Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Empty by Ty Arthur [3 stars]

From the Description


There are terrors still waiting to be discovered in the vast emptiness of space. After millennia of travel through the void, man has convinced himself he is master of the stars.

Down-on-his-luck, stuck performing punishment duty in the lower levels of the Penrose, Junior Engineer 3rd Class Hansen wants nothing more than to see the wreckage of a newly discovered ship dating back to man's earliest deep space explorations.

The engineer is about to get his wish, and in the process come face-to-face with a long-dormant horror waiting patiently for the perfect vessel. What he'll uncover in the darkness will threaten to consume him, body and soul.

Publication Date: January 22, 2016

Publisher: Mirror Matter Press

Publication Length: 84 pages


I received a copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.


Empty is a mix of science fiction and horror. This novella has a claustrophobic and lonely feel to it. We get to know Hansen as he roams the lower depths of the ship he works on. Since he works in nearly complete isolation he's the only character we learn anything about. The creatures in the story, reminiscent of the fungus that kills Jordy Verrill in Creepshow, are impossible to escape. Although it's well written I had a hard time connecting to this story because it felt like a snippet out of a longer work. It was like one of the Kindle samples, a good beginning that gave me just enough to make me want to read the rest of the story. I think that Ty Arthur shows a lot of promise as a new author and I would definitely check out more of his work. Unfortunately I can only give this one a 3 star rating.


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About the Author

Montana native Ty Arthur fell in love with fantasy and horror at an early age, but frequently had to engage in those passions secretly during his youth. Turning to the written word as a cathartic outlet, Arthur writes to exorcise his demons and share the darker side of reality with his audience. He lives in the cold, dark north with his amazing wife Megan.
You can find Ty Arthur talking about Metal and gaming over at as xFiruath or on Facebook and Twitter

Arthur had this to say about his inaugural solo work:

"While the themes of 'Empty' draw heavily from personal experiences, it should come as no surprise that extreme metal was a major inspiration for me, and there wasn't a single moment of writing when I didn't have the headphones on, exploring the outer reaches of space through music. Special thanks in particular are due to Augury, Ne Obliviscaris, and Stagnant Waters for the epic and discordant tracks that acted as a soundtrack to those writing sessions.

"Although on the surface 'Empty' is about horrible things discovered out in the depths of space, I think metal fans in particular will be able to identify with the main character and underlying story dealing with the isolation of being different and separated from the herd.

"In the same way the music propelled me forward and inspired my writing, I hope one day 'Empty' inspires a metal band to write a sci-fi album so it can all come full circle."

The author's recommended listening playlist to go along with a reading of "Empty" consists of:

"Oversee The Rebirth" - Augury
"Distant Satellites" - Anathema
"Heavens Black Sea" - Ihsahn
"Algae" - Stagnant Waters
"NeutroN ShivA" - Blacklodge
"Dying For The Sun" - Witherscape
"Across The Universe" - Aborym
"Painters of the Tempest (Part I): Wyrmholes" - Ne Obliviscaris
"Inside The Particle Storm" - Dark Tranquillity
"Gateways" - Dimmu Borgir
"Carcosa" - Saille

Praise for Ty Arthur & Empty

"Rapid pacing, a cinematic feel, and building tension punctuated by inexorable, horror-tinged hopelessness pull the reader through this classic sci-fi novella." - 5/5 Amazon review

"His storytelling skills are firmly grounded in classic sci-fi of old and is delivered with technical charm like Arthur Machen." - Eric Compton, author of Denim & Letters

"The atmosphere that is portrayed in this story genuinely scared the wee out of me. I felt very alone and very in need of a hug when I finished this story. I was cold and scared. If you like your horror to have that little bit extra that genuinely makes your skin crawl and makes you crave human interaction when you finish it, just so you don’t feel alone, this is for you." - Confessions Of A Reviewer