I’m a fan of Eerie River and their anthologies, ever since the first It Calls from the Forest volume. Every book in this series has been fantastic up until It Calls from the Sea. Admittedly, this collection didn’t wow me the way the others did before it. Only seven of the stories scored a 4 or higher in my reading, which is roughly 37% of the available content. That being said, those seven stories are still the equivalent of a novella in word count. Coupled with fantastic design work (this is a beautiful and haunting book in appearance), It Calls from the Sea still surfaces (see what I did there?) as a recommended purchase. Below, I have attached my quick notes on the seven stories that left the biggest impressions on me.
*** Warning: Minor spoilers in the notes that follow! ***
The Ocean Sings Softly by Christopher Bond
This story is as hypnotic as it is dark. The visuals are haunting and the monster is frightening. There’s also a cosmic feel to this one.
Fronds by Tim Mendees
Aside from some meh dialogue, this was a really unique and interesting story. Unlike most of these entries, there weren’t really monsters to be found here; instead you had growth from an asteroid making things like seaweed and clams more aware and humanoid in their reactions. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and liked how the author used his own pet crab in the story as a lab pet.
Buoy 21415 by T.M. Brown
I found the technical talk really interesting, and the story itself is a weird and cool concept. I’ve liked this author in previous anthologies, so it might be time to get his novella.
Dead Ships by Georgia Cook
This was short and to the point, which I appreciated. There’s an unanswered mystery here, which works well, but I also think I may have liked it more if I got the answer to where the Dead Ships were coming from and why.
Heaven’s Lake by Holley Cornetto
Very unique with a terrifying sequence at the lake for the Easter revival, sacrificing the boy as if he was Jesus crucified; freaky stuff.
Long Pork by R. L. Meza
This was mysterious and dark and unsettling. A ship that runs out of food takes on a strange man floating on a raft, kills him, and then eats him. But he’s tainted with something monstrous and maddening..
Into the Depths by David Green
The atmosphere is rich with this one. The feeling of isolation and growing madness is palpable, despite a less than stellar ending. The system reset scene brought to mind Jurassic Park, which was a nostalgic win.