The Last Days Of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines – review

“The Last Days Of Kali Yuga” is the third short story collection from Melbourne-based New Zealander, Paul Haines. It’s published by Brimstone Press.

Paul Haines is an outstanding short story writer, a truly unique voice. His stories often feature a character called Paul Haines and it’s never really possible to know where the author ends and the character begins. And within these stories, Haines explores every dark, dirty, nasty facet of the human condition.

This book is the definitive Haines collection. All the uniquely Hainesesque “backpacker horror” stories are here, along with a broad range of other subjects, from the fantastical to the horrible to the downright human nasty and every combination thereof. We also have the dystopian sci-fi novella “Wives”, originally published in the awesome X6 Novella Anthology from Coeur De Lion Publishing. “Wives” alone is worth the purchase of this collection, it’s an absolute masterpiece of fiction, a work of art in storytelling. But you should really buy X6 and read the others in that book, too.

By no means, however, should that suggest that you don’t need to buy this book too. I’m not going to go into each individual story in the volume, simply because they’re all outstanding and need to be experienced. Each one is followed by a bit about it from Haines himself, talking about the inspiration or the development of the tale. It’s a fascinating insight into the artist and I wish more writers would include this kind of thing with their collections. All the stories are reprints, bar one unpublished piece – the last story, “The Past Is A Bridge Best Left Burnt”. This is the story that most blurs the line between the artist himself and the character, and is a work of genius.

You must read this book, because you’ll never read short fiction anything like that of Paul Haines. There will always be a part of you that wishes you never had read the short fiction of Paul Haines, but ignore that sensible and happy bit of your brain.

Everyone needs to explore the darkness. Everyone needs to experience the horror. Everyone should read Paul Haines.


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This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Collection, Short story by Alan Baxter. Bookmark the permalink.

About Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He is the author of the dark urban fantasy trilogy, Bound, Obsidian and Abduction (The Alex Caine Series) published by HarperVoyager Australia, and the dark urban fantasy duology, RealmShift and MageSign (The Balance 1 and 2) from Gryphonwood Press. He co-authored the short horror novel, Dark Rite, with David Wood. Alan also writes short fiction with more than 50 stories published in a variety of journals and anthologies in Australia, the US, the UK and France. His short fiction has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction (forthcoming), Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Postscripts, and Midnight Echo, among many others, and more than twenty anthologies, including the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror (2010 and 2012). Alan also writes narrative arcs and dialogue for videogames and wrote the popular writer’s resource, Write The Fight Right, a short ebook about writing convincing fight scenes. He has twice been a finalist in the Ditmar Awards.

One thought on “The Last Days Of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines – review

  1. Pingback: Paul Richard Haines 8 June 1970 – 5 March 2012 | THIRTEEN O'CLOCK

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