Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Sha'Daa Pawns

A Collection Of Short Stories
Created By Michael H. Hanson
Edited By Edward F. McKeown

Review by Dan L. Hollifield

Type of music/work:

Horror/Supernatural Shared Universe Short Stories


Michael H. Hanson
Edward F. McKeown
John Manning
Arthur Sanchez
Jeff Barnes
Sarah Wagner
Diane Arrelle
Gustavo Bondoni
Leona Wisoker
Michael D. Griffiths
Paul Barrett
Richard Groller
Mallory Makepeace
Bruce Durham
Jamie K. Schmidt
Larry Atchley Jr.
Jason Cordova
Debora Koren

The Page of the book at the Sha'Daa Website
Published by Moondream Press

ISBN-13: 978-0-9859351-6-0
ISBN-10: 985935162

List - $24.95
Amazon - $14:36

Paperback at Amazon

Cover design by Helen Harrison / Cover Illo by Paul Hakimata

General impressions of the album/book:

This third book in the Sha'Daa series is a really fun read! Each writer brings a different take on the central theme of the series. Each story is well written and the collection builds up into a fantastic addition to the shared universe. Though the styles differ, that's a good thing since it allows the writers to really stretch their minds while playing to their own individual strengths.


The stories are arranged so that somewhat lighter tales fall between those heavy on the Horror. There is a framing device to fit in between each story as well, which ties everything together wonderfully. The stories seem to just flow along seamlessly, in spite of the fact that each is a special slice of the shared universe. The writing is all top notch. Each writer understands the backstory of the shared universe. Each story builds the mood so well that sometimes it is difficult to believe it is the work of many different writers. When reading as a reviewer, it is evident that the series creater and the series editor must work closely with the individual writers. But when reading as a member of the general public, the book just flows along with nothing to cause a disconnect from reading. It's difficult to analyze, because the book is so entertaining, in other words. I found myself giving the volume multiple reads so that I could get back into my Reviewer mode, rather than my Reader mode.

As I said, this series reaches out and grabs the reader. Part of that is the premise that the ultimate evil is returning after having been temporarily banished. Part of that is the skill of each writer. And part is the skills of the series creator and editor. If Horror is one of the genres that you enjoy reading, then you need to gift yourself with not only this book, but the others in the series as well. You can thank me for the recommendation once you've recovered from the delightful fear this series will bring you. Thrills, chills, shivers down your spine, and a certainty that there's something wicked hiding just beyond the corner of your view. This is an absolutely wonderful collection of Horror stories. The fact that they are all part of the same shared universe is a special treasure. Because when you turn the last page, you will want to read more! You will be thankful that there is indeed more for you to seek out for your very own.

The first print run of "Sha'Daa Pawns" has sold out, but the second print run was due to come out in June of 2014. So you're in luck on that count. Read and be amazed, be delighted, and fear the Sha'Daa as they begin their return to our world!

Background info:

The son of a U.S. Army Sergeant and a Nurse, Michael H. Hanson is the fourth of five children and was born in New York State’s Northcountry (a land so frigid and forbidding that at least once a year it is quoted on Winter news broadcasts as “the coldest spot in the nation”).

After a short stint in the U.S. Air Force, Michael attended Syracuse University, where alongside his filmmaking activities he found a few spare moments to study creative writing and poetry. He graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in Film Production in 1989.

A transplanted New Yorker, Michael recently acquired dual-citizenship with his name being entered into Ireland's Foreign Births Entry Book. A haunted Sagittarian, he presently resides in New Jersey where he edits engineering society journals for a living, and occasionally dabbles in genealogy research and collecting impressionist and plein air oil paintings.

Michael spends his free time spinning both tales of the fantastic, and introspective poetry, in his small but cozy garden apartment.

Review Copyright 2014 by Dan L. Hollifield

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