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Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror PDF, ePub eBook Unlucky thieves invade a house where Home Alone seems like a playground romp. An antique bookseller and a mob enforcer join forces to retrieve the Atlas of Hell. Postapocalyptic survivors cannot decide which is worse: demon women haunting the skies or maddened extremists patrolling the earth. In this chilling twenty-first-century companion to the cult classic Darkness: Two Unlucky thieves invade a house where Home Alone seems like a playground romp. An antique bookseller and a mob enforcer join forces to retrieve the Atlas of Hell. Postapocalyptic survivors cannot decide which is worse: demon women haunting the skies or maddened extremists patrolling the earth. In this chilling twenty-first-century companion to the cult classic Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror, Ellen Datlow again proves herself the most masterful editor of the genre. She has mined the breadth and depth of ten years of terror, collecting superlative works of established masters and scene-stealing newcomers alike.

30 review for Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! Since this hasn't been released yet, I'm going to skip all the spoilerish stuff and the Story by Story gush or other reaction, and instead pick out some of my absolute favorites and otherwise tease some of the best ideas and themes for the rest, because I'm gonna be honest... the whole book of horror tales was rather fantastic. I mean, it should be. This was a cherry-picking of the last ten year's best horror stories from some of the biggest non-stratospheric name Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! Since this hasn't been released yet, I'm going to skip all the spoilerish stuff and the Story by Story gush or other reaction, and instead pick out some of my absolute favorites and otherwise tease some of the best ideas and themes for the rest, because I'm gonna be honest... the whole book of horror tales was rather fantastic. I mean, it should be. This was a cherry-picking of the last ten year's best horror stories from some of the biggest non-stratospheric names in the business. Meaning it's mostly underrated authors or authors that are up-and coming or are well on their way to becoming household names. That being said, I was thoroughly creeped out, disturbed, amused, and even awed. Most of these did a very good job at keeping me on the edge of my seat, and some even managed to make me really squirm and and want to say, "Enough, enough" and a few made me want to go out and pick up everything that author has ever written and be thankful that this book let me in on the big secret of their existence. :) As for that last group, here they are: Kaaron Warren's Dead Sea Fruit Truly creeped me out and it had some of the best triggers in the business. Ash Mouth Man? Wow. Totally knocked me over. :) Gemma Files's Spectral Evidence This one was stylistically a fantastic treat with lots of easter eggs, written as notes in an investigation with pictures and tons of footnotes that tell an even more interesting tale than I might have guessed from the standard section. It isn't a traditional tale, but it's a freaking excellent one. :) Ray Cluley's At Night, When the Demons Come By A rather bright spotlight of a look at gender issues and an epic look at a world after demons infest the skies and shred humanity, zombie-style, but a bit more dire. The voice in this one is haunting and fantastic. Livia Llewellyn's Omphalos Totally haunting. I doubt I'll look at maps the same way again. And I'll also be totally creeped out about this one all night, now. Thanks a lot. Now, just so you know, I loved almost all of these stories, and leaving some of these out actually kind of pains me. :) I'm still anxious after reading this entire book. And that's all because of the fantastic skills and the creepy dolls and the western zombies and the UF overdrive of hell infestations and good old fashioned roadtrip murder sprees. :) Really, this one one hell of a fun ride. Anyone just looking for a good sampler or just a crazy good time could do FAR worse than this. :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    2.87 stars I will admit that it was the cover that got my attention. And while some of the stories are dreadfully wonderful, some of them are too complicated, boring and/or disgusting (one of them was so disturbing that I skipped it altogether). But do I recommend this? Yes, I do. Considering the time of the year, and the fact that you might enjoy more stories than I did, I say you give this anthology a try. Also, I enjoyed the snippets of information about the authors before each short story. 1. " 2.87 stars I will admit that it was the cover that got my attention. And while some of the stories are dreadfully wonderful, some of them are too complicated, boring and/or disgusting (one of them was so disturbing that I skipped it altogether). But do I recommend this? Yes, I do. Considering the time of the year, and the fact that you might enjoy more stories than I did, I say you give this anthology a try. Also, I enjoyed the snippets of information about the authors before each short story. 1. "Shallaballah" by Mark Samuels - ★☆☆☆☆ I honestly didn't get this one. It started good, with an actor who went through some kind of surgical operation, and had a face full of stitches. He was in some weird, creepy hospital, and then there was the ending. I didn't get the ending. *blink* 2. "Sob in the Silence" by Gene Wolfe - ★★★★☆ Now this was something else. There is a family (husband, wife and two children - a boy and a teenage girl) visiting the man's friend, a horror writer. The writer lives in a supposedly hunted house. He even tells the family some gruesome stories, and then they go to bed. The house is truly hunted, and only the boy sees the ghost. There's an intruder in the middle of the night. I really liked the story. I actually got the ending this time. *wink* And I'm pleased with it. 3. "Our Turn Too Will One Day Come" by Brian Hodge - ★★☆☆☆ This one is about the paranormal secrets of a family (secrets that are passed on to the female line only). There's Noelle, a woman who killed her husband after he killed their daughter by mistake. Now, she called her brother to help her bury the bodies. It's what happens after the burial that's creepy. 4. "Dead Sea Fruit" by Kaaron Warren - ★★★★★ The Ash Mouth Man is an interesting fellow. This is not as much horror, as paranormal. There's kissing, not a single death, yet this one gripped me. And I didn't see that ending coming. It took me by surprise and I liked that. 5. "Closet Dreams" by Lisa Tuttle - ★★★☆☆ This is true horror, real horror, not some silly ghosts or zombies or other nonsense. This is the horror of abduction, the horror many children face in real life. And it's even scarier because of that. I despise this kind of horror. The ending is simply heartbreaking. 6. "Spectral Evidence" by Gemma Files - ★☆☆☆☆ I didn't really get this one. I think there are two murders, one murderer, and some paranormal activity. But it's all written as some kind of report with photos and footnotes. *sigh* It really didn't make much sense to me. 7. "Hushabye" by Simon Bestwick - ★★★★☆ 3.5 stars This could have been an amazing book. I would have liked more detail. What was Wadham? How did Paul subdue him? What's Terry's story? So many questions, so little answers. 8. "Very Low-Flying Aircraft" by Nicholas Royle - ★☆☆☆☆ Ok, how is this a horror story? Why is it in this compilation? As I see it, this is a story about a horny, stupid man who, in his attempt to impress the ladies, does a very idiotic thing. I don't really see the horror in that. 9. "The Goosle" by Margo Lanagan - ★★★★☆ This is some twisted Hansel and Gretel retelling. It has sex and cannibalism, and a Hansel who, upon escaping the witch, finds himself at the mercy of a bisexual man. It really is nasty. 10. "The Clay Party" by Steve Duffy - ★★★☆☆ The Clay Party is the story of a wagon-train of settlers trying to make their way across America, to California. They are trapped in the mountains during the winter, and this leads to some disturbing acts. I would not particularly label this as horror, but it is creepy nonetheless. 11. "Strappado" by Laird Barron - ★★★☆☆ Well, that was weird. To tell you the truth, I expected more horror stories involving ghosts, spirits and the supernatural. This is yet another story underlining the horror of men. Men can be perfect monsters. 12. "Lonegan's Luck" by Stephen Graham Jones - ★★★★☆ Now, this one I really liked. Wild Wild West meets Zombieland. The story kept me on edge, and the ending was purrrfect. *evil grin* 13. "Mr. Pigsny" by Reggie Oliver - ★☆☆☆☆ This is another story I didn't quite understand. Really, I thought I was getting horror stories. In stead, I got some weird stories I cannot make much sense of. 14. "At Night, When the Demons Come" by Ray Cluley - ★★★★☆ 3.5 stars The story is a post-apocalyptic one. Somewhere in the future, there are demons, and it's not explained how they came to be. Problem is most of these demons are females, so women are kept locked and tortured. What I really hate in this kind of stories is the fact that women are used as currency. They are used for food, water and weapons. They are used in the most horrible way a woman can be. 15. "Was She Wicked? Was She Good?" by Mary Rickert - ★★★★☆ Sheilah is a special little girl. But what makes her special, enables her to hurt without thinking. If at first her parents were pleased she was different, now all they want is for her to be normal. This is a tricky story, more fantasy than horror, and I liked it nonetheless. 16. "The Shallows" by John Langan - ★☆☆☆☆ I simply didn't like this one. I had to read the same sentence over and over as I kept falling asleep. 17. "Little Pig" by Anna Taborska - ★★☆☆☆ Again, this is not a horror story, but a sad one. 18. "Omphalos" by Livia Llewellyn - ★☆☆☆☆ I didn't finish this one. It has sexual abuse and incest. And it's completely disgusting. 19. "How We Escaped Our Certain Fate" by Dan Chaon - ★★★☆☆ Here's another post-apocalyptic story with zombies. This is about a father and his son, about their living in a zombie-infested world. The story ends just before a crucial moment, and you're left wondering what his choice might have been. 20. "That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love" by Robert Shearman - ★★★★★ Wow! That was amazing. Stars, this would have made for an incredible novel. Karen and Nicholas are amazing. And Julian is deliciously innocent. I loved it. And of course one of the dolls was named Annabelle. 21. "Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)" by Caitlin R. Kiernan - ★☆☆☆☆ A pair of twins travel in their Impala and murder people. I didn't like it. 22. "Shay Corsham Worsted" by Garth Nix - ★★★★★ I loved the Terminator feeling of the story. This, too, would have made for an amazing novel. I'm actually curious what happens next. What will Shay do? And what is Shay? Questions, questions... 23. "The Atlas of Hell" by Nathan Ballingrud - ★★★☆☆ This one would make for an interesting movie. There are lots of interesting visuals. So someone gets a hold of the atlas of hell, and some sort of gangster wants it. So he sends a book thief after it. Only that the atlas is nothing like they expected. This was a nice, disturbing story. 24. "Ambitious Boys Like You" by Richard Kadrey - ★★★★★ I liked how this anthology finished with a wonderfully scary story. Two guys think they can rob an old man with a taste for dolls. Because what's easier than robbing an old man, right? Well, not this old man. And not while he has his dolls. Loved it. *Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bark

