Tales of Tinfoil: Stories of Paranoia and Conspiracy - Wendy Paine Miller, Lucas Bale, Michael Bunker, Eric Tozzi, Chris Pourteau, David Gatewood, Forbes West, Joseph E Uscinski, Peter Cawdron, Edward W. Robertson, Ernie Lindsey, Richard Gleaves, Jennifer Ellis, Nick Cole

As it has to be for a collection like Tales Of Tinfoil some of the usual suspects make an appearance. JFK, Elvis, Hitler or Area 51. It seems to be a necessary evil, which is no evil at all, but a pretty damn fun thing, to include those as no conspiracy would be indeed a conspiracy without them.

Due different Apocalypse Weird novels I was already familar with a bunch of authors (Jennifer Ellis, Eric Tozzi or Chris Pourteau to name just a few), but those I haven´t run into before, like Richard Gleaves or Ernie Lindsey, take the trophy home. I expected to like the stories by authors I´ve read already, alas, the later two, Gleaves and Lindsey respectively, wrote the stories I would think come as close to perfection a short story can be. A new spin on the Kennedy assassination, and a story about lightbulbs. Yeap.

One story I wanna highlight is M.Bunker´s Octopus story. I´m most definitely a fan of his work, as I may have mentioned in the past ^^, but there is something that touched me on a level other stories didn´t as much. I hesitate in a way to call it a "real" conspiracy story as I see how easily a young man on the search to find the answer to life´s mysteries can be suckered into someone´s else war. In the end I think we all want to believe in something, we have to I suppose, it just depends how far we are willing to go. We all could be, no, we all ARE Matthew. How he is manipulated by those he believed to be friends is of course indeed conspirational, so the term nevertheless fits, no denying, just there is more to it under the surface. And of course it is a prime example how militant organizations recruit new members.

As expected when there is such a wide range of topics and different authors, even under one umbrella, there are one or two stories I only partially cared for. Like the Dr.Midnite-ish pseudo-gonzo rant in true Hunter S. Thompson style, which however is a perfect ending for the collection as it is. As a whole Tales Of Tinfoil is a fun, solid read by some of the top notch Indie authors working today with paranoia as its middle name.

It´s a crazy train or a "bad acip trip", and if you believe in one or several of those conspiracy theories, or none at all, the approach by those writers is something to enjoy and marvel over. Me would think it leads to a new whole can of worms to be opened, and I cant say I blame anyone for taking them at face value. I´m still not sure if those guys are simply screwing with everyone, or truly, really believe into it. Or as Gleaves noted, there is always ONE guy...

As unhinged as the stories are the author´s notes, where every one of those involved explains the root of the story, based on a rumor, or as it is, really, a conspiracy theory making its rounds. It makes the context - should I say? - more believable, and gives each story presented an additional take that often comes unexpected and does so with a bang, not a whisper. It is the quietness, the absolute certainty with which every one explains the real story what makes it so... paranoid. Especially if you are a tinfoil hat wearer. Hey, I´m not judging, okay?

Now I´ve to run, the Men In Black are already in the area. I only have seconds...

(Legal disclaimer: I received a free pre-publication copy of Tales Of Tinfoil by the editor, David Gatewood.)