In case you missed the news elsewhere, Cutting Block Press and Farolight Publishing have released The Best of Horror Library, Vols 1-5… and it really is the best! The anthology contains top-rated stories by a treasure trove of great writers. Having worked with editor RJ Cavender and crew at different times over many years now, I can totally testify: they care a lot about quality. And it shows in this collection, which gathers the top 30 stories out of over 150 tales they’ve published over the past decade in their thrice-Stoker nominated series of chilling horror and dread.
I can’t review this one, as a) I’m in it, and, b) my review would go on forever because every story rocks. The introduction by Lisa Morton really explains what makes this book work so well: it’s top of the line small press horror, “which didn’t play by the major (publisher’s) rules…but elevated originality and craftsmanship over formula and stereotype…” Just take a gander at the Table of Contents, and you’ll no doubt spot a familiar author or curious title, and I know you’ll want to read the whole book:
“A Chainsaw Execution” by Stephen R. George.
“After” by Kealan Patrick Burke.
“Consumed” by Michael Louis Calvillo.
“Apple” by Marc Paoletti.
“Ash Wednesday” by Lorne Dixon.
“Bound” by Alan Smale.
“Drawn” by Daniel L. Naden.
“Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” by Colleen Anderson.
“Follower” by Danny Rhodes.
“Footprints Fading in the Desert” by Eric J. Guignard.
“Ghosts Under Glass” by Tracie McBride.
“Guarded” by Michael A. Arnzen.
“I am Meat I am in Daycare” by Cameron Pierce.
“Into the After” by Kurt Dinan.
“Jerrod Steihl Goes Home” by Ian Withrow.
“Next Stop, Babylon” by John Mantooth.
“Obsidian Sea” by Kurt Kirchmeier.
“Open Mind Night at the Ritz” by Shane McKenzie.
“Santa Maria” by Jeff Cercone.
“Skin” by Kim Despins.
“Sporting the Waters of the Bermuda Triangle” by Greggard Penance.
“The Apocalypse Ain’t so Bad” by Jeff Strand.
“The Exterminators” by Sara Joan Berniker.
“The Garbage Collectors” by Ron McGillvray.
“The Happiness Toy” by Ray Garton.
“The Healing Hands of Reverend Wainwright” by Geoffrey L. Mudge.
“The Immolation Scene” by John F.D. Taff.
“The Living World” by C. Michael Cook.
“The Puppet Show” by Rick J. Brown.
“The Station” by Bentley Little.
“The Steel Church” by Charles Colyott.
“The Vulture’s Art” by Benjamin Kane Ethridge.
“Trapped Light Medium” by Sunil Sadanand.
Each story comes with a reflection by the writer on their inspiration for the tale. Read this book and you will get a great snapshot of the diversity of weirdness at large in new millennial horror. Buy a copy from Amazon today.
Tip: see my somewhat buried Anthologies page to discover more books like this, featuring short horror stories by a gathering of writers usually riffing darkly on a common theme.