    I received the ARC from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley! I guess this averages out to 3.5? I'm too tired to do the math so a 3 it is. Holy crap this book took half my life to read. It says it was only 432 pages long but I Do NOT Believe It. There are sooo many stories. Too many stories. No one needs to read this many stories about nightmarish scenarios all in a row. I’ve always felt these Datlow collections were overstuffed and steered clear of them for years but this one got me with its tantalizing I received the ARC from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley! I guess this averages out to 3.5? I'm too tired to do the math so a 3 it is. Holy crap this book took half my life to read. It says it was only 432 pages long but I Do NOT Believe It. There are sooo many stories. Too many stories. No one needs to read this many stories about nightmarish scenarios all in a row. I’ve always felt these Datlow collections were overstuffed and steered clear of them for years but this one got me with its tantalizing cover. The next time I shelve one of these tomes someone please knock some sense into me and point me to this review. I was going to review each story in exquisite detail and even took notes but there’s no need to take up half of your life with all of that and besides my fingers would likely fall off and I kind of need them. I’ll just stick to better describing the loves and the hates and throw a few words at the meh in the middle. Ok, here we go. Shallaballah by Mark Samuels, 1.5 Stars: Why the editor decided to start this collection off with what I consider one of the worst stories in the collection is beyond me. Perhaps it’s just me and my atrocious taste but if I had my way this story wouldn’t be here. Guess that’s why I’m not an editor. An asshole actor destroys his face in a car accident, shady Doctor steps in to repair the damage at a super creepy clinic and bad things happen.I didn't care about any of it because the MC was a dick. It was also vague and confusing near the end and I was left screaming, “Why and WTF did I just read?” Clearly you can skip this one if you want to or read it and tell me what a dummy I am. 1.5 Stars Sob In the Silence by Gene Wolfe, 3 Stars: A dastardly man gets what’s coming to him. Brief but disturbing. Our Turn Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge, 3.5 Stars: I love me some dark family secrets and this has a grisly one. Word of advice. When someone calls you at 2am and tells you to bring the shovel, hang up and go back to sleep. Dead Sea fruit by Kaaron Warren, 4 Stars: A story about a dentist, anorexia and a creepy ass monster called The Ashmouth Man. One smootch from him and you will never want to eat again. Who wouldn’t want a kiss from that?! Just kidding. I enjoyed this. It was strange and unique and the ending was quite perfect. Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle, 5 Stars: Well this was disturbing and I am not easily disturbed. It bothered me after I finished it. It’s scary, nightmarish, heartbreaking and it’ll haunt you. Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files, DNF: I just could not go on with this one because of the format and all of the footnotes. I felt like I was reading a school assignment and would be tested. I wanted nightmares not brain hurt when I picked up this collection. Hushabye by Simon Bestwick, 3 Stars: This wasn’t what I’d consider horror and it leaves you hanging in the wind at the end. I hate when that happens. Very Low-Flying Aircraft by Nicholas Royle, 2 Stars: The foreshadowing here was about as gentle as a baseball bat to the skull. It’s a story about a cocky dumbass of a pilot who puts his loins ahead of human life. Meh. The Goosle by Margo Lanagan, 5 Stars: This is one of my favorites. It’s a fairy tale retelling that balances sarcastic humor with painfully dark undertones. The Clay Party by Steve Duffy, 4.5 Stars: This is a gripping tale about a group of misguided settlers attempting to take a short cut instead of sticking to the trail. Nothing good comes of it, as you can imagine. This is another that ends perfectly. Strappado by Laird Barron, 4.5 Stars: Two partygoers are invited to a super secretive art show and very bad things happen. This story was weird and twisty and will possibly give you nightmares. Lonegan’s Luck by Stephen Graham Jones, 3 Stars: Back in the Wild West a super sleazy snake oil salesmen sets out to do what he does but things go awry. As I read through my notes I have no recollection of the story so 3 stars it is. Mr. Pigsny by Reggie Oliver, 4 Stars: This story about death, art and a weird little man was creepy as hell. At Night, When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley, 4.5 Stars: An apocalypse has happened and now demons hunt the remaining humans but it’s the women who have the most to fear. This was most definitely nightmare inducing and one of the better tales in the collection. Was She Wicked? Was She Good? By Mary Rickert, 4 Stars: What's a parent to do when they discover their little cherub has a cruel streak and enjoys harming small creatures? This is the dilemma posed to the couple in this chilling story. This one paints some terrible images and even though I don’t think I entirely followed all of it, I did enjoy it. It needed to be longer, if you ask me. The Shallows by John Langan, 2 Stars: I honestly don’t know WTF this one was all about. It was the sad story of a dying woman, a dying world and a lonely dog and a man recounting three different stories. My mind, oh how it hurts. There were whispers of tentacles but that wasn’t enough to save this for me. Little Pig by Anna Taborska, 4.5 Stars: Holy dogs and demon cats, was this one ever disturbing. Imagine you’re a woman, all alone with a small son and an infant to worry after and you are on the run. Now imagine there are starving wolves nipping at your heels. Now imagine the worst. Yeah, this is one I won’t ever forget. Omphalos by Livia Llewellyn, 1 Star:I despised this story about a family trip to hell. I don’t despise much, my tolerance for the awful is pretty damn high, but this one? This one was HORRIBLE. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was fine. I’m not talking about the writing. I’m talking about the content. Descriptive incest between a daddy and his daughter happens and I do not care if that is a spoiler. The people need to know. It was over the top and should’ve come with some kind of flashing trigger alert warning. But not only that (as if that wasn’t bad enough) it ended in one of those weirdly confusing, vague ways that left me squinting my eyes and wishing I hadn’t read it at all. I don't know about you but I need a break right now. Ahhh, that's better. How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Dan Chaon, 3 Stars: This is zombie tale that features a world where zombies are more of a pest than a threat. It’s laden with loss but aren't they all? There wasn’t much of anything new here but it was decently told. That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love Robert Shearman, 3 Stars: A messed up story of skewed childhoods, weirdly twisted love and strange customs that include sacrificing dolls. Love requires sacrifice, after all . . . Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) by Caitlín R. Kiernan, 4 Stars: We meet two serial killing twins, who just so happen to also be lovers (twin-cest!) just as their road trip of death and destruction comes to a bloody end. I have to admit their romance was a little sexy but they were grown-ups so don’t be judging me. Shay Corsham Worsted, 3.5 Stars: This was a weird one about a deadly lizard man masquerading as an old man. It left me with a crapload of questions but I kind of liked it. The Atlas of Hell Nathan Ballingrud, 4 Stars: This was an interesting story about a rare book seller, a mob man and their journey to find The Atlas of Hell! The Atlas of Hell will lead you to objects brought back from Hell itsownself, objects fools are willing to pay big money to own. Who wouldn’t want to own that?! Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey, 4.5 Stars: Two thieves hit up the wrong house. Instead of a weak old man, they find dolls and booby traps and a whole lot of pain. This story was inventive, dark and creepy as hell and a great way to finally end this collection. Hopefully I got them all but I can’t guarantee it and I am all typed out so this is all there is. There are some nightmarish stories here mixed in with a bunch of meh and I would recommend it with the caveat that you should not attempt to read it straight through. Read something else in-between these stories, split it up, you’ll thank me later. There is too much darkness to be taken in alone here and you may lose your will to read, and to keep your eyes open.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    4 stars--I really liked it. Perfect for fall horror reading. A lot of the stories in this book are very distressing. They upset me. And this is exactly what I want from horror stories. This collection includes a diverse group of stories, and though some weren't my taste, they were all excellently written. There are 24 stories here, so I won't review each one individually, but I'll mention a few of my favorites by name. * “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley: this was probably my favorite 4 stars--I really liked it. Perfect for fall horror reading. A lot of the stories in this book are very distressing. They upset me. And this is exactly what I want from horror stories. This collection includes a diverse group of stories, and though some weren't my taste, they were all excellently written. There are 24 stories here, so I won't review each one individually, but I'll mention a few of my favorites by name. * “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley: this was probably my favorite of the group. Really upsetting (in the best possible way) story about gender and monsters and survival and scapegoats. It was truly horrifying--I loved it. * “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe: Justice is sweet. * “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle: This story broke my heart. Just devastating. * “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files: I just love Gemma Files. * “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan: A nasty little fairy tale. * “Strappado” by Laird Barron: You won't read anything like this horrific little story. * “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones: Okay I said I wasn't going to talk about every story, but here I am! I enjoyed the twist in this one. * “Was She Wicked? Was She Good?” By M. Rickert: Is there anything scarier than children? * “Omphalos” by Livia Llewellyn: Another heartbreaker. Probably my second favorite story here. Absolutely chilling, but oh, so well written. I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice ~ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic

