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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.

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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.


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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. 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.

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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. 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. 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. This is perhaps the strongest tale, and reminds me the most of H. Overall, I can recommend nd Beneath the Surface for weird fiction and Lovecraft mythos fans. Readers that are new to the genre should probably read a story or two at a time to avoid supernatural parasite burnout.

Contains: Gore, otherworldly possession, violence, despair. Medusa Press, This is a devotion that I would not shout lightly. Frank Chigas has proven himself to be a master of the supernatural short story. Crouched, and waiting to rip you into small, bloody pieces. Highly recommended for libraries and personal libraries of genre fans who also appreciate the classics. Reviewed by: Rhonda Walton. Travel these strange corridors with Frank Chigas, masterful storyteller of the ghoulish and macabre.

As in his other work I reviewed, But First the Dark: Ten Tales of the Uncanny, these stories are set in the early twentieth century, a much more refined time as far as custom and etiquette, but no less frightening in the depths of depravity, human and inhuman. Chigas is an incredibly eloquent writer, able to tap into what is truly dark and unnerving. Sometimes not knowing is better. Tasmaniac Publications, Bone Marrow Stew is a fantastic short story collection from Tim Curran. With stories ranging from a man who can resurrect the dead in Paris, a theoretical physicist who sees into another dimension, to the people caught in the middle of a migration of epic proportions on a mining colony and the things the men on a prison road crew actually do, there is something here for everyone.

Bone Marrow Stew is an amazing collection. You can almost hear the sounds and smell the smells. His prose is descriptive, dark and visceral. The introduction by Simon Clark and artwork by Keith Minnion the cover was designed by Deena Warner just add to the collection. Contains: blood, gore, violence and adult language. Crucified Dreams Edited by Joe R.

Lansdale Tachyon Publications, Lansdale is a force of nature. Crucified Dreams is, hands down, the best anthology I have read in years. In his introduction Lansdale described it as fiction that is in a similar vein to what he writes. Like the best of Lansdale's own fiction, you will find yourself involved in the stories, flipping pages quickly, and constantly feeling the range of emotions you want from a book. You will laugh out loud, cringe at events you know are coming, and shake your head in delightful disgust.

There is not a stinker in the bunch outside of one story by Jonathan Lethem, whose unbroken structure grated on me. Top to bottom, this book is brimming with creative insanity. This is a must have for any serious horror reader or library. Lansdale has given us a gift. I only wish I knew more about how and why he selected the stories. If you like short stories you will love this book. Highly recommended for public library collections. Rhymes of the Dead by Sheri Gambino. Amazon, Available: Kindle ebook edition.

Sheri Gambino has gathered together a collection of horror poetry chock full of vivid descriptions of monsters, cannibals, zombies and bed bugs.

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There are also a few short stories in the mix. She can turn something as benign as a rainstorm into something apocalyptic and terrifying. If you have a Kindle you should definitely pick up this collection. Contains: gore, violence and sexual situations. Shades of Blood and Shadow by Angeline Hawkes. Shades of Blood and Shadow is a collection of short stories by Angeline Hawkes. Many of her stories are bound in religion, both Wiccan and Christian, with settings from the Middle East to Mexico.

Several stories also cross into genres outside the realm of horror, though they are still filled with terrifying elements and could be mistaken for nothing else. Many of the characters come to life and will stay with the reader long after then stories are finished. Contains: Violence, Rape. Reviewed by: Bret Jordan. Little Things by John R. Bad Moon Books, Available: New and used. John R.

Little is a Bram Stoker and Black Quill award winner, and Little Things is a career-spanning collection of some of his best short stories. Strong writing highlights 23 tales that range from subtle to startling. Many of the pieces presented here have a classic Twilight Zone feel, and, although some of the endings are predictable, that doesn't take anything away from their entertainment value. It's easy to see Little's growth as a writer, from simple storyteller to master craftsman.

