This is the second ELDRITCH collection from Tom East. 'Eldritch' is a word of of uncertain origin. Nowadays it means 'otherworldly' in a general sense. However, it probably derives from the Germanic 'elf reich', reich meaning realm – i.e. 'the realm of the elves'.
The stories in WISH MAN'S WOOD – 22 of them as in THE EVE OF ST ELIGIUS, range even more widely in space and time. Over their 72,000 words, the setting is between 4,000 BCE and a distant future. In the years between stories take place (or partly take place) in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Most though, are firmly up to date with action in the present day or near future. The geography is also very wide, The mise-en-scene varies from the UK and other European countries, to Asia and a planet millions light years away.
As in the first volume, the degree of darkness varies considerably. For example, Doom Way and Defilement and many of the other stories could only be described as dark, but there is far more hope and optimism in Fertile Ground and Safety First.
There are no Dracula castles here but you will find some unusual centrepieces for the stories, like a National Trust managed property in Strawberry Hill, the peaks forming the border between modern-day Poland and Slovakia in High Tatras and an exercise cycle in Jinty.
If you're looking for something different, this is the place to look.