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Amok! (Short Sharp Shocks) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 27, 2014
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And so they do in this collection of 26 short dark and twisted tales that cover the whole gamut of going mental whether that is from a physical aspect, mental breakdown or dealing with twisted perspectives and ideologies. Although some of the names contained herein may be known to you (Glynn Owen Barrass, Konstantine Paradias, David Kernot) the delight will be discovering the ones who are not. Every single one of these stories is a slice of horror heaven and this is definitely one of those anthologies that delivers on its' promise.
Besides the quality of the stories is the sheer diversity of settings. To go into detail about each and every one of these stories would be too much but if any of the following short descriptions tantalize you then do take the plunge: zombies, Lovecraft, demonic possession, beasties, ghouls, time travel, genetic manipulation, psychopaths, cyberpunk, robot genocide, ghosts, parasites and post apocalypse. And that just describes 50% of the stories!
A real blast from beginning to end, AMOK looks like being the start of something rather special. Buy it!!!
The leaping from one setting to another can be jarring, but it is appropriate for the theme—amok, by definition, is a frenzied, uncontrolled state. Where can you find an anthology with stories like “G.A.G.” by Rob E. Boley, where spirits depart the body, leaving survivors with zombies and ghosts that can access audio technology, side by side with “Sparrow” by M. Lori Motley, set a fantasy world where magick has gone mad, taking the mages with it?
There are so many stories that there were bound to be some that are stronger than others, but there are no misses and several that hit the theme straight on. Of particular note is “Desensitized” by Kerry G.S. Lipp, a chilling look into the perfectly rational thought process of a serial killer in the middle of a shooting spree.
April Moon has also released the second Short Sharp Shocks volume, Stomping Grounds, devoted giant monster tales. Having also read this volume, I can safely say that Amok! is a solid start to a series of books that show the editor’s keen eye is detecting newer writers. I look forward to volume 3 in the series this summer.
I enjoyed this twisted anthology. It is quite dark and diabolical. I expected 26 tales of cold-blooded murder and psychotic rampage, but didn’t expect to find the huge diversity of vision and the balanced array of talent. Reading the author profiles in the back pages revealed a host of experienced authors with several publications under their belts.
This book is so much more than just expertly written tales of murder. There are ‘braindead zombies’ and there are sex-crazed zombies. You’ll also find military robots and time machines, demon possessions and angry ghosts, wandering barbarians and panicked wizards, astral travelers, drug addicts, and you will even experience being poisoned once. Way out from left field come sentient centipedes, genetically-modified pigs, and natural disasters. AMOK!!—the name fits it all.
Picking five favorite stories out of this collection was insanely difficult. My favorites won’t be yours, so read this book and tell the world which ones you liked best—this collection is worth reading. Seriously, there are so many great stories in here. Follow the link for my five favorites.