Edited by Carson Buckingham
Published by The Horror Society Press
List Price: Paperback, $18.95; Kindle Edition, $3.99
Reviewed by Mary Genevieve Fortier
”The HORROR SOCIETY is a community of authors, artists, screen writers, filmmakers, actors, editors, publishers, and musicians who work and contribute to the universe of Horror. The goal of this community is for the individual to share and promote their work by networking with others in the industry to further their careers.” This statement is from the official Facebook page, of The Horror Society. The dedicated mastermind of this tremendously revered group is Scott Goriscak. To promote the works of this diverse group, “The Best of the Horror Society 2013” an anthology, was created – an anthology well worth reading.
An interesting note in the Introduction states, “That to celebrate each country there were no changes in style, grammar and punctuation to favor the style of another.” I liked that. As an avid reader, I found it interesting that each story was not only unique in its creative aspects but transported you, in both period of time and place with the simple turn of a page.
There is a detail that needs mentioning for a select few readers: There are a number of stories within that carry the topic of abuse/molestation. Although horrifying these stories may be, to some this subject may be uncomfortable and definitely unsuitable for those below the age of consent.
As with any anthology, you purchase a book of various authors encountering the “hit or miss” stories that lay within. “The Best of The Horror Society 2013” is no exception. It has a few hits and some misses. I’d say for the most part, it is a hit!
One most notable author to be mentioned here, with great respect and in honor of “Women in Horror Month,” is Carson Buckingham. She not only edited this thrilling anthology, but wrote its introduction and contributed one of the best stories in the lot! Her tale of terror entitled “Lemminaid” is one that will haunt your dreams, dear readers! This story appears charming but believe me, once read, you won’t be stopping at an adorable roadside beverage stand anytime soon! I suggest searching for more from this great author! She has mastered the art of scare, I assure you.
Another great read, and in honor of “Women in Horror Month,” is a well-crafted creepy creation by Julianne Snow called “Madeleine.” A little girl and her recurring frightmares is enough to have you sleeping with the lights on indefinitely. Ms. Snow knows how to draw you in and keep you coming back for more!
Scott Goriscak not only runs the Horror Society but is a contributor to this fright filled anthology as well. He graces the pages with his short, “Adjoining Rooms.” This tale is sure to keep you up at night; especially on those lonely, hotel room stays.
There are many amazing authors filling these pages, such as:
Kevin A.Ranson (“Tendrils Never Lie”), the growth of a plant becomes an eerie responsibility with dangerous concessions for a young boy.
Weldon Burge (“White Hell, Wisconsin”), a horror story that gives “Snow Day” a whole new, deadly meaning.
Richard Thomas (“Victimized”), a frightening, futuristic tale of vigilante terror.
Joe McKinney (“The Little Church of Safe Crossing”), a secret passage, deep in the desert leads to a discovery of nightmarish proportions.
Then, for those who want to taste fear, there are the best of the best:
Mort Castle (Two Time Bram Stoker Award Winner), L.L. Soares (Bram Stoker Award Winner) and Nicholas Grabowsky (founder/publisher/author –Black Bed Sheet Books).
Perfection; the pure unequivocal master of the written word, Mort Castle, takes us on a journey through time, using fire, and those who dabble, as the pinnacle of fear. This, dear readers is a treat to all those who love the movement of words and how they pull together gracefully; however horrifying!
L.L. Soares, touches the Oh so sensitive nerve of fear, with a story dealing with a carnival freak show in “Venus.” For the most part, clowns are the source of fear for many, but you may change your point of reference after this one. This reviewer was cringing before its final page.
Ending this review of an anthology of horrific shorts is a story by “Halloween IV” famed Nicholas Grabowsky. Let’s just say Halloween is in this man’s blood! Horror is his middle name and his contribution here is proof thereof, “The Inspiration & Horror of George & Hugh.” I never knew a dead bird could add to the element of horror with hellish innocence. Grabowsky, gives a new spin to the boring image of serial killers and leaves you struck breathless by an ending you never saw coming.
If you’re looking for an anthology that has traditional horror interspersed with a modern flair for fright – this dear readers is quite the delight.