All We See Is the End


From the minds of A.J. Brown and M.F. Wahl comes two horrific tales of struggle and loss you won’t soon forget.

Run For the Flame takes us into a world where an ice age has engulfed everything, driving life underground. The Sanctuary holds the last vestiges of humanity, but its walls are cracking and the ice is slowly encroaching. In their last grasp at survival, the community is forced to send their boys on an all important run for the flame … none have ever returned.

In Purple Haze, a crash landing on an uninhabited planet strands Adira and the surviving members of her crew. Surrounded by a quiet world of blue grass and purple skies, danger lurks within the beauty. Without contact to Earth and light years from home, they encounter a treacherous enemy that threatens to destroy them from the inside out.

Wahl and Brown use their easy styles to draw you in and hold you close. Welcome to their nightmares.

WELL WORTH THE READ

This is a great read. Both stories, though similar in tone, take the reader in completely different directions. Both authors do a fantastic job of drawing you in from the very beginning and will have you hanging on until the very end. And what endings they have. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but suffice to say you will be glad you read them. Two authors at their most terrifying, twisted and well written best. Do yourself a favor and get this one.

NOT A BAD DEAL

This is a double dip in that it contains two stories by two people. Not a bad deal. One story I really liked; the other kind of left me wondering. Both tell stories that make you glad you’re not actually living in those alternate worlds. I recommend you grab this little book for a couple of quick reads. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

REVIEW FROM DARK HALL PRESS

In The End Is All We See, authors M.F. Wahl and A.J. Brown offer two finely crafted tales of what this reviewer would term “environmental horror.” Here the settings themselves are the antagonists, pitting the characters against natural threats – both the elemental and the alien. This theme is not a new one, though uniquely realized in this instance, some examples being Hugh B. Cave’s The Dawning, Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds, Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain, and H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space.” What chance does humanity stand when nature itself rebels? The thought provokes a deep-seated, primal fear.

Both writers offer focused and concise writing styles, cut to the bone, every word contributing to the stories’ overall mood/effect. A clear sense of place is generated, planting the reader in two fully fleshed and vastly different settings. In the case of these stories, setting does more to achieve mood than the characters do. It is true that works of horror in particular are more distinguished by their settings than works of any other genre. Both the stories present the reader with isolated, constrained settings in which the characters find themselves helpless before the hostile elements.

In M.F. Wahl’s story “Purple Haze,” much in the sci-fi tradition of Ray Bradbury, the threat is revealed gradually – the characters coming to the realization of their predicament too late. A.J. Brown’s story “Run For the Flame,” on the other hand (and much in the manner of one of the writer’s admitted influences – Stephen King’s novel The Long Walk), presents the dire circumstances of the situation within the opening pages, assaulting the reader. Both approaches are executed effectively in their own right.

The coupling of these stories in one book is appropriate in regard to their nature, and in truth they complement each other. M.F. Wahl and A.J. Brown can be proud of this effort, and they are most certainly two writers to keep an eye out for in the future.

FAST PACED AND TWISTED THEME-PARK-RIDE TYPE STORIES

Both stories are fast paced and set in worlds we’ve never been to, yet feel somehow familiar. In a short amount of time I felt like I knew the characters and the worlds they lived in and started rooting for them, wishing the story would unveil itself in the manner I was hoping for. Both have dark elements, however one of the stories had me wondering about the state of mind of the author. It went from a bad situation with glimpses of humour born out of frustration to a delightfully twisted narrative that had me feeling guilty that I was enjoying reading it. Strongly recommend both stories as a quick theme-park-ride of a story. I was not left wanting.

I HAVE A FEELING THAT DEPENDING ON WHICH STORY YOU READ FIRST MAY JUST BE THE STORY YOU LIKE BEST … 

This is a unique book that is a set of novelettes. There are two versions – this one, ‘The End Is All We See’ by M. F. Wahl and the other version, ‘All We See Is The End’ by A. J. Brown. They are both the same, yet slightly different, as reflected by their titles and covers. Both stories are the exact same, just flipped depending on which version you get. (If this is confusing, the authors explain in an inside letter.)

