Horror anthologies are not rare, and can often lack consistency. They can be like a bag of penny-mix sweets offered up to a stranger; potentially there’s something for everyone, but will you like what you take?
That’s why it’s important that we trust that the publisher has gone to a fair amount of effort to ensure that we the reader are getting a safe selection to whet our shock-sated appetites. With the first volume of Read by Dawn, I can assure you that you’re in safe hands.
This compendium of stories, that run the gamut of styles and tastes that the horror genre has to offer, is impressive, and to cement the deal it’s ‘hosted’ by Ramsey Campbell. The master of horror writing introduces the book, and closes the selection with a short story of his own. Click here to read more.. »
Robert Aickman knew how to craft a spooky tale, of this I have no doubt. Several strong collections of his work stand testament to this (Sub Rosa: Strange Tales being the 1968 publication from which The Inner Room originally featured).
The novella/short story being reviewed here is as strong an example of his ability to create a world, and with it characters and situations that pull you hypnotically in, and then leave you in a sense of daze and disarray as you begin to second guess exactly what is going on.
The Inner Room is a simple story really, or at least it appears to be on the surface. Dealing with an average family, with their habits and ways, and their quirks and foibles. The decision of the family’s young daughter (and subsequent narrator of this tale) to buy a dolls’ house when offered a choice of any gift by their father whilst on a trip creates the hub of the story, and from it flows a mystery that might not look so out of place in a tale by M. R. James. Click here to read more.. »
Montague Rhodes James was a superlative academic, extremely successful in his life in both scholastic and professional career. As if his academic success itself wasn’t enough, his labours saw fruits in some truly interesting areas.
In something of an almost archaeological and adventurist (dare I say Indiana Jones-leaning) vein he unearthed documentation during his researches which led to the discovery in the crypt of Bury St Edmund’s abbey of several twelfth century abbots whose resting place had been lost for hundreds of years. Talk about raising the dead. Click here to read more.. »