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Epitaphs: The Journal of the New England Horror Writers Paperback – October 13, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Epitaphs is an anthology that sees the writing on the headstones rather than on the proverbial wall. The quartet of tales chosen for deeper scrutiny is a sterling example of what the New England Horror Writers have to offer. --Hellnotes

About the Author

TRACY L. CARBONE (editor) (www.tracylcarbone.com) is a New England native who lives with her daughter and a houseful of pets. She has published several horror and literary short stories in magazines and anthologies in the U.S. and Canada. Her YA horror novel, The Soul Collector, will be released by Shadowfall Publications in late fall 2011. She is Cochair of the New England Horror Writers (NEHW) and a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Shroud Publishing, LLC (October 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982727593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982727591
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,743,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By JOA on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I love short stories. I love to read them, I love to write them. But you know what's better than a short story? A whole freaking collection of them! And someone recently shipped me over a copy of Epitaphs, a Stoker-nominated collection of tales and poetry from the New England Horror Writers, a group that is very close to my heart. Of course I had to dive right in.

Okay, enough banter. Let's get down to the daunting task of looking at the stories themselves.

To Sleep, Perchance to Die by Jeffrey C. Pettengill: Well, let's just say the collection didn't start out so well for me. Here we have a tale of a CPAP machine gone horribly wrong. The tone just seemed to lag, and honestly the ending seemed a bit campy, though without the fun that camp implies.

The Christopher Chair by Paul McMahon: And here we go! One of the better stories in the collection, about an antique wheelchair blessed by St. Christopher that can supposedly heal the sick...for a price. Atmospheric and full of confliction, McMahon really packs a punch with this one.

A Case of the Quiets by Kurt Newton: The first poem in the collection, and a doozy. It brings to mind horror poetry of old, with a very Poe-esque flow, and comes very close to matching the former master's penchant for nailing the dark side of human nature coming from within the mundane.

Build-A-Zombie by Scott T. Goudsward: This one was quirky and fun, telling of a boy assembling an unusual gift from a new sort of gift shop. It made me want to know more about the world in which it takes place, which is a good thing.

Not An Ulcer by John Goodrich: Wow. This story, to me, was far and away the best of the bunch.
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What is it about New England that makes it such a fertile ground for growing great horror writers? Being a Texan, I am mystified, but being a horror lover, I do appreciate whatever it is.

Well chosen stories by top flight authors and even takes extra points for artistry by including poems.

My favorite stories were the ones that had a bitter sweetness to them, making them more dark fiction than actually horror.

The Christopher Chair by Paul McMahon--a relic that cures also exacts a price.

Build-A-Zombie by Scott T. Goudsward--gleefully macabre story based, you guessed it, on the concept of building one's own zombie instead of a cute stuffed animal.

Make a Choice by John M. McIlveen--disturbing, realistic, and well done. I don't want to give it away but it would be any parent's worse nightmare.

Stony's Boneyard by Glenn Chadbourne and Holly Newstein--touching supernatural story. Well written, evocative of loss and what we leave behind for the people that loved us.

Cheryl Takes a Trip by Stephen Dorato--literary ghost story about regret that functions on several levels.
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Epitaphs is a GREAT read. I love the fact that they are short enough that you can finish two or three (or all, in my case) of the stories in one sitting, I love the fact that they're horror, I love the fact that the authors are all (fairly) local, and I love the stories themselves! There is something for everyone in this compilation, from SF to dark poetry and back again, with all sorts of ghosts and goblins and things that go BUMP in the night (or in your attic). The scariest ones are the things you don't see, though, aren't they? This talented group of authors brings all that and more to the table with Epitaphs! It's so hard for me to choose just one or two tales here as my favorites (although Stoney's Boneyard stands out for sure as one!). Seriously, they are THAT GOOD! Can't wait to read more!!
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I am not going to bother giving a synopsis since the title says it all.
I have been a horror fan since I was six years old and watched Salem's Lot through my fingers. I don't scare that easily anymore and I am often left disappointed in books or movies. That's not the case with these stories though. This collection is a perfect example of less being more. Some of these stories gave me goose pimples by being subtle. It didn't take 400 pages or overt terror, but instead they were horror stories that were human and thought provoking too. I laughed and even cried reading some (okay I was a blubbering idiot reading Stony's Boneyard by Glenn Chadbourne & Holly Newstein). I won't give a list of my favorites from the collection since I just finished reading it. Tomorrow my favorites may be different after I have had some time to digest them. I absolutely recommend this to fellow horror fans and even to those who don't normally read the genre because it's a great introduction to horror.
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