Tag Archives: horror

Varied Nightmares

nightmares_datlowThings that go bump in the night? Sure, but so much more than that. The stories are varied and run the gamut from horrifying to creepy to don’t turn your lights off scary. There was even a retelling of sorts of Hansel and Gretel. And don’t forget the zombies.

Ellen Datlow is an excellent editor. I believe she is a sort of expert in short story quality and in horror from her many years of editing the Best Horror of the Year series among other things. Authors included in the anthology are (in order of appearance): Mark Samuels, Gene Wolfe, Brian Hodge, Kaaron Warren, Lisa Tuttle, Gemma Files, Simon Bestwick, Nicholas Royle, Margo Lanagan, Steve Duffy, Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, Reggie Oliver, Ray Cluely, M. Rickert, John Langan, Anna Taborska, Livia Llewellyn, Dan Chaon, Robert Shearman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Garth Nix, Nathan Ballingrud, and Richard Kadrey.

As with most anthologies, I didn’t like all the stories equally. Some were better than others for me. A few I was puzzled as to why they were included. There was one story that used incest as an important part of the story. That one I could have done without entirely. It just wasn’t for me.

My favorites were: How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Don Chaon, and the last 3 stories in the anthology. It was almost as though the best were saved for last, but the stories were arranged chronologically in order of year of publication. Datlow says of the stories included: “Consider them a guide to some of the best short story writers currently working in the field of horror fiction. And in this volume specifically, a good representation of the excellent horror that was published between 2005 and 2015.”

Overall, enough of the stories were satisfying for me to give the anthology a 4 out of 5 stars rating.

Nightmares: a New Decade of Modern Horror was released November 1, 2016 by Tachyon Publications.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Review: The Writing Dead: Talking Terror with TV’s Top Horror Writers by Thomas Fahy

writingdead

The Writing Dead was published March 3, 2015 by University Press of Mississippi. The book is divided up into 4 main parts with an introduction to the book and acknowledgements.

“I just write about what scares me. When I was a kid, my  mother used to say, ‘Think of the worst thing that you can, and if you say it out loud then it won’t come true.’ And that’s probably been the basis of my career.” -Stephen King

Each section of the book has interviews with writers related to that topic. There are quite a variety of writers interviewed including those who write or wrote for Hannibal, Dexter, Bates Motel, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Grimm, Angel. The Walking Dead, Hemlock Grove, Being Human, American Horror Story, X-Files, and Millenium. Each part of the book that focuses on a particular writer or series type,  starts with a brief synopsis of why they were included and then goes into a transcript of an interview by Thomas Fahy with the author.

What I found interesting about the book is somewhat the usual things that one would take away from such a book, how the writer’s come up with their ideas and write. I enjoyed reading about all of the authors and found it interesting to see some of the other things in their career that they wrote before they came to horror and how it affected what they wrote.

I ended up giving this book 4 stars. I would recommend it to others as a good read or as a gift for someone who enjoys learning more about the behind the scenes writing of their favorite horror programs and movies. It’s interesting to see the connections between a movie that has become a series or a series of books that becomes a tv series. It’s also interesting to see how a particular writer’s previous projects affected what they in turn wrote for the horror programs.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Any quotes appearing in the text come from an advance reading copy and may appear differently in the final copy.

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