Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,
David Turton started his writing career in 2017 and, within a few months, racked up quite a few impressive publications in a short time, including three stories published with Gehenna & Hinnom Books: “Length” in the Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology and “Bonjour, Stevie” in Hinnom Magazine Issue 003, and “The Scrap Metal Man” in the Year’s Best Transhuman SF 2017 Anthology. David recently released a three-story collection, for which this review will be based, and on the horizon, his post-apocalyptic novel The Malaise is set for publication from Cosmic Egg Books.
Alas, without further ado, let’s dive into these three haunting stories!
Turton opens up the collection with “The Gull,” a story that hearkens to Stephen King’s work and following a writer who seeks seclusion to pen his next work. In his solitude, the writer finds horrors of his worst nightmares, the seagulls flying along the isle a source of his terror. Turton has thus far displayed a malleability in his work, a flexibility in language that is not only necessary for his continued success, but an envious ability that many writers fail to attain. “The Gull” is no exception. Whereas Turton’s fiction regularly delves into character’s facing the karma from their decisions and the just dues they deserve, “The Gull” is a step towards literary fiction. The horror aspects of the story are maintained within the patient narrative, while the story itself expels any expectations. Of the three stories in this collection, “The Gull” easily earns its first place and prepares the readers for a morbid albeit manic journey into the mind of David Turton.
“The Demon’s Stare,” originally published in Massacre Magazine, returns to form for Turton’s unique voice, exploring retribution and the coming around of one’s misdeeds. We follow an ex-gangster enforcer facing a demon that sits at the edge of his bed, unbeknownst to everyone else in the room. This entity brings back the sins of our protagonist, bringing his family full circle into the violence that encompassed his life. Turton has a knack for creating characters whom we are never expected to root for, morally questionable people who linger closer to the edge of antihero rather than protagonist. “The Demon’s Stare” offers a troubling vision of a man on his deathbed, face-to-face with his sins. Mix in a bit of magical occurrences, and we are given a story that is disturbing, and in a strange sense, gratifying.
Closing the three-story collection, is “The Room of the Mad Nun,” originally published in Dark Fire Fiction. Turton utilizes the classic ghost-hunting-gone-wrong theme, while intermixing his own unique voice and questionable characters. Immediately, Turton douses the embers of cliches, offering a new, refreshing vision. The story follows an investigation of an old hotel room that housed the “Mad Nun,” and the investigators’ troubling discoveries therein. Turton’s ability to write entertaining fiction, despite the use of old archetypes, is present, and we are given a shocking finale that, may be expected to some, but nonetheless holds a chilling grasp onto the readers’ conscience.
David Turton has proved again and again that he is not only one of the most riveting new voices working today, but that his work bears a unique quality that is seldom seen. His ability to transform his style of writing, work within varying genres, be it Lovecraftian fiction or literary horror, separates Turton from the pack. The Malaise is on the horizon, and we are thrilled to see where David Turton finds himself on the eve of 2018.
David Turton has extensive training in Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations and has been writing as a career for over fourteen years. A huge horror fiction fan, particularly the works of Stephen King, David has written several short stories, all centred around dark tales of horror and dystopia. He is also in the final stages of his first novel, an apocalyptic horror set in the near future.
Follow David on Twitter @davidturton and visit David’s new website!
Thank you so much as always for stopping by, and make sure to follow us on social media and to check out David’s other work!