Michael C. Keith’s book, Of Night and Light, is a brilliant assembly of short stories and to read it is to explore the dark recesses of man’s mind; to inhabit, albeit briefly, Rod Serling’s ‘shadowy tip of reality.’ Since the Twilight Zone, no writer has led me to the fifth dimension, “... a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity, between science and superstition, between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.”

         Until now.

         In iDead (a gruesome and perfect title), technology and madness are allowed to fester into a dark middle ground; in People of Color, man’s continuous need for prejudice manifests itself in curious ways; and in In the Shadow of Light, the tenuous definition of sanity determines who lives ‘behind walls’ and who doesn’t. Each story resonates within its own complex world and Michael C. Keith has paired each story with a specific and fitting quote. “We hunt them for the beauty of their skins” starts off the short story, People of Color. Eerily accurate.

         Michael C. Keith doesn’t have a taste for just sci-fi themes, however. There’s a good blend of emotions here too. Road Kill and the perfect introductory quote by Robert Frost, “to err is human, not to, animal” is such an example. Another is Infantasy, a chilling family drama that stands out as one of the collection’s strongest stories.

         Strong is the operative word because this is, without doubt, one of the strongest story collections I’ve come across. There’s nothing lazy about Keith’s writing and none of the stories feel like “fillers.” Incidentally, I’m not the only fan. His previous short story collection, And Through the Trembling Air, was an Indie Excellence Finalist. I’ve already added it to my reading list.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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