The One That Knows No Fear by Steve Stred
Reviewed by S.J. Budd
The One That Knows No Fear: stuntman extraordinaire. For young Timmy Wilson, this stuntman is his only reason for living. Every Saturday he watches as The One That Knows No Fear cheats death. Now, the stunt show is coming to his hometown and Timmy can’t wait to watch him perform in person.
A coming-of-age, cosmic horror story set in the 1970s, The One That Knows No Fear will keep your heart pounding long after the stunt has finished.
Writing about The One That Knows No Fear, author Steve Stred said of his protagonist Timmy Wilson: “The story really focuses on him. This is a boy who wishes for a father figure to be in his life and because it’s not there, he attaches to this specific Daredevil, the one they call ‘The One That Knows No Fear.’ Timmy really is an innocent kid who just wants to believe that adults are saints, which we all know is far from the truth.”
This is the latest title I’ve read from Demain publishing and although each story is unique I’ve loved them all. So far I’ve read; The Town That Feared Dusk by Calvin Demmer, The Forest is Hungry by Christopher Stanley, Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See by Kev Harrison, An Invitation to Darkness by Hailey Piper,and Last Meal in Osaka by Gary Buller. And they’re all great!
So I did have high expectations for this, and wasn’t disappointed!
Despite being a short story this tale had real emotional depth, in places it was really touching between Timmy and his step-father with a good helping of 1970’s cosmic horror!
The tale centres around a young boy, Timmy, who never really knew his father and desperately wants to connect with his step-father who has absolutely no interest in him at all. Timmy doesn’t give up and they form an unlikely bond whilst watching a stunt show every Saturday evening. They are both captivated by the One Who Knows No Fear as he attempts the most dangerous stunts in the world.
When it is announced the stunt show will be touring the United States including their home town, Timmy’s step father buys them tickets. It’s their first father/son day out. Timmy is beyond excited for what will surely be an amazing day. He really feels like he is gaining a father.
However this is a horror tale. When it is unleashed it really takes you by surprise. It’s easy to forget that something bad will happen as the first half of the story is incredibly heart felt and touching which makes the second half that much more brutal and terrifying.
I don’t want to give away spoilers but I loved the horror element. It’s a really fun and original tale. Can’t wait to read more from Steve Stred!
About S.J. Budd
S.J.Budd is a dark fiction author and HWA member from Cornwall. Her work has appeared in The No Sleep Podcast, Aphotic Realm, Sanitarium Magazine, Siren’s Call Publications, Deadman’s Tome, Innersins, Aphelion, Bewildering Stories, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, Shadows at the Door and Danse Macabre Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Morpheus Tales and Freedom Fiction.