Dennis Siluk's Books and Writings

Horror Stories by Dennis L. Siluk

Enter subhead content here

Home | E V E N T S | Siluk's Rare Autographs | Rare First Editions | Horror Stories by Dennis L. Siluk | In My Time Poems | Poetic CDs | Dennis' Artwork | Dennis' music | Macabre Art | Cosmo Art | W R I T I N G S | Artículos Recientes & VIDEOS | AWARDS (Reconocimientos) | Dr.h.c. Dennis L. Siluk | About the Author | Family Album | R E V I E W S | BOOKS (Libros) | BOOKS in the Making | Chapbooks | Contact Me | Books Out of Print | Places of Inspiration | The Color of Gaza | The Rephaim Circle of Israel (3200-4000 BC)

Enter content here

Eight Time Poet Laureate

Dennis L. Siluk Dr.h.c.

agaliarept.jpg

Announcing the Horror Stories and books by

 Dennis L. Siluk, Dr.h.c.

See his horror books: the Tiamat trilogy, series, plus several short story horror books, “Death on Demand” 2002 (to include the renowned story, “The Rape Angelina of Glastonbury, AD 1199” read by many of his 160,000-monthly readers) (and:  “The Seventy Born Son”); “Dracula’s Ghost,” 2003, has eight trying stories, and “The Tale of the Jumping Serpents of Bosnia, 2008 (eleven-short stories) another Colletion of eldritch short fiction (to include the growing interest in “Night Ride to Huancayo” a horrific supernatural tale). Also, the psychological thriller, “The Mumbler,” 2004, and “Manticore, Day of the Beast” 2002, and his book on visions “The Last Trumpet…” 2001-2002 and “Angelic Renegades…” 2002, he is the unknown crown horror writer of the decade. Also see After Eve” 2004, [a book of historic adventure]. 

 

 

His books can be seen on Amazon.com; B&N.com; abe.com and all the other internet big and small book dealers.

See Reviews

See Review by Benjamin Szumskyj on Dennis L. Siluk (and visit his many websites)

 

http://dennissiluk.tripod.com

 

 

BENJAMIN SZUMSKYJ is a qualified teacher (Bachelor of Arts in Education / Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, minor in English) at a private high school. He also has a diploma as a librarian technician/assistant and a graduate diploma in Christian Studies. Szumskyj also acted as convener on the horror panel of the 2005 Aurealis Awards. In addition to being a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association, he is also a member of the (American) Horror Writers Association. His blog can be found at SSWFT, which is updated irregularly.

 

 

"In the Pits of Hell, a Seed of Faith Grows" - a review of The Macabre Poems: and Other Selected Poems (Volume III) by Dennis L. Siluk for Calenture: a Journal of Studies in Speculative Verse (Volume 1 # 1: September 2005).

 

 

"Interview with Dennis L. Siluk," for Lost Sanctum #2 (Wild Cat Books, 2006).

 

 

“He Is What He Writes: The Weird Tales of Dennis L. Siluk" for Dissections: The Journal of Contemporary Horror #2

 

"He Is What He Writes..."

 

The Weird Tales of:

 Dennis L. Siluk

 

Review of his Books

2002-2004

 

by: Benjamin Szumskyj

 

 

 

 

 

Embarking on the critical study of author Dennis L. Siluk might be an endeavor that would fall on deaf ears, rather than the applause of a receptive audience. I mean no disrespect by this comment. This is because, despite dozens of published books and thousands of copies sold, Dennis L. Siluk’s literary career has been virtually undetected by the community of the weird tale. However, being unknown is potentially more rewarding than being found and forgotten, or worse still, ignored altogether. And being that none of Siluk’s many readers have chosen to study his works of fiction, bar the flurry of positive reviews, any study of his work will be both deserved and enlightening.

       Siluk has written several books outside the weird tale canon, such as of poetry (Sirens, The Macabre Poems: and other selected poems), children’s stories (The Tale of Willie the Humpback Whale, Two Modern Short Stories of Immigrant Life: The Little Russian Twins & Uni’s Street Car), travel (Chasing the Sun, Romancing San Francisco: Sketches of Life in the Late '60's), mainstream (Perhaps It’s Love, Cold Kindness), non-fiction (A Path to Sobriety, the Inside Passage: A Common Sense Book on Understanding Alcoholism and Addiction, A Path to Relapse Prevention), thriller (The Mumbler), and pseudotheological (The Last Trumpet and the Woodbridge Demon).

       The fiction collection that best encapsulates the style, imagination and originality of Siluk is Death on Demand: Seven Stories of Suspense (2003, iUniverse Inc). Though a relatively recent publication, it collects several stories written over a period of years. In discussing the following stories, I may reveal the endings in order to illustrate a point.

       Death on Demand opens with, what I believe not only to be one of Siluk’s best stories, but perhaps one of the most powerfully written stories of the last decade ‘The Rape of Angelina’, a story which showcases the author’s background in psychology and sociology within a historical context. The story begins with a well-read individual who has acquired a forgotten poem written in 1278 AD entitled ‘The Lioness of Glastonbury’, whilst conducting research at an undisclosed university in England. Upon arriving in Glastonbury, he meets a man named Arthur who is distantly related to Angelina and happens to possess a copy of her diary, written in 1199 AD at the end of the Crusades. As he states:

       “At Chalice Well, you will see a Lion’s Head. Angelina was a lioness. Although people thought she was timid, and coy, she was far from it. When she died, in 1221 AD, she left her diary, and the story of the three soldiers who wanted to rape her; one did the other two… Well, that’s part of the story; no one ever found out what happened to them or for that matter, how they died. But I know I got the diary. I found it in 1984, hidden in the old Abbey Barn, that place has a magnificent roof, doesn’t it?” [DOD, p. 18]

       The story then changes to Angelina’s point of view, directly from her diary, as she recounts the events of that fateful year. The third chapter is crisply written, particularly the first section, in which the 13-year-old details her dream of finding a beloved knight and being married, her developing body, and the attention young boys give her. It’s an authentic narrative, for Angelina comes across as a sensible, mature and honorable girl who idolizes the life of King Arthur, as well as looking up to her grandfather. Soon enough, she is confronted by three wandering knights, who she believes to be visiting King Arthur’s grave site. However, they advance on her and each of the men rape Angelina. After being raped by the third attacker, who falls asleep (whom Angelina thinks is either English or Islamic-Arab), she picks up his sword and decapitates him.

       Taking his bag of coins (‘I took them for my torn dress’ [DOD, p. 41]), she buries him (‘about three feet deep, and I rolled him into it just like mom puts in the ham during winter’ [DOD, p. 41]) and returns home, telling no one what had happened. That night, she asks her grandfather about the Holy Wars and Islamic culture, particularly, towards women. The next day, Angelina uses the remainder of the deceased rapist’s silver to buy a wolf, which she locks in a cage and is determined to domesticate.

       Angelina continues her plan of revenge when, upon seeing the other two in a tavern, she tells the soberer of the pair to meet her at a disclosed location soon after. He agrees and upon leaving, Angelina buys some wine and quickly makes a visit to the local herb dealer, buying strong sleeping narcotics. Later on, she meets up with the man, tricks him into drinking the drugged wine, then releases the hungry wolf and he is mauled to death. Consider the macabre nature of the following scene, through the innocence of Angelina:

       ‘He couldn’t talk or make anymore sounds the wolf had chewed his nose and throat off, and open. I thought people died easy, but it’s not true. Sometimes they die slow. The wolf looked at me then went and started eating again, paying me little attention; I think he was making sure his meal was secure.’ [DOD, p. 65]

       The third and final rapist is led to Chalice Well, where after passing out from drinking the same drugged wine, Angelina ‘tied his hands over his head; then tied his two legs together’, then proceeded to chop off his hands with his own sword and cast him down the well. The final scene is worth quoting at length,

       ‘As I look down the well, the rope followed him like a snake. He has no hands to untie his feet, and he can not climb the 30-feet to the top. And I know the well is pretty deep. I cannot see him, only hear his cries.

‘Now I put the top of the well cover back on; I will lock it now, so the children will not fall into it. I can still hear his screams, barely, but I do hear them, he is begging me to open the well door, and at the same time cursing me. He is not sorry for what he did to me, only sorry I could get revenge on him; now his body will sink soon, and he will sober up, or wake up drunk in hell.

       ‘I hear water splashing, he is lucky he is thin, not like the huge one, for he would sink if he was that big. He will get exhausted soon. I must bury the rest of his things.

       ‘”See Mr. Knight, you are paying for your sins. But I will tell the world you were a great knight, for that is what knights are created for; they are special. Thus, I will save you from disgrace. What would you do if you lived, just get drunk and rape more girls like me. Now, that is not what a good knight should have to look forward to. GOOD NIGHT!!” I think he heard me, I tried to say it loud enough through the locked well cover. Matter of fact he did hear me, he is saying “Come back…come backkkkkk, ppppleaseeeeezzzzzzz.” [DOD, p. 73]

       Thus finish Angelina’s diary entries. Angelina tried to subconsciously forget her rape and murderous revenge, distancing herself from the whole experience and erasing the whole series of events from her mind. The townsfolk don’t believe she did it, nor would they desire to trial her for such atrocious crimes despite the evidence. Soon after, the Arthurian Green Knight enters the town and when the two meet one another, they instantly fall in love. After marrying one another, Angelina sadly dies in childbirth.

