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Ominous Realities: The Anthology of Dark Speculative Horrors [Paperback]

William Meikle , Martin Rose , John F.D. Taff , Ken Altabef , Gregory L. Norris , Eric Del Carlo , Bracken MacLeod , Hugh A.D. Spencer , Edward Morris , Jonathan Balog , Ewan C. Forbes , Allen Griffin , Alice Goldfuss , Paul Williams , T. Fox Dunham , Anthony Rivera , Sharon Lawson , Grey Matter Press
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Dec 2013

Offering a collection of terrifying stories of science fiction, dark fantasy and speculative horrors, OMINOUS REALITIES is a dark thrill ride that explores what is in store for mankind.

The terrifying journey takes you on an exploration of post-Apocalyptic worlds, to experience societies where dark corporations control every aspect of life, where humanity must consider horrifying alternatives, and takes you on a trip through horrifying speculative scenarios that pose dire consequences for the existence of mankind.


HOW TO MAKE A HUMAN by Martin Rose - A scientist creates a race of robots giving them the ability to resurrect humanity after the apocalypse. But with dire consequences.

ANGIE by John F.D. Taff - A divorced couple tries to ensure their survival after society collapses. Navigating the treacherous back roads of America, they realize the horror of true devotion.

ON THE THRESHOLD by William Meikle - How far is science willing to go to prove we're not alone and possibly find the terrifying dangers that exist beyond the threshold?

DOYOSHOTA by Ken Altabef - One by one the residents of a Nevada town are succumbing to the debilitating effects of a strange hum. Many believe it’s a black ops program others are convinced of its far darker origins.

THIRD OFFENSE by Gregory L. Norris - In an oppressive society where creativity is banned and advertising is all-pervasive, a factory worker attempts to escape enslavement with horrifying results.

METAMORPHOSIS by J. Daniel Stone - Together, a brother and sister discover the unique bond has the ability to affect humanity in the darkest of ways.

WE ARE HALE, WE ARE WHOLE by Eric Del Carlo - Global climate change has reshaped the world, and multi-national corporations control every aspect of life. To what horrifying lengths will they go in the struggle to maintain profit?

PURE BLOOD AND EVERGREEN by Bracken MacLeod - Victims of ethnic cleansing, two boys share a painful struggle for survival. Their actions start events that leave the lives of everyone they know hanging in a dangerous balance.

JOHN, PAUL, XAVIER, IRONSIDE AND GEORGE (BUT NOT VINCENT) by Hugh A.D. Spencer - Earth is under attack by mysterious biomechanical entities. With the end near, one man spends his last days with an enigmatic client who is of great import to those in charge.

AND THE HUNTER, HOME FROM THE HILL by Edward Morris - Could it be that accounts of superheroes are actually based in reality? It could be that the old man living down the street is hiding his own dark secrets.

BORN BAD by Jonathan Balog - Raised by the church, Lucien harbors a frightening secret that may prove to have dire circumstances for mankind.

THE LAST BASTION OF SPACE by Ewan C. Forbes - Privatization has run amok and simple pleasures come at a premium price. For one young couple there is no choice but to turn their minds over to insidious corporate control.

EVERY SOUL IS A GRIMOIRE by Allen Griffin - Harvey works for a shadowy government and is responsible for a man with dangerous knowledge. Being near him is blurring his reality and opening the door to terrifying evil.

FROM THE EAST by Alice Goldfuss - After global cataclysm, a scientist struggles to determine the cause. Driven by professional convictions, she finds herself in a struggle for the existence of humanity.

DECIDING IDENTITY by Paul Williams - Faced with the collision of two worlds, the citizens of each are given the choice to decide who shall live and who shall die.

THE LAST ELF by T. Fox Dunham - The fate of humanity rests with a sociopathic concentration camp commander. Having spent a lifetime chasing the enemies of Germany, he finds himself on the verge of his crowning achievement—ultimate extermination.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Grey Matter Press; First edition (7 Dec 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1940658039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940658032
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 363,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Collection 8 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was the 'look inside' offer that drew me in and persuaded me to buy this anthology, for the first time ever I actually cared about what would happen to a robot. 'How to Make a Human' by Martin Rose remains my favourite story in this anthology; humans create artificial intelligence at their peril, a work of fiction yes, but so very, very possible. I enjoyed all the stories in this collection with other standouts being 'Born Bad' by Jonathan Balog and 'The Last Elf' by T. Fox Dunham. I would recommend others to take a risk and look inside ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visions of a scary future. 11 Jan 2014
By vi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me first say that I do not read Sci-fi very often. I'm more of a horror fan, but this book has enough absolutely terrifying versions of the future or different realities that, to me, it can be classified as horror because there is nothing more frightening than the unknown.
HOW TO MAKE A HUMAN by Martin Rose: Robots made to re-create humans after Armageddon find the intricacies of the human soul difficult to duplicate.
ANGIE by John F.D Taff: A bittersweet tale of loyalty and love in the face of a zombie apocalypse backed by the old 'Rolling Stones' song.
ON THE THRESHOLD by William Meikle: Two scientists who work to create a new universe find their experiment works maybe too well.
DOYOSHOTA by Ken Altabef: A strange 'Hum' affects the residents of a small desert town.
THIRD OFFENSE by Gregory L.Norris: An author in a commercialised dystopian world tries to break free of his confines in order to produce a original but now highly illegal novel.
METAMORPHOSIS by J.Daniel Stone; A train journey turns bizarro in this story filled with hallucinogenic prose and twisted imagery.
WE ARE HALE,WE ARE WHOLE by Eric Del Carlo: A 'ripjack' focusses on a comfortable future despite his dangerous profession
PURE BLOOD AND EVERGREEN by Bracken MacLeod: Imprisoned, a boy fantasizes about a world beyond the barbedwire fences and the hope of a merciful God.
JOHN,PAUL,XAVIER,IRONSIDE AND GEORGE (BUT NOT VINCENT) by Hugh A.D Spencer: A carer for a strange man/creature has a life changing experience as world ending catastrophe draws near.
AND THE HUNTER,HOME FROM THE HILL by Edward Morris: A crashed meteorite imbues a couple of kids with strange powers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future Shock...And Awe 10 Feb 2014
By Dale L. Elster - Published on
Dystopian tales are all the rage these days, but with most of the popular titles aimed at the young adult crowd, mature (God, I hate that word!) readers like myself have been mostly left out in the cold.

