Title: The Uncanny Valley
Author: Gregory Miller
Date Published: May 27th, 2011
Edition: Paperback (Signed by Author)
Source: ARC (Provided by Author)
The Uncanny Valley is a macabre serenade to a small town that may or may not exist, people with alive and dead denizens who wander about the hills and houses with creepy fluidity. Told by individual inhabitants, the stories recount tales of disappearing dead deer, enchanted gardens, invisible killer dogs, and rattlesnakes that fall from the sky; each contribution adds to a composite portrait that skitters between eerie, ghoulish, and poignant. Miller is a master storyteller, clearly delighting in his mischievous creations.
When I first picked this up, I wasn’t expecting what I got. What I mean is that I knew it was a collection of short stories, but I didn’t realize how intertwined and connected the stories would be. Basically a radio show hosts this contest where you write a story about your town. Each story is a submission from a person from Uncanny Valley. The spooky thing is that this town may or may not exist. I love that this is written, from Prologue to Epilogue, with the feeling of perhaps the little town might be real.
Each story is written from the perspective of one of the townspeople; and while all the stories have a spooky, supernatural theme, each one is also amusing in its own right. I found that many of the stories gave me shivers, while others I couldn’t help but giggle at the ending. I truly enjoyed them all, but my favorite is probably “By Moonlight”. That one gave me the creeps! I also loved the last 5 or so stories that seemed to tie many of the others together.
By the end of the collection, you have a pretty good picture of Uncanny Valley, and how very strange it, and its residents, are. This little book will give you chills, but also make you laugh and smile. It would be a fantastic choice to read around Halloween! Overall, it’s a really fun and entertaining collection about a small town with secrets too big to fit within its boundaries.
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