Wednesday 20 December 2023

Nothing Ever Happens Here - Richard Paolinelli - Dreams Of The Storyteller Book 4

Nothing Ever Happens Here
Dreams Of The Storyteller Book 4

When I started reading the Dreams of the Storyteller Series there were 18 volumes in the collection. Then it expanded to 20, and now it is compressed to 14. Six of the stories have been split off into a different collection called Sherlock Holmes Pastiches. I have read a number from each collection and I have picked up several anthologies that Paolinelli has contributed to, that I have not got around to reading yet. I have also read 2 novel, Galen’s Way,  and Galen’s Blade and eagerly await the two forthcoming offerings in that series. I have also picked up several of his other novels after reading the first few stories in this series.

After having read a few of the stories by Paolinelli I am now trying to read one a week until I have read his whole back catalogue. Several of his stories and novels are towards the top of my ‘to be read pile’. 

Richard is not only an author but the driving force behind Tuscany Bay Books, I have read many volumes from the Bay by a number of authors and all have been well worth the read. This was one of several new short stories that dropped in the collection Dreams Of The Storyteller. There are now  as mentioned, a collection of 14 volumes in that collection, the first 2 date from 2014, 1 from 2022, and the rest have dropped in 2023. 

After reading the first story I went back and grabbed the whole collection. Much like I did with Declan Finn last year with reading a story a week until I have read all he has published.   

At the time of reading this I have read 442 books so far this year. I can state that this is another excellent story from Paolinelli’s masterful pen. I said in a previous review that I have been aware of Richard and his works for a few years now. It is my loss that I did not dig into his works earlier. Don’t make my mistake, pick some up and give them a read! The description of this story is:

“A reality television crew gets more than they bargained for when they travel deep into a remote national forest in search of an urban legend. They encounter a set of stairs, unattached to any structure and seemingly leading nowhere. But despite the park ranger's statement that "nothing ever happens here" they will encounter a supernatural horror beyond their wildest imagination.”

This story has a different plot that took me by surprise. With how much I read that is saying something. There were several occasions while reading 12 of the other stories in this collection, where I almost started this one. But I kept putting it off. This story involves a ghost hunter’s type crew from a show called Haunted America looking for disappearing staircases in a national park. The head ranger, District Ranger Blanchard tries to dissuade them. Their leader is Larry Kincaid, and he is supposed to be the brains of the outfit. Vicki Grace is his co-host and Randy Phillips is the cameraman and tech crew. They record some pieces outside the ranger station including an intro:

““According to Native American legends that date back to long before the first Europeans showed up in this area,” Kincaid continued. “There are staircases of stone mysteriously appearing and disappearing throughout this vast and very dense forest. Now mind you, it’s just the stone steps by themselves that pop in and out of existence. The stairs don’t lead to anywhere and they aren’t attached to any visible structure. Adding to the mystery, the sizes of the stairs vary, from as small as five feet to as high as forty feet tall. If that wasn’t strange enough, not only do the stairs change configurations, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of pattern associated with the times and locations of their appearances.””

But Larry has a plan, and his picked a few locations to check out. Unfortunately for the three of them he plotted correctly. And with disastrous consequences. To Find out what befalls them you will need to read this chilling tale.

This is another great short story from Paolinelli’s masterful pen. It is the penultimate book in this series for me to read. I have a feeling that once I have read the 16 volumes in the Dreams of a Storyteller Series, I will circle back and reread them in publication order. This is a great story in a wonderful collection. I can easily recommend it for fans of great short stories!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

For reviews of all books from Tuscany Bay click here.

Books by Richard Paolinelli:
When the Gods Fell
The Calling
The Last Lonely Trail
A Zombie Christmas Carol

Infinity Series:
Escaping Infinity
Exploring Infinity

Starguest 4th Age Series:

Timeless Series:
The Timeless
Secret of the Sphinx

Jack Del Rio Series:
Del Rio Omnibus Edition

Divine Trolls Comedies:
The Fall Of The House Of 770 Vile Aromas 
The Corvo

SeaDragon 1 May 1986
SeaDragon 2 June 1996

Sherlock Holmes Pastiches:

Non Fiction:
Perfection’s Arbiter
From The Fields
The Space Shuttle: 1981–2011 

Contributed to:
To Be Men 
Places Beyond The Wild
Space Force Building The Legacy
Secret Stairs 
A Tribute To H.G. Wells (2019 Edition)
Beyond Watson 
Holmes Away From Home, Vol. 2 
Sherlock Holmes Adventures In The Realms Of H.G. Wells 
Sherlock Holmes Aventures In The Realms Of Edgar Allan Poe
The Art Of Sherlock Holmes 
The Mx Book Of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part Xxii

Planetary Anthology Series:
Best Of Planetary Anthology Series
Galen's Way Richard Paolinelli

Galen's Blade Richard Paolinelli

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