    I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Final rate: 2.5 stars Out of the 24 stories, I only liked 8 stories and these are: - Sob in the Silence by Gene Wolfe - Our Turn Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge - Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren - Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle - Lonegan's Luck by Stephen Graham Jones - That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman - Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix - Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey The rest are eith I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Final rate: 2.5 stars Out of the 24 stories, I only liked 8 stories and these are: - Sob in the Silence by Gene Wolfe - Our Turn Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge - Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren - Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle - Lonegan's Luck by Stephen Graham Jones - That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman - Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix - Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey The rest are either not scary, disgusting, confusing or boring. My favorite story was That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman -- The dolls gave me goosebumps , followed by Closet Dreams and Sob in the Silence . The Goosle by Margo Lanagan being the least-- This reminds me of Hansel and Gretel , only with gore like in Saw and Wrong Turn movies.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    ** “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels Starts off really strong, outlining the scenario: a well-known celebrity is in the strangely dingy offices of a surgeon-to-the-stars who's rumored to be a provider of not-quite-legal services. But his results are legendary. Still, something seems off about the whole thing... As a matter of fact, the whole place is downright creepy-as-hell. The ending didn't really do it for me though - it suddenly gets a lot more vague and abstract, with implications that I thoug ** “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels Starts off really strong, outlining the scenario: a well-known celebrity is in the strangely dingy offices of a surgeon-to-the-stars who's rumored to be a provider of not-quite-legal services. But his results are legendary. Still, something seems off about the whole thing... As a matter of fact, the whole place is downright creepy-as-hell. The ending didn't really do it for me though - it suddenly gets a lot more vague and abstract, with implications that I thought needed more development. **** “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe Gene Wolfe is always a good writer, and this is a good story, even though it's not the genre he's most known for. As a matter of fact, this is more reminiscent of Stephen King than most of Wolfe's other work. A horror writer has invited an old friend's family for a country weekend at his old (and rather dilapidated) manor house. Not all will go well. Crime fiction meets ghost story... **** “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge Previously read in 'The Monstrous.' A brother is called to his sister's side in a moment of crisis. Family has to stick together, even when it might go against the law. But he learns that there are things about his family that have been kept from him his whole life... things that go back generations. Great idea, but it gets a tiny bit 'tell-y' with the explication in the latter half. *** “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren (Aurealis Awards nominee) Weird. A dentist whose job includes seeing to the needs of patients in the anorexia ward dismisses the girls' odd prattling about the kisses of an "Ash-Mouth Man" as part of their mental dysfunction. But then, she starts dating a man who refuses to kiss her, and their words come back to haunt her. *** “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle A girl tries to explain how she escaped her horrible situation: caught in an Elizabeth-Smart-like scenario; she was kidnapped and held in a closet by a vicious sexual predator. While her captor was at work, she had nothing to do but fantasize about ways to get away. But something about her story doesn't add up. Chilling, but I saw the twist coming. *** “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files A small collection of strange snapshots has been found in the files of an agency specializing in supernatural investigations. Through a set of notes and descriptions, a story begins to emerge, involving wrongdoing at the agency: con artists & predators who may have gotten in too deep while toying with the occult. I liked this, but it felt like ancillary content to a larger novel. *** “Hushabye” by Simon Bestwick Crime story with a supernatural element. As any brave person would, a man leaps to try to apprehend a child predator when he has the chance. But he may have gotten into more than he bargained for. *** “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle Literary vignette with a psychological emphasis. Well-written, but it's more tragedy than horror. (Trying to impress girls with stupid stunts - a bad idea since time immemorial.) **** “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan Really creepy, disturbing 'sequel' to 'Hansel and Gretel.' Some time ago, in this post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world, Hansel escaped from the witch's cottage - but fell into the hands of another abuser. His sister Kirtle is no longer with him. Now, the con-man and thief who uses his body has taken him back to the witch's mud hut. Explicit, upsetting - and very, very good. *** “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy 'The Clay Party' ends up much like 'The Donner Party' - but there's a supernatural twist. Told in the form of a 'found journal' we first hear about the group of settlers expected in California being disturbingly late - and then we find out about what happened after their leader insisted on taking that ill-advised short cut. **** “Strappado” by Laird Barron My favorite one in the collection so far. Would appeal to fans of Kathe Koja, I believe. A bunch of ex-pats and foreign businessmen go on an outing to what's been billed as a secret, one-night-only exhibition by a legendary, anonymous artist known for pushing the envelope. But what they get is more than they bargained for. Pay attention to all the details! The tale is properly horrifying; the only thing keeping it from 5 stars is that I wished it had a bit more depth; that the actions had wider implications. But it's definitely memorable. **** “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones Throughout the scattered, isolated towns of the Old West, folk know not to trust a travelling 'snake oil' salesman too far - but what they're in for when one certain individual rides his limping, bleeding horse into town goes beyond their expectations - or their ken. Pulls no punches. *** “Mr Pigsny” by Reggie Oliver Tweedy college professor attends the funeral of a mobster inlaw - and encounters the peculiar and decidedly shady Pigsny. What's his angle? **** “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley In a ruined, post-apocalyptic America, demons ravage the land and threaten the survivors. But. as this genre often points out, humans can be just as bad as any monster. Strong story; recommended for those who liked Marcel Theroux's 'Far North,' and/or Alden Bell's 'The Reapers are the Angels.' **** “Was She Wicked? Was She Good?” By M. Rickert I'd imagine that, as a parent, it must be very disturbing to realize that your young child has a tendency toward cruelty - say, tearing the wings from flies. At first, we think that might be what the little girl here is doing. But no, it's worse - and much stranger. The story leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions, but they simply contribute to the atmosphere. Really liked it. *** “The Shallows” by John Langan A man, alone, tries to survive in his home, surrounded by the bizarre and dangerous manifestations of the alien phenomenon that has destroyed the world. As he tends his garden in this precarious oasis, he muses on the loss of his wife and son, and relates an anecdote about taking in a stray dog. Mundane incidents are weighted with ominous freight. Weird, and well-written. *** “Little Pig” by Anna Taborska Another selection that's more tragedy than horror. The theme: how a generation who's grown up in comfort and safety may not understand the trials and sacrifices that their forebears from the Old World may have endured. **** “Omphalos” by Livia Llewellyn A family where more than one thing is not quite right goes on a road trip vacation where things get strange. They are following a road map which seems to appear different to each person. But considering the situation, can it lead to anything except disaster? Explicit - ominous - disturbing - and very effective. *** “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” by Dan Chaon After the zombie apocalypse, a single father tries to raise his teenage son right; and succumbs to a dangerous amount of sentimentality. *** “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman Weird story of a girl, the dolls her distant father gives her, and what her jealous brother makes her do to those dolls. Let's just say it doesn't all bode well for her future husband. **** “Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan I feel like I maybe read this before, but I'm not sure. Either way, it's worth a read - and a re-read. Beautifully written. The story creates a shattering tension by creating empathy in the reader for a person who absolutely, unquestionably deserves none at all. The slow reveal is poetic and expertly done, elegiac and lovely details balanced against the carnally grotesque. Oh, and it's pretty incest twins on a serial-killing roadtrip spree. **** “Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix (Shirley Jackson Award nominee) Previously read in 'Fearful Symmetries.' (It always seems like 'cheating' to me when one editor includes the same story in multiple anthologies - but it's a good story.) Garth Nix is always excellent; and this tale closes the collection on a strong note. A retired secret service agent has been watching a certain house for thirty years. But when the threat that's been feared for all these decades erupts, the weapon has been forgotten, and bureaucracy gets in the way. **** “The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud Re-read - previously read in "Fearful Symmetries." Paranormal mystery meets Clive Barker-style horror. A mafia boss sends his minions out into the bayou in search of a man who's been holding out on him; selling occult artifacts. But even experts in the arcane may get more than they bargained for. **** “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey Re-read - previously read in "The Doll Collection." A pure horror tale; would make a great start to a late-night movie. Two lowlifes decide to burglarize the home of an old man whose eerie, doll-festooned, dilapidated house was always rumored to be haunted. The house looks like it was upper-class, once upon a time, and they suspect he's got something good stashed away. However, the 'something' in the house is more than they bargained for. Many thanks to NetGalley and Tachyon publications for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are unaffected by the source of the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Did it really take me almost three months to read this!? Yes. Yes it did. I fully admit to being a slacker and getting distracted by a multitude of other books, and I can't binge read anthologies. However, I did enjoy always having a scary short story option right on hand. Some worked and some didn't, but looking at Nightmares all together, it's a strong anthology. Definitely not for binge reading, but for those looking for a great selection of spooky reads, for Halloween or just for general spoo Did it really take me almost three months to read this!? Yes. Yes it did. I fully admit to being a slacker and getting distracted by a multitude of other books, and I can't binge read anthologies. However, I did enjoy always having a scary short story option right on hand. Some worked and some didn't, but looking at Nightmares all together, it's a strong anthology. Definitely not for binge reading, but for those looking for a great selection of spooky reads, for Halloween or just for general spookiness, it's a great pick. I've always enjoyed stories edited by Ellen Datlow (many at Tor.com) and it was nice to be able to read some on the comfort of my Kindle. Let's get the disappointments out of the way first, shall we? After all, every story can't be a winner. 1) "Very Low-Flying Aircraft" by Nicholas Royle Far and away the worst one. I could actually feel my eyes glazing over while I read it. I just...no. That's all I've got for this one. The word no. 2) "Mr. Pigsny" by Reggie Oliver This one wasn't aggressively bad. It was just not scary. Not scary, spooky, creepy, mysterious, or anything really. It was a well told story, but I couldn't connect any emotion to it. 3) "The Shallows" by John Langan I know I read this one. My Kindle says so and my brain says so. But I didn't remember it at all. So by virtue of being forgettable, it ends up on the bottom of the stack. *Honorable mention for "Spectral Evidence" by Gemma Files, which was written so well that I can't include it in the bottom, but I can't really say I liked it either. Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's get on to the ones I loved! 1) "Dead Sea Fruit" by Kaaron Warren I LOVED this one at the time I read it, but it hasn't really stuck with the way I expected it to. It's a good story, but compared to the next story on my list, it doesn't have the same emotional power. That said, it still deserves to be on the top. 2) "Closet Dreams" by Lisa Tuttle My favorite. And I have a hard time saying that because this one was so disturbing. After I finished it I just said, "Fuuuuuuuck," and put my Kindle away. I couldn't read anything else after that. Brilliantly and emotionally told. 3) "The Goosle" by Margo Lanagan It's disgusting. Like a fairy tale dipped in a bucket of guts. Wonderful. 4) "The Clay Party" by Steve Duffy Disaster and horror meets Oregon Trail. So basically exactly like Oregon Trail. Definitely brings the creepiness and desperation. 5) "Little Pig" by Anna Taborska A beautifully told sacrifice. Apparently I like my short stories disturbing and heart crunching. *Honorable mention to "Sob in the Silence" by Gene Wolfe, "Omphalos" by Livia Llewellyn, and "Shay Corsham Worsted" by Garth Nix. They weren't my favorites of favorites, but they were too good not to mention at all. I would happily read another Ellen Datlow anthology. She's clearly an expert editor who put a lot of hard work into putting this together. Nightmares is a good collection of stories by some very talented authors, all of whom I got to read for the first time! There's a lot of variety, so if one story leaves you disappointed, chances are there will be one that will knock your socks off too. And really, who needs our socks more, us or the House Elves? *Big thanks to Edelweiss and Tachyon Publications for the digital arc!*

