Reviews of Dark Fiction

The Nothing That Is by Kyle Winkler

For a long time now, I’ve thought that novellas are the perfect medium for horror or dark fiction stories. THE NOTHING THAT IS is a prime example of why.

Cade McCall is an assistant manager at a catering company. A company where the managers are embezzling the place dry and they’re jerks to boot. When Cade retrieves a static-filled message about a catering job, one which will be pre-paid in cash, he decides he’s going to take care of it himself, on the side. When Mr. Dinosaur, (weird, I know, but you’ll see), gives him the instructions for the dinner, Cade himself thinks it weird, but hey, CASH! Upon arriving and serving the meal, this tale takes an entirely different tack: from the mundane to the profane in about two minutes flat! Will Cade survive the strange dinner with Mr. Dinosaur? You’ll have to read this to find out!

There are other things going on in this novella, (exploding cemeteries, for one), but I’m not going to say anything more about the plot. Instead, I want to say the writing here is definitely more than what I was expecting for a debut novella. Vivid descriptions in short, succinct prose made everything so easy to picture in my mind.

Over my many years of voracious reading, I’ve learned that this type of writing is my favorite. I’ve read the wordiness of the gothic Anne Radcliffe and the cosmic H.P. Lovecraft and almost everything in between. While I can and do still enjoy those types of tales, I prefer prose that’s lean and mean, descriptive but not long winded. THIS is one of those tales. I enjoyed the hell out of it!

Highly recommended!

*Thanks to the author and to Erin Sweet-Al-Mehairi for the e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

The Nothing That Is Book Cover The Nothing That Is
Kyle Winkler
Horror, Dark Fiction
Self
04/19/2021
Kindle Book
111
Author

“Infused with cosmic, culinary dread and seasoned with dark humor, The Nothing That Is reads like Anthony Bourdain riffing on Lovecraft. Winkler’s engaging style and hypnotic prose will consume you whole, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, there’s an exploding graveyard. Eat this one up, my friends, before it eats you!”

– Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Kin and Sour Candy

“Wild, fast-moving, and disorientingly hilarious… down to earth and completely unhinged. It also gave me a jolt of sickening, infinite horror I hadn’t felt since the Vermicious Knids jumped out of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”

-Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying

It's 1986. Cade McCall is an assistant manager for a catering business. Driving to work one morning, part of the local graveyard explodes. Later the same day, Cade gets an odd message from a client who needs catering for an Extreme Food Club. He calls himself Mr. Dinosaur. And he’s paying $11,000. Despite Cade’s reservations, he takes the gig. Although, who’s feeding whom is another question entirely...Involving female biker gangs, cults, possessed furniture, and a full dose of cosmic horror, The Nothing That Is serves up the weird.

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