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Dark Faith Preview
Posted By Flames On April 21, 2010 @ 7:14 am In Previews | 2 Comments
The destructiveness of passion, both earthly and supernatural, makes cities bleed and souls burn across worlds, through endless time. Experience the spiritual side of the zombie apocalypse in “The Days of Flaming Motorcycles” and transcend both hell and nirvana in “Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch’s Damnation.” Look into “The Mad Eyes of the Heron King” to find the beautiful brutality written in the moment of epiphany or “Go and Tell it On the Mountain,” where Jesus Christ awaits your last plea to enter heaven—if there is a heaven to enter when all is said and done.
Horror’s top authors and promising newcomers whisper tales that creep through the mists at night to rattle your soul. Step beyond salvation and damnation with thirty stories and poems that reveal the darkness beneath belief. Place your faith in that darkness; it’s always there, just beyond the light.
Flames Rising is pleased to present a preview of this new book from Apex Book Company…
In the foreword of Orgy of Souls, my novella co-written with Wrath James White, I wrote that “Faith is that sometimes tenuous, sometimes stronger than we think thing that keeps our world in order. [Wrath and I are] both men of faith in our own way, be it faith in ourselves or faith in God. We each are on our own spiritual journey.” All quest journeys begin with a leap of faith—that is, what we choose to put our trust in. We each have a worldview that helps us navigate the world. For some, it is ourselves (the individual or humanity). For some, it is science (the determination of our senses and what we can prove). For some, it is the spiritual (under the assumption that there is more to this life than presented, both in terms of the spiritual and in terms of after this life). And there is, or can be, some overlap.
But we all believe in something.
So I invited horror, science fiction, and fantasy writers to riff on the idea of faith. Who we are, artists and people of faith, expressing our theology, whatever it may be, in our writing. And with the challenge to take it to another level: art is never for its own sake, but for people’s sake. I believe that art should be engaged with—and, in its own way, explore—truth; and we shouldn’t be afraid of truth, no matter where it takes us.
In this anthology, it has taken us to new and interesting places as we explore various tangents to the ideas of faith. Life can be magical and terrifying, filled with both fantasy and horror. There is life and there is death; everything in between is unknown. We live in the throes of “why?” We react to injustice, we question why bad things happen to good people. We feel the existential terror of what it means to encounter God, the ultimate Other. On the other side, there’s the idea that God is personal and relational, Jesus can be a guy you can sneak around back and share cigarettes with. We can see faith lived out in love and relationships or be horrified by the things done in God’s name. Faith in action can move us to do something, to confront the sins of our age, such as sexism, homophobia, and racism to name a few.
I’d like to thank several people for their support during all of this. The Mo*Con family: Brian Keene (whose own spiritual journey inspired all of this), Wrath James White (whose “anti-spiritual” journey continues to challenge me), Alethea Kontis (who reminds me that life is magic), Kelli Dunlap (who taught me that sometimes you have to give life the finger and take a smoke break), Chesya Burke (my sister, for better or worse and all that entails), and Gary Braunbeck and Lucy Snyder (mentors and inspiration). My co-editor, Jerry Gordon, for all of his hard work. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him. My fellow Indiana Horror Writers without whom Mo*Con would have remained a neat idea. Jason Sizemore for having faith in this project. And Sally, Reese, and Malcolm, who allowed me time to read, write, and edit, and sacrificed time with me to make this happen. It’s to them that I dedicate this book.
And my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with me during times of praise and doubt, chasing after me when I wander off. I am often the most failed of His ambassadors, but I thank you for the freedom to explore my faith and continue my weird journey…which is all mine.
1 Blessed is the man who has never known the love of God, for he will never know the pain of a broken heart.
2 And blessed is the man who lives in ignorance of the forces around him, for he can exist in peace.
3 I was such a man, once. I didn’t know the love of God, for I did not believe in Him. God was something for superstitious people. He was like the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. God was a story told to children to give them comfort when someone they loved had died.
4 “Rover is in Heaven now, sweetheart. He is playing catch with God, and one day, if you’re good and eat all your vegetables and follow the Ten Commandments, you will see him again. Just like if you’re good, Santa Claus will bring you a new toy.” Growing up, that was all I knew of God.
Perfect, however, became subjective when the news revealed plastic surgery as a link among the victims. Chris had unknowingly chosen those parts from each victim and they smugly thought it relevant.
“At first we believed the motive was linked to the operations or staff involved, but the procedures have all varied and been performed in as many different locations as victims, with no medical employees sharing a common thread. However, the killer is keeping the body parts involved in the surgeries.”
“Shit.” Chris had known the breasts taken were fake before cutting them off, and had noticed the thin scar on the back of the left leg, but had neither planned nor realized that each and every part was unnatural perfection.
“The perfectly manmade Frankenstein.” A low growl, hissed through pursed lips, and a moment’s pause were all Chris allowed before continuing as planned. Manmade or not, natural perfection or not, the point would be made. The present complete.
* * *
This preview for was provided and published with express permission from Apex Book Company.
Dark Faith is available for pre-order at the Apex Book Company store .
Also look for other Apex titles that are currently available at DriveThruSciFi.com .
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 An Agreement with Hell Preview : http://www.flamesrising.com/an-agreement-with-hell-preview/
 Preview of The Changed by B. J. Burrow : http://www.flamesrising.com/the-changed-preview/
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