Highlights include "Tommy's Christmas", a nice twist on the old "kid catches Santa in his house" story;. I never saw it coming. My personal favorite. Finally, "Placeholders" is a masterfully complicated story that all fits together in the end, and an amazing piece of fiction. It's tough choosing just a few stories to highlight. I could go on and on about most of the tales in this fantastic collection. Little is deserving of the praise and rewards that have already come his way, and, if there is any justice, should become a household name. Contains: Strong language, violence and sex.

Reviewed by: Erik Smith. Comet Press, June Sick Things is a collection of 17 stories of parasites, aliens, demons, insects, and many other nasty critters, and offers up a bit of something for any fan of monster mayhem. The stories range from grotesque to downright hilarious, with a nice blend of different creatures to keep things from getting bogged down.

As with most anthologies, there are a few weak links, but the majority of work here is strong. The one real problem I have is the use of the word Extreme in the title. That's not to say this isn't a very good collection; just don't expect the over-the-top sex and gore usually associated with the masters of extreme horror. Sick Things is a well-rounded anthology that I recommend for libraries and fans of good creature terror.

Contains: Strong language, some extreme violence, sexual situations. White Noise Press, Minnion includes some of his stories that have been previously published. Minnion displays remarkable storytelling skills that keep the reader going from page to page; he creates interesting characters and creative situations that keep the reader engaged. He offers up the tales, provides beautiful interior illustrations of some of the characters from the stories, and has produced the book himself. Clearly a lot of thought and effort has gone into the book, and it has paid off- it truly makes it worth owning.

In the back there are story notes that share what the various influences and inspirations of the stories were and what the history has been behind them. The book itself is a piece of art. Contains: Violence, murder, gore. Vicious Romantic by Wrath James White. Needlefire Poetry an imprint of Bellfire Press Available new paperback. Vicious Romantic is a new poetry collection from Wrath James White that delves into the dark side of human nature.

There are child killers, vampires, cannibals and serial killers. Wrath James White has experimented with Japanese and Korean poem structures to create something quite unique. The individual traditional haiku can stand alone on its own but the repeated structure creates one longer poem. They are simple yet complex at the same time.

All of the poems are dark and visceral, but beautiful, as well. The imagery conjured up in this poetry collection is quite extreme but I expect nothing less from White. He pushes boundaries and makes his readers think. I have already read and re-read Vicious Romantic three times and plan to read through it again. I absolutely loved it. Contains: violence, gore, sexual images, cannibalism, and violence against children. Dark Regions Press The Mad and the Macabre contains two novella-length stories from veteran horror writers, one from Jeff Strand and one by Michael McBride.

Charlie is so successful because he has rules that he always follows without exception. He keeps to just one victim every other month. He chooses someone that will usually not be missed. One night while walking through a park Charlie finds an injured dog. Initially he passes it by but thinking there might be a reward he brings the Boston Terrier home. Charlie cleans him up and feeds him and decides to make up flyers to post around the neighborhood, but when no one claims the dog, his co-worker Alicia suggests he keep the dog….

Charlie names him Kutter and slowly begins to spoil him rotten. Charlie loves the dog and Kutter loves Charlie. What happens to Charlie over the next few weeks and months is nothing short of amazing. He becomes more social and even forgets about hunting for victims. A group of graduate students who went into the wilderness in the hopes of finding God or some proof of his existence, disappeared two years ago and no trace of them was ever found.

Now a former detective has found a strange microorganism on a bone found by a rancher. The students believed, based on Biblical passages, that the fallen angels were cast down to Earth and into Hell in the Rockies. Are the kids still alive? Are they dead? Did they find what they were looking for? Both stories are heart-wrenching. Jeff Strand has taken the old story of a boy and his dog and turned it on its ear. Charlie actually becomes a sympathetic character. Contains: violence, gore and sexual situations. CreateSpace Available New Paperback and E-book Edition.

