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Horror for the Holidays Paperback – December 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Miskatonic River Press, LLC (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982181884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982181881
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,780,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Carpenter on February 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Horror for the Holidays is the latest anthology of fiction from the enterprising team at Miskatonic River Press. It is a handsome trade paperback with 284 pages, and with the actual stories starting on page 9. The list price is $19.99, which seems rather dear to me. On the other hand, I proudly support small Lovecraftian presses (Huzzah!...or is that Ia!). The cover is an immensely attractive illustration A Krampus in My Stylus by Jeff Johnson. What a wonderful depiction of Krampus, the devilish companion of St Nicholas! Unfortunately I could not locate the artist's website to sample any of his other work. Editing and story selection were by Scott David Aniolowski. Mr. Aniolowski has edited other anthologies, including Return to Lovecraft Country and Singer of Strange Songs (part of the Chaosium Cycle series), and has had a hand in multiple products for the Call of Cthulhu rpg. I really enjoyed his introduction, discussing the origin of the anthology. In particular it made me nostalgic to see him write about the story Nackles. I read this story quite a few times in my early teen formative years; in fact, initially I thought the cover was a depiction of Nackles before I ever opened it up and read it. The premise of the book is just what the title says. Authors submitted new works riffing on a particular holiday for maximum horrific effect. Mr. Aniolowski has grouped them in chronological order for the year, from Rosh Chodesh to Christmas. Christmas and Yuletide have the most offerings but most major holidays get a nod or two. As far as I can tell, only the tales by Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti and Mollie Burleson have been published before. At least half the contents may be construed to be Cthulhu mythos or to be beholden to Lovecraft in some way.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Walt Hicks on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Themed horror anthologies are often 'miss and hit' affairs, and with readers' individual tastes varying so vastly, it is virtually impossible to find that perfect 'every story resonates with every reader' mix. Narrow that thematic focus to Mythos-imbued, holiday-inspired stories, and the editor would be well-advised to find authors not only exquisitely talented, but well-suited to the task at hand.

Fortunately, and as one might expect coming from the reliable and capable Miskatonic River Press publishing house, editor Scott David Aniolowski was certainly up for the task of accomplishing this goal with Horror for the Holidays. There are a few reprints here (Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, Mollie L. Burleson and, of course, Lovecraft), but mostly these are new, original tales for this collection, by a fascinating variety of authors, both experienced and relatively new.

A few words about things that possibly bore most: the cover art "A Krampus in my Stylus" by Jeff Johnson is evocative and a perfect fit for the antho. Also suitable for framing. The interior of the collection is very nicely laid out, nice attention-to-detail touches throughout include a well-delineated TOC, an interesting behind-the-scenes introduction and an ornate drop cap feature at the beginning of each story. The font usage is thoughtful and overall gives the collection an appropriate Grimm's Fairy Tale feel.

The volume kicks off with W. H. Pugmire's "The Tomb of Oscar Wilde," the sole entry for the Rosh Chodesh category. It is a brief, but beautifully-written paen to the titular author. Closing the book is Robert M. Price's "The Nativity of the Avatar," listed as Christmas-themed horror, but relatively remotely, reinterpreting the Gospel via Mythos.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Tresca VINE VOICE on June 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Horror for the Holidays is a clever collection of holiday-themed Mythos fiction from Miskatonic River Press (MRP) and edited by Scott David Aniolowski. Unlike other publishers of Lovecraft-inspired fiction, MRP has a history of delivering on the promise of producing content that's sharply focused on the topic at hand. Horror for the Holidays has the opposite problem, because almost every story is somehow tied to the Lovecraftian universe but there's no mention of it anywhere on the front or back cover. So let's fix that right now, shall we? If you're looking for Mythos content, this book has it in spades.

The fellow on the cover is Krampus, the anti-Santa who punishes evil children. He appears sans long tongue (artists seems to dislike portraying Krampus with his lolling tongue) about to snatch a wicked child that is tearing the heads off of a bag full of dollies on Christmas Eve. More on Krampus later.

"The Tomb of Oscar Wilde" by W.H. Pugmire is up first celebrating Rosh Chodesh. I'm a fan of Pugmire's gothic style but this entry doesn't really do his work justice. It's very short at four pages, much of it poetry, which is lovely but I would have preferred to see Pugmire flex his claws more in the holiday tradition. In case you're wondering, Rosh Chodesh is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the appearance of the new moon. 4 of 5.

The sick horror really gets going "Love and Darkness" by Oscar Rios. It's worth noting that although it's not explicitly stated, some of the authors featured in Horror for the Holidays are also role-playing game authors in the Chaosium tradition, so the entities will be familiar to gamers, particularly Ramsey Campbell's contributions. "Love and Darkness" is no exception.
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