“Four in the Morning” contains four stories which represent the various stages of life–think Riddle of the Sphinx. Malon Edwards’ “Half Dark” covers the childhood aspect, Edward M. Erdelac’s “Gully Gods” covers the adolescent part, Lincoln Crisler’s “Queen” attacks the middle-aged segment and Tim Marquitz’s “Cenotaph” the old age part.
Dark science fiction, steampunk, urban fantasy and horror are all represented well in this collection, and while the four stories are somewhat loosely tied together by the theme of the different stages of life, they are perhaps even more tightly bound by the shared plight of all their main characters who are all facing truly abysmal situations.
Fans of “Alien” should enjoy Crisler’s “Queen,” as well as those who can relate to a Mid-Life Crisis with lots of unexpected twists, starting with the fact that the protagonist, Rita, is the one focused on in having the middle-aged meltdown, not her husband. Great use of street dialect in Erdelac’s “Gully Gods,” etc. Highly recommended!