  8. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    It is very rare to find an anthology where you like all the stories. Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror is no exception. I didn’t like all of them. It’s all right, though. Some of the stories I did like introduced me to new to me authors. The settings and the themes vary and are all over the place, so the only thing they all have in common is some nightmarish situation the characters got into. It could have been their own fault in some cases. The stories aren’t all told from a good guy po It is very rare to find an anthology where you like all the stories. Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror is no exception. I didn’t like all of them. It’s all right, though. Some of the stories I did like introduced me to new to me authors. The settings and the themes vary and are all over the place, so the only thing they all have in common is some nightmarish situation the characters got into. It could have been their own fault in some cases. The stories aren’t all told from a good guy point of view either. I won’t tell which have the worst protagonists. From dirty clinics to zombies and anything you can throw in in between, there is something for everyone in this collection. As for why I disliked (read: hated) some of them, it comes down to personal preferences, not the quality of the writing. Certain themes are not entertaining for me. More than one story has incest in it (one very detailed at that). Others use the second person narrative and one has something else I hate, so bear all that in mind. I am also not a fan of the stories with realistic villains (not all stories in this collection are paranormal). I prefer not to read about what people could do to each other. I have the news for that. As I said, personal preferences. What I didn’t like, others might. To be fair, most of these stories collected will be better appreciated by a horror lover because in a lot of stories there is a whole other unwritten layer. (view spoiler)[ These are not really spoilers; just a list of these stories with a couple of notes (in case I forget). Shallaballah by Mark Samuels After a car accident, an actor finds himself in a strange, run-down clinic with weird rules. Only after a call to his agent does he realise how weird the place is. 2.5 Sob in the Silence by Gene Wolfe A horror writer invites his friend’s family to stay with him. Their visit turns out to be worse than they could ever expect (not really a spoiler considering the title of the anthology). 3 Our Turn Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge A narrator finally finds out about the family legacy, which the female members of his family have been hiding for years. 3 Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren After you kiss the Ash Mouth Man, the only thing you’ll taste after that are ashes. 2 Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle After her escape from a kidnapper, a girl can’t stop having nightmares. 2.5 Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files You’ll need some time to get through this story. You piece the events that led to a medium’s death using the notes attached to a set of photographs, which was found during a routine reorganization of the Freihoeven Institute’s ParaPsych Department files. 2.5 Hushabye by Simon Bestwick The narrator is an ordinary guy who stumbles upon a sexual predator attacking a young child. The monster is not an ordinary one and the protection he enjoys are hard to break through. 4 Very Low-Flying Aircraft by Nicholas Royle This one was too short for me to be fully enjoyed. 2.5 The Goosle by Margo Lanagane A great take on Hansel and Gretel story. 3.5 The Clay Party by Steve Duffy A variation of Donner Party theme with a twist told through journal entries of one of the travellers and newspaper articles in the mid-1800s. 4.5 Strappado by Laird Barron It’s Laird Barron. You know it’s going to be weird. 3 Lonegan’s Luck by Stephen Graham Jones A horror western. 4.5 Mr. Pigsny by Reggie Oliver A college professor meets a weird little man at a gangster’s funeral. After that, he sees him everywhere he goes. 3 At Night, When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley A futuristic horror story featuring demons and scattered groups of survivors. It is one of those with a despicable protagonist. Great story. 4 Was She Wicked? Was She Good? by Mary Rickert What should parents do when their only child likes torturing small creatures. 2.5 The Shallows by John Langan Another weird story that takes place after some supernatural disaster. What’s good about it and gives it depth are the narrator’s memories of his wife, his son and a dog. 3 Little Pig by Anna Taborska The best thing about this story is its length. I would have really liked it if not for the not so subtle jab at a certain group (can’t be more specific), which doesn’t contribute to the story itself at all. 0.5 Omphalos by Livia Llewellyn A family of four is on their way to a place none of them agreed before the trip. The map they are using shows a new way. I am not a fan of second person narrative, nor the theme. 1 How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Dan Chaon A sad zombie story. 2.5 That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman Karen was taught by her brother that love always requires sacrifice. 2.5 Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) by Caitlín R. Kiernan Another story with the second person narrative, one twin talking to another. 1.5 Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix What happens when governments forget their own secret weapons. 3.5 The Atlas of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud I wouldn’t mind if there were series featuring a chubby thief whose specialties are occult rare books. 4 Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey Two thieves get into one of those houses boys dare each other to approach. They don’t expect what they find there. 3.5 (hide spoiler)] ARC received from Tachyon Publications via NetGalley

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror is the newest addition to prolific editor Ellen Datlow’s catalog. This anthology combines a wide range of genres; everything from the every-day contemporary horror, paranormal horror, to end of the world horror. The variety manages to add depth to the collection as a whole and keeps the reader guessing in terms of what to expect next. There is easily something in here for everyone. This collection is comprised of many big-name authors such as Margo Lanaga Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror is the newest addition to prolific editor Ellen Datlow’s catalog. This anthology combines a wide range of genres; everything from the every-day contemporary horror, paranormal horror, to end of the world horror. The variety manages to add depth to the collection as a whole and keeps the reader guessing in terms of what to expect next. There is easily something in here for everyone. This collection is comprised of many big-name authors such as Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels), Dan Chaon (Await Your Reply), Caitlin R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl), Garth Nix (Sabriel), and Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim). “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan is a disturbing retelling of the Hansel and Gretel fairytale involving cannibalism, “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” by Dan Chaon is a horror-light but is a bleak look at how our world could be if zombies rose, “Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)” by Caitlin R. Kiernan is the story of twins on a murderous rampage, “Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix is an interesting bit of contemporary paranormal that I wanted more of, and “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey is the last and most terrifying story of the bunch. Other notable titles: “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge is about the uncovering of horrifying family secrets, “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman is a terrifying tale of dolls, and “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones is a tale of zombies and your luck running out. Each of these short stories were hand-picked from anthologies from the last ten years in order to showcase a complete decade worth of horror. While the bulk of these stories were enjoyable in a horrifying way, there were a few that simply didn’t work as much as the others. All in all, this was a solid collection that certainly lived up to the title. These stories come off as fragmented, possessing a hazy, dream-like quality where it’s unclear what is real and what is mere fantasy. But isn’t that what nightmares are all about? I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This book is a great variety of contemporary horror stories, spanning from dark fantasy to psychological thriller to crime. I appreciated the work the editor did in finding threads in how the stories were ordered. These stories are the darkest of dark and are not for the faint of heart. I actually had to read them over a longer span of time, interspersing with other types of books. My favorites were the stories from Laird Barron, Caitlin Kiernan, Nathan Ballingrud, and Mary Rickert.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I received an advance review copy of this anthology from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you are following current horror fiction you really need to pay attention to anthologies like this one. Many of the current cast of heavy hitters are here, certainly the new wave of authors. Also, the stories in this anthology, even the ones that I really didn’t like, share a literary quality that elevates them above pure genre fiction. In other words, these folks are firs I received an advance review copy of this anthology from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you are following current horror fiction you really need to pay attention to anthologies like this one. Many of the current cast of heavy hitters are here, certainly the new wave of authors. Also, the stories in this anthology, even the ones that I really didn’t like, share a literary quality that elevates them above pure genre fiction. In other words, these folks are first, great writers, and second, writers of dark fiction. I am not a fan of the term “horror” as a genre description because it simply isn’t descriptive of the best of these authors. I pre-read the 2015 O’Henry Award Winners anthology and the writing in this anthology reminds me of those stories, just much darker, at times unbearably so. You won’t find many lumbering beasts or typical horror tropes in this collection—although you will encounter a couple. Less than half of them deal with supernatural themes. In fact, “Little Pig” and “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” are not really “horror” as anyone would describe it. Both of these stories deal with awful things that happen to people when they wind up against the cutting edge of circumstances. Both set in the past and in war conditions, I felt that either of these stories could have and perhaps did happen. Probably did, actually. “Little Pig” could be a companion piece to the quite disturbing “My Grandmother Tells Me A Story” from the 2015 O’Henry Award Winners Anthology. The line between literary stories and its darker cousins is very fuzzy indeed. “Sob in the Silence,” “Closet Dreams,” and “Interstate Love Song” are a few of the modern stories dealing with human monsters and the terrible things that they do to children and the helpless people that they encounter. While they were certainly dark, I did find them to be well written although distasteful. “Omphalos” and “The Goosle” on the other hand are so disturbing that I skimmed them. I am not a fan of these types of stories. They seem to me to be focused on disturbing the reader with their nastiness. The supernatural was not entirely cast aside in this collection. There are a few more traditional stories as well a very interesting example of science fiction horror. “The Clay Party” and “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” are interesting stories of people attempting to survive extreme conditions and explore the concept that preserving your humanity and dignity is more important than survival. “Mr. Pigsny” and “The Atlas of Hell” are very atmospheric demonic stories. “Shay Corham Worsted” is a fine example of sci-fi horror that I wished was much longer. I agree with another reviewer who lamented not being given the very interesting back story to the technological monster. My favorite story in the bunch was “Ambitious Boys Like You” which follows a traditional horror story format and does it proud. A familiar yet satisfying ride. Coming up with a rating for an anthology is very hard and I really don’t know a good way to do it. I have seen people rate the stories individually and then take the average, which has merit and logic to it. However, I am choosing to give this a rating of 4 based on the high literary quality and writing (I liked most of the stories) of all of the stories and taking off a point based on personal preference because I didn’t enjoy a few of the stories and even found two of them repulsive—but others may disagree.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    I hate trying to come up with a star rating for this book since, looking at what others here have said about this book, it just goes to show that horror is indeed in the eye of the beholder. This time around, there were far more stories I liked than stories I didn't, and in the latter category, it was pretty much based on personal preference. The few stories I didn't care for go way more into real-life horrors than I care to go in fiction; these are likely better suited for readers who like thei I hate trying to come up with a star rating for this book since, looking at what others here have said about this book, it just goes to show that horror is indeed in the eye of the beholder. This time around, there were far more stories I liked than stories I didn't, and in the latter category, it was pretty much based on personal preference. The few stories I didn't care for go way more into real-life horrors than I care to go in fiction; these are likely better suited for readers who like their horror more on the edgy side than I do. While the writing is not an issue (it's quite good, in fact), the subject matter and especially the level of violence in these particular stories just made for uncomfortable reading. When it comes to this violent, newpaper-headline, too-real sort of horror, I'd rather just say no thank you and move along to something more tame. But that's me. Looking at the bigger picture, the choice of title for this collection is absolutely spot on, for indeed, the majority of these stories are truly the stuff of modern nightmares. Squirmworthy might also have been an appropriate title, since some of these stories were disturbing enough to the point where I had to put the book down, do something else, and then pick it up again. There's no way I could have read this book in one sitting -- I'm sure that if I had, I'd have ended up with my own collection of nightmares and they still wouldn't have been as disturbing as what's between the covers in this book. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. I've posted about this book at my reading journal , with a list of stories complete with small one/two -line descriptions about each and no spoilers. Nightmares is one of those anthologies where there's pretty much something for everyone. The only suggestion I might make for the future is to include more work by authors whose stories don't usually make it into these anthologies. In my very humble reader person's opinion, an anthology should work to showcase the best of what's out there, but when I'm seeing the same authors pop up over and over again in these collections, it makes me wonder who else may be out there whose work may be going unrecognized but who may be just as good of a writer as the ones whose work is found here. For me this book is most certainly filled with enough quality material that I can easily recommend it to any horror reader. It's a beyond-good collection on the whole, very satisfying and downright chill producing. For me it's a yes. Thanks so much to Tachyon for my copy!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    There were a few standout stories in this. Some stories were just okay, but my favorites were probably: Closet Dreams -- thank god this story came toward the beginning of the anthology because I wanted to give up on the book until I read this. The Shallows -- I gotta be honest, I'm not so sure I knew what was going on in this story but I liked reading it. That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love -- interesting storyline involving dolls, I found it pretty disturbing Interstate Love Song (e There were a few standout stories in this. Some stories were just okay, but my favorites were probably: Closet Dreams -- thank god this story came toward the beginning of the anthology because I wanted to give up on the book until I read this. The Shallows -- I gotta be honest, I'm not so sure I knew what was going on in this story but I liked reading it. That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love -- interesting storyline involving dolls, I found it pretty disturbing Interstate Love Song (even though that's an awful title lol) -- a disgustingly horrific premise Shay Corsham Worsted -- probably my absolute favorite -- it was powerfully written, there was a clearly thought out conflict with a really unique premise and didn't rely on gimmicks to pull it off) Ambitious Boys Like You -- i feel like this is the sort of story the book should have had more of -- it was gory, twisty, and fun to read Little Pig -- actually kind of sad, a powerful little story. Gotta give a content warning for anorexia/eating disorders for one story, and child sexual abuse and incest in a couple others. One of those stories [Omphalos] tried to pass off incest/rape as kink, and considering how prevalent CSA is and this a mainstream book, I don't think it was right to include that in the anthology. If people want to write those kind of stories then fine, but I would guess that most people don't want to read explicit sex scenes involving minors, so I'm really confused as to why that was included in an anthology for horror (and tbh I have NO idea how that was nominated for the Shirley Jackson award...) when at best it's weird fiction and at worst it's badly written erotica involving father-daughter rape and sister-brother "consensual" sex acts. Interstate Love Song had incestuous twins, but it actually worked in the fucked-up, horrific world of the story (plus it helped that it wasn't written like ~"Father thrusts deeper, harder"~).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zuky the BookBum

