By: Adam Nevill
Release Date: October 26, 2020
Publisher: Ritual Limited
Horror author Adam Nevill has dozens of traditional horror novels under his belt. Perhaps one of the most intriguing books he’s released is a slim, 100-page anthology titled Wyrd and Other Derelictions. This is quite a unique title, one that focuses on the horror of places that have already seen destruction.
Each of the short stories included within this anthology paints a picture of a world that has already succumbed to some sort of disaster or another world-as-we-know-it end. An apocalyptic event occurred in each location that particular story takes place in, though what exactly occured isn’t always clear. These worlds aren’t peopled; no characters grace these pages. Instead, there are passages describing the contrasting beauty and destruction of each place.
These descriptions paint a story in themselves. Ever so slowly, the movements, lives, and last days of the prior inhabitants come to light. A meal still set on a table. A candle never blown out. A new story of a civilization in its last days unfolds.
Descriptions are beautifully crafted, with a full story built simply out of what is left behind. Words are used in a poetic manner; that is not to say that passages read like poetry, though they often can, but that each word, each phrase is picked with extraordinary care to cultivate these places that once boasted rich, diverse life and cultures.
Great skill has gone into the creation of Wyrd and Other Derelictions. However, it is needless to say that this is anthology is very dependent on descriptive language, so readers who prefer snappy dialogue and tight plotting may not get as much out of this anthology as others.