20th Century Ghosts

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Author: Joe Hill

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction

Publisher: William Morrow

Pages: 316

 

This collection of short stories, from the wonderful yet creepy mind of Joe Hill, includes stories with everything from a ghost that won’t leave a theater to an inflatable boy to a human turned locust. It really does include something for every horror/creepy read fan. As I always mention, short stories are my thing! I absolutely love them, and Hill did an amazing job at reminding me exactly why I do. These stories were packed with great characters and easily visualized places (thanks to his descriptive writing). The book read very quickly, but was intensely satisfying. It’s hard to say which of these tales was my favorite, but I’m leaning toward “Best New Horror”, which was a very interesting tale of an editor looking for something fresh…oh, he finds it! It could very well be “Voluntary Committal”, though, as I do love anything having to do with psych wards! The stories in this collection will not only leave you a little disturbed after read them, but they may just provide some unexpected self-reflection, as well. They will make you think about who you are, where you came from, and what “ghosts” you may have buried within yourself. I have been a huge fan of Joe Hill since I read NOS4A2, and he hasn’t disappointed me yet! I 100% recommend this, if you are looking for an amazing book of spec fiction short stories… or to just be disturbed a bit!

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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories

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Author: Stephen King

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Horror

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 512

 

As I have said many times before, short stories are one of my favorite things. This newest collection by King did not disappoint. In fact, it is what finally got me out of my reading slump. I had already ready several of the stories in previous collections/editions, although a couple were reworked or rewritten for this collection. Regardless of having read them before, they were all worth reading again. It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite story from this collection, but UR (a kindle with some very interesting features), Dune (an elderly judge has been making the canoe trip to a dune outside of his home since he was a boy to see the names of people who are to die soon written on its shore), and The Little Green God of Agony (a very wealthy man, who was in a plane crash and can’t get rid of the blinding pain, calls in a preacher to help him) are a few of the gems in this edition that I really enjoyed. The thing that I think that I loved the most about this collection was the pages that actually came before the stories themselves. Before each short story, King gives the reader a glimpse in to how the story came to him, what or who inspired it, and some of what his thought process was when he was penning it. It is incredibly interesting to get a glimpse in to this great author’s mind. Overall, I loved this collection, and would recommend it to any King or short story fan.

Out Through the Attic

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Author: Quincy J. Allen

Genre: Cross-Genre

Publisher: 7DS Books/Twisted Core Press

Pages: 248

 

I know that you guys have heard me say this before, but I will say it again: Short stories are my favorite thing to read! With this being a short story collection, and the author being Quincy J. Allen (who’s writing you’ll know, by know, I have a bit of an infatuation with!), I had really high expectations for this book. It did not disappoint in any way! These stories took me in multiple different directions, from reimagined history, to steampunk, to sci-fi, to horror…It has something for everyone and every mood. Since they are short stories, I won’t go too much in to the stories, or I will give them away, but I will tell you my favorites. The very first story, Family Heirloom, was a reimagined history where a brilliant slave engineer helped free slaves in an underwater ship. Cornelius was amazing! An ex-movie star dwarf (yes like the seven dwarves) telling his story of how he hit rock bottom and is now on the Queen’s hit list. Of course, I loved Lasater’s Lucky Left, as it was a lead in to Allen’s steampunk/western that I previously reviewed, Blood Ties. My other love in this collection was Baby Wei, wherein a scientist who lost her own child to SIDS goes to Atlanta to help in a SIDS project, which turns in to a crazy plot twist! These were just my favorites, but there was not one story in this collection that I did not like. I didn’t want to stop reading, and I was sad when it was over. Maybe that will hold me until Mr. Allen’s next book comes out this year, though! If you like your fiction in the genre category, you’ll love this. Pick up a copy!!

Remember Why You Fear Me

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Remember Why You Fear Me

Author: Robert Shearman

Genre: Dark Fiction/Horror

Publisher: ChiZine Publications

Pages: 425

 

This collection of short stories from Robert Shearman is exactly what you would want if you are looking for dark fiction. It is a collection of beautifully written short stories that are a bit frightening in a creepy, not necessarily scary, way. They are laced with enough satire and dark humor to lighten them a bit, but some of them will definitely leave you wondering if you should sleep with a night light on. I am utterly thankful that this author was recommended to me, and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Shearman’s works.