↠´ The Lord Came at Twilight ç Download by ↠´ Daniel Mills I read this book slowly so that I could better savor the exquisite lyrical style of Daniel Mills and relish the feeling of looming dread brought about by these stories The simple fact that Mills, a young author, can skillfully evoke the spirit of an old America and transport us there is good enough of a reason to acknowledge his talents but it is not just his impeccable writing that makes this book such a treat, each one of these stories possesses an eerie quality to them that slowly and gently leads to a dreadful encounter with numinous terror, even if only by suggestion If you are attracted to the kind of horror that slowly seeps into you and does not offer easy solutions, instead haunting you with the myriad possibilities contained within each story, then you should definitely read this book.
The Lord Came at Twilight is a superb collection, announcing the voice of a rising young author who could easily become a major player in the horror field Keep an eye on Daniel Mills, my fellow Goths.
The stories here cover a good diversity of territory, which speaks well to Mills range as a writer There s a creepy King in Yellow universe story, a technological horror, and above all historical horror The Lord Came at Twilight succeeds most in the latter sub genre, combining a rich period sense, psychological depth, an aura of mystery, melancholy, and a potent sense of dread Most are set in New England, and Mills does a fine job of evoking that territory.
Let me pick out some representative tales and introduce them without spoilage The Hollow literally backwoods horror, about a young man, his disintegrating family, and a fearsome tree In a few pages the story changes tack several times, races ahead in time, and achieves an effect somewhere in the land of Hawthorne and Charles Brockden Brown MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room takes place in the universe of Robert Chambers The King in Yellow This is urban fantasy, as the title suggests, and builds its fear steadily There s a strong sense of dreamlike surrealism Dust From a Dark Flower takes us back to the pre Revolutionary 18th century and a remote New England village, where creepy things are happening around a cemetery and new priest Mills places us securely in the period with touches of contemporary phrasing, science, and piety This story does into greater detail for body horror than most in the book The Photographer s Tale turns on an unusual camera, what it pictures, and the impact on its wielder The setting feels like circa 1900, with photography being an exciting yet established new technology Whistler s Gore is the collection s most formally inventive tale, as it consists entirely of gravestone epitaphs from t he old churchyard Two miles north of Plymouth, VT 65 Across these accounts of lives all ending in 1798 stretches a story of violence, religion, and perhaps cosmic terror The Wayside Voices is also inventive, consisting of short speeches by the dead, overheard in a New England ruin The story accretes from statement to statement, building into an account of quiet horror and intimate violence John Blake is a Revolutionary War story, concerning the advent of a scoundrel who takes the war s promise of freedom in a unique way Like a Hawthorne tale, John Blake sets up social pieties in order to undermine them, cruelly The Falling Dark takes place in the 20th century and focuses on a young man studying folklore His studies do not reveal what he expected, neither in terms of content, a romantic interest, nor the structure of the universe Louisa is the most Poe like story, concerning a love affair mediated by spiritualism The Tempest Glass revolves around a magical artifact and teases us with apocalypse Good use of the Millerite movement and the 1927 Vermont flood House of the Caryatids is Civil War horror It begins with soldiers on a looting expedition, introduces southern Gothic, then heads into cosmic terror Whisperers takes place in Brattleboro, Vermont Our protagonist visits a friend who seems to have gone somewhat insane I think Mills reaches here for Melville and Hawthorne, only to pull back at the last moment in the old tradition of not explicitly showing or explaining horror Lovecraft is also on stage, with characters names Randolph Carter we only get first or last name, never combined and Ackley I hear Whisperer in Darkness s Akeley don t miss the titular reference, too The Naked Goddess starts with a problem familiar to many travelers in my state of Vermont getting lost and a bit disturbed at where you end up In this story our protagonist stumbles upon a forgotten 19th century millennial cult Mills points to a little known bit of local history, the late 19th century agricultural collapse of Vermont 191 The Lord Came at Twilight sees Mills tackle perhaps the most innovative horror writer of our time, Thomas Ligotti This story depicts a mysterious city and its cryptic decline.
