Though somewhat predictable by the title foreshadowing, this story takes readers on a closer look at the isolationism and ridicule of being a prepper and the inevitable conclusion to the end of the world. Readers see the dark side of surviving the zombie apocalypse in this story as our hero shows us an even darker way to live forever. This piece is an emotional journey as readers experience the love between a parent and a child, followed by the raw horrors of being a monster, and finally the surprising dangers of hunting the beasts, all while assuming the worst.
The closing story is an amusing look from the perspective of the dead, a fitting ending to the assemblage. As you might have noticed, five of the six stories in this collection were written by Hannu Kesola , who also happens be a celebrated writer and graphic artist of heavy metal work from Finland. Though Kesola has a hand in almost all of these stories, the conglomeration of other fine artists has provided just enough variations to separate each installment as an individual work of art. In the end, that is the beauty of an anthology.
This comic book is the perfect forum, providing the opportunity to experience a wide range of emotions through many different literary voices and accounts. The Circle by Bentley Little. Available: Pre-order. Cemetery Dance continues its movement to provide diehard readers with gems of horror which have become hard to find or were previously unavailable to the general public.
When a novella begins with a knock on the door, a young boy who squeezes diamonds out of his bum, and the insects which grace the cover of this book, the reader knows he or she is holding pure Bentley Little. There is a shrine in a small suburban town which draws several people to come and offer something in return for money, sex, or other material items. Of course, the witch who lives there has other plans for those who hope for something without much in payment. The three intersecting tales that wind around each other here in the span of a single night offer insight into the human condition, something Little is known for.
Recommended for any Little fan and those who enjoy their horror just a little bit different in the approach of the ordinary. Ghost House Dark Regions Press , It leads the reader through terrifying yet enticing tales that stimulate both the imagination and intellect. Insightful thoughts and superb symbolism interlace adventures with demons, flesh eaters, ghosts, magic and other realms.
Author Scott Thomas even induces fear through the form of a horse. Each tale one rhyming is a gem, bound to the collection by theme: 18 th and 19 th century New England. More generally, this book—by an independent specialty publisher—is recommended for libraries serving adult horror fans, specifically public libraries. With any collection of stories there are sure to be highs and lows, even in a "greatest hits" package such as this.
Martin, Elizabeth Massie, and so on. Silva's "The Calling" are brilliant, through and through. Reviewed by: Bob Freeman. Morrigan Books, Available: new paperback. The Whisper Jar is a collection of nine stories, combining a wonderful mix of horror and fantasy. A zombie virus has ravaged society, although the government has managed to get it under control. Salvation House comes under attack at times and the nuns and the children must fend off the attackers.
Lanham keeps you guessing through the entire story and then hits you in the gut with and unexpected and heartbreaking ending.
Comic Book Review: Draw Blood - A Horror Anthology - Amazing Stories
Carole Lanham writes with a touch of whimsy that draws you into what ultimately are very dark and macabre stories. She is also able to flawlessly meld a childlike innocence with an eerie eroticism that for me really makes The Whisper Jar a major standout. The stories are at times playful and then move into an almost unpredictable darkness. This is one collection that I highly recommend if you like your horror weird and disturbing. Contains: adult situations. Rymfire Books, Skeletal Remains is a cool little collection of nine short stories that center on the human skeleton.
All of the stories are well written and Gouveia has done an excellent job with the editing. The stories all have a nice flow and very unique subject matter. Skeletal Remains is a quick yet enjoyable read. Contains: violence and gore. Lore is a collection of short stories of speculative fiction. It encompasses horror, science fiction and fantasy. The cover itself is a beautiful wrap-around piece by famed artist Richard Corben. For a round-robin story I felt the prose should have been a little tighter.
It is part of a fantasy series, The Throne of Bones, that takes place in another world. The prose is detailed, imaginative and dark, creating an eerie and somber atmosphere. Overall Lore is a good collection of multi-genre stories full of darkness, depression, eeriness, and a somber tone.
