Ichor Falls: A Visitor’s Guide

October 11, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

ichorIchor Falls: A Visitor’s Guide by Kris Straub and Sarah Pharris

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Kris Straub is best known for his online horror/adventure webcomic Broodhollow, and for good reason. He captures the town of Broodhollow through its quirks and traditions, its unusual tendency to not remember big, important things, and its otherworldly residents with a charm and grace that belies its unsettling events and characters. Fans of weird fiction who don’t already know about the comic are missing out.

Kris Straub is also known for a short story he wrote that made the rounds on creepypasta forums, “Candle Cove”. It’s been made into a short fan movie on YouTube, and is the first story to be adapted for an upcoming TV show about creepypasta, Channel Zero. It’s also included here, in a collection of short stories about a town called Ichor Falls, which is perpetually shrouded in fog and sits near a wood where time doesn’t pass the same way as it does in the rest of the town.

The stories here are uneven, but the stories that stand out are good enough to overcome the weaknesses of the other stories. “Candle Cove” is the centerpiece, but “Curious Little Thing” (which found itself adapted into Broodhollow) is effectively creepy, as are “Lemon Blossom Girl” and “The Hirsch Camera (1870)”. The stories mostly stand by themselves outside of the conceit of them taking place in a secluded town called Ichor Falls, but the first and last stories bookend the collection into this unusual town that wouldn’t be out of place beside Dunwich or Innsmouth. The last story, “Shining One from Above the Clouds” (one of the two stories written by Pharris), gives us a possible origin to the town, and concludes the collection on a note of uncertainty.

While Ichor Falls isn’t perfect, it’s a fine collection of eerie, unsettling stories. Most of the stories can be found online, but having them together in one place is handy. Plus, readers of Broodhollow may find that the small town they know in the webcomic might have been built on the ashes of Ichor Falls.

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