    Also read my review here: http://bookbum.weebly.com/book-review... NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK! I decided that instead of rating this book overall, it would be better to rate each individual story, so that’s what I’ve done. Obviously I had to rate the overall book so I actually calculated the average of all the ratings lol. Shallaballah by Mark Samuels 1 star Not a good start to the book for me. I was over the stitched up face appearance, creepy hospital, shady operations kind of horror story long ago, Also read my review here: http://bookbum.weebly.com/book-review... NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK! I decided that instead of rating this book overall, it would be better to rate each individual story, so that’s what I’ve done. Obviously I had to rate the overall book so I actually calculated the average of all the ratings lol. Shallaballah by Mark Samuels 1 star Not a good start to the book for me. I was over the stitched up face appearance, creepy hospital, shady operations kind of horror story long ago, so this did pretty much nothing for me. Yes there were creepy elements to it but not enough. I also get what it was trying to do with the whole vanity, television thing, but it didn’t really work and so for me, added nothing to the overall plot. Sob in the Silence by Gene Wolfe 3 stars This was a pretty good creepy story, I much prefer stories that don't really have any paranormal elements to them and are more about the madness of the human brain. This short story had a bit of both to it so it was much preferable to the last! Didn't like the weird abrupt ending though, it felt like the story had been cut short. Our Turn Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge 4 stars This definitely had my skin crawling a bit. I love this kind of horror story that incorporates creatures and family secrets, kind of gave me The Village vibes… Is that the name of that film? Anyway, yes, great short! Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren 3 stars This short was pretty good, the Ash Mouth Man was pretty freaky but the writing was a bit all over the place and I felt too much was squeezed into such a small story. I'd love to read a full length story about this Ash Man, that would definitely be disturbing to read! Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle 4 stars Really well written and completely terrifying! I hate abduction stories so much because it could happen to anyone. It's not like the demonic ghost stories that you choose to believe or not believe, men who rape and steal little girls are real. The ending was… Predictable… Done before… Boring… But the rest of it was good enough to warrant it 4 stars! Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files 1 star ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? I didn’t like the way this was set out, very frustrating to read on a Kindle! Also, I didn’t really get it, it was so all over the place I forgot what was happening previously. Hushabye by Simon Bestwick 2 stars. I wanted to like this one but there was too much missing from the story, maybe it was meant to be mysterious but in my eyes it just felt unfinished. Like what was the man sucking out of the children? And what really happened to Hardiman? Also I thought the narrator was a woman until we finally learnt his name was Paul, don’t know why, I just imagined him that way. Very Low-Flying Aircraft by Nicholas Royle 3 stars I’m not really a big fan of war based novels / stories so from the get go I knew I wasn’t going to get on that well with this story but it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t feel like this story explained itself enough or maybe it did and I just didn’t get it? Like why did it matter that Frankie looked like Victoria and why did Flynn go to the clinic? Also, I didn’t think it of a horror story really, though it was scary and horrible, it didn’t give me the heeby-jeebys like some of the others have done. The Goosle by Margo Lanagan 2 stars Seriously, seriously grotesque. If you have a weak stomach, avoid this. A very peculiar branch off the traditional Hansel and Gretel story we all know. This isn’t my kind of horror at all. I much prefer scary, mysterious human crime and occasionally a paranormal story. Torture porn is not at all my thing. This was very well written though, so props to Lanagan for that. The Clay Party by Steve Duffy 4 stars Again, not exactly what I’d classify as a horror story, but a great read nonetheless. Excellently written and enjoyable the whole way through, up until the end… the ending definitely wasn’t my kind of style so that was disappointing for me personally, but I’m sure others would love it! Strappado by Laird Barron 3 stars Definitely one of the strangest of the shorts in this novel. I thought it was excellently written but I didn’t quite get it? Maybe I was just having an off day when I read this but it didn’t really do anything for me. Lonegan’s Luck by Stephen Graham Jones 4 stars This is one of those stories I don’t know why I like. I never used to be into these kinds of rural town, religious apocalyptic kind of books, but ever since reading Mammoth, I’ve begun to enjoy reading them. Admittedly this had me a little confused to begin with, there were what felt like a lot of characters, but in the end none of the mattered anyway, they were just there to set the scene. Mr Pigsny by Reggie Oliver 3 stars I feel like I’ve read this book a million times. It’s one of those stories that's been redone time and time again with just slight changes here and there. It isn’t a bad plot per say, I certainly enjoyed it, it just had nothing unique about it. At Night, When the Demons Come by by Ray Cluley 4 stars One of the longer stories in this book but also one of the best. It had a pleasing twist to it and some interesting characters. I guess I quite like the whole apocalyptic feel when it comes to stories. I personally don’t feel this one was a horror story, more like a fantasy thriller. Was She Wicked? Was She Good? by Mary Rickert 4 stars This was a sad horror story, but in a way, it was also quite beautiful. I really liked the plot, it was something quite different to all the others in this collection and I thought the way it was written flowed well. Enjoyable short story! The Shallows by John Langan 2 stars I liked how this was written but I didn’t get it? I got bored halfway through it too, it was a half an hour read and I just couldn’t understand it so I skimmed the last 10 minutes or so. Yawn. Little Pig by Anna Taborska 3 stars Meh. This was well written and very different to the rest of the stories in this collection but was it a horror story? No. It was tragic, but not scary. Disappointing because whenever I see the word “pig” in relation to something “scary” I think of AHS. Omphalos by Livia Llewellyn 3 stars TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE This story was definitely very unique to the rest of the stories in this collection in the terms that this was a horror story that focused more on the real life horrors of families rather than made up monsters and ghouls. This story isn’t for the faint-hearted, it was horrific and gruesome and very upsetting. It wasn’t the best story in the collection when it came to plot or writing style, but it did bring out strong emotions in me, which other stories have been unable to do. How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Dan Chaon 5 stars I liked how this was a different take on a classic zombie story - ”It wasn’t the end of the world… of course, a bite would infect you, but they weren’t terribly aggressive, in general.” This was by far my favourite story in the entire book, it was so sad and emotional. It was beautiful. That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman 4 stars Creepy, creepy, creepy. Dolls terrify me thanks to modern horror, although, really, I’ve always felt unsettled by them. Enjoyable story though. Poor Julian. (This story almost had my name in it! “Suki” is close enough to Zuky.) Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No.8) by Caitlin R. Kiernan 3 stars Hmm, why did the shorts at the end of this book get all meaningful and loved up? I think that kinda ruined this for me. Granted it was disturbed and pretty grotesque at times but sadness of the ending ruined that creepy effect of the book and just left this kind of hanging in the space between horror and tragedy. Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix 4 stars This was an interesting story and I liked our harsh but caring main character, Sir David. I wish this story was a little longer so we could find out more about Shay because I feel the missing backstory left this plot wide open. Enjoyable nonetheless. The Atlas of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud 3 stars I really enjoyed this to begin with though I thought it had a little David Wong influence, a writing style I’m not into. All was going well for this story until I got towards the end of it, where it completely lost me. Whether this is down to the annoying man sat on the train next to me, speaking into his phone at 32596 decibels, or just because the plot went AWOL, we’ll never know. Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey 4 stars I like these kinds of creepy stories! They’re not particularly unique anymore, because they’ve been done so many different times in so many different, but similar ways, but they’re still fun to read. The old man was especially disturbing just because he was so witty and chilled out. I liked that this story had elements of humour to it, it made a nice change to the more recent emotion filled stories. I’d like to thank Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for giving me the opportunity to read this in an exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brenda A