Observations of the whole Mills is developing into a fine stylist I ve mentioned his ability to place the reader in historical situations He also offers well turned, well ground, yet often poetic passages The snow continued Nearly an inch had accumulated over the past hour, covering over much and dirtied snow The clustered roofs and gambrels of the block opposite bore a fine dusting, as iridescent and fine as a poplar s cotton Soon the city would be covered, first by snow and then by night all beauty and squalor erased by the whispered sough of white on black 54 The ends of the paper curled upward, sloping toward the folds, causing her neat script to circle back upon itself slouching and coiled, a bathing viper 178 I like the way Mills combines classic Gothic with Americana This is deeply American stuff For example, a throwaway line Placed against the far wall was a rectangular bench that held an assortment of musical instruments There were guitars and lutes, even a saw 129 These are very short stories, with a great deal of content crammed into them The reader cannot race through them, as there are no extra paragraphs or sentences Mills is clearly following Poe s model.
Speaking of literary influences, Mills evinces classic dark fantasy and horror writers throughout Poe, Lovecraft, Ligotti, Chambers are name checked I would add Machen and Blackwood, especially for the way many of the stories dwell in nature.
Dark Renaissance did a fine job with this book The font is really well suited to historical fiction M Wayne Miller s art is splendid moody, dark, and perfectly fitted to each tale.
On a personal note I ve had the good fortune to meet Daniel Mills twice, once at a NecronomiCon in Providence, another time at a steampunk gathering in Vermont Mills is outrageously young looking, very friendly, and accessible to all comers His reading of Whistler s Gore was a fine performance, combining a steady voice with just enough emotion to get the audience realize what they were hearing.
Strongly recommended to anyone interested in horror or historical fiction Watch out for Daniel Mills He should be going places.
I Know Them, These HillsIn The Foothills Of The Green Mountains, A Child Grows Up In An Abandoned Village, Haunted By Memories Of His Absent Parents In A Wayside Tavern, A Murderous Innkeeper Raises A Young Girl Among The Ghosts Of His Past Victims Elsewhere The Village Of Whistler S Gore Is Swept Up In The Tumult Of Religious Fervor, While In Rural Falmouth, The Souls Of The Buried Dead Fall Prey To A Fungal InfestationThis Is New England As It Was Once Envisioned By Hawthorne And Lovecraft, A Twilit Country Of Wild Hills And Barren Farmland Where Madness And Repression Abound The Lord Came at Twilight PresentsStories Of Doubt And Despair, Haunter And Haunted, The Deranged And The Devout Full review here The weird tales that make up The Lord Came at Twilight are powerful and strange As in his haunting novel, Revenants, Mills evokes the storied past of the north east of the United States But his prose is never mere historical pastiche, never antique or fustian, but clear, sharp Some of these tales, as Revenants is, are ghost stories, but others, for me the best, are darkling ecstasies.
While I was truly impressed with how well the author conveyed the atmosphere and setting of the stories, flawlessly utilizing classic prose, some of the stories just failed to engage me Others felt as though they ended before really finishing up This is not to say I didn t like the book There is something unique here pointing me to longer works from Daniel Mills and I will be reading Revenants soon.
originally published at Risingshadow.
Do you want to read beautifully written weird fiction that is reminiscent of classic weird fiction Are you looking for horror stories that are genuinely frightening and unsettling If you answered yes to these two questions, you have found what you re looking for, because the stories in Daniel Mill s The Lord Came at Twilight are old school weird fiction They re brilliantly unsettling and sophisticated stories that stay true to their roots that lie deep in classic weird fiction.
These past couple of years have been exceptionally good years for weird fiction, because many excellent short story collections have been published to critical acclaim The Lord Came at Twilight joins the canon of these excellent collections and makes its way all the way to the top It s one of the best weird fiction collections of the year, and it s right up there at the top with Clint Smith s Ghouljaw Other Stories and Simon Strantzas Burnt Black Suns I dare say that if H P Lovecraft were alive today, he would be tempted to call this collection his own and would be very proud of these stories.
