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Friday, December 26, 2014

The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town by Gregory Miller

I believe in ghosts. Perhaps not ghosts in the literal sense, but I believe a person's spirit can live on, in the stories that we've told and the stories that are told about us. I believe the good and the evil that we've done in our lives continues on in the world and I am convinced that we do not, can not, know all the ways and shapes in which those continuations may manifest. I believe that the things that go bump in the night are sometimes just the frightened beating of our own hearts, but at other times there are things in the darkness that our minds can never fully know but our hearts are wise enough to fear.

And I believe, quite fervently, that some among us are gifted, perhaps possessed, with the ability to tell true tales, tales of horror and imagination, tales truer than mere fact, tales called fiction that build worlds of words that outlast the world of dust. Poe's Usher will live forever even as it collapses again and again throughout the ages. Bradbury's hometown will be forever green in summer light and forever haunted by a dark autumn carnival.

I mention Poe and Bradbury and ghosts because their spirits live on. They live in a man named Gregory Miller whose haunted pen has recorded tales of a place that is eerily familiar. In thirty-three small tales thirty-three different voices reveal a small town somewhere in Pennsylvania. Some of these tales are small, with just the hint of something off or odd. In others there is a horror that grabs at your heart more urgently. In sum, these tales will hold and haunt you and if you are like me you will come, oddly, to love this Uncanny Valley.

Few things give me more pleasure than finding an author I never knew who has written tales I come to treasure. Gregory Miller has found treasure in The Uncanny Valley. This treasure, like some others, is guarded by spirits who will haunt you. There is death here, and darkness, and all that is most wonderful in life -- the great unknown.

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