Local author Brandon Meyers’s collection of macabre tales Chasing the Sandman, available now for order online and at local bookstores, including Mutiny Information Cafe, puts this reviewer in mind of the 1930s pulp fiction era, when countless writers, including H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Robert E. Howard, were published regularly in a vital, bustling market including magazines like Weird Tales, inspiring latter fantasists, like Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, to found a whole new strata of uncertainty and enchantment, more horror and mystery around every corner.
Leaves are starting to turn red and fall from the trees, Halloween is coming right up, and the tales in Chasing the Sandman are perfectly timed to chill your literary spine. With tales like “Graveyard Shift,” in which police officer Mickey O’Houlihan stumbles across the lair of a gigantic spider and roasts it alive before passing out, “A View From the Top,” wherein brother and sister Alex and Elsa Laurio must outwit the sadistic keeper of a sadistic trial by fate masquerading as a hedge maze, or “1st Appearance” where readers learn of farting Lane Donovan’s visitation by Whippoorwill, “one of comicdom’s less popular silver age heroes,” in a tale presenting comic strip panels as dimensional doorways, Meyers has proven his worth as a distinctive and powerful new voice among local underground writers. He has authored one other novel, The Oasis, a darkly fantastic love story set in a contemporary mental hospital, and co authored several with his best friend and co-administrator of the webcomic A Beer for the Shower, Bryan Pedas. Among these is The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson, which imbues its Mile High setting with a refreshingly reflexive humor in the form of a modern allegory on being good-natured in a cash mad world. With the stories in Chasing the Sandman, Meyers has shown himself as far more than a keen humorist. He is also a skilled technician of the mob vignette, as seen in “Table Stakes,” the mad science project gone wrong (see “Into the Deep”), and the Halloween chestnut (“Stone Cold Love”).
Meyers and Pedas have impressed me strongly with their collaborations and individual creations as fellow strivers in the same direction, who have decided, whether consciously or not, to reestablish those days of pulp vitality in our personal writing lives. While the majority of what I’ve published so far has been drawn directly from life experience and fictionalized, the stories in this volume have impressed me with the worthiness of utter fiction as a mode of expression. That is, I think he's making this stuff up . . .