These stories are a throwback to a simpler time; a time when people drove around in faux wood panel station wagons, wore bell bottoms, and read fiction magazines for entertainment. That’s right. People used to read. Fiction. For fun! In magazines! The first Richard Laymon story I ever encountered was “The Champion” published in an… Continue reading Short Stories: The Mystery and Men’s Magazines by Richard Laymon
Veteran editor Paula Guran has put together a comprehensive “year’s best” collection that includes some true gems. All eyes will be drawn to Stephen King’s entry, “The Dune,” and Big Steve delivers a satisfying—if quaint—E.C comics-style chiller. But King’s story is far from the best in this collection. My vote would be for Stephen Graham… Continue reading The Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2012, edited by Paula Guran
While Garton and Lansdale bring lighthearted EC-style chills to their Halloween tales, Stewart O’Nan takes it to a deeper and darker place in his coming-of-age tale, Monsters. O’Nan gives us some meat to chew on in this short tale—the lost of innocence, the power of guilt, the purpose and function of religion and prayer, and… Continue reading Monsters: A Halloween Short Story by Stewart O’Nan
Will Castleton is US Marshall with psychic abilities, and David Bain is the community college English professor who created him. Both seem like interesting characters; Castleton with his sometimes-too-late “visions” of crime victims, and Bain with his ability to carve out a niche for himself in the self-pubbed crime fiction genre. Island Ghosts is a… Continue reading Island Ghosts: A Will Castleton Adventure by David Bain
Like Joe Lansdale’s A Little Halloween Talk, Ray Garton’s Invitation Only is a fun little screamer that feels like a racier version of an EC comics tale. A creepy cemetery on Halloween night, murderous drug pushers, the walking dead, and …an orgy! Ray Garton knows how to throw a Halloween party!
‘Tis the season for Halloween tales, and Cemetery Dance Publications has got you covered with its 13 Days of Halloween: Halloween singles collection. CD will release a different $.99 short story each day until Halloween. Joe Lansdale’s A Little Halloween Talk is a short tale told in the first person, present tense. Lansdale’s prose goes down as… Continue reading A Little Halloween Talk by Joe Lansdale