       The final chapter returns to the present, with a psychological explanation of how Angelina erased the rape and killings from her memory. In reading this passage, one can begin to see Siluk’s knowledge in this area of psychology (in addition to the ‘Other’ voice heard by Angelina, throughout the story). The narrator ends up leaving Glastonbury, but the story remains there, for in leaving, he is unable to take away the story and he begins to disremember Angelina’s tragic life.

What makes this story work is that unlike many female characters that are raped in literature and extract vengeance, Angelina does not become a masculine force. Rather, she remains feminine and does not adopt the traits or personality of a male. Like Michael Moorcock in Gloriana, or the Unfulfill'd Queen (1978), Siluk is careful in his writing of one of humanity’s worst forms of violence. Angelina is such a likeable character who is able to remain stable of mind through her horrible ordeal that her reaction of vengeance becomes more realistic.

       ‘Seventh Born Son’ is an intriguing story, surrounding the life of ‘Vlad Bran, otherwise know as Vlad Hoof’ [DOD, p. 92], for he was born with a tail and hooves. Narrated by a ‘friend’ of Vlad’s, the story begins in Transylvania. What starts as a potentially clichéd story evolves into a cleverly crafted life story of a figure cursed by his environment. The stigma of literature, in this case Bram Stoker’s Dracula, has constructed a world to believe that Vlad’s hometown is a place of evil and vampirism. In deciding to leave the place he once called home and travel to Wales, he soon begins to think evil thoughts on killing other people. As a result, Vlad’s true nature begins to emerge as detailed in the following passage,

       ‘As several months passed, he established himself as a serious manager in the food department, the headwaiter, with several under him. And would attend weekly meetings concerning improvements, in which he gave good advice; never showing his discontent for the world outside his mind, his damaged soul. It was justice he yearned for. When he walked by city hall, he spit at it. When he walked by the National Museum he stopped and would always wonder if there were any misunderstood freaks of nature like him in there. He liked walking the riverfront and watching the alcoholics get drunk sitting by the benches, overlooking the Millennium Stadium. He felt if anyone knew what he was thinking – which was killing – and if they were half sober, they would realize he could and would carry it out. And just what he was thinking was revenge. Yes, revenge on the world. Anyone would do. But he was not a vampire like people thought him as. He was just misunderstood. He didn’t need blood to cure him, only blood to wipe the dirt they threw on him away. And so, as spring came, he drew up his plan.’ [DOD, p. 94]

       So begins Vlad’s vengeful campaign. His first victim is a female whom he decapitates, the second victim is a priest lured away from the police and stabbed in the back, the third victim is raped and then mauled by wild dogs, the fourth victim is an old man pushed down a well, the fifth victim is a homeless man that is buried alive, while the sixth and seventh victims…are Vlad himself. He commits suicide (the flesh), then rigs a trap that when the police break down his door (after being tipped off by his ‘friend’), drives a stake into his chest, thus destroying Vlad’s spirit. All up, seven victims are slain, just as Vlad had wanted it. It is a satisfactory ending to a story fuelled by bloody passion and the relentless hatred of being a social outcast.

       Even at the end of the story, we are never told in words as to whether there is any real supernaturalism in the story. We are made to believe that this all happened, regardless of the preconceived belief that Vlad was a vampire. If we are to toy with the belief that Vlad is capable of supernatural feats, say hypnotism (after his third victim is raped and simultaneously attacked by dogs), then it the reader’s choice to do so, for the author has not indicated as such. ‘Seventh Born Son’ succeeds in being a suspenseful story in that it relies heavily on pseudo-supernaturalism, that being, the allusion of the supernatural to mask realism. It is easily one of Siluk’s best short stories (1).

       ‘The Dead Vault’ begins as a touching account of love and murder, set during the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, 1570-1293 BCE (New Kingdom period). It surrounds two lovers who partake in the murder of Tutankhamen,(2) but soon find themselves fleeing for their very lives, as ‘those who hired us, betrayed us, used us as an escape-goat, they are the ones who have sent the bone collectors to find us, and bring our bones back to them.’ [DOD, pp. 108-09] The lovers flee so far from their native Egypt they arrive in the Americas (!) and build an underground mound, where they await a peaceful death (Ohio to be exact).

This story is, perhaps, the poorest of the collection, due to the impractical choices Siluk constructs for his characters. Would a mound maker keep a diary? Why the Americas? Must they really die? Would an ancient Egyptian truly use the word ‘sidekick’? And being that Hesmaglig was a former teacher of Tutankhamen, why would he need to use his wife as a sexual distraction for the guards? Surely he would have access to the King’s chambers? Sadly, the story is full of weaknesses.