Daniel Mills The Lord Came at Twilight is almost like a short story collection out of the past, because the author writes evocatively about the historical past of New England and what goes on in the remote areas When you read these stories, you are instantly reminded of old gothic and haunting stories that have fascinated and terrified readers for many decades These stories instantly transport the reader to the ancient and not too distant past of New England when the world was a different place, because the author beautifully evokes a proper sense of time and place with his sentences You can easily believe that everything that happens in these stories truly takes place in the past.
I m glad I had the opportunity to read and review Daniel Mills The Lord Came at Twilight Because I ve been fascinated by Lovecraftian horror and weird fiction for a long time, it makes me glad to see that new and talented authors have followed in Lovecraft s footsteps and have written similar kind of stunningly weird stories Daniel Mills is definitely one of these talented authors, because he writes excellent Lovecraftian weird fiction that pays homage to the old master s tales and the terrifying atmosphere in them He is a gifted storyteller and a remarkable new talent who has the ability to evoke vivid and realistic images of an age gone by He s able to write old fashioned weird fiction without being too old fashioned, because there s a modern edge to these stories.
The Lord Came at Twilight contains the following stories The Hollow MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room Dust from a Dark Flower The Photographer s Tale Whistler s Gore The Wayside Voices John Blake original to this collection The Falling Dark Louisa The Tempest Glass House of the Caryatids original to this collection Whisperers The Naked Goddess The Lord Came at TwilightThis collection also contains an introduction written by Simon Strantzas It s a good and well written introduction, because Simon Strantzas tells of how he found Daniel Mills and describes what kind of weird fiction the author writes.
Here s a bit of information about the stories and my thoughts and comments about them The Hollow The protagonist of this story visits a hollow and sees an enormous and ominous oak tree This memorable story contains atmospheric descriptions of the protagonist s tragic life and his survival This is a powerful opening story that sets the mood for the other stories.
MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room A story about a man who visits a brothel and gets into trouble because of a woman A beautifully written, imaginative and atmospheric King in Yellow story I won t the name of the protagonist, but I m sure that it will be a pleasant surprise for all readers who have read weird stories and are familiar with classic weird fiction.
Dust from a Dark Flower In this story a physician writes down his macabre tale before being sentenced to death by hanging so that people shall know the truth about what has happened Dust from a Dark Flower is a chilling and memorable story in the vein of H P Lovecraft s The Colour Out of Space and John Carpenter s The Thing about a mysterious rot found in the graveyard This is definitely one of the best and most memorable stories in this collection.
The Photographer s Tale A chilling story about a photographer who sees strange things through the camera s viewfinder An atmospheric tale that is told in a thrilling way.
Whistler s Gore This is an interesting story that consists of epitaphs on the gravestones in the old churchyard This is a bit different kind of a story, but it works well.
The Wayside Voices A complex and compelling story that has an interesting structure This ghost story is told by multiple characters One of the best and most memorable stories in this collection.
John Blake An intriguing story about a young man called John Blake who meets a mysterious stranger and learns new things from him I liked this story very much.
The Falling Dark A powerful story about a man s isolation and fascination with a woman One of the best stories in this collection.
Louisa An interesting story of a man meets a mysterious woman and spends a night with her only to find her gone the next morning A well written and atmospherical story that is definitely one of the best stories in this collection.
The Tempest Glass In this chilling story a reverend sees a terrifying vision in a haunted mirror I don t remember when I ve read as good a story as this one, because it s perfect and unsettling weird fiction.
House of the Caryatids A fantastic story about three soldiers and a mysterious plantation in the South during the US Civil War This story is one of my favourite stories, because I ve always loved stories about persons who wander where they shouldn t go and find themselves in trouble.
Whisperers An excellent and well written story that will please fans of H P Lovecraft.
The Naked Goddess In this unforgettable story the protagonist wanders into an odd and hostile village where people are blind and finds trouble there This story is one of the best a person wanders into a strange town stories I ve ever read, because the author creates a wonderfully menacing atmosphere.
