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Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse [Kindle Edition]

Joel Arnold
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp
Lords of the Sith
With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force and each other to depend on, the Emperor and Darth Vader, must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries. | Learn about the author, Paul S. Kemp

Book Description

Got your nightlight on?

A man journeys with a pregnant stranger, while unseen aliens deal out punishment from above.
A phone call in the middle of the night reminds someone of a chilling mission.
A priest's skin oozes a healing elixir.

Are your blankets pulled up tight?

A self-absorbed husband monitors the end of his existence over the internet.
A teenager digs through a deep crust of waste and bone to win his freedom.
A school field trip reveals a disturbing method for protecting our children.

Are all your doors locked?

If so, then perhaps you're ready for Joel Arnold's 'Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse.'

Armchair Interviews:
"Arnold has a deft touch with horror that will leave a chill in your spine, but without the violence and gore of much modern horror. The stories remind me of Ray Bradbury at his darkest with their ability to play on the difference between what we know might happen and what we want to happen. These are complex tales with layers below the surface enjoyment of a story well written."

D.L. Russell, editor of Strange, Weird & Wonderful Magazine:
"Joel Arnold is the real deal. He elicits a subtle element of terror and justice through his writing, delivered without a heavy hand. His exceptional imagery effects readers in a way tht leaves them chilled and disturbed; causing the kind of behavior that will leave friends asking "what's bothering you," for days afterwards."

Product Details

  • File Size: 769 KB
  • Print Length: 85 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003K16U0U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,303 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, not scary August 28, 2010
By Skylark
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you go into this book expecting scares, you might be a bit dissappointed. To me this collection was less horror than dark sci-fi, a set of straightforward dystopias--interesting concepts, but presented without much emotional or moral complexity. Expect a focus (and often a quite successful focus) on imagery and atmosphere, but less emphasis on character and plot. With a few exceptions, these stories were presented simply enough that I was well-prepared for the twist ending by the time I got there--there just weren't enough plot threads for a given story to have too many possible endings, given the "gotcha" format of dystopian sci fi. The combination of these elements meant there wasn't much I found scary in these stories--I wasn't wrapped up in the characters' lives, and I wasn't left wondering and worrying about what was about to happen to them next--the settings are the stars of these stories, not the people who live there.

But if you would like to see a lot of colorful (or, occasionally, colorless) bad endings for humanity, then this will be a good collection to check out. There are deadly (but perhaps lonesome?) aliens to see, tainted elixirs to drink, lost songs to hear, and grim and varied worlds to explore.

But I don't think you'll be sleeping with the lights on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Collection July 2, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'Bedtime Stories' is a wonderful collection of short stories all linked together with an unsettling distrust of the future. Some of the stories, such as 'Shiners' and 'Mr. Blue', focus on total disruption between mankind's ability to communicate and interact. 'Padre', a story about a man willing to go into the middle of a Mexican sewer in search for a cure for his daughter's cancer, ends on such a disgusting yet oddly hopeful note that I felt baffled. Even the weaker stories ('Branding' comes to mind) are still excellently written.

Any fan of either horror or short stories should be willing to give this collection a shot. Delightfully macabre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary Good Reading November 21, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
If you'll allow me to get meta, science fiction as a genre has a history of doing more than scary or unsettling. Under the guise of invention or far-future fantasy, science fiction can tackle deeper, darker issues than a casual reader might expect. It makes you think, even as it's raising some goosebumps.

That's what the jury has to say about Joel Arnold's Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse. They're chilling in the classic campfire story way, sure, but all the more frightening for the dark societies they posit for perhaps the not-so-far future. One theme that seems to thread through a number of the stories-"Branding Day," "Mr. Blue," "Harvey's Favorite Color"-may be surveillance (in both that creepy totalitarian way and elsewise). "Shiners" and "Burrow" have something to say about trust (or lack thereof). "Padre Sapo" raises the specter of some really terrifying faith healing, and "Mr. Blue" some terrifying medical healing.

Reading time: At 65 pages, this could be polished off on a lunch break. But it's a short story collection, not a novel, and since each individual piece does leave an unsettled feeling in the pit of the stomach-the Scattering advises breaking up the scary sci-fi diet.

Recommendation: With engaging (if dark) ideas and clean, clear prose, Bedtime Stories for the Apocalype is accessible to all audiences. And since the holidays are approaching, it might just be a conversion tool for all those haughty doubters of the powers of science fiction.
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More About the Author

Joel Arnold is the author of several novels. His short stories and articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including WEIRD TALES, CHIZINE, AMERICAN ROAD MAGAZINE and Cemetery Dance's anthology SHIVERS VII. In 2010 he received both a MN Artists Initiative Grant as well as the Speculative Literature Foundation's Gulliver Travel & Research Grant.

Arnold teaches writing at student workshops throughout Minnesota and has given presentations about the Ox Cart trails of Minnesota and the Dakotas to several historical societies and other groups interested in history. He also serves as the literary director for the Savage Arts Council.

Arnold lives near the Twin Cities in Minnesota with his wife, two kids, two cats, a dog and a ball python. Plus he makes a mean coffee cake.

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