The collection kicks off with “What the Dead Eyes Behold.” An image of that very moment when you look into your significant other’s eyes and are overwhelmed with the very deepest feelings of love so much that you want to preserve the moment forever, and ever… and ever!
Next up “The Central Coast,” a story previously published in Dark Discoveries magazine, starts us off in the middle trauma and shock. Social gatherings can be horrific enough, without even coming close to this event. Brock displays the same expertise in setting up the reader in this story as any Stephen King has written. He enthralls the reader with terribly vivid scene irresistible to our curious nature only to bring that shocking and terrible discovery you’d wished you’d never come upon. One thing is for sure, if you are a wine connoisseur, you might think twice about that rare estate reserve you’ve had eyes on. It may be more expensive than you think.
It’s impossible to describe in a review the depth experienced in reading anything Brock has penned. Descriptions are as the title suggests only a representation of the actual experience of reading his work. There are many stories in this collection, fifteen plus his new novella “Milton’s Children,” but I find it irresistible not to spoil some delight in each of them. Therefore I’ll leave the rest for your own experience, an experience that comes highly regarded and suggested.
— Review by Cyrus Wraith Walker