If you are a fan of speculative fiction, then this one is for you. Contains adult situations and gore. Unspeakable and Other Stories by Lucy Taylor. Earlier this year, I finally got to read a short story by her, and I enjoyed every word of it. So I was ecstatic when our site was contacted by the author about reviewing her short story collection Unspeakable and Other Stories.
Yes, her stories would be classified as erotic horror, but I don't think many readers would find themselves wanting a warm body to make love to after having read her work. Taylor's stories are sensual yet disturbing and are more likely leave you fearing the lover beside you. Gripping and chilling, I devoured this collection in small doses to make it last longer. Highly Recommended! Reviewed by: Rhonda Wilson. Dark Moon Books, Collected in Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations are 25 short stories from the horror and speculative fiction genres, unearthing our forgotten worlds and societies.
Then, leaping into the void from there, each writer suggests a gruesome alternate history. The stories range from mildly disturbing to downright terrifying, although none are particularly visceral. This element keeps the collection rooted in the possible, making it scarier, perhaps, than the current saturation of seductive monster-based and slasher fiction.
The prevailing understatement of gore makes the book a good choice for treating high school history students to a read-aloud on stormy afternoons. It begins with an old Sioux legend, a tragedy involving brothers mocking their gods. This would be a great piece to read in conjunction with Native American studies; short, pointed, and entirely in character with the original mythology.
Classic horror tension builds steadily from start to finish as the reader watches helplessly while the explorers, desperately frightened and warned away at every step, still insist on carrying onward to their doom. They open a vault made deliberately impassable; descend into terrifying darkness and stench; ignore a menacing, unearthly, drumbeat, and are climactically pursued into madness by the unnameable horror they unwittingly release.
The writing is metaphorical and skillfully done. Recommended for grades 6 and up. Contains: mild to moderate violence, mild myth-based sex, implied cannibalism. Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd.
Multiplex Fandango by Weston Ochse. Over the years I have heard nothing but good things about the works of Weston Ochse. Having never read anything by him, I was looking forward to having the opportunity to check out his collection, Multiplex Fandango. I was happy to discover that everything I had heard was accurate. Multiplex Fandango is a collection of sixteen of Ochse's short stories and not a one is disappointing. Reading through this collection, I could easily see that Ochse cares about what he writes, as his feelings pour out onto the pages.
I'm sure favorites will vary by reader, but there is something for everyone in this stand-out collection. This was my first, but definitely not last, adventure into the mind of Weston Ochse. Highly recommended! Four Legs in the Morning is a compilation of three short stories that can be read individually; however, they all intertwine and are best read together. All three stories center on Dr.
Sibley, chair of the English department at Grayson University, a man you never want to cross. Each story describes in terrifying detail what can become of those who attempt to slight Dr. Sibley; but did Dr. Sibley actually do anything to them? The answers are unknown, as they should be. This is a literary work in its truest form. He has a gift for language and description, bringing his characters and settings to life. Prentiss is the epitome of a story weaver; each of the three stories intertwine, relate back to one another, twisting and turning and bringing you right back to the beginning all over again.
Recommended for adult fiction collections; however, since this is a Signature Series title, it might be difficult to purchase because of the limited quantity and its price. Cut Corners, Vol. Sinister Grin Press, All three stories were terrifying in a different way and most enjoyable.
For readers not familiar with these three authors, this is a great introduction to each of them. For a new press, this is an impressive first lineup and will leave readers curious as to what will be coming out next from this small press. Highly recommended for all library collections. As librarians and horror fans make arrangements to purchase the latest Sherlock Holmes movie or TV series video collection, may I also suggest picking up Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes to add to your display?