I have a feeling that depending on which story you read first may just be the story you like best. (Kind of like when Stephen King released ‘Desperation’ right along side Bachman’s ‘The Regulators’)

My version, ‘The End is All We See’ starts off with Wahl’s story “Purple Haze”. The story is well written and then, out of nowhere, it takes a totally unexpected turn. Definitely a story that will stick with you, long after you have finished reading it!

After “Purple Haze” is A. J. Brown’s “Run for the Flame”. This is a unique story that will have you invested in the survival of the characters!

Both stories are about the struggle to survive circumstances beyond one’s control. I will definitely be checking out more from both of these authors.

THAT WAS DISTURBING … BUT IN A GOOD WAY

It’s good when a writer can make you see and feel the words they write. And when you have two of these writers in the one offering, it’s twice as good. It’s gooderer.

Both stories are creative, fast paced, and have elements of sci-fi and thriller chills. And though they are different tales being told, the feel of each is similar and complimentary.

All in all, a twisted, sci-fi delight.

HYPNOTIC, BEAUTIFUL AND TRAGIC

I am impressed with this book. The two stories were engrossing beautifully designed and hard to put down. This is such good prose I’ve underlined quite a few passasages. I recommend this book to all fans of modern horror.

5 STARS

Two darkly bleak tales, both based in otherworldly settings.

“Purple Haze” by MF Wahl is the story of the aftermath of a crash landing on an alien world, in which we learn that danger can lurk within the most mundane. Wahl does a wonderful job of building up the tension to almost unbearable levels, with a payoff that’ll have you wincing as much as it’ll leave you uneasy. Terrifying stuff.

“Run for the Flame” by A.J. Brown tells the tale of an endurance test to end all endurance tests, one that could determine the fate of a civilisation. Again, masterful use of tension with – if you’ll excuse the pun – a wonderful pacing that will leave you exhilarated and exhausted. And that final paragraph – Wow.

Two top-notch tales from two writers at the very, very top of their game, and for a bargain price. Thoroughly recommended.

BOTH STORIES ARE A GREAT LITTLE READ

These bite-sized novelettes are certainly a captivating read! Their impact lasts far beyond the time it takes to read them, as I was left wondering and wanting more. There is a noticeable effort by both authors to horrify and captivate their readers with each carefully-selected word. Definitely worth checking out!

EXCELLENT

Both stories were amazing and very well written. I enjoyed them both immensely and can’t wait for more stories from these two talented authors.

GREAT COLLABORATION BY THESE AUTHORS

The collaboration of Wall and Brown was a great idea! This book was a quick read as both stories keep you on the edge of your seat. Their writing styles draw you in and make you feel a part of the worlds they bring to life in each story. I’m looking forward to reading more by these authors. I highly recommend this book…though maybe I shouldn’t have read it before bed. I’m wondering what my dreams will be like tonight! Yikes!

A PAIR OF STORIES THAT ARE … WELL … AWESOME

This is a collection of two short novellas by M.F. Wahl and A.J. Brown. They are not really connected to each other except the undeniable link of how far someone will go to complete a goal. Both are beautiful and heartbreaking. My one statement that could be construed as negative is this: I feel that other readers will see parallels between these two stories and two stories by another best selling horror author. That being said, the reader should not let this take away from the stories. I like to think of them as homages. Whether they are or not, they are fabulous. Get this book. It is a fast, visceral and totally enjoyable read.

CONSIDER ME A FANGIRL 

A great read! In a world that is jaded by a plethora of scary stories, and monsters this novella is refreshingly exciting in that it plays off the natural fear of the unknown that we all possess. Well done!

BRILLIANT. LIKE A DUEL WITH WORDS

Really enjoyed this. It was like the words were swords and they were dueling to see who was better. Both did an outstanding job and a bloody brilliant. I see big things from these two. I recommend this book to all fans of modern horror.

G*R*E*A*T!

I’ve just started reading this book and so far what I have read is great. I’ve read a book by A.J. Brown and it was super great! I’m sure he would not write a book with another person if they were not equal to his writing. I recommend this book!!

EXCELLENT!!!!!!! TWO AMAZING AUTHORS TOGETHER!

