Requiem 4 by Mike Duran

requiem 4

Blurb from the author:

Graviton Cemetery—the biggest, oldest, most haunted graveyard in the world.

And Requiem 4 is here to clean things up.

In a dystopian, war-torn future where a godless global network reprograms the masses for compliance, the Requiem units are a dying breed. Manned by sciocists—scientific exorcists—and armed with state-of-the-art technology, the units sweep cemeteries of ‘latent soul energy.’

However, there’s a lot more than just ghosts in Graviton.

Father Aguste Lax, military chaplain to Requiem 4, has his own doubts. The cross around his neck is a feeble reminder of his waning faith. Yet when they encounter a Type Six entity, no amount of quantum firepower can save them. Lax becomes their only hope for escaping Graviton alive. But can his faith prevail against an evil this ancient? Or will Graviton Cemetery become the final resting place for Requiem 4?


My review:

I’ve heard people say, “Christian Horror Fiction? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” And to be honest, I kind of used to think that myself. Then I read Mike Duran (check out his Reagan Moon series — so cool!), and I found that, just like Christian Death Metal, it can and does exist — and it’s pretty awesome.

Requiem 4 is Duran’s latest work. It’s a novelette, so it’s only around 100 pages long. But trust me, those pages are packed with nail-biting tension and lots of “Whhaaattt?” (think of the sound Scooby-Doo makes — yep, that’s exactly what was going through my mind) and “Oh my tripes and trollibags!” (don’t ask, just go with it). It’s like Ghostbusters on a whole new level. He does a superior job of meshing mythology, religion, adventure, social commentary, and just enough fright to keep me wanting more. Duran is skilled at creating an atmosphere of tension, at leaving the reader on the precipice, so you feel compelled to continue reading just to keep you from teetering over while you’re trying to be good and clean the house or something.

And so you know, this would probably be considered a PG-13 story, so take that into consideration before you let your kiddos steal your copy. But do snag a copy (it’s available on Amazon) — I highly recommend it!

Many thanks to Mike Duran for the advanced copy of this story for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Mythic Orbits 2016: edited by Travis Perry

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From the editor: “This anthology is a showcase for the best stories submitted in the general field of speculative fiction by Christian authors for this project. It represents a wide variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal. There is no common theme to these tales, though the subject of empathy or lack thereof does come up in them repeatedly. This is most definitely not an anthology about orbits which are somehow mythical.

“The main goal of this anthology was to demonstrate that Christian authors can write speculative fiction well. Stories with a wide range of appeal are included here, mostly serious, some with humor, some with ‘happy endings’ and others clearly not so happy. All of them worth reading.

“Some of these stories feature Christian characters in speculative fiction worlds, some make use of Christian themes either subtly or overtly, while some have no discernible connection to Christianity at all. Christian authors are featured in this collection rather than specifically Christian-themed stories.”

What a fascinating collection of stories! There is a little bit of everything in here, from ghosts to twisted fairy tales to robots to aliens. If you can’t find a story in this anthology that you like, there must be something wrong with you. 🙂 Just kidding. But seriously, I was impressed with the breadth of speculative fiction that is represented in this collection.

Equally important to me was the variety of lengths of the pieces. I know that may sound weird, but if you only have a few minutes, there are some rather quick stories you can dip into and enjoy. On the other hand, some of the pieces are quite a bit longer, giving you something to really sink into and soak for a while.

While all the stories were good, I did have a few favorites: “Nether Ore” by Kirk Outerbridge, “Cameo” by Linda Burklin, “Clay’s Fire” by Kat Heckenbach, and “The Water Man” by Sherry Rossman, all stood out for me. I definitely recommend that you pick up a copy for yourself and see which stories you like best. 🙂