Written by: Matt Molgaard
In my time doing this, I’ve quickly learned that Weird Fiction is typically synonymous with mediocre writing and poorly developed tales. But that isn’t quite applicable in regards to Jessica Burke and Anthony Burdge’s collection of trippy narratives, The Friendly Horror & Other Weird Tales. These two can actually write, and some of their concepts, while certainly strange, are quite well conceived. This collection won’t appeal to everyone, but there’s some material here that plenty are going to enjoy consuming.
Among my personal favorites are A Guide to Acclimating New Felines to their New Home, which is just wildly outlandish but strangely fun; the kind of story you’ve got to read to really grasp. Hungry Snow – a tale that gives new meaning, and new life, to lively storms. And, my pick for standout effort, the titular piece, The Friendly Horror. This one holds direct ties to Lovecraft’s amazing novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and it’s both engaging and refined. Having just checked out the new collection, The Shadows Over Innsmouth, I can certainly say this feels like a tale perfect for the Lovecraft related release.
This is a fun read that travels the gamut from warm, almost family friendly stories to outright sadistic tales (Keepsakes is an admittedly savage – and awesome – piece). It’s a versatile collection that grips, perplexes and gratifies simultaneously. Again, it’s an acquired taste, but the market for this one is likely quite sizable. It’s got the co-signature of HorrorNovelReviews.com, no doubt about it. Even if it isn’t without flaw, it’s pretty damn good!