Within these parchments lie places hidden from the world. Where demons dance, hope is forsaken and fear is relished. Enter at your own risk . . . David Schembri's Unearthly Fables is a darkly evocative Pandora's box of a book. Made up of compact short-short stories of horror and dark fantasy, a flash fiction collection gathered under the title -Sightings in the Dark, - a few longer tales, and a concluding science fiction thriller, Unearthly Fables aims to unsettle the reader and leave phantom scratches on the psyche. The varied collection never seems merely random. Without sharing story continuity or characters, the shorts create a unity of tone and colour, a thematic resonance that is enhanced by the author's evocative illustrations. We feel that we're in a consistent and unsettling world. What the shorts and flash fiction inevitably lack in complex plotting, they make up for in atmosphere and dark imagery, jabs of black humour, half-seen glimpses into strange realities, and moments spent lost in the nastier corners of the human mind. This tonal unity even embraces the concluding more plot-driven SF vella, which has eugh grotesque imagery and violent adventure to sit comfortably with and complement the preceding tales of supernatural and visceral horror. On top of all this, Schembri has asked some of Australia's leading practitioners of the weird tale to write a brief lead-in to the stories-ather unusual touch. The book ends with an interview with Schembri conducted by editor Paula Berinstein, exploring the author's thoughts on horror and his own work. All up, Unearthly Fables is a distinctive collection of horror fiction, offering the reader a glimpse into the darker corners of Schembri's imagination. Robert Hood, horror-fantasy writer and author of Immaterial: Ghost Stories and the epic fantasy vel Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead.