Which is worse… the darkness, or the light?
Following previous sci-fi novella “Empty” from 2016, new full-length horror novel “Light Dawning” pivots away from the emptiness of space and dives headlong into the waters of fantasy, but with a seriously grimdark twist.
This next foray into the bleaker corners of human existence is out now and can be picked up on Kindle here or paperback at this location.
As with all my work, this story is inspired by a real life experience translated into a fictional setting, and completing this book took a lot out of me.
It is set in an unquestionably fantasy universe, but you won’t find any elves or farm boy chosen ones saving the world. My take on the genre draws more from cosmic dread and the horror of war than anything with unlikely heroes or lovable rogues. Don’t expect any happy endings.
Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom.
As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.
Like its predecessor, the creation of “Light Dawning” was driven forward by the power of music. To get an advance preview of the themes and tone of the novel, a music playlist matching several scenes can be heard via the Spotify player below.
Isolation and despair in the depths of space
My debut standalone release, the dark sci-fi tale “Empty” is available now via Sinister Grin Press.
A mashup of science fiction and horror, the idea for this claustrophobic novella sprung from a personal experience of isolation and being separated from the herd.
Down-on-his-luck, stuck performing punishment duty in the lower levels of the Penrose, Junior Engineer 3rd Class Hansen wants nothing more than to see the wreckage of a newly discovered ship dating back to man’s earliest deep space explorations.
The engineer is about to get his wish, and in the process come face-to-face with a long-dormant horror waiting patiently for the perfect vessel. What he’ll uncover in the darkness will threaten to consume him, body and soul.
Read what the reviewers are saying about “Empty” and grab your own digital or physical paperback copy right here.
A playlist of dark ambient and heavy metal tracks that inspired the writing process and fits the story from beginning to end can also be heard via Spotify to enhance your reading experience.
What people are saying about “Empty:”
“Rapid pacing, a cinematic feel, and building tension punctuated by inexorable, horror-tinged hopelessness pull the reader through this classic sci-fi novella.” – 5/5 Amazon review
“His storytelling skills are firmly grounded in classic sci-fi of old and is delivered with technical charm like Arthur Machen.” – Eric Compton, author of Denim & Letters
“The atmosphere that is portrayed in this story genuinely scared the wee out of me. I felt very alone and very in need of a hug when I finished this story. I was cold and scared. If you like your horror to have that little bit extra that genuinely makes your skin crawl and makes you crave human interaction when you finish it, just so you don’t feel alone, this is for you.” – Confessions Of A Reviewer
An atheist, an agnostic, and a true believer take a trip to the end of the world…
Although chronologically the second story I’ve had published in an anthology, “A Church Full Of Lovers” was actually my first serious attempt at putting together dark fiction.
Inspired by events that occurred and people I met while attending religious school as a kid, “A Church Full Of Lovers” follows three characters – an atheist, an agnostic, and a true believer.
The story revolves around their experiences during the end of the world (brought on by one of their number no less) and by the story’s conclusion, all three have changed their positions.
“A Church Full Of Lovers” appeared in the ill-fated “Candles And Curses” anthology. An even more rare tome than “Mystic Moon,” this collection was notable for its very short print time and for terribly mangling my name to Ty Gordrom somehow. If you’ve got this sitting on a bookshelf somewhere, its definitely a collector’s item, that’s for sure.
One day a new, expanded edition of this story will make its appearance online so this look back at my early work doesn’t fade away into obscurity forever. Be on the lookout!
A journey into the darker corners of the soul officially begins
My first published foray into the fiction world, “The Trade” revolves around a nameless hunter of men seeking out a heretic living in the backwoods who has been marked for death by the church hierarchy.
“The Trade” was written in 2013 after I experienced a devastating loss. It was my way of telling the world I’d do anything to get back what was gone, even if it could only be accomplished within the confines of a fictionalized fantasy world.
The short story would go on to inspire a complete unique world displaying a dark horror bent, with full-length novel “Light Dawning” next exploring a region of this low-fantasy world.
An earlier, less polished version of the story saw inclusion in the dark fantasy anthology “Mystic Moon.” Sadly it wasn’t in print long, as the publisher subsequently went out of business, so there are only a few copies floating around, and the collection is no longer even available digitally. Cherish yours if you’ve got it, as there aren’t going to be any more down the line!
An updated rendition of “The Trade” appears as a bonus story in “Light Dawning” to give newer readers a look back at where this universe started.