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5.23.2014

Itching for Some of That Classic Horror...

I'm a huge fan of short stories. There's nothing I enjoy more than taking a vacation or heading out for a long weekend camping trip with two or three collections or anthologies. I really dig the variety I get, and it's fun to zip through four or five unique tales in a sitting.

I have fond memories of camping on the Suwannee River a few years back when Lyla was a toddler. We went into Live Oak for some supplies and I found a copy of Richard Matheson short stories at a dollar store. Man, those were some great tales! Matheson is a master of form and pacing, and there's this delicious economy to his prose that keeps things moving while some complex plotting unfolds.

Joe Lansdale still writes some great short stories. Joe Hill and Stephen King and Laird Barron are all doing great work.

There are a few major anthologies that are still released every year by publishers like Nightshade and Tor, but I just don't see quality projects these days as often as I did about a decade ago. Maybe I'm wrong (probably I am, actually, since I've been reading mostly non-fiction for these last two years), but I just haven't found much that excites me at the library or an Amazon lately. 

Zombies, zombies, zombies...they're still fun, but man it's getting tedious.

I love uncanny, unsettling horror. King's folksy small towns in "Rainy Season" or Champion Joe's freaky happenstance in "Steppin' Out Summer '68." 

Cemetery Dance Magazine doesn't publish on a regular basis, so I think our library gave up our subscription. It's a shame, because I used to enjoy walking across campus when I knew there was a new issue in the stacks. I gave up my subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction because there was too much high fantasy for my tastes. I enjoy a little bit of that stuff, but I don't have a high wizard/elf tolerance.

I'll keep looking, of course, but I'm always up for a good tip if there's an anthology of dark, well-written, uncanny horror short stories out there...I'd like to be scared again, and I'd like to knock back two or three stories in a sitting.

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