    Shallaballah Mark Samuels 3 out of 5 stars It's a decent story, but ultimately forgettable. It wasn't completely clear what was happening--the guy kidnaps celebrities and operates on them, only to kill them? It didn't make much sense but had a decently creepy atmosphere. Sob in the Silence Gene Wolfe 4 out of 5 stars A wonderful little revenge story! I hoped for a little more description about the ghosts and the haunting, but I was still happy with the plot. A smite creepy and decent emphasis on the vi Shallaballah Mark Samuels 3 out of 5 stars It's a decent story, but ultimately forgettable. It wasn't completely clear what was happening--the guy kidnaps celebrities and operates on them, only to kill them? It didn't make much sense but had a decently creepy atmosphere. Sob in the Silence Gene Wolfe 4 out of 5 stars A wonderful little revenge story! I hoped for a little more description about the ghosts and the haunting, but I was still happy with the plot. A smite creepy and decent emphasis on the victim. Our Turn Too Will One Day Come Brian Hodge 3 out of 5 stars I'm not a huge fan of the name but I really enjoyed the story. It was twisted and stooped in family legend. I would argue that it isn't particularly scary, but the kind of thing that I'll remember a few years from now and wonder where I came across the story (which is probably the only downside to anthologies--I can never remember where I read the story). Dead Sea Fruit Kaaron Warren 1 out of 5 stars I didn't understand this at all. Anorexic girls have a story about the Ash Mouth Man, which is exactly what it sounds like. A guy who tastes like ash. You kiss him, you only taste ash forevermore. Main character dates a guy who ends up being Ash Mouth. She's a dentist who kisses her clients. They both like to kiss random people. The end. Closet Dreams Lisa Tuttle 3 out of 5 stars Closet Dreams isn't scary so much as just insanely depressing. Seriously. Girl thinks she made it out of a kidnap/rape situation after being held captive for months. Spectral Evidence Gemma Files 1 out of 5 stars This was an attempt at writing a story through dry investigational writing about photos. Photos, not events. Also the writing on the back of the photos. It did not succeed at its endeavor. Hushabye Simon Bestwick 3 out of 5 stars A more traditional monster story--two guys go on the hunt for a creature targeting children. Short and sweet, and one left a little bit of mystery. Very Low-Flying Aircraft Nicholas Royle 2 out of 5 stars A bunch of guys making stupid decisions does not make a particularly scary story. The Goosle Margo Lanagan 1 out of 5 stars No creepiness and the climax was dismal at best. In essence: gay Hansel and Gretel but without Gretel. The Clay Party Steve Duffy 3 out of 5 stars A much better werewolf story compared to most! It's told through diary entries in the 1800s and I was very happy with the build-up. Mr. Hinderick was particularly nuts. Strappado Laird Barron 4 out of 5 stars It had a good twist that I didn't see coming, and I loved that we got to see inside Kenshi's head while he dealt with his trauma. That final sentence though... man, it packed a good punch. Lonegan's Luck Stephen Graham Jones 3 out of 5 stars A new twist on the zombie phenomenon, and one that worked brilliantly. I only rate it three stars because I don't understand that ending at all and I really want someone to explain it to me. Mr. Pigsny Reggie Oliver 4 out of 5 stars I liked this one more than I initially thought I would. Mr. Pigsny is the kind of character that goes down in flames, but you love watching every minute of it. As Night, When the Demons Come By Ray Cluley 4 out of 5 stars Demons! She-demons who come from the sky and devour people! It's like zombies except the zombies fly. Also apparently they have nice tits. Weirdly aware of social issues too, but still nice tits. Was She Wicked? Was She Good? Mary Rickert 4 out of 5 stars This sort of reminds me of the movie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which is a dark version of the tooth fairy. Here we have a little girl who likes to play with the little creatures in a not too nice way, and they find a way to fight back. It's clever, it's original, and I love the idea behind it--my only qualm is that I wish there had been a solid description of the little things. I know what I picture in my head, but I wanted to fine-tune it. The Shallows John Langan 5 out of 5 stars I'm not totally sure I understood both plots here, but I freaking loved it anyway. It's definitely a slow burner, one that builds upon itself a little at a time. One story is the one the character is telling--his wife, his son, and their obsession with a dog they found wandering the streets. The second is a little more off-kilter--giant crustaceans, battles with beings inside the neighbor's house, gardening having a few more critters than usual. I would love to see this one put into a full novel. Little Pig Anna Taborska 5 out of 5 stars This might be my favorite in the compilation. A woman makes the terrible decision to sacrifice something dear to her, and the phrase "little pig" is born. It's short but it packs a serious punch, holy crap. Omphalos Livia Llewellyn 4 out of 5 stars Omphalos is another one where I'm not totally sure I understood the ending, but it was definitely strong enough to hold my attention. An incestuous family goes camping (sounds like a porno, right?) How We Escaped Our Certain Fate Dan Chaon 3 out of 5 stars A fairly typical zombie story; a man is confronted with the zombie that was once his wife. Doesn't bring anything new to the story but it's still entertaining. That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love Robert Shearman 4 out of 5 stars It took a little bit longer to get to the meat and potatoes of this novella, but once it hit its stride it was fun. A girl pays special tribute to her dolls, the way her brother taught her. Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) Caitlin R Kiernan 5 out of 5 stars I absolutely hated the style it was written in. If I looked up from the page I would lose track of where I was every single time. So you can tell I liked this a lot if I still rate it five stars! This particular one follows a couple who like to pick up hitchhikers... Shay Corsham Worsted Garth Nix 5 out of 5 stars So much action! A retired military man knows a little secret about the seemingly frail old man on his street. What happens when he tries to warn others is fabulously gritty and my evil heart loves the karma of people getting their comeuppance when they treat someone badly. The Atlas of Hell Nathan Ballingrud 4 out of 5 stars This was a wholly original idea about bringing stuff back from hell. We see monsters and a hellish impulse and death and gore, but not misplaced death and gore. I would definitely read more from this author. Ambitious Boys Like You Richard Kadrey 4 out of 5 stars A resounding finish to a great anthology! Two ambitious boys decide to break into a house full of creepy dolls. They learn exactly what these dolls are and what they're for the hard way... It's a great story. It has a good creepiness factor thrown in with elements of Home Alone (I don't care what you say, a booby-trapped house will forever remind me of Home Alone).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    Note: This review originally appeared on New York Journal of Books (http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-...). For over three decades, genre fiction’s reigning editor Ellen Datlow has helmed nearly a hundred anthologies, including the acclaimed Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series (co-edited with Terri Windling, from 1988 to 2008) and The Best Horror of the Year (2009–). Datlow has put out some of the highest-quality horror anthologies in the market, but also humbly states that she’s no expert o Note: This review originally appeared on New York Journal of Books (http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-...). For over three decades, genre fiction’s reigning editor Ellen Datlow has helmed nearly a hundred anthologies, including the acclaimed Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series (co-edited with Terri Windling, from 1988 to 2008) and The Best Horror of the Year (2009–). Datlow has put out some of the highest-quality horror anthologies in the market, but also humbly states that she’s no expert or critic of the genre; even so, in the world of high-quality modern horror in the market, Datlow is an undeniable authority. So it was that back in 2010 that Datlow released an anthology called Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror. She combed through the bevy of shorter-form fiction from the almost two decades’ worth of horror from 1984 and on up through 2005, selecting a wide variety of stories that were particular standouts to her. In her introduction to Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror, Datlow states that her new anthology “could be considered a sequel to Darkness.” With Nightmares, Datlow has similarly reprinted 24 works of shorter horror fiction published between 2005 and 2015, and from authors in a wide range of genres, including Caitlín R. Kiernan, Dan Chaon, Gemma Files, Garth Nix, Gene Wolfe, John Langan, Livia Llewellyn, Stephen Graham Jones, Laird Barron, M. Rickert, Brian Hodge, and Richard Kadrey. Subjectivity is the name of the game when it comes to anthologies of any sort. Just as the stories in Nightmares were standouts for Datlow, there will be standouts among them for its readers. And while a number of them had originally come onto Datlow’s radar in previous anthologies she’d edited, many of them are not. And while most of the stories were originally published in one anthology or another, there are a few that had come straight from author’s exclusive collections, showing the extent of Datlow’s considerations. To pick “highlights” from Nightmares’ table of contents only further emphasizes the subjective nature that is inherent to anthologies; the fact that these are all reprints only adds to this. Thus, for readers may be unfamiliar with a handful of the authors, a few stories will be detailed. Brian Hodge presents a fine showcase of his skills in “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come.” The narrator gets a late-night call from his sister. She’d been to make a deadly decision in the wake of a ghastly act committed by her ex husband—a decision that requires her brother to bring a shovel. When the he arrives, however, he learns that there’s much more to the darksome truth of her transgressions, dating way back into the oldest days of their family… Following Hodge’s tale is Kaaron Warren’s “Dead Sea Fruit.” A nurse is disturbed by an eerie tale related by several anorectic girls. They claim to have been kissed by a figure that they call the Ash-Mouth Man—whose kiss leaves nothing tasting the same, ever again. There’s a languid, dreamlike quality to this tale, which makes its disquieting denouement all the more surreal. And following that story is Lisa Tuttle’s “Closet Dreams,” in which a woman recounts how she’d been kidnapped and imprisoned as a little girl, and how she’d found a means of escape in a most unusual—and metaphysical—manner. To say more would be to spoil it, but suffice to say, this morose and haunting story is as surreal as the best Twilight Zone episodes. M. Rickert’s “Was She Wicked? Was She Good?” is a powerfully unsettling tale of an all-too-real struggle: when parents have a child that enjoys inflicting pain upon animals. Only, in this case, the animals are fairies . . . and it’s not only the worried parents who feel the need to discipline the problematic child. Datlow’s selections from Simon Bestwick, Garth Nix, and Nathan Ballangrud show her love of supernatural-infused noir. Respectively, “Hushabye,” “Shay Corsham Worsted,” and “The Atlas of Hell” are all set in modern urban locations, pitting characters and scenarios of the hard-boiled against cosmic horror. (Laird Barron’s “Strappado” is another example of genre mash-up, as is Stephen Graham Jones’s “Lonegan’s Luck.”) John Langan’s “The Shallows” is a gloomy tale of a man living in a world following the cosmic takeover by H. P. Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones. Taken from Darrell Schweitzer’s similarly-themed anthology Cthulhu’s Reign, this story is chock full of languidly macabre imagery, with a powerfully upsetting and disturbing revelation in its final paragraph. Arguably the most worrying (if not polarizing) tale of the bunch is Livia Llewellyn’s “Omphalos.” This story follows a disturbingly dysfunctional family as they travel the roads of the American west in their RV, while the second-person protagonist seeks some kind of divine exodus. Deeply uncomfortable and yet undeniably beautiful, this transgressive tale will surely make even the most robust and jaded readers of dark fiction squirm. The anthology nicely closes out with Richard Kadrey’s “Ambitious Boys Like You,” reprinted from Datlow’s 2015 anthology The Doll Collection. Two young burglars decide to break into an old man’s even older house, rumored to be haunted. What they find inside are not ghosts, but something far darker and insidious. Throughout the book are darkly hypnotic illustrations from artist John Coulthart, and with a perfectly unsettling cover image by Nihil, this anthology is handsomely presented, perfectly complementing its contents. Nightmares is more than just a memorable and collective anthology; it is an excellent showcase of some of the finest names in contemporary horror and weird fiction, as well as one of the knowledgeable influence of the genre’s leading editors.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.