These two authors have created something wonderful. Both stories, though different, came together well and left me sitting and wondering “what just happened?” The stories were great and terrifying at the same time. Their styles flowed well together, as well as their voices. I liked the different styles between the two. Though I expected the stories to be very similar, I liked that they had the same theme in mind, but told them in completely different ways. Such a refreshing take on collaboration. These two have hit on gold. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with. If you are looking for a good read, definitely give this book a try. You won’t be disappointed!

GREAT STORIES

Both of the stories are amazing sci-fi horror. They are short enough to read all at once and really pack a punch.

5 STARS

The collaboration between these two authors is something that we do not see enough. Both were able to draw the reader in and carry them through the short tale without leaving us hanging. The theme’s within the stories resonated throughout each. I hope we see more from these two authors, as their collaboration gave us a pretty great read. It was also fascinating that they released these stories with two different covers. I hope we get to see more from them.

BRUTALLY AMAZING, HORRIFICALLY VISUAL!

The synopsis lures you in. It looks like some awesome sci-fi horror. Always a good choice, sci-fi horror. Nice science fiction setting to remove you from too much realism. Fun horror.

Then there’s The End is All We See. Brutal, visceral, and so intelligently written that you are, as promised in the synopsis blurb, drawn in. Held close. Shocked to your core.

Read the authors’ Forwards. It is the only foreplay you get.

I’m writing this review before the shock wears completely off, hoping it does, so that I can accurately relay the amazing shock effect of both of these stories, individually and as a whole book. However, proper words escape me. I would think one might want to read each story on a separate day, maybe. Instead of back to back. Unless you enjoy mind scramble. Which I generally do.

Okay. Reset. Try again.

Both of these stories are superbly written. “Purple Haze” begins strong and stays strong with building tension, an incredible climax, and a brutal ending. Wahl seems to choose each word to carefully convey emotion and imagery and, ultimately, heart pounding shock effect. “Run for the Flame” immerses the reader into the setting, skillfully and efficiently evoking emotions and mental visuals of the opening scene, then abruptly and heartlessly brutally horrifies you. And continues to horrify you. The mental imagery was so insistent that I was compelled to rub my eyes until it hurt, which freaked my out all over again. Why? Read “Purple Haze” to find out why.

Having both of these stories available together in one volume is both a fantastic deal for the reader and a sadistic move by the writers. And I will be buying the paperback version.

Important Notation: this book is also available as All We See Is the End

ALL WE SEE IS THE END

This book has two short stories by two authors who obviously work well together. The first story by A.J. Brown has despair, fighting for survival and hope. The second by M.F Wahl is a story of hope, fighting for survival and despair. I loved both stories, they were fast paced with well developed characters considering how short the stories were. I really hope these two authors plan on working together again in maybe a larger story.

I LIKED THEM BOTH

I read both stories. I liked them both. I really liked when I realized that it was the end for some but just the beginning for those to come. Whatever “those” might be.

DISTURBING, TENSE AND MASTERFULLY WRITTEN

Two terrific stories for one low price. Both stories read so easily, they almost lull you to the point you are blindsided by the terror when it comes. Wahl uses the seemingly beautiful and ordinary to carry you along for the ride; until it’s too late to stop reading and Brown twists and turns through a rite of passage with such vivid description you find yourself along for the ride before you realize where you are being led is not a safe place. Two writers, both at their peak, teaming up for a fantastic pair of tales; if you read any horror or dark fiction you can’t miss this one. A true bargain for the price.

WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT THIS GREAT PAIR OF HORROR STORIES?

What can I say about this great pair of horror stories? Well, I should explain that I was drawn to these because I loved A. J. Brown’s novel, Dredging Up Memories. I can’t say I was disappointed in this story at all. Brown does an excellent job of setting the tone from the beginning, really bringing to life a cold, dark future. The cold was real and almost tangible. I found myself rooting for the characters. They were complex and well thought out. The ending … I won’t give it away, but it was brutal, with a hint of hope. His descriptions were amazing; he had me on hook from start to finish.

