Visions Through a Shattered Lens
By Gerard Houarner
What visions may come, when peering into the darkness through the shattered lens of a broken world:
—the sins of the father being vested on the son in “The Chain-Lynched Man.”
—the nature of angels, the price of their existence in “The Unborn.”
—the horrors of drug addiction, in “Bone House.”
—Lovecratian cosmic dread, with a distinctly un-Lovecraftian heroine, in “Out of the Shadows.”
—the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet manifesting herself in New York City in “Finding the Lost Children.”
—the Apocalypse, lurking on the periphery in 9/11 tales “Signs of Death” and “Things I Wish I Had Not Seen,” stepping out for a view from other perspectives in “Dead Ground” and “The Changeover.”
—the ending and breaking of gender and sexuality in “Clown Fish.”
—the secret hard edges of “Those Who Cast Shadows.”
—the path that should not have been taken in “On the Road.”
Visions Through A Shattered Lens presents the twenty stories, 9 original to the collection, plus two new additions to this Crossroad Press edition, all searching for meaning in the splintered realities of our existence in shadows and corners, among old gods and goddesses reborn in a modern world, in twisted faith, apocalypse, loss and transformation.
Other stories included in this collection are: “Visions Through a Shattered Lens”, “Bui Doi”, “Children in the Moonless Night”, “Born from the Womb of Forever”, “Like Tears, Cast in the Steps of Her Mother”, “The Mutilation Missionary”, and “Bones of the Maker”.
What others have said:
In his fourth story collection, native New Yorker Houarner (Painfreak, etc.) offers 20 tough, uncompromising horror tales, nine of which are previously unpublished. No reader is likely to enjoy all the stories, with their mostly urban settings and in some cases overly familiar themes, but there’s something here for every taste in adult horror.”
Visions Through A Shattered Lens, Publishers Weekly, October 14, 2002
Houarner’s greatest strength is, hands down, his versatility of idea and style. In this collection, we experience the grand, almost poetic tales for which the author is often lauded, the ones that sweep off the pages in a lush beauty……and trail blood in their wake. Naturally, the old horror standards of pain and loss are also in abundance, but this collection has a more playful resonance, a wider breadth of ideas and stylistic forms, than some of his earlier collections, and it’s all the stronger for it. Gerard Houarner is rapidly shaping up to be one of the finest horror authors in print today through such divergent works as THE BEAST THAT WAS MAX, PAINFREAK and others.
Visions…., Richard Laymon Kills site, 12/02
Visions Through a Shattered Lens does indeed offer a skewed portrait of the realities, both seen and unseen, that encompass the mysteries of our existence. This is powerful, primal work by a far from ordinary writer. It taunts with concepts too large to fit on the screen of the mind’’s eye, illuminating just enough of what can’t be clearly conceived to terrify and intrigue, while maintaining the essential mystery of enigma. This is the most definitive collection yet by an author who’’s only begun his journey of morbid discovery.
Visions….., Hellnotes, Vol.7, Issue 3, January 16, 2003
“…Houarner is a good writer, and he constructs some unusual plots…”
Joe Bob Briggs.com, 5/03