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Horror Story and Other Horror Stories Paperback – February 23, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Despite its playfully generic title, only a handful of the 19 stories in this debut collection are traditional tales of horror involving monsters, vampires, or murderous evil spirits. Instead, it is an anthology of genre-bending weirdness ranging from straight horror to literary metafiction to sci-fi. If there is a box to put Boyczuk into, it is one he shares with a new generation of talented Canadian surrealists, including Paul Glennon, Chris Eaton, and Tim Conley. The stories do, for the most part, share a common theme, dealing with relationships that have turned toxic with secrecy, jealousy, and obsession, and typically ending in a kind of death-in-life. A nasty pink creature stalks the streets of 'Gaytown.' A young man heads to 'The Love Clinic' to get rid of his own unwanted desires. An obsessed scientist tries to find a 'Cure for Cancer,' using the woman who jilted him as guinea pig. Boyczuk has a real knack for creepy, 'Twilight Zone'-style atmospherics. The scary stuff is often made more threatening by being kept just out of sight, concealed in shadows or half hidden behind a window. Although stylistically the writing is undeniably effective - as with the best genre fiction, your eyes start to race in all the right places - the collection occasionally succumbs to the genre's gravitational pull toward the formulaic. At least some of the time, this is made to seem justified. The first story, for example, takes the form of a series of letters written by a pompous literary editor whose dedication to his job leads him on a bizarre spelunking adventure. And the final story has a drunken police detective facing the possibility that his amateur writing efforts have come to life. The writing style in both cases follows genre conventions, but is also an expression of character and an inseparable part of the fabric of the narrative. Boyczuk's stories all have a twist - a turn of the screw - that breathes new life into some of the old forms and results in fiction as clever as it is entertaining. -----Alex Good, Quill & Quire
Robert Boyczuk is an extremely talented short-story writer. -----Cory Doctorow, author of LITTLE BROTHER and MAKERS
Boyczuk's memorable debut offers 19 horror stories that accentuate the emotional - and often horrid - upheavals men and women suffer from while searching for love. Actually an edgy variety of sci-fi, horror, and speclit, Boyczuk's stories are succinct, such as 'When Fat Men Love Thin Women,' about a man's hunger for love, and 'The Death Artist,' a vivid snapshot of a bizarre artist, each less than two pages long. Other stand-outs include 'Falling,' a chilling examination of a man contemplating suicide; and 'Cure for Cancer,' a revenge tale about a demented medical genius who decides to give his ex-girlfriend cancer. Boyczuk's stories are uniformly excellent but at times oppressive, thanks to the repetitious 'love is hell' theme; still, stories like 'Shika,' which articulates the anger of a soldier s lost relationship, suggest mature abilities reminiscent of Lucius Shepard, one of Boyczuk's former Clarion West instructors. --- --Publishers Weekly

Robert Boyczuk is a supremely talented short-story writer. -----Cory Doctorow, author of LITTLE BROTHER and MAKERS

Boyczuk's memorable debut offers 19 horror stories that accentuate the emotional - and often horrid - upheavals men and women suffer from while searching for love. Actually an edgy variety of sci-fi, horror, and speclit, Boyczuk's stories are succinct, such as 'When Fat Men Love Thin Women,' about a man's hunger for love, and 'The Death Artist,' a vivid snapshot of a bizarre artist, each less than two pages long. Other stand-outs include 'Falling,' a chilling examination of a man contemplating suicide; and 'Cure for Cancer,' a revenge tale about a demented medical genius who decides to give his ex-girlfriend cancer. Boyczuk's stories are uniformly excellent but at times oppressive, thanks to the repetitious 'love is hell' theme; still, stories like 'Shika,' which articulates the anger of a soldier s lost relationship, suggest mature abilities reminiscent of Lucius Shepard, one of Boyczuk's former Clarion West instructors. -----Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Everything you need to know about Robert Boyczuk can be found at boyczuk.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: ChiZine Publications; First edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980941032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980941036
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Guthrie on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Horror Story and Other Horror Stories is a misleading title, as there's more than your standard horror stories. There's a lot of dark science fiction in here too and I would probably label the collection as a whole as weird fiction. Anyway, since I like horror and sci-fi this was a perfect book for me as I had the best of both worlds.

Robert Boyczuk does a good job here, and I would have to say I liked pretty much everything in this collection of short stories. Although I will admit there is nothing memorable, nothing that knocked my socks off. But don't let that dissuade you, as the book was an enjoyable collection to read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Nash on January 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book when it first came out and was excited to read it. After I finished the first story, it's safe to say that I was underwhelmed. It was well written; Mr. Boyczuk is not a hack, but I had to push my way through the next couple of stories, and force myself through one more after that. Then I put it down. I know I won't be picking it up again any time soon. If the stories were more plot driven, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more.
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