Written by: Drake Morgan
Time is precious. We never have enough. For those of you who need a fast horror fix, I’ve come up with my ‘Quick Picks’ of the week. Short, sweet, and very to the point. Five horror fixes you must have to satisfy that morbid, gnawing need in the pit of your stomach. This week we look at anthologies. There are thousands released every year. They pile up faster than bodies at a zombie festival. How do you sort through the flotsam to find those gems? Grab these five and you can’t miss.
1) Exotic Gothic 4: Postscripts 28/29
—seductive, creepy, dark, sinister… it’s got everything you want for a stormy night alone with the shadows creeping around the corner.
Synopsis: The latest bumper Postscripts anthology, with new stories from twenty five of today s finest speculative fiction writers: Danel Olson Preface: On Dark Gifting Margo Lanagan Blooding the Bride Adam L.G. Nevill Pig Thing Kaaron Warren The Lighthouse Keepers Club Reggie Oliver The Look Lucy Taylor Nikishi Simon Kurt Unsworth The Fourth Horse Stephen Dedman The Fall Tunku Halim In the Village of Setang David Punter Carving Genni Gunn Water Lover Robert Hood Escena de un Asesinato Steve Rasnic Tem The Old Man Beset by Demons David Wellington Atacama Isobelle Carmody Metro Winds Terry Dowling Mariners Round Paul Finch Oschaert Ekaterina Sedia Helena Anna Taborska Rusalka Nick Antosca Candy Joseph Bruchac Down in the Valley Cherie Dimaline Wanishin Brian Evenson Grottor E. Michael Lewis Such a Man I Would Have Become Scott Thomas The Unfinished Book Stephen Volk Celebrity Frankenstein
2) History is Dead: A Zombie Anthology
—I’m not a huge fans of the walking dead, but this one is a winner. Set in a wide variety of historical periods, each story breathes new life into the rotting corpse tale.
Synopsis: Our team of crack historians has uncovered the truth you never learned in school: the living dead have walked among us since the dawn of time. In this collection of gruesome tales from throughout the ages, the ravenous undead shamble through bloody battlefields, plague-ridden cities, genteel country estates, and dusty frontier towns. They emerge from foggy cemeteries, frozen barrows, loamy bogs, cursed mines, and gore-spattered operating rooms to prey on the living. But these zombies don’t just eat people. They help painters and writers save their faltering careers. They unwittingly push humankind on the quest for fire. They topple evil capitalists and their corporate empires. They fight crime. They fall in love. Join us on a journey into our zombie-filled past… Neither history nor the living dead have ever been this exciting!
3) A Fistful of Horrors: Tales of Terror from the Old West
—The theme is different and the tales are creepy. A nice twist on the american frontier for late at night.
Synopsis: Cruentus Libri Press is proud to announce its second anthology.
A Fistful of Horrors gathers together 16 stories from the world’s finest horror authors, each one taking the tried and tested trappings of Western fiction and casting a dark shadow of evil over it.
Within these pages you will read tales of frontier towns with a dark secret; brooding strangers and bloody footprints, snake-women and wolf spirits. You’ll read about good men and bad men, about dead men and men that won’t stay dead.
Featuring thrilling and horrific slices of original fiction from A.R. Aston, Lisamarie Lamb, Donald Jacob Uitvlugt, John Hunt, Paco, Allen Jacoby, Roxanne Dent, David Thomas, Kevin G. Bufton, Jon McAchren, Jay Wilburn, Tim Tobin, Rony Blechman, Jody Neil Ruth, John Pirog and Cameron Johnston.
4) Great Tales of Terror and The Supernatural
—classic writers here. A great introduction into the Gothic literary tradition including Poe, Lovecraft, James, Collins, and more.
Synopsis: When this longtime Modern Library favorite–filled with fifty-two stories of heart-stopping suspense–was first published in 1944, one of its biggest fans was critic Edmund Wilson, who in The New Yorker applauded what he termed a sudden revival of the appetite for tales of horror. Represented in the anthology are such distinguished spell weavers as Edgar Allen Poe (“The Black Cat”), Wilkie Collins (“A Terribly Strange Bed”), Henry James (“Sir Edmund Orme”), Guy de Maupassant (“Was It a Dream?”), O. Henry (“The Furnished Room”), Rudyard Kipling (“They”), and H.G. Wells (“Pollock and the Porroh Man”). Included as well are such modern masters as Algernon Blackwood (“Ancient Sorceries”), Walter de la Mare (“Out of the Deep”), E.M. Forster (“The Celestial Omnibus”), Isak Dinesen (“The Sailor-Boys Tale”), H.P. Lovecraft (“The Dunwich Horror”), Dorothy L. Sayers (“Suspicion”), and Ernest Hemingway (“The Killers”).
5) Haunted Legends
—award-winning editor Ellen Datlow’s anthology of ghost stories. Fantastic authors, chills, spooks, and fear.
Synopsis: Darkly thrilling, these twenty new ghost stories have all the chills and power of traditional ghost stories, but each tale is a unique retelling of an urban legend from the world over.
Multiple award-winning editor Ellen Datlow and award-nominated author and editor Nick Mamatas recruited Jeffrey Ford, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlin Kiernan, Catherynne M. Valente, Kit Reed, Ekaterina Sedia, and thirteen other fine writers to create stories unlike any they’ve written before. Tales to make readers shiver with fear, jump at noises in the night, keep the lights on.
These twenty nightmares, brought together by two renowned editors of the dark fantastic, are delightful visions sure to send shivers down the spines of horror readers.