Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 5-Star review for Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror

Fear comes in many forms and speaks with countless voices. This is a collection of stories from authors living in diverse places. It is a tapestry woven from these disparate elements and presented all for the love of horror.

The introduction is a selection from W.J. Renehan's "The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction." Entitled "Why We Turn to Horror," it is an illuminating piece on the very attraction of horror in all its many forms.

Launching into the book, we find Scathe meic Beorh's "God of the Winds." It is a vision of human depravity with a taste of ancient terrors. Ramsey Campbell's "Welcomeland" takes you on a journey into an amusement park, forgotten by time but not by the memories which lurk within its depths. Lily Childs brings us "Strange Tastes," a tale of secret hungers revealed.

In "Nouri and the Beetles," Lincoln Crisler tells of primal desires and awful betrayal. Jack Dann's "Camps" takes us into the mind of a dying man with nightmares of a haunted past. In "High Rise," Robert Dunbar reveals a deadly seduction while Thomas A. Erb's "Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted" is a shocking tale of vengeance.

Brandon Ford's "Scare Me" tells of a woman forced to drive to an inevitable fate. In "Raised," Carole Gill tells of ancient magic and an obsession with death. Lindsey Beth Goddard weaves a tale of unspeakable tragedy and the price to change one's fate in "The Tooth Collector."

In "Love Hurts," J.F. Gonzalez speaks of a love for pain taken to a horrific level. Dane Hatchell's "The `takers" is about a mind's descent into madness, while in "Justice through Twelve Steps," E.A. Irwin speaks of insanity talking to those who will hear.

Charlee Jacob brings us "Locked Inside the Buzzword Box," a story about devouring hunger. K. Trap Jones speaks of a demon hunter faced with a deadly choice in "Demon Eyed Blind." Tim Jones' "Protein" is a fight for survival against cannibal hunger.

Vada Katherine's "Block" describes the hunt for a killer and the desire for release. Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen tell of a man facing a lover's vengeance in "Just Another Ex." Shane McKenzie's "So Much Pain, So Much Death" is about a father finding his daughter, only to discover an awful truth.

Shaun Meeks brings us "Perfection Through Silence," the tale of a man constantly vexed by a disturbing noise. In Adam Millard's "The Incongruous Mr. Marwick," a boy learns that some solitary souls are better left alone. Christine Morgan's "Nails of the Dead" is a disturbing journey into mythological depths.

Billie Sue Mosiman's "Verboten" tells of sisterly love with fatal results. D.F. Noble's "Psych" pulls you into the psych ward to learn what hideous presence lurks in the shadows. In "The Door," Chantal Noordeloos reminds us dangers can be found on either side.

W.H. Pugmire's "Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes" is about a lost being and that which it sees in the depths of a mirror. William Todd Rose gives us the seduction of an urban legend in "The Grave Dancer," while Anna Taborska's "Out of the Light" speaks of a soul's desire pulling a man into the darkness.

William Cook has truly brought us a fresh perspective, like a sharpened blade that cuts to the quick. The forms of fear are many and you will find them all waiting for you here. For just like flesh, horror will decay... unless you keep it fresh.

Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror can be found here:


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