The third anthology of a series of Gaslight Sherlock Holmes compilations the others being Gaslight Grimoire and Gaslight Grotesque , this short story collection with a supernatural edge is both a notable and a noble tribute to the Great Consulting Detective. However, this aside, the book is well worth purchasing. I recommend Gaslight Arcanum for Sherlock Holmes fans and anyone who enjoys a good mystery. Contains: gore, violence, the supernatural. Available: New, Used, and digital. For most people, there is nothing more terrifying than waking up and going into work day after day.
Peter Giglio shows just how valid this fear is as he brings together twenty-five authors and stories in Help! These are just a few of the magnificent and utterly terrifying stories in this collection. Do yourself a favor and read this book… unless, of course, you think it will make it that much more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Consider yourself warned! Gathered Dust and Others by W.
Brock and William F. Available: Limited edition trade hardcover.
The Devil's Coattails edited by Jason V. Cycatrix Press, Available: Available: Limited editiontrade hardcover. Nolan, Melanie Tem, Jerry E. Airth, J. Salamoff, Marc Scott Zicree, W. Snyder, Richard Selzer, Gary A. Braunbeck, and Paul G. Bens, Jr. There are thousands upon thousands of horror fiction anthologies. What separates one book from the masses? The Grant anthologies come to mind here. When I was a young horror reader, I got excited each time I went to the horror section and saw the latest edition of Shadows or Night Visions which continued for a few editions after Grant's death.
I couldn't wait to open the book and see who was in the table of contents. The Bleeding Edge was in many ways the most solid and groundbreaking anthology in the genre of dark and weird fiction in some time. The quality of paper and production is amazing. It is the kind of book you want to take care of. It looked the treasure it was; the authors represented spanned several generations, ranging from Ray Bradbury to John Shirley, and also including young hip-snappers like Cody Goodfellow and Lisa Morton.
The editors also made the bold decision to include several formats, including screenplays, teleplays, poems, and fragments, rather than sticking to the traditional structure of a straight prose collection. Once again, almost the entire book is filled with masterpieces. Only two stories didn't work for me, both by authors whose work I respect. I love Gary Braunbeck, and consider his horror novel Prodigal Blues to be a masterpiece, but his story in this book went over my head. I intend to go back and read it after I have explored more of his work.
This is a beautiful, amazing and special book. I am not sure if Brock and Nolan are planning to publish a trade edition. I hope so, because the masses should read this book. Reviewed by: David Agranoff. Monsters of L. In Monsters of L. For example, this collection starts off with a very well-known monster, Frankenstein. Jekyll in this story is in the process of creating a new method for gender reassignment, but instead of testing it out on animals, decides to test it out on herself with some adverse effects.
Not only was this story fun, but it also made me groan out loud! As expected, it made me even more afraid of clowns, as the girl in the story is practically terrorized by numerous clowns while at a liquor store. These are just a few examples of the amazing contents of this book. I am typically not a fan of short stories, but Morton has made me second guess myself on this opinion with her stand-out collection.
Do yourself a favor and check out this Stoker-nominated collection! Paper Cut Publishing, First Cut: An Anthology of Fast-paced Fiction is a collection of eight short stories that cover a range of subjects, including aliens, vampires, fate, and insanity. The sadist sending the texts seems to be watching Ethan and knows that Roger is late…and why. Ethan disappears, and six months later Roger begins getting text messages from a stranger.
This is a very creepy story and a good reason for why you should never answer a call or text from an unknown number. All of the stories were pretty good but I found the book as a whole was average. They are all well-written and Ms. Contains: violence, gore and adult language.
Blood Bound Books, Available: New paperback and Kindle ebook. Rosick, about a couple going through medical school, where one discovers that she can capture the essence of life and the soul through necrophilia. With most anthologies and collections the stories can run the gamut from great to good to not so good. Some stories I liked better than others, but I liked every story in the anthology. I love extreme horror and this collection is definitely extreme.