The Lord Came at Twilight This brilliant and well told story is related to Thomas Ligotti s The Mystics of Muelenberg The Lord Came at Twilight is a perfect choice for the last story in this collection I m sure that readers who are familiar with Thomas Ligotti s stories will enjoy reading this story.
I enjoyed reading all of these stories, because there weren t any filler stories in this collection Each story is excellent and worth reading.
Daniel Mills is undisputedly one of the strongest and most gifted Lovecraftian authors who have emerged during the last couple of years These stories are marked by the same kind of sense of style, feel of unease, despair and gradually building terror that can be found in Lovecraft s stories Although there are many similarities to Lovecraft s stories, the author doesn t imitate his works, but writes wholly original fiction.
I think that many readers who have read weird fiction have noticed that weird fiction is at its best amazingly beautiful and atmospheric horror fiction The classic stories written in the late 19th century and early 20th century are especially terrifyingly beautiful in their gloomy and bleak atmosphere, because the protagonists find themselves at the mercy of happenings that make shake them both mentally and physically Daniel Mills manages to do the same to his protagonists in these stories.
To be honest, it s been a long time since I ve read anything this good and atmospheric when it comes to weird fiction I have read lots of Lovecraftian weird fiction and also other kind of weird fiction, but these stories are some of the few stories in which the old and historical New England serves as a background for the terrifying and macabre happenings This New England setting is something that I love very much, because ever since I first read H P Lovecraft, I ve been fascinated by weird stories that take place in New England.
As much as I love modern horror, I have to mention that there s nothing quite like reading beautifully written classic weird fiction and new stories that have been written in similar fashion This kind of weird fiction is the best kind of horror for readers who want quality, atmosphere and good prose from their stories, because there s no substitute for good weird fiction and Lovecraftian cosmic terror.
The author s most imporant influences have most likely been H P Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, William Hope Hodgson, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen and other similar classic authors, because there s a deep gothic, supernatural and frightening feel to these stories that can only be found in classic weird fiction All experienced readers will notice that the roots of these stories lie deep in classic weird fiction and the author owes a debt to the old masters, but he writes his own kind of weird fiction In my opinion Daniel Mills understands what classic weird fiction means to readers and is extremely talented at creating a threatening and strange atmosphere that reminds readers of classic weird fiction He boldly uses his own voice to tell weird stories and has plenty of imagination No matter what he writes about whether it be Lovecraftian weird fiction or other kind of weird fiction he does it amazingly well and memorably.
Daniel Mills beautifully and addictively manages to infuse his stories with the same kind of despair and terror that readers have come to love in Lovecraft s stories The prose in these stories is exceptionally beautiful, evocative and nuanced The author s hauntingly literary writing style deepens the effect these sophisticated stories have on the reader and grabs the reader s attention and pulls him her momentarily into a world gone by where people had different lives, values and habits The eloquent prose and the descriptive sentences make these stories stand out among other similar stories and make for an excellent and unforgettable read This kind of literary prose is one of the reasons why I consider weird fiction to be the one of best sub genres of speculative fiction.
The characterization is excellent in these stories The characters are surprisingly realistic and well created characters, because there s nothing annoying or artificial about them I was amazed by how genuine the characters and their feelings felt when I read these stories.
Many authors have written excellent weird fiction stories, but there s something about these stories that sets them apart from other stories In my opinion, there s a wealth of emotional depth in a few of these stories that only Laird Barron and Richard Gavin have been able to match in some of their stories This kind of weird fiction is rare or rather it feels like it s rare, because only a few modern authors are capable of writing this kind of stories.
Daniel Mills pays homage to Lovecraft s stories by writing about horrors and isolation in the New England countryside and towns He reveals what kind of terrors lurk beneath a lush yet bleak and barren landscape The New England that Lovecraft wrote about in his stories gets a fresh new look in this collection as Daniel Mills writes about the weird happenings that plague the countryside and evoke terrifying fear in the local inhabitants or in the visitors who wander to wrong places He demonstrates that the New England countryside may look peaceful, but something horrifying may be born in the desolate and isolated areas His respect and admiration of Lovecraft s stories and writing style can be found on every page of this collection.
