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October 31, 2016

Review: Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern #Horror #MondayBlogs

by MK French
October 2016; Tachyon Publications; 9781616962326;
ebook and print (432 pages); horror
a free galley was provided by Netgalley

Ellen Datlow has curated countless collections of horror and fantasy; anything with her name attached pretty much guarantees that the stories I'm about to read are high quality and will linger in my mind long after I finish reading the book. This volume of twenty-four stories is not an exception to that rule. The authors of the individual tales are well known in horror and other genres and do involve topics that might leave you queasy. There's the horror of the every day -- kidnapping, incest, murder, torture -- as well as the supernatural elements that include body horror and modification. Some of the stories have unreliable narrators, and most of the grotesqueries aren't described in explicit detail. Still, if you have a very vivid imagination, you can't help but picture it in your mind and feel the shivers.

Most people might think of horror as the blood and gore kind. The book description includes the story about two inexperienced thieves, and that story certainly has the chilling blood and gore horror that could make you queasy. The stories that stick with me more are the quieter ones, the horrors of the every day. Lisa Tuttle's "Closet Dreams" is one of those. The girl that was kidnapped somehow escaped through the wall then saw her kidnapper again. The end of that story was heartbreaking and hit me in the gut like a punch. Anna Taborska's "Little Pig" truly evoked the freezing cold of a Russian winter and horror that had to take place to survive it. Ray Cluley's "At Night, When the Demons Come By" nearly made me cry at the end of it; there are demons and people trying to survive the end of the world, but horrible thing is truly what people do to each other in the name of survival. And maybe that's the theme with all of these stories. The narrators try their best to survive awful situations. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you really don't want them to.

Buy Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror at Amazon

MK French, reviewer. Born and raised in New York City, M.K. started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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