       ‘The Senator of Lima’ is a suspenseful story that on face value appears to be the author’s open discussion on the issue of terrorism in Peru. Like many of Siluk’s stories, the character of Chick Evans is semi-autobiographical, an innocent author who happens to be friends with the Senator of Lima. However, in his rise to power, the Senator had made a pact with the very real terrorist group Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA) and the Senator is aware that his life is in danger, as he has been unable to pay back his debts. Locking himself in his hotel room, the Senator asks his friend Evans for help, but no sooner is Evans confronted by members of MRTA and a verbal contract is made between them, in a game of cockfighting, Evans must win three out of six to save the Senator’s life, but if he loses, the Senator has to commit suicide. It’s a fulfilling ending and, I suspect, contains far more truths than Siluk is willing to admit.

       ‘The Old Man, and the Tides of Winter’ would have to be, for me, one of the most touching stories I have ever read. Set during a typical Minnesotan winter, an ageing man dwells on his life between his regular visits by his son. During a harsh storm one night, the old man comes across a young puppy and adopts it. However, soon after, the old man passes away and is found by his son, though the puppy is hesitant to leave his deceased master’s lap. His son takes the puppy and looks after it, on behalf of his father.

       ‘The Old Man of Chickamauga’ is set in Virginia, 1861, at the time of the Civil War. The story opens to a distressed old man, who is agonizing over the destruction of his land, property and death of his son-in-law. The Union soldiers are outside, preparing to burn down his house. History informs us that in January 1861, Virginia threatened secession from the union known as the United States of America. Due to the old man’s resistance to the Union soldiers, it would be safe to state that this is not West Virginia, for they did not wish to secede along with the rest of the state and were admitted into the Union on June 20, 1863. The union soldiers end up burning down the house with the old man inside, an action which later haunts Lieutenant Foremost. The story may have been written as a homage to Ambrose Bierce’s ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek’, when, towards the end of the story, Siluk has the Lieutenant say, ‘Let’s eat breakfast men…and then we got to go build a bridge at Owl Creek.’ [DOD, p. 153]

       ‘The Camel Market’ is a simple story, set in Troy (2900 BCE), in which a man reminisces of his childhood, working with his (now deceased) father in the camel market.

       Thus ends Death on Demand: Seven Stories of Suspense. Siluk has crafted some powerfully written and imaginative stories here and continues the testament by many that small press is the true sanctuary of quality weird fiction. In a purely complimentary statement, Siluk shares the lust to write like the infamous Lin Carter, but I do wish he’d approach established markets and anthologies to showcase his work, rather than a print-on-demand publisher. Nevertheless, Siluk seemingly enters himself into every one of his characters, regardless of whether he has visited the locale of his story, or has experienced, in one form or another, the character’s life. This semi-autobiographical injection brings more life to each of his characters and narrators and builds Siluk up as being a Baron Munchausen-like character. Whether others feel Siluk’s work is deserved of study remains to be seen, though if one is to acknowledge that he has written and sold over 30 books, one could say that theoretically he must be doing something right as an author. Time will only tell.

 

References


Siluk, Dennis (2003), Death on Demand: Seven Stories of Suspense (Lincoln, NE. iUniverse Inc).

 

Notes


1 For some, what can only be described as bizarre reason, Siluk later expanded and retitled this story as ‘Dracula’s Ghost’. However, I feel that the story is weakened in this later version and do not recommend reading it prior to ‘Seventh Born Son’.

 

2 In the story, the narrator Hesmaglig stands by and watches his friend inflict a head wound to the young King’s skull. For decades, scientists and historians have believed this to be the sole cause of Tutankhamen’s death, but recently, debate has risen that the infamous pharaoh, in fact, died of a disease-infected wound on his leg.

http://www.simegen.com/writers/dissections/February%202008/dissections_page_06.html>, 2008
See Review by Continental University, Huancayo Peru

The Council (ruling body) of the Continental University, of Huancayo, Peru, congratulates and recognizes Dr. Dennis Lee Siluk for his abundant intellectual contribution (with his writings), permitting the Mantaro Valley’s attributes to be known worldwide.  November, 27, 2008 (Resolution No. 309-2008 CU/UCCI-2008, signed by the Rector, and General Secretary.

.

Also, the author's three books of natural writings: "Cornfield Laughter," a novel and Ten Short Stories. "Men with Torrent Women," a short novel and Sixteen Short Stories. And "A Leaf and a Rose..." A Paris-Munich Romance--novelette, and  comprehensive selecton of short stories.

All three books in English and Spanish

 

 
 



All Art work, Photographs, Videos, and Writings on this site are under Copyright © 2002-2016