In my opinion, Daniel Mills is one of the new masters of the weird and the supernatural He may for the time being be an unknown author to many readers, but not for long, because he belongs to the small group of authors who genuinely know how to frighten and impress their readers with atmospheric weird stories I m sure that all readers agree with me on this when I say that it s thrilling to find a new author who is capable of writing sophisticated weird fiction that is reminiscent of classic stories, because most new authors tend to focus mostly on modern weird fiction Because I enjoyed reading this collection, I will definitely revisit it soon, and I look forward to readingstories written by Daniel Mills I haven t had a chance to read his debut novel, Revenants Ch mu Press, 2011 , which he wrote a couple of years ago, but I ve heard good things about it, so I intend to read it as soon as possible.
Before I write the final paragraphs of this review, I ll mention that the interior illustrations by M Wayne Miller are beautiful The cover art by Daniele Serra is also beautiful and impressively artistic.
Daniel Mills stories are beautiful, dark, rich and disturbing, and he has a fantastic way of writing about New England and characters who find themselves allured and frightened by the supernatural happenings The old and historical New England is broughtly vividly and terrifyingly to life in these stories All the farmlands, cottages, derelict houses, meadows, fields and hollows are described in such a realistic and vivid way that it s impossible not to be fascinated by the rural atmosphere These stories are just as good and memorable as all the classic weird fiction stories by Lovecraft, Blackwood, Machen and Hodgson, so do yourself a favour and read this collection as soon as possible The Lord Came at Twilight is a short story collection that every Lovecraft fan should buy and read immediately without hesitation.
Daniel Mills The Lord Came at Twilight is a stunning short story collection that boldly follows in the footsteps of H P Lovecraft and other writers of weird fiction, but stands proudly on its own feet and competes with the best stories in the field and even surpasses many of them Dark Renessaince books have done a huge favour for all readers of the weird by publishing this collection.
Very highly recommended especially to all readers who love weird fiction and Lovecraftian eldritch horror I give this book five stars because after the first few stories I REALLY started looking forward to readingof this Each story was like opening a present I was reading four other weird fiction short story collections concurrently with this one and I have to say this is the one that really stuck out to me.
I think a big thing I loved here was that all the stories are set in the past and have that sophisticated, Victorian ghost story flavor I love that sort of atmosphere and mood but few modern writers set weird fiction in that time period, and even fewer make it convincing Mills excels at it Reading a few of these stories which were less in the weird fiction vein and in atraditional one I felt the same as I did when I first read the stories of M R James or E F Benson Some of these are really good ghost stories, but the best stories here have the element of the weird at their core.
The Hollow An excellent story to start off this collection, I really loved this one Very original theme and shadowy, Schulz type imagery and mood A man recalls how his parents both disappeared, all in connection with a strange tree in a clearing.
Ms Found In A Chicago Hotel Room A creepy, atmospheric King in Yellow inspired tale, with a good dose of hallucinogenic prose in the middle A man visits a strange prostitute in late 19th century New York, and receives a vision, and a sinister stalker.
Dust From A Dark Flower Among the best in this collection and written so convincingly as if it was written in it s time, that was what impressed me most This story makes an obvious nod to Lovecraft s The Colour Out of Space, but is perhaps evenhorrific A doctor writes about his attempt to eradicate horrible illness from his small village.
The Photographer s Tale Another great one A sad, lonely story, I admit I wish we hadanswers at the end, but it s very effective as it is and leads us to suspect something unmentioned, very sinister indeed A photographer receives a camera from an apprentice he took in as an orphan, but the camera reveals things in it s lens too horrible to bear.
Whistler s Gore Interesting story of a series of sudden tragedies inspired by religious hysteria, told through inscriptions on centuries old gravestones This story works for what it is, but is a minor entry.
The Wayside Voices A found this to be a fairly fascinating story, certainly it has an ambiguous eeriness and a subtle extra dimensional theme, but I didn t think it was among the very best here The tale of a murderer is told from his and his victim s points of view.
