From Publishers Weekly
Ghosts, disaffected wives, deserted towns, obsessive journalists and children who never existed haunt the pages of this stunning, elegant and frightful anthology of literary horror assembled by Stoker nominee Tremblay and World Fantasy Award–winning Wallace (Bandersnatch
). There are no chainsaw massacres in these 14 exquisite tales, which range from Steve Berman's hilarious Kafkaesque Kinder, about an infestation of German children, to Stephen Graham Jones's The Ones Who Got Away, a riveting account of a kidnapping gone wrong. The most outstanding piece is Lavie Tidhar's Set Down This, a devastating story of YouTube videos, the Iraq War and the unknown lives on both sides of the conflict. Only a few weak links, like Geoffrey H. Goodwin's lusty but clichéd Jonquils Bloom, mar this deliciously creepy book of horrors that prove all the more terrifying for their everyday nature. (Jan.)
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With the glut of vampire novels and slasher flicks currently saturating the horror genre, it’s easy to overlook the still healthy demand for loftier ways of scaring people. While its intended audience may be small for now, this slender volume of highbrow horror stories offers superlative craftsmanship without sacrificing the indispensable chills. The assembled authors, whose publishing credits range from Fantasy Magazine to the New England Quarterly, have in common twisted imaginations and respect for literary distinction. In Steve Eller’s “The End of Everything,” a killer is astounded and relieved to discover that the post-apocalyptic zombies roaming the streets aren’t the least interested in feasting on him. Two teenaged kidnappers in Stephen Graham Jones’ “The Ones Who Got Away” get more than they bargained for when they realize their intended victim is the child of a machete-wielding judge. More than a few tales here stop abruptly in unsatisfying endings, but one can’t fault their creators’ abilities to startle the reader with unusual premises and unsettling imagery. --Carl Hays