Contains: graphic violence, disturbing sexual imagery and adult language. Apex Publications, Available: Hardcover or Kindle ebook. As with most collections, some stories are stronger than others. Some readers may be disappointed that several stories contain frequently-used themes and common character-types i. Recommended for fans of urban-based fiction, as well as libraries and readers looking for horror with a different flavor. Contains: violence, sex, rape, gore, strong language, black magic, ghosts.
Decayed Etchings is a collection of stories by Brandon Ford. It includes his first short stories and continues on through many stories he has written over his career so far as a writer. That is to say, these are the scary and horrible things people do to each other. There are no monsters in this collection and only one rat is involved, and you feel really sorry for that animal after the main character in the first story has his way with it. These stories are very well written, but the content is fairly adult.
No children are featured in this collection, and I would suggest that this is the sort of book that no one under the age of 17 should probably read. It is, however, an excellent work, and I would suggest that if you read Stitches or Sold and survived, this would be a collection for you to consider. Recommended for fans of True Crime, slasher horror, and very strange tales.
Contains: Adult situations, profanity, violence, gruesome images and sexual content. Reviewed by: Benjamin Franz. Available: New and Digital.
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The very smart folks at Comet Press have gathered together some of the biggest names in horror and created an anthology of some very hardcore short stories. Spanning two decades, Necro Files contains stories that are either difficult to find or out of print altogether. This is NOT your typical zombie story. Needless to say, this last one nearly set off my gag reflex. While most anthologies tend to be a mixed bag, Necro Files is practically perfect. Every story is an absolute hit…and why not? Martin, to name a few. All of the stories are dark and disturbing in their own ways, and, well, extreme.
This is one anthology that horror fans, not just of the extreme variety, should have in their collections. Contains violence, gore, adult language and sex. It's one thing to read a story here, or a story there. To read the stories back to back in one collection is totally different. You notice themes, you learn sabout what is crawling around in the gray matter of the writer in question. If you are a fan of short fiction in the horror genre, then please take my advice and move this book up to the top of your list. In a blurb on the back cover, author Brian Keene said "Shannon is a writer not afraid to walk into the shadows and drag things there kicking and screaming into the light.
Shannon is a master at using tiny details that paint a dark and vivid picture. The atmosphere he builds leaves the reader with a feeling like they are turning away from a horrible sight, just keeping it in the corner of their vision. The styles range from traditional horror, to dark noir and experimental prose, all done with skill. Shannon is a very talented writer who deserves to be on library shelves everywhere. Review by David Agranoff.
I have long been a casual fan of Tim Powers and his work. I've always found his science fiction to balance grand ideas with excellent writing and strong characters. I have only read his novels in the past. The Bible Repairman is a collection of odd, surrealist, borderline bizarro, speculative fiction.
I really enjoyed the stories "Soul in the Bottle," a tale centered around a book collector and his fascination with Jean Harlow's star on the walk of fame, and "Hour of Babel," a neat time travel story inspired by the pizza joint that Powers worked at in the 's.
The writing of all the stories are high quality: Powers has master's level talent. I think this is a good book for librarians to stock in their collection and to display, as I am hoping it will get more attention. Strange Publications, Available: Trade paperback. Fifty-Two Stitches is a short about pages anthology of flash fiction. The stories come at readers fast and furiously, and are potentially forgettable. Flash fiction is very hard to write and too often flash stories depend on see-through twists or groan puns. The stories here are no exception.
The length of the stories, too, lends to the feeling of them blurring together into one halting whole. I'd be able to recommend it more highly if there was a less expensive digital version available, or if there were more gems in the mix. Contains: Sex, violence, gore, language. Reviewed by: Michele Lee. Raven Electrick Ink, The air has turned crisp and pumpkins are appearing all over. The trees are donning their fall colors and stores have been slinging fun-sized candies in purple and orange for a month now.