John Blake A story that reminds me very much of Hawthorne s tales, it has a sinister, Gothic, New England flavor Unfortunately this was probably my least favorite John Blake plans to marry a girl he meets at his mother s funeral, but is intercepted by a spectral visitor.
The Falling Dark Another stellar tale after a couple that weremiddling This has the atmosphere of a good, traditional ghost story, but most impressive are it s weird elements and psychological depth of the lonely main character A man has felt out of place in the world ever since he miraculously survived a train accident as a child.
Louisa This is a somewhatconventional ghost story I suppose, but Mills makes it entirely his own I thought I knew where it was going many times, but it continued to surprise me throughout A man becomes obsessed with a woman he meets at a ball and cannot find again.
The Tempest Glass This is anotherconventional story, it brought to mind the stories of M R James even though it s not a ghost story and has weird underpinnings A mirror gives visions of horrific future events, seemingly too mind shattering to behold for some.
House Of The Caryatids This is a masterpiece of setting and mood, full of grisly suggestive, but intriguingly ambiguous details and a pretty horrific conclusion A group of Yankee soldiers raid a southern plantation of horrors.
Whisperers This story was a bit confusing at first, but then you review all the little hinting details and you can see it s a very effective entry here There are Lovecraft characters and themes of The Whisperer in Darkness, but the few, scant and eerie details make us fill in the rest I will say though, if someone hasn t read that story this one probably would likely fly over their head Randolph Carter travels to visit a farmer who is became unnerved after reading one of Carter s stories which revealed something to him.
The Naked Goddess I liked this one, but it wasn t among my tip top favorites Still it s got a great, atmospheric set up, a chase action ending and a foreboding afterword A man looking to secure the sale of rural land for a railroad finds himself in a strange, decrepit village full of the blind.
The Lord Came at Twilight I first read this in the Thomas Ligotti tribute collection, The Grimscribe s Puppets, but coming in at a mere 4,000 words, and being so good, it s completely worth a second look I liked it eventhis time around, and the powerful themes of disillusionment really struck me After a sacred tree in the garden of a monastery burns down the town becomes a place of sin, preparing for an unholy competition.
This is my first encounter with Mr Mills I am sure it will not be my last.
The production values of the book are exceptional This may be the highest quality Dark Regions Press book I own Sadly, they only produced one hundred copies of this book in hardcover The sturdy hard cover boards with quite heavy and high quality paper is what makes this book stand out I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I found it muchenjoyable when reading a couple or three stories consecutively in one sitting.
If I have any complaint about the book it would be that none of the stories are credited as to their first publication, and no date in the chronology of the stories Why I need to know this is beyond me, other than putting them in order as the author wrote them.
As stated elsewhere Mr Mills writing style is reminiscent of Nathaniel Hawthorn, so it may take a moment to get used to the rhythm of the writing Don t give up as the payoff is well worth the effort.
So I should state at the outset that I consider Daniel Mills a friend of mine, and I generally hate reviewing the work of friends because there s no real benefit to it if I like it, I get jealous and angry, and if I dislike it , then I m put in quite the obviously uncomfortable position, right So just so no one suspects I m writing this as some kind of favor to Daniel, let me start this off with a couple of things I don t like about him 1 He s younger than me 2 he is far too cheery in person It s disconcerting 3 He has a child He knows how I feel about that 4 I also have a bias against rural rustic style fiction, what with the Pa always said don t go down by the river at night type stuff It always comes off as hackneyed and phony to me.
That all being said, Daniel won me over His fiction is impeccably well written Verisimilitude is the first pretentious multi syllable word that comes to mind What unites all the stories is that unless I am misremembering they all involve 19th 18th century Americana, mostly rural New England ThinkNathaniel Hawthorne than Lovecraft My favorite story was Whistler s Gore, which is sure to be most peoples least favorite, but I love epistolary stories it s a story of suggestion and adumbration, consisting of the epitaphs off gravestones To me, it shows that he s the real deal Well written and impressive.