While at a seedy tavern, he meets Old Harry and makes a wager that he will get Caitlin by any means necessary. Old Harry turns out to be Satan. Jacob returns to town weeks later, but he thought he was only gone overnight. It also delves into a neighborhood secret…. In this story, people around the country begin tearing their friends and loved ones apart—literally--after seeing a 3D movie.

They are all sufficiently gruesome. Dan Dillard has proven again that his imagination is twisted enough to warrant a place in the horror genre. I recommend picking up both of his collections. Contains: violence, gore, adult language and sexual situations. Nocturnal Emissions by Jeffrey Thomas. Trade paperback. Demonstrating his writing ability across the horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction genres, Jeffrey Thomas has written some wonderful stories containing supernatural elements, faraway worlds, and other dimensions.

The story gets truly bizarre when not only does this creature resemble a giant caterpillar with a human face, but a hookah pipe is found in the same vicinity. Abraham later tells his daughter of another discovery—a large cat with a grin from ear to ear. Unfortunately for Abraham, it seems as though his daughter has ignored his correspondence, while his discoveries prove to be a metaphor for the loss of his daughter.

Father Venn is somehow still walking this earth as a corporeal being, and he needs to find the reason for it. What he discovers is a hatred between Christian faiths so deep that it drives the summoning of demons. Taking place in , this period piece contains some fantastic supernatural elements, including a demon Black Dog and a few ghosts left behind to find their own way home.

Nocturnal Emissions is a wonderfully written book that covers a range of genres but manages to blend them together effortlessly. Contains: sexual situations and some violence. Moccus is the ancient Celtic god of fertility, appearing in the form of a boar. The Blackness Within is a collection of thirteen terrifying stories that display both the generosity and brutality of Moccus, taking place in many locales around the world, from tribal villages through the modern cities of the 21 st century.

Every year a vote is put to the people, who select someone who has violated the teachings of Moccus for purging. To me this story is reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. Toby has been a faithful follower of Moccus all of his life, but he finds something that leads him to question the Church and its motives for selling certain items to the members of the congregation. Apparently the Church of Moccus will do anything to protect their secrets.

The Blackness Within is an excellent collection of stories that manages to include all incarnations of the god Moccus. They are scary, bloody, and visceral…I enjoyed them all and you will too. Contains: gore, violence, rape and adult situations. Mischief Night by Paul Melniczek. His latest submission is a well-done novella of three short stories that is not too graphic, nor too gory. For junior-high readers, it is just right. Berger, in the second and third stories. The plot is simple but well-written, and the characters are authentic.

At seventy pages, it is an acceptable length for juvenile readers. The only criticism I have is the cover art. As artwork goes, Caroline O'Neal did a superb job of recreating a pivotal scene with fine detail and skill. Even the title font is relevant to the story! A lot of books sold by Bad Moon Books have hand-drawn covers, so perhaps it's a sub-genre thing. However, in my opinion, the cover medium made the book look dated: it reminded me of the Scholastic books from the 's that I used to read in my dad's classroom.


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It would be nice to see this book with a slicker cover, so perhaps their target audience would want to pick it up and read it. I can recommend this book for any librarian who needs a good, relatively tame horror novella for middle-school readers. The end of the third story suggests the possibility of a sequel, which I hope comes to fruition: I would look forward to seeing a new chapter in the lives of these kids.

Contains: black magic, youth-grade violence. Fungus of the Heart by Jeremy C. Raw Dog Screaming Press New Paperback pages. In this latest short story collection Jeremy Shipp explores what happens to relationships when the rules of society go out the window. In his surreal worlds, he explores the heartbreak, desire, fear, and loss that go into these relationships. Full of quirkiness, horror, humor and the just plain weird, Shipp fans should be pleased with Fungus of the Heart. Nightingale will stop at nothing to save her, even if it means turning into a monster to do so.

