I must confess that when the galley for Scott Edelman's The Hunger of Empty Vessels turned up in my mailbox, I had no idea who the author was. The name did ring a tiny bell, but I couldn't place it. A quick online search told me that Edleman had a story in Dennis Etchison's excellent Metahorror anthology and that he had been published in The Twilight Zone Magazine. Undoubtedly that's where I had seen the name before. I also learned that Scott Edelman had worked extensively as a writer for Marvel Comics and had worked in the science fiction field as an editor and writer. If that isn't enough, Edelman has written for television too. It doesn't seem like there is a lot he hasn't done.

So I knew that I wasn't dealing with some newcomer trying to break into the field. Cool.

The first thing I want to point out is how well written The Hunger of Empty Vessels is. the language is rich and each sentence is a beautiful construction. Clearly Scott Edelman is a solid professional.

However, I can only give The Hunger of Empty Vessels a mixed review. This story of a man coming unraveled in the wake of a painful separation from his wife and son is a sad and painful trip to undertake. The loss and heartbreak in it are quite real.

The story itself is rather ambiguous. The man believe that his troubled son is being plagued by emotional vampires. Are the demons in his head or do they really exist? I generally enjoy stories of this type, but by the end of The Hunger of Empty Vessels I felt unsatisfied, wishing that it had been a more straightforward account of a man's grief. But this is the horror genre and many readers won't be satisfied if there isn't a supernatural element.

At any rate, I urge readers to give The Hunger of Empty Vessels a chance. Buy it and marvel at the exquisite writing and maybe you'll like it more than I did.

The Hunger of Empty Vessels is forthcoming from Bad Moon Books, who are making a huge splash in the small press. With publications by bestsellers like Clive Barker and literary heavyweights like Scott Edelman, they are rapidly becoming one of the most important independent publishers in the business.

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