    3.5-4 stars An enjoyable collection of “horror” stories. I put horror in quotes because most of these stories I wouldn’t consider as just the horror label. Some sci-fi, drama, bizarro fiction, but nothing that I really considered scary or anything. Some stories I enjoyed more than others, and to be honest this one fits more with the middle of the road anthologies. The stories that truly stayed with me, and made this worth reading for me were “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge, “Dead 3.5-4 stars An enjoyable collection of “horror” stories. I put horror in quotes because most of these stories I wouldn’t consider as just the horror label. Some sci-fi, drama, bizarro fiction, but nothing that I really considered scary or anything. Some stories I enjoyed more than others, and to be honest this one fits more with the middle of the road anthologies. The stories that truly stayed with me, and made this worth reading for me were “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge, “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren, “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle (beware this one for those with triggers regarding children), “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle, “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones, “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley. That last one is the only one whose ending really did surprise me as I didn’t see it coming. It was perfect!!! And “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey. I would truly call this one horror. It was scary, disturbing, gory, and oh so awesome! The one thing I have to comment on with this anthology is seriously! What is up with all the incest? There are like 3 stories involving incest and sexual abuse, which does not automatically make for horror, but does disturb. Like, really disturb. All in all, I would say be careful if you decide to read this, and don’t be afraid to skip stories that you don’t like. There are a few areas where triggers could happen so just be mindful. I received a copy of this via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review

  18. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    First off I adore this cover and applaud the designer. It caught my eye immediately. This is a large volume of horror at over 400 pages. While I can't say I fell in love with every story, it surely has something for every horror lover. My favorites of the bunch were "Sob In The Silence" which was a story of murder. "Dead Sea Fruit" a very strange tale about the Ash Mouth Man who can make you waste away with a kiss. "Closet Dreams" which was about an escape of sorts from a most vile predator. "Lon First off I adore this cover and applaud the designer. It caught my eye immediately. This is a large volume of horror at over 400 pages. While I can't say I fell in love with every story, it surely has something for every horror lover. My favorites of the bunch were "Sob In The Silence" which was a story of murder. "Dead Sea Fruit" a very strange tale about the Ash Mouth Man who can make you waste away with a kiss. "Closet Dreams" which was about an escape of sorts from a most vile predator. "Lonegan's Luck" which of course was not really good luck at all. "Was She Wicked? Was She Good?" Is about the aftermath of a little girl who likes to pull the wings off....well you'll see. "The Shallows" was a strange and fascinating story of a family that I really can't even begin to describe. Now that is not to say the other stories weren't good, these are just the ones that will haunt me for a while. I received an advance copy for review

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    Excellent anthology. Highlights for me included, but were not limited to: "Closet dreams" by Lisa Tuttle - terrifying as well as upsetting and sad, like several of the other stories in this collection. "The Goosle" by Margo Lanagan - again, quite dark-sad, but also a wonderfully grim take on the Hansel and Gretel thing. "Lonegan's Luck" by Stephen Graham Jones - fun horror, making a traditional snake oil salesman in the old west into something rather more sinister. "Shay Corsham Worsted" by Garth N Excellent anthology. Highlights for me included, but were not limited to: "Closet dreams" by Lisa Tuttle - terrifying as well as upsetting and sad, like several of the other stories in this collection. "The Goosle" by Margo Lanagan - again, quite dark-sad, but also a wonderfully grim take on the Hansel and Gretel thing. "Lonegan's Luck" by Stephen Graham Jones - fun horror, making a traditional snake oil salesman in the old west into something rather more sinister. "Shay Corsham Worsted" by Garth Nix - easily a favourite of mine. A mostly-forgotten military weapon goes, um, wrong. "Ambitious boys like you" by Richard Kadrey - Funny in a traditional horror movie kind of way - creepy dolls, creepy house, creepy old man, lots of gore.

  20. 5 out of 5

    graveyardgremlin

    Shallaballah by Mark Samuels Weird and I didn't completely understand it. I'm not big on surreal-like stories. 1.5 stars Sob in the Silence by Gene Wolfe I liked it okay, but wasn't wowed. I feel like there was a missed opportunity and that the ending was too abrupt. 3 stars Our Tun Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge Folklore and horror equal an interesting tale. I'd read more from Brian Hodge. 4 stars Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren So far the best in the book. Perfectly paced and pretty darned creepy. Shallaballah by Mark Samuels Weird and I didn't completely understand it. I'm not big on surreal-like stories. 1.5 stars Sob in the Silence by Gene Wolfe I liked it okay, but wasn't wowed. I feel like there was a missed opportunity and that the ending was too abrupt. 3 stars Our Tun Too Will One Day Come by Brian Hodge Folklore and horror equal an interesting tale. I'd read more from Brian Hodge. 4 stars Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren So far the best in the book. Perfectly paced and pretty darned creepy. 4.5 stars Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle Haunting. That's the first word that popped into my head when I finished this story. Also, disturbing, sad, and devastating. Trigger warning: (view spoiler)[pedophilia and abduction, although not described in any kind of detail (hide spoiler)] 5 stars Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files I had a hard time with this, especially at the beginning since it's written as a case study with footnotes. Had this been written as a regular short story, I do believe the horror is there for a good tale, but as it stands it didn't feel at all scary or nightmarish. 2.5 stars Hushabye by Simon Bestwick This was...okay. It sorta fit the book, but it also sorta didn't. The story almost felt noir, but not quite, plus everything was rather vague. Not bad, but fine. 3 stars Very Low-Flying Aircraft by Nicholas Royle The only horror in this is the fact that it's included in a horror anthology. I'm not even sure what the point was. 1.5 stars The Goosle by Margo Lanagan Meh. An even more twisted sequel of sorts to Hansel and Gretel sans Gretel. While it's gory, it didn't bother me but I didn't love it. 3 stars The Clay Party by Steve Duffy A take on the Donner Party told through diary entries and a letter at the end. 4 stars Strappado by Laird Barron This didn't do anything for me; it was just too vague. 2 stars Lonegan's Luck by Stephen Graham Jones Interesting, the writing and pace was good. The MC is a conman of the old(?) West. I didn't understand why he did what he did exactly, like were there circumstances of something that happened to the country as a whole, but it's not such a big thing. I only hoped he'd get a taste of his own medicine, so to speak. 3 stars Mr. Pigsny by Reggie Oliver An odd, creepy little tale. 4 stars At Night, When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley Perfectly told, perfectly paced, with a horrible-ish ending. Definitely memorable. 4.5 stars Was She Wicked? Was She Good by Mary Rickert (as M. Rickert) Meh. Not bad, but not great either. I don't really have much to say about it. 3 stars The Shallows by John Langan I honestly don't even remember this one so it must not have been all that bad or good. 2 stars Little Pig by Anna Taborska Horrific only in the way of what you might do to for the survival of those you love. A quirky start with an powerful ending. 4 stars Omphalos by Livia Llewellyn Well-written but definitely not one for everybody. It's sick, a little too descriptive with the incest. I don't need an actual scene with explicitness. While I felt sorry for the MC and her brother, the story made me sad for actual victims. Possibly the point, but it's an upsetting story that some should probably skip. Also, what happened in the end? I get some of it, but it was so confusing and vague that I didn't fully comprehend the conclusion. It doesn't matter much, but I'm getting tired of vague endings or other scenes in these stories. 3.5 stars How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Dan Chaon Interesting and thoughtful zombie tale. Slightly melancholy. 3.5 stars That Tiny Flutter of The Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman Strange. I'm not sure exactly what I thought of this tale, and I'm not sure I totally get what happened at the end, but that seems to be my lot with some of these stories. 3 stars Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) by Caitlín R. Kiernan I liked this story. It was....interesting to say the least. Not my favorite but solid. 3.75 stars Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix 3.5 stars The Atlas of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud 4.5 stars Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey 4 - 4.5 stars Okay, I kinda ran out of reviewing steam near the end, but the last two stories were excellent.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Hogan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a digital ARC of this book from Netgalley. Short story collections are always a mixed bag for me, especially when they're by multiple authors. Neil Gaiman is usually the only author that I trust to hold my attention through multiple stories. But I really enjoyed this collection. There are some real gems here, although there are also a few that don't work for me at all. Weakest- Shallaballah- Some very creepy imagery, but the dreamlike feel never works for me. Very Low Flying Aircraft- N I received a digital ARC of this book from Netgalley. Short story collections are always a mixed bag for me, especially when they're by multiple authors. Neil Gaiman is usually the only author that I trust to hold my attention through multiple stories. But I really enjoyed this collection. There are some real gems here, although there are also a few that don't work for me at all. Weakest- Shallaballah- Some very creepy imagery, but the dreamlike feel never works for me. Very Low Flying Aircraft- Nothing supernatural, just human foolishness leading to terrible consequences. This honestly felt out of place in this anthology. Dead Sea Fruit- I like the idea of the stories made up by anorexic girls, but the rest felt disjointed. Shallows- This is just my opinion, but I think I would have liked this better if the author started from the beginning and let the reader experience the whole cataclysm. Also the stuff about the dog was upsetting. Omphalos- Very creepy and weird (incest is a major theme), but the second person narration and the ending didn't work for me. Technically good, but not amazing- That Tiny Flutter of the Heart that I Used to Call Love- Great idea, and I love creepy dolls, but this didn't blow me away. The Clay Party- Once again, a great premise. I wanted this to do more than it did. Might have worked better as a novel. Mr. Pigsny- I just don't find slugs that scary. Our Turn Too Will One Day Come- I found the reveal at the end a bit weak. Most disturbing- Sob in the Silence- Great look inside the mind of a psychopath. Closet Dreams- Spine chilling and heartbreaking. Strappado- Laird Barron is fantastic at hinting at the horror behind real life. Was She Wicked? Was She Good?- The dark side of a fairytale. Little Pig- Not supernatural, but still horrifying. At Night, When the Demons Come- Does not go where you think it's going. Probably the most disturbing, in my opinion. My favorites- Spectral Evidence- A little hard to follow at times, but I enjoyed the found object format. Hushabye- I wanted more of this. I would've happily read this in novel format. The Goosle- Margo Lanagan's language is always so unique, yet believable. A very twisted take on Hansel and Gretel. Lonegan's Luck- Extremely satisfying. How We Escaped Our Certain Fate- Melancholy and haunting, which is unusual for a zombie story. Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)- Reminded me of The Suicide Motor Club, by Christopher Buehlman. The Atlas of Hell- I want an ongoing urban fantasy series with these characters. Has some wonderful, horrifying imagery. Ambitious Boys Like You- Don't rob weird old people who live by themselves, ok? It never goes well. Shay Corsham Worsted- My absolute favorite in the book. I reread it again as soon as I finished it, and I keep thinking about it still.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crowinator

    As I re-start/continue this, I'm going to post a few notes for each of the stories, so for now I'm just posting a list of them. *Favorite stories “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files “Hushabye” by Simon Bestwick “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy * “St As I re-start/continue this, I'm going to post a few notes for each of the stories, so for now I'm just posting a list of them. *Favorite stories “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files “Hushabye” by Simon Bestwick “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy * “Strappado” by Laird Barron “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones “Mr Pigsny” by Reggie Oliver “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley “Was She Wicked? Was She Good?” by M. Rickert “The Shallows” by John Langan “Little Pig” by Anna Taborska “Omphalo”s by Livia Llewellyn “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” by Dan Chaon * “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman “Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan * “Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix * “The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadre

