2013 seems to have been the year of anthology horror fiction reviews here at Ginger Nuts of Horror. Horror short stories are a format that I enjoy, perfect for riding the bus to work, however they are in my opinion one of the hardest formats of story telling to get right. Constrained by length they don't give an author much room for error. So when you get an anthology that is just a pure joy to read, you know it's something great. Not that I expected anything less from this horror anthology, you see it has been compiled by the good folks from Horror World, which is one of the best sites out there for horror fiction reviews and horror news. These guys know their stuff, and from this horror anthology and this 371 page monster is a fantastic read.
Where this anthology excels is in its mix of stories from well known authors and those authors who may not be as well known. I think that all anthologies should strive to do this sort of thing, as it not only helps to put these lesser known authors in the spotlight, it also keeps the anthology feeling fresh.
The inclusion of a detailed and interesting introduction, from horror legend Elizabeth Massie is also a welcome addition. I like for the tone of an anthology to be set, plus I enjoy reading the thoughts of horror's greats.
However these things are all a mute point if the stories don't measure up, so it's a good thing that this anthology comes up trumps.
Some of the highlights for me are
James A Moore's Mr Whisper is a brilliant story of kidnap, criminals, and supernatural retribution. James A Moore is one of horrors giants and this taught and tension filled story shows exactly why he is one of the best.
T.T. Zuma's Chiyoung and Dongsun's Song is a brilliant piece of writing that deals with themes of tolerance and acceptance. T.T. makes a brave move by telling this story in the style of a Chinese folk story. This story has a strong emotional heart to it
What is it with horror author and creepy childhood friends? Meepy by Brent Jenkins is a truly terrifying tale of childhood friendship, and how parents just seem to get in the way.
Gary McMahon's Kitty is a fantastic collision of extra martial affairs and urban legends. Kitty is another brilliant example as to why Gary is one of the finest writers working today. Gary doesn't waste a word in this emotionally charged story.
Rose Blackthorn's The Lilac Hedge is another story with an emotional heart at the centre of the terror. This is a haunting story of Yarrow and the choices she has to make in the quest to find someone special.
Eulogies II is a fantastic anthology that never fails to deliver. It will serve perfectly to reacquaint you with some of horrors finest while at the same time introducing you to some of the best writers you may never had heard off
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