Enter, "Ominous Realities."

An anthology of short fiction featuring tales set mainly in - you guessed it - various dystopian landscapes, the stories follow characters where the future has not gone so well for them. I like to refer to this collection as dark science fiction with a horror twist, but dark science fiction gets the job done here.

Horror shows up in big, attention-grabbing letters on the cover, but - I'm speaking to you now, traditional fans of the genre - this is NOT a collection of horror stories. Not traditional horror tales, at least. Again, this is DARK sci-fi. Certainly, horrific things have happened to the characters here, but this is not blood-and-guts horror.

Speaking of which, one of the tales, "Angie," although incredibly well written by John F.D. Taff is a zombie story and feels oddly out of place here when compared to the rest of the tales, but nonetheless is an outstanding and well told human story set in a hellish world of the undead. If you haven't read zombie fiction for whatever reason before, read this one.

My favorite story in this book is "We Are Hale, We Are Whole," by Eric De Carlo. Set in a future where workers called "ripjacks" volunteer themselves to take on extremely dangerous work for the promise of an early, luxurious retirement should they bank enough "Health Units," is a biting commentary on our current society. Other notable stories here are, "How To Make A Human," about the horrors that await us should robots be left to interpret religion. "Dyoshota" will make you think twice the next time you experience a ringing in your ears. "On The Threshold" is a nifty, modern take on Lovecraftian themes. "Third Offense" is a grim view of what can (and probably WILL) happen someday if the corporate world and internet-advertising continue on their current track, and "John, Paul, Xavier, Ironside and George (But Not Vincent) is both an amazing and disturbing story that will stay with you long after you've read it. Trust me on that one!

Growing up with reruns of the television classic, "The Outer Limits," I could see all of the stories in "Ominous Realities" fitting nicely into a quality (sorry, 90's reboot) remake of that show. Not familiar with that series? Sample it on YouTube or download it on Netflix or some other similar site. Even with the limits of 1960's television, that series was dark sci-fi at its finest!

"Ominous Realities" is another great read from Grey Matter Press, who continue to publish simply the best genre anthologies I've ever read. Period. If you are a horror fan and haven't checked out their other anthology titles yet, pick one (or all of them!) and toss 'em in your cart or download them now. Today. You will not be disappointed!

If you are strictly into traditional horror (monsters, killers, blood-and-guts) you may not like "Ominous Realities" much. But I encourage you to open your mind and give it a try. Hell - "Angie" alone makes it worth the purchase! And the first story in the collection may be about robots, but it's much more a horror tale than it is sci-fi!

If you're looking for something dystopian-based that's NOT hungry teenagers killing each other, "Ominous Realities" is most definitely a book you need to purchase! And I'm not just speaking to the "mature" readers out there. Teenagers hungry for a great, dark sci-fi ride are welcome here too!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choose your Apocalypse! 25 Dec 2013
By Alys K. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This collection terrorizes, horrifies, intrigues, rakes you with nasty claws, and just absolutely sparkles. Grey Matter Press puts together a great lineup of authors and a lot of truly chilling tales. All of the stories are done well, and you can choose your own poison from this scary buffet. Stand-outs for me were Ken Altabef's uber-creepy global warming tale "Doyoshota" (Damn! This could really happen!) and Gregory Norris' "Third Offense" which hit me like a chilling update on Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron". But anyway, you cant go wrong with any of these terrific tales. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivera and Lawson are two editors to follow 16 May 2014
By Dona Fox - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rarely do I follow editors but Rivera and Lawson know how to pick the authors that I hope to be reading for many years. Extremely well written, dark, cutting edge horror. Tales that you read one day, dream about all night and wake up with the next morning.
Here's some of the stories that did especially that for me: John F.D. Taff's "Angie" -- they were so real, I got a big lump in my throat for the last few pages, hell of a story. J. Daniel Stone's "Metamorphosis" -- poetic, gritty, and beautifully horrific. Bracken MacLeod's "Pure Blood and Evergreen" -- another type of poetry, I've read this one several times for the cold, the snow, the evergreens, and the horror that washes over me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book will blow your mind! 12 Mar 2014
By S.G. Lee - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Do you ever fear for the future of mankind or worry about the world that is to come? Those concerns are nothing compared to the nightmares collected in this Grey Matter Press Anthology! Each masterfully-crafted tale of dark and twisted futuristic doom will set your heart racing and make you thankful to be alive in the here-and-now. Horror and sci-fi blend together in a harmonious, albeit disturbing, collection of alternate realities and terrifying circumstances. This is a must-read for fans of both genres.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent horror 14 Feb 2014
By Amber Gulley - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great selection and variety of stories- the editors made excellent choices. I really loved the story by Alice Goldfuss- Female protagonist, mental deterioration, and creepy freaking bugs. It felt like it could be the precursor to full novel.
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