A couple months ago, I wrote about my story, “Unknown Soldier” in the Anthology, Kneeling in the Silver Light; Stories from the Great War which is now available in both hard copy and kindle versions on Amazon. Back then, I hadn’t received my own copy of the anthology yet and so hadn’t read the other eighteen stories in the book. I have now read it cover to cover and recommend it highly especially for those who want to learn more about WWI (and its horrors) without slogging through the history books or for those who like dark fantasy and horror in general. These are dark stories, no doubt, where even some of the dead come back to life, but this book isn’t a cheesy zombie fest. More like Twilight Zone in a WWI backdrop. Although most of the stories were page turners with good plots, what I liked most were the characters, characters I cared about whether it was the dead German soldier trying to get home in one piece, the Native American shape shifters with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces at Vimy Ridge, or the Australian brothers facing a deadly landscape in the Middle East. Each story gave me a “hobnail boots on the ground” perspective of what it was like for the soldiers, pilots, and even some of the civilians of the Great War. I have been researching and writing about WWI for several years, mostly about the American experience. After reading these stories, I now have a greater breadth of understanding of the different players involved.
Of course I have my favorites. Everyone will. The story that gave me the most chills was “Dig” by Daniel Russel, an Australian Horror writer. “On the Side of Angels” by Mary Pletsch, a Canadian glider pilot and graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, had a fantastic twist. And Shaun Hamilton’s “Truce” was the most heart wrenching. Although it sounds strange, Kneeling in the Silver Light would be a great book to read over the Holidays. It reminded me just how much I have to be thankful for.