M. F. Wahl wrote an amazing piece. I was wanting to yell at the characters and tell them not to do what they were doing. The way she describes the events still has my skin crawling, and I found myself absently itching my arm (you’ll understand after you read it). The descriptions were great and the characters were well developed. I will be looking into reading more of her work now.

I’m really impressed by this pair of short stories and would recommend it to my friends. Great price for such a good piece of entertainment.

BLEED OR FREEZE–HOW WOULD YOU PREFER TO DIE?

“Purple Haze” is the first story of The End Is All We See, a Twilight Zone style sci-fi tale by M.F. Wahl that starts slow, gets weird, and ends with a whole lot of blood. Although it’s ostensibly a sci-fi tale, I felt the genre’s window dressing was the weakest aspect of the story. It’s so light on detail, the spaceship crash could just as easily have been an international plane crash. Where that window dressing matters, however, is in the indigo-blue grass of an otherwise barren alien world. I can’t say more without getting into spoiler territory, but the blood and the madness of the story’s final pages are a gorgeous atrocity.

The second story in the collection, “Run For The Flame,” is a vintage horror story from A.J. Brown that is reminiscent of Bachman-era Stephen King, before his ideas we co-opted and sanitized by the YA crowd. In an impossibly cold and barren future, young men and women are tasked with making a life-and-death run for a mythical flame, with bodies literally freezing in mid-step, littering the snow with bodies. I have never seen cold dealt with quite like this, and the amount of detail invested in its embrace is stunning.

DYSTOPIAN ICE AGE D-DAY

Both stories are a quick read and good. Wahl’s plays to the shock and dread of something alien and beautiful infecting the mind with horrific desires. But Brown’s tale I enjoyed the most. IMO, the first part of the story, he taps into the grueling tension and building fear the likes of which soldiers on D-Day felt, waiting for the doors to open and rush the beaches amidst the hail of enemy machine gun fire, except here the enemy is the very environment. The cold and wind and snow and their own natural body’s weaknesses in the face of natures forces. The second half of the story struck me as a very fast paced version of Stephen Kings The Long Walk, my favorite King book. Brown builds immense tension and dread and then shifts gears into a thrilling, panicked desperation that keeps you on edge to the very end. Highly recommend it for a quick exciting escape that will suck you in immediately.

GOOD SHORT SCI-FI HORROR

First off, two notes: in the interest of full disclosure, I received this for free. I attempt to not let that affect my review’s opinions. Secondly, I read ‘The End is All We See,’ M.F. Wahl’s edition of this book; the only differences, I have been informed, are the covers, and the order of the stories are switched. As such, be aware that this book presents Run for the Flame’ first, which may slightly alter a casual reader’s opinion/comparison between the two, but in my review I do attempt to treat them as individual pieces on their own merits, as well as a composite novelette. I have edited my review slightly to treat this difference, but be aware that I first wrote this review for Wahl’s version of this work.

This is an excellent short read, it will satisfy those interested in dark sci-fi, and the elements of horror are also well done. That said, I wanted to break my review into two separate segments, since this novelette is two separate stories, both focusing on science fictional settings with dark themes and plots.

Purple Haze, written by M.F. Wahl, was my favorite of the two (though both stories were strong)! The reason I preferred it was that its universe is specific and convincing, but the narrative does not force exposition of it onto the reader, nor does it require it; it simply puts it out there, and it works. Basic plot in a nutshell: spaceship crashes, surviving crew begins to deal with it, there’s something about the planet they crashed onto. I don’t want to spoil it—but the ending is exceptional in this story. There were few logical holes, the plot had an even pace which kept me hooked, and, of note, the dialogue and characterization was, well, just enough for this sort of thing, but very solid. The narrative style was a bit overdone in the adjectives and adverbs department, could have been toned down; you will have to get through some snark from our narrator; and the elements of gore which come in are very explicit (which I love, but admit it might not be to everyone’s taste). I also have specific digs at one or two certain plot elements within, but they were not distracting from a wonderful science fiction concept within which Wahl runs us through a dread-filled plot with a spectacular, grim denouement.