It's the perfect setting for some great Halloween-themed tales, and this book delivers. Jack O' Spec is a delightful collection of poems and prose all centering on some of the themes of Halloween. Not the typical horror fare of monsters and killers, instead it studies magic, what Halloween would be like if we were no longer subjected to Earth's season and the myths behind the celebrations and masks in the first place. This isn't a collection out to scare or turn reader away with blatant gore.
It's out to dazzle and does its job well. From Michael M. It's an excellent choice for Halloween lovers, and for public collections. Contains: Pagan themes, language, adult situations. The Thackery T. Harper Voyager, Available: Hardcover. Thackeray T. Lambshead, MD was a doctor of strange diseases. In his journeys to treat and occasionally cure the oddest diseases known to man, he found… stuff. These stories are accompanied by many fine illustrations by different artists.
To say any more than I have would be to ruin wondrous, funny, strange fiction that literally leaps off the page and into your imagination. This collection is highly recommended for fans of steampunk, fantasy, and tales of the strange and bizarre. Contains: Violence, adult situations, profanity. Our Lady of the Shadows by Tony Richards. But then there are those special books that you come back to every so often, the books you pick up on a lazy Saturday morning to read in bed for a while.
A collection of short stories and one novella, Mr. Richards is a deft hand at creating little worlds for the reader to visit. Each story takes place in a different locale, sometimes at opposite ends of the world, and the author transports the reader smoothly from one location to the next. It honestly puzzles me why he isn't on the tip of everyone's tongue in the horror world. Not because of its horrific supernatural elements—and there are plenty of those—but because the main character, Steve, is a willing, if naive, participant in his own destruction.
He allows his undying lust—love? Be advised that most of the stories in this book have been previously published, so libraries may already have one or two in other collections, but having these stories in one volume is well worth the purchase. I highly recommend this collection for any horror fan, and especially for those who appreciate subtle storytelling that packs a literary punch. Contains: suggestions of sex, some gore, the supernatural. Voyeurs of Death by Shaun Jeffrey. Available: Paperback and Kindle. Voyeurs of Death is a collection of Shaun Jeffrey short stories, gathered from many publications, spanning the years , with three previously unpublished stories thrown in.
These tales range from the horrifying to the merely entertaining. Jeffrey is a fine writer, with a nice style, but I found most of the stories here to be There is nothing wrong with the stories, but nothing really fantastic either. They entertain, without leaving a lasting impression. Which isn't bad, it's just not great.
There are a few tales that standout from the rest. Overall a solid collection of workhorse stories. If you want an afternoons entertainment that won't haunt your dreams, Voyeurs of Death isn't a bad choice. If you are looking for something that will "stick to your ribs," I suggest you look elsewhere. Contains: Sex, vioence, and strong language. Review by Erik Smith. The Best of Joe R. Lansdale by Joe R. Lansdale; edited by Jacob Weisman.
Tachyon Publications Available trade paperback. Contained in this anthology by Stoker winner Joe Lansdale are some of his best stories. They cover multiple genres including horror, science fiction, fantasy and westerns. They are weird, disturbing and funny. Imagine Godzilla in a twelve-step program as a recovering monster. A boxing match scheduled to take place in Galveston, Texas just as the worst hurricane to hit the U.
Picture, if you will, Elvis alive and well and living in a nursing home under an assumed name. This book IS the best of Joe Lansdale. However, the woman has a secret of her own. Joe R. Lansdale proves what a great writer he is. Contains: gore, violence, adult language and adult situations. Unspeakable: A New Breed of Terror is an anthology of twenty-four stories all dealing with monsters. Some are human, some are unnatural, but all are hungry and looking to feed. What this poor guy thinks is just a stubborn booger turns out to be one nightmare of a superbug.
This one had me laughing and cringing at the same time. White about a man visited by his daughter on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance. Theresa Dillon did a great job on this anthology because all of the stories are very good. The stories are weird, bloody, scary and disturbing. Blood Bound Books has a real hit on their hands with this collection.