All of the stories in Fungus of the Heart are fantastic reads. Some are sweet, others are tragic but all will leave you quite satisfied in the end. Contains: some gore and violence Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund. Soares and Laura Cooney. Skullvines Press, New paperback pages. Husband and wife writers L. Laid out in three parts, the book opens with five short stories by Laura and then moves into six short stories by L. Part three is a collaboration that is beautifully written by the couple together.

Among my favorite stories by Laura Cooney in Part 1 were "Puppy Love ", about Veronica who adopts an abused puppy only to train the dog to be a ferocious killer; "The Hirsute You ", about a Sasquatch who hides among the bushes in a park to watch the woman he has fallen in love with; and "A Crown of Mushrooms ", in which Sara meets Rasputin in the modern day—87 years after his supposed death. Easily my favorite story in Part 2 by L.

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Place " has a horrid little twist on the safe place that an abused woman goes to while attempting to escape her tormentor. Part 3 is the wonderfully dark and twisted story "In Sickness " about a married couple, Maddy and Zach whose marriage has been falling apart for some time. Zach has a mistress and thinks about killing Maddy, while Maddy is an alcoholic recluse being haunted by the ghosts of pig-children. When things begin to spiral out of control we discover that Zach and Maddy are bonded together by some very dark secrets.

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The end of this story left me reeling and wanting more. In Sickness is an amazing collection that should be added to your library of dark horror fiction. Laura Cooney and L. Soares truly are the Bonnie and Clyde of horror. Contains adult language, violence, gore, and sexual themes. Review by Colleen Wanglung.

Dark Matters by Bruce Boston , ill. Dark Matters is a short collection of dark poetry by Bruce Boston, accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Daniele Serra. The descriptive nature of his writing creates incredible visuals that easily change every time a poem is read and reread depending on the outside environment and mindset of the reader. In Dark Matters , Boston explores what the world would be like if ruled by rats, or moles, or even assassins.

Oh, how life would be different. He reveals the life of torturers, who learned their trade as it was passed down from generation to generation. Then there is the surreal life in Shadow City, in which shadows flee with lingering effects. Poem after poem, Boston exposes the reader to illogical ideas with logical explanations. Reviewed by Kelly Fann.

Before each tale, Thomas annotates the state and the year that the haunting, murder, vampire awakening, ghastly presence, or myriad of other spooky events that took place. He knows his landscape and he knows the time period extremely well, which gives the stories an authenticity that could easily have the reader believing these are true ghost stories having been passed down through the generations and finally put to paper.

His tales are best read in dim light, with howling wind, and the sounds of the house settling. Highly recommended for an adult horror collection, but is easily accessible to a YA audience as well. The thirteen short stories in this collection by Richard Gavin are the stuff of nightmares. They are dark, gruesome and bleak, eerily reminiscent of Poe and Lovecraft. All of the stories seem to question what lies beyond our world, and Gavin uses magic and mysticism to try to give an answer. Both people and property have disappeared without a trace; there is no phone service and the town seems to have been completely cut off from the rest of the world.

The town manager has decided to go into the mist that has enveloped his town in a search for answers. What he finds however is not what he expected nor wanted to see. Gideon got a bit greedy and went to try to get more of these manuscripts but what he found was not what he expected. This a wonderfully scary collection that is well written and well edited. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Year: Director: Danny Steinmann Slasher sequels of the s so often grappled with the same existential question: How do we allow our protagonists to triumph over the killer, or even kill the killer , but still bring that marketable murderer back for another installment?

Still, the box office demands what it demands, and the Friday the 13th series, like Halloween 3: Season of the Witch before it, came back for an installment without its central character—or more accurately, someone shows up wearing the hockey mask in A New Beginning , but it turns out to be a Jason copycat killer. Which is fitting, because everything about A New Beginning is divisive. It will always be the black sheep of the series. As in, solar radiation somehow causes every animal above 5, feet of elevation to go insane, attacking anything in their path.