The First story in All We See is the End is Run for the Flame, by A.J. Brown. Now, I mentioned I liked Purple Haze better; Flame is still a four-star story to me—Flame is simply closer to the three end of the spectrum (almost a three, but not quite) rather than a cusp five like Haze. Opposite to the Haze review, I’d like to list what I disliked first. Flame starts with a bit of an exposition dump of a similarly well-though-out world concept. Basically, (for some reason) a human colony in an ice age can only(?) send teenage boys to run to the mysterious Tower, which holds the mysterious Flame, which is the Macguffin. Immediately we encounter many ‘why’s, but this intro is not too long and moves fairly swiftly into action. This section of the story is well-written, balancing between a good indirect interior voice for our protagonist and detailed tracking of the running to the Tower. The ending, however, left me more confused than the beginning. Brown’s world is, if not slightly unbelievable, detailed, and I could suspend my disbelief. But, without spoiling, many of the final sequences of the story are unclear and inconsistent, and compared with Purple Haze, I would have (kind of hoped for!) for a slightly darker conclusion than was arrived at. It is not such a spectacle of an ending as in Purple Haze, a bit cliche, and upsets me after a great execution of a solid concept. My favorite thing about Run for the Flame is the gore, again. It is a bit needless and inexplicable at points, but vividly described, and the interactions of corpus and cold are varied and thorough (again, I thought this element was especially entertaining, but it is explicit, for those who do not like that).

So overall I give this whole work four stars, as each concept was interesting, the visual imagery was very well done in both, and each writer’s style is well-suited to their narrative. I’m not sure I would pay money for it—you can read this whole thing in an hour or less, I could easily see this being worth the e-book list price of three dollars to someone if you’re a fan of dark sc-fi short stories or specific gore [at time of writing this was on a countdown sale for one dollar, and I must say, THAT price is absolutely worth it, buy it now or soon before sale is ended!]. My gripes are specific nitpicking, and don’t heavily demerit such a short form of work. I would give it five stars easily, if there was more; my biggest thought after reading was, I only wish there was more!

BOTH STORIES ARE PERFECT

The End Is All We See contains two horrific stories from M.F Wahl and A.J. Brown. The book begins with intros from each author saying that when they met they wanted to try an experiment together. This book became that experiment. Both authors felt that their writing style complimented each other nicely and they both had story ideas which happen after an apocalypse.

The first story is Purple Haze by M.F. Wahl. It follows a band of survivors who left Earth in a spaceship in order to find another Earth like planet to live on. The ship crash lands on a beautiful looking planet but there are only three survivors. The crew realizes their situation is bleak and things get worse as they explore outside the ship and discover something in the air is making them want to harm themselves and each other. Purple Haze becomes a blood bath with a shocking ending. M.F. Wahl uses vivid imagery to describe her characters situation and the planet they are exploring. What happens to the explorers is described so well that its enough to make you thankful for the air you breathe.

The next story is Run For The Flame by A.J. Brown. It starts simply enough with a bunch of teenagers behind a protective wall, about to race up a snow covered hill. There is more here than meets the eye though, they are living through an ice age and the wall they live behind is breaking down, their only hope is in a tower on top of the hill. The teenagers have a short period of time to retrieve a flame in the tower before they freeze to death. Problem is nobody has ever survived the run and without the flame the community will die. This was an excellent story, the ending was a little confusing but I love all the characters. They are in a race against time, facing an impossible task but each one has a different emotional reaction to the situation. You feel for all of them and watching them go through what they do is excruciating.

What both of these stories have in common is a fresh spin on an old idea, they both take place after a catastrophic event and what transpires next is something that I haven’t seen in Science fiction or horror. Both authors tell an excellent story and the length of each one can be described as perfect. They’re short but pack a punch that you might not recover from. To say their experiment worked is an understatement and I hope this isn’t the last collaboration between these authors.

5 STARS

The collaboration of Wall and Brown was a great idea! This book was a quick read as both stories keep you on the edge of your seat. Their writing styles draw you in and make you feel a part of the worlds they bring to life in each story. I’m looking forward to reading more by these authors. I highly recommend this book…though maybe I shouldn’t have read it before bed. I’m wondering what my dreams will be like tonight! Yikes!