Contains: blood, gore and violence. Panic Press, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…. The short stories in this collection all revolve around women getting revenge on a man who has wronged them or hurt them in some way. In some of the stories, Lilith aids in the revenge: in others, the women manage very nicely on their own. The book begins with a prologue that reads as a poetic warning to men everywhere. Most of the stories have an eroticism to them, some more overt than others. The stories are violent, disturbing and beautifully written.
I loved it. Tattered Souls 2 edited by Frank J. Cutting Block Press, Available: To be released August, I reviewed the first book in this series, and, while the first book was not a perfect collection, it was a great introduction to several authors I had never heard of before. I was very excited by a novella in the first book that I thought should have been a stand-alone novel, and have followed and looked for the work of its author, Matt Wallace ever since reading it.
That is an exciting function of an anthology such as this one: introducing us to authors we have not already found, usually by including stories by new authors in with those of well-known authors. Tattered Souls 2 seems to be focused mainly on newer authors, as I had only heard of Forrest Aguirre before reading this book.
I found Aguirre's story to be the strongest of the collection. The book opens with a Phillip K. Most of the stories are on the longer scale, coming close to novella-length. A few of the stories could have benefited from being shorter. Tattered Souls 2 is a great concept, and should be supported for bringing new authors to the table. I think the first book did a better job, but I can tell you I will read the third when it comes around. Libraries with a focus on horror in their collection should have this for sure.
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If you have a strong stomach, the stories tend to be funny or unbelievably awful. That is, however, not what makes John Shirley's short fiction extreme, although a couple of the stories certainly qualify. The extreme nature of his work is found in his unflinching look into the dark realms of the human condition. Opening this book is like staring through one of the worst peepholes you can imagine. There is no author working in the horror genre today that does a better job of shining light on these horrors while maintaining a moral center. Horrible and brutal things happen to many of the characters, but Shirley does not mock or exploit the suffering of his characters, even in his most outrageous and darkly funny pieces.
I often read stories in a collection out of order, but Shirley has taken great care to create a rhythm with the stories, which are, in turn, comical, brutal, thoughtful and at times moving. It is a story of technology and the horrible disconnect we are headed towards. Shirley is a master at storytelling and at getting a message across without preaching. We as writers are taught to create characters that the reader will care about or relate to.
Blood Moon Rising: An Anthology of Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy Tales
I am not sure in all my years of reading horror I have been more uncomfortable reading a single story. The horror short story is an art form. Stephen King and Clive Barker in my opinion are masters at the short tale, they sometimes suffered from the word count. Any serious student of the short story needs all three books on their shelf. Contains: Graphic gore and violence, graphic and disturbing sexual scenes. Blood Lite edited by Kevin J. Pocket, Blood Lite is a collection of humorous horror stories, which more often than not means poking fun at horror tropes.
If you're a fan of Jeff Strand-style stories you're in luck, because not only is a story by him here, so are 20 other tales of tongue-in-cheek terror. Standouts include Kelley Armstrong's "The Ungrateful Dead" about a woman who can see the dead and finds them to be as annoying and pushy as the living; "A Good Psycho is Hard to Find" by Will Ludwigsen, which points out some of the more realistic side effects of surviving a teen psycho murderer; and Jim Butcher's "Day Off". Altogether, it's a very fun and dark collection that's sure to do well by horror or dark fantasy or suspense, or whatever we're calling horror these days fans.
Definitely recommended. Contains: Sex, language, gore, violence, bad puns. Review by Michele Lee. Beneath the Surface by Simon Strantzas. Available: new at the Dark Regions Press website. Beneath the Surface is a collection of short stories that are all firmly set in the weird fiction sub-genre of horror: darkness and despair abound, supernatural creatures arise from the depths to terrorize the innocent and the guilty alike, and somebody always, always dies in the end, leaving the living to wish that they would, too. Of course, he gets much more than he bargained for.
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