Monday, November 12, 2018

Book Review | A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem edited by Eric J. Guignard

A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem is a biography, a collection of short stories, and an analysis of Tem's work. It includes an interview with Tem as well as a non-fiction essay by Tem.


For over four decades, Steve Rasnic Tem has been an acclaimed author of horror, weird, and sentimental fiction. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “A perfect balance between the bizarre and the straight-forward” and Library Journal as “One of the most distinctive voices in imaginative literature,” Steve Rasnic Tem has been read and cherished the world over for his affecting, genre-crossing tales.

Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to his work, the first in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the rich voice of Steve Rasnic Tem, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich.

Included within these pages are:

• Six short stories, one written exclusively for this book
• Author interview
• Complete bibliography
• Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University)
• … and more!

Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Steve Rasnic Tem.

I absolutely loved this introduction to Steve Rasnic Tem. It's not only an introduction to some of Tem's stories, it's also an introduction to the author and his view on genre.

There are six short stories by Steve Rasnic Tem in this primer. Each story is accompanied by commentary from Michael Arnzen. I'm not big on literary analysis, but I enjoyed reading Arnzen's take on each story. I imagine folks who love analysis will really dig those sections. There's also a nice write up by Arnzen titled "Why Steve Rasnic Tem Matters".

I loved each one of the stories in this primer, and I think Steve Rasnic Tem really captured why during the interview portion of this book.

The writing process for most of my stories involves discovering what that emotional center is, and until I find that emotional center I feel there's not really a story yet. ... And as all this evolves I'm constantly looking for that emotional center - what the viewpoint character is feeling about whatever is going on, because in my experience it's the conviction of emotion that gives things meaning.

His stories are about the characters, and character driven stories are the best of horror for me.

Whether you are unfamiliar with Steve Rasnic Tem or are already a fan of his work, I highly recommend A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem. I definitely want to read more of Tem's work, and I'm looking forward to diving into more Exploring Dark Short Fiction primers from Dark Moon Books in the future.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by publisher

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