A group of hikers are menaced by all kinds of animals—mountain lions, bears, birds of prey and even pet dogs. Leslie Nielsen, five years before his career-altering comedic turn in Airplane! I want to see that movie, and all the killer koalas it would surely entail.

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This film is exactly what you expect it to be, full of red herrings and drawn-out stalk-and-slash killings. You could throw this on any night of the week and it would immediately feel comfortably familiar to any golden era slasher fan. Night Shyamalan in execution. The Burrowers Year: Director: J. This one is sort of like a mashup of all the above—a group of settlers in the American old west begin to suffer losses from some kind of marauding monster, so they set out on an expedition that reveals a race of subterranean, tunneling beasts that use toxins to incapacitate their victims before consuming them at their leisure, spider-style.

The still-alive ape man defrosts, however, and proves to be armed with a rather unique set of powers. What follows is a bizarre film about stolen memories and brain-swapping, all taking place aboard the train. There are some really hypnotic performances, especially from relatively unknown Argentinean actor Alberto de Mendoza as a crazed priest. Who loves ya, baby? Many of them are terrible, but occasionally you do get one like Aaah!

When we see things from the perspective of human characters, the film is black-and-white, and the zombies are lumbering and uncoordinated. It gets a decent amount of mileage and laughs out of a decidedly indie budget. That is of course provided you recognize the aliens of Lifeforce as vampires. Hooper ditches the grimy aesthetic of his earlier work and cleverly plays with the old vampire genre conventions, keeping a few bat references but ditching the blood-sucking. I once saw it screened as part of a hour B-movie festival, and that strikes me as exactly the way to consume Lifeforce : In a half-awake haze full of nudity and desiccated victims exploding into dust.

Friday the 13th Part III Year: Director: Steve Miner Also known as Friday the 13th Part 3-D , the third installment in the Friday the 13th series is impossible to ever fully extricate from its visual gimmick, coming as it did during the second great wave of 3D filmmaking. The story picks up where the second film left off, with an unmasked Jason no more sack cloth with one eye hole!

It hits all the slasher cliches with such boundless enthusiasm that at times it almost feels like a very early genre parody. In fact, Brown originally wrote the film as an early parody of the genre, playing off the tropes established by Halloween and Friday the 13th , but the movie was ultimately filmed as a legitimate horror vehicle instead, leaving it in a unique tonal middle ground that retains a fair amount of black comedy.

Still, there are many islands of genuine, blood pressure-raising fear in this well-executed film. Carnival of Souls Year: Director: Herk Harvey Carnival of Souls is a film in the vein of Night of the Hunter : artistically ambitious, from a first-time director, but largely overlooked in its initial release until its rediscovery years later.

The story follows a woman Candace Hilligoss on the run from her past who is haunted by visions of a pale-faced man, beautifully shot and played by director Herk Harvey. As she seemingly begins to fade in and out of existence, the nature of her reality itself is questioned. Carnival of Souls is vintage psychological horror on a miniscule budget, and has since been cited as an influence in the fever dream visions of directors such as David Lynch.

Rod Serling would no doubt have been a fan. The original Paranormal Activity is a masterful piece of budget filmmaking. How could I tell? Because they were so loud in the moments of calm before each scare the most dead giveaway of all: when a young man turns to his friends to assure them how not-nervous he is. This was just such an event—there were actually ushers standing at the entrance ramps throughout the entire film, just watching the audience watch the movie.

Deride all you want, but Paranormal Activity scared the hell out of us. Naturally, they adapt it into a garage rock song, and soon enough, the neighborhood is abuzz with gore-heavy scenes of demonic possession. The humor is crude, and not quite as funny as it thinks it is, but the horror scenes are fun, and Deathgasm never drags. Friday the 13th Year: Director: Sean S. Cunningham The Friday the 13th film that started them all.

Hack, slice. Jason makes only a brief, but extremely memorable appearance.