  23. 4 out of 5

    Seregil of Rhiminee

    Originally published at Risingshadow. Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror (edited by Ellen Datlow) is a diverse and well-edited horror anthology that demonstrates what kind of terrors and mesmerising strangeness modern horror has to offer for readers who are looking for something dark, terrifying and unsettling to read. It doesn't disappoint its readers, because the editor has done her best to gather as many different kind of stories as possible and has paid attention to quality. Modern horr Originally published at Risingshadow. Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror (edited by Ellen Datlow) is a diverse and well-edited horror anthology that demonstrates what kind of terrors and mesmerising strangeness modern horror has to offer for readers who are looking for something dark, terrifying and unsettling to read. It doesn't disappoint its readers, because the editor has done her best to gather as many different kind of stories as possible and has paid attention to quality. Modern horror fiction and modern weird fiction are intriguing sub-genres of speculative fiction, because they give authors plenty of freedom to explore difficult themes and issues in a memorable and thought-provoking way. In this anthology, readers have an opportunity to read about all kinds of unsettling things, because the contents of the stories range from psychological horror to modern weird fiction, covering a lot of ground between them. As many of us are aware of, horror fiction - and especially weird fiction - has become increasingly popular during the last decade. I think it's great that several new and talented authors have emerged during the recent years and have taken their place alongside the old masters. This anthology allows readers to explore what kind of unsettling stories various authors have written. Nightmares contains the following twenty-four stories, which have been published during 2005-2015: - “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels - “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe - “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge - “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren (Aurealis Awards nominee) - “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle (International Horror Guild winner/Bram Stoker nominee) - “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files - “Hushabye” by Simon Bestwick - “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle - “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan (Ditmar Award winner) - “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy - “Strappado” by Laird Barron (Shirley Jackson nominee) - “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones (Shirley Jackson nominee) - “Mr Pigsny” by Reggie Oliver - “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley - “Was She Wicked? Was She Good?” By M. Rickert - “The Shallows” by John Langan - “Little Pig” by Anna Taborska - “Omphalos” by Livia Llewellyn (Shirley Jackson Award nominee) - “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” by Dan Chaon (Shirley Jackson Award nominee) - “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman (Shirley Jackson Award nominee) - “Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan - “Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix (Shirley Jackson Award nominee) - “The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud - “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey I was amazed at the high quality of these stories. I had previously read some of them (Laird Barron, Livia Llewellyn etc), but a few of them were unknown to me. I have nothing bad to say about any of these stories, because they're excellent and atmospheric horror stories (I liked each of them for different reasons). Prior to reading this anthology I was not very familiar with the stories written by Simon Bestwick, M. Rickert, Anna Taborska, Dan Chaon, Margo Lanagan and Gemma Files. I intend to take a closer look at their works, because I liked their stories. When I read horror fiction, I tend to pay a lot of attention to the quality of the prose, because I feel that well written prose is an essential part of a good horror story. I was positively surprised by how well written and atmospheric these stories were, because the authors had done their best to write as memorable horror fiction as possible. One of the reasons why I love modern horror fiction is that many authors are not afraid of delving into difficult themes and issues, but boldly embrace them and lead readers on a journey into a world where bad things can happen to good people and where mere existence can become a struggle for sanity and survival. In modern horror stories, everyday life can be filled with fear, pain and suffering, and the protagonists may experience or suffer from mental health problems. The protagonists may also be terrified and plagued by something unknown or are helplessly drawn towards darkness. It's great that all of this - and much more - can be found in this anthology. Here are my thoughts about some of the stories: “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels is one of the best stories I've had the pleasure of reading this year, because it's an effective story with elements of urban decay. It features a terrifying "clinic" whose owner offers his services to people who can afford them. I think that everybody who reads this story will agree with me when I say that Mr. Punch and Nurse Judy give a whole new meaning to Punch and Judy. "Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe is a creepy and memorable story about a horror writer and a haunted house. This is one of my favourite Gene Wolfe stories, because it demonstrates that the author is capable of writing all kinds of stories and is not afraid of shocking his readers with creepy material. “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files is something a bit different, because it's a story about a set of photographs that were found during a routine reorganization of the Freihoeven Institute's ParaPsych Department files. I liked this story a lot, because it differed from other stories and had a scientific feel to it. “Hushabye” by Simon Bestwick is a powerful and well written story about a hunt for a man who assaults children. This disquieting masterpiece of modern horror has an excellent ending. “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan is a twisted re-telling of Hansel and Gretel. It's an excellently written, thought-provoking and disturbing piece of modern dark fantasy/horror fiction that is difficult to forget. “Strappado” by Laird Barron is an excellent and memorable story about former lovers, Kenshi Suzuki and Swayne Harris, who have a chance reunion in India and are invited to an exhibition. I won't write more about this story, because I don't want to ruin it for those who have not had an opportunity to read it yet, but I can mention that it is one of the best stories I've ever read and the ending is memorable. Once you read this story, you won't be able to forget it, because it will stick to your mind. “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones is a well-told story about a snake oil salesman and his fate. This story is an interesting combination of western and zombie elements. The author has fully succeeded in blending these elements and has come up with a highly enjoyable story. “Little Pig” by Anna Taborska impressed me a lot. The story begins with a man waiting for his Polish girlfriend's grandmother at the airport and then readers get a stunning glimpse into the grandmother's childhood. This short story works well from start to finish. “Omphalos” by Livia Llewellyn is a memorable and shocking story about a girl, June, who has been taken on a vacation. She tries to find shelter from her abusive and incestuous father. The author's way of writing about the girl's feelings and experiences has a deep emotional impact on the reader. This story has an impressive ending. “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman is a brilliant and thought-provoking story about a brother and a sister, Karen and Nicholas, who execute dolls. The author writes fluently about Karen's childhood happenings and their impact on her. “Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan is one of the most memorable stories in this anthology due to its contents. In this story, the author combines a highway tale and a murder story in an intriguingly disturbing way as she writes about murderous twin sisters. “The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud is a story about Jack Oleander who sells used books. He meets Tobias George who sells artifacts pulled from Hell and makes a lot of money doing it. This is a fascinating story that reveals why the author one of the best writers of modern horror fiction. “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey is a well written creepy tale about two cousins who decide to break into an old man's house, which is believed to be haunted. They find something very dark inside the house and get into trouble. I think that Ellen Datlow has done an excellent job at gathering as many different kind of stories as possible, because they highlight what modern horror is and how it has evolved in the hands of talented authors who dare to explore various things within the context of horror fiction. She has created an anthology that has something for everybody. No matter what your taste in horror fiction is, you'll find something to enjoy in this anthology. Because I'm a devoted fan of weird fiction and love weird stories, I was delighted to notice that the editor had included many weird fiction stories into this anthology. Such stories as “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels, “The Shallows” by John Langan and “Omphalos” by Livia Llewellyn are perfect examples of modern and striking weird fiction, because each of them is refreshingly original. Mark Samuels, John Langan and Livia Llewellyn have unique literary voices and they're not afraid of pushing the boundaries of weird fiction into exciting directions. Nightmares is a dream come true anthology for those who love the darker and twisted side of speculative fiction and want to be entertained by beautifully written, dark and imaginative stories that give readers something to think about (it's a chilling, entertaining, unsettling and rewarding reading experience). Each of the stories in this anthology is worth reading and should not be missed by fans of quality horror fiction. Horror fiction anthologies don't get any better than this, so please make sure that you'll read this one as soon as possible or you'll be sorry to have missed it. Highly recommended!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This is an anthology of 24 horror short stories. Horror is a simplification; there are several cross-genre pieces (e.g. dark sci-fi, dark historical fiction, tales of the weird, etc.) as well as stories that have a realistic—but dark—tone. However, it’s all fiction linked by a visceral darkness. These stories have all been previously published in various magazines or collections, and they were all written during the decade between 2005 and 2015. 1.) “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels: A celebrity awa This is an anthology of 24 horror short stories. Horror is a simplification; there are several cross-genre pieces (e.g. dark sci-fi, dark historical fiction, tales of the weird, etc.) as well as stories that have a realistic—but dark—tone. However, it’s all fiction linked by a visceral darkness. These stories have all been previously published in various magazines or collections, and they were all written during the decade between 2005 and 2015. 1.) “Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels: A celebrity awakens in a hospital after a drunken crash that necessitated reconstructive surgery. It slowly dawns on him that the clinic isn’t what it seemed. This is an intriguing and distinctive tale. 2.) “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe: A horror writer has the family of an old friend to his house. He tells them that it’s the “least haunted house in the Midwest,” despite a gruesome history that suggests a place where evil comes to play. This was among my favorites. The horror writer character is well developed. 3.) “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge: It’s never good when someone calls you in the middle of the night and asks you to bring a shovel. But sometimes it’s even worse than expected. I’ve read this one before. It’s a great premise and an engaging story. This anthology includes both stories that feel like they are realistically set in the world we know, as well as speculative fiction pieces. This feels like the former, but makes a shift. 4.) “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren: There’s a myth among anorexics of the Ash Mouth Man, whose kiss robs its victims of the ability to taste pleasant flavors. A dentist of a different ilk takes up with this mythical man. I’d place this one more as a tale of the weird than horror, but it’s on the dark side of that sub-genre. It’s well-written. 5.) “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle: An abduction and abuse victim tells her story of being locked in a closet, but no one believes the part about her fantastic escape. This is a gritty and evocative piece. 6.) “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files: This is an unconventional approach to story. The information content is conveyed by way of a file from a parapsychology institute after a coroner’s inquest of a psychic medium’s death proves inconclusive. I sometimes like this approach. Reading through a file fills a kind of voyeuristic pleasure, and offers the challenge of piecing together events oneself. This story was solid, but not my favorite of the bunch. 7.) “Hushabye” by Simon Bestwick: A man out walking in the middle of the night stumbles onto the scene of a young girl under attack. Strangely, there seems to be a metallic substance pouring between the girl’s mouth and that of her attacker. This is crime fiction with a supernatural twist. 8.) “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle: A Royal Air Force air crew in Zanzibar shows off for some ladies with dire consequences. This one is in the realist vein. It feels like a story one might be told in a bar by a particularly gifted storytelling veteran. 9.) “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan: This tale seems to take place in the Hansel and Gretel universe. An unsavory merchant of the illicit woos a witch, and, surprisingly, it doesn’t work out as he’d hoped. This is a compelling story in the dark fairy tale sub-genre. 10.) “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy: This one has a 19th century vibe, not only because that’s when it’s set, but because it’s conveyed through documentation as was a popular approach of the era. In this case it’s a newspaper’s reprinting of the diary of an individual from an ill-fated cross-continental convoy. (i.e. “Clay Party” as in Donner Party.) The diary approach worked well, being both easy to follow and having an authentic feel. 11.) “Strappado” by Laird Barron: Two hip and cosmopolitan lovers attend the performance art event of an artist deemed trendy and edgy by the in-crowd. The performance doesn’t work out for everybody. This was evocative, and was, perhaps, a cautionary tale about being too up for trendy and edgy activities. 12.) “Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones: A snake-oil salesman knows something that the locals don’t, and it’s not about the efficacy of his product. This is another of my favorites. It’s a Western with a supernatural twist. 13.) “Mr Pigsny” by Reggie Oliver: A Professor with some mobster relatives attends the funeral of one such gangster. The Professor is willed a Ming vase that he’d once admired, but ends up tangled up in the dealings between the deceased and a mysterious “spiritualist.” The spiritualist, Mr. Pigsny, is masterfully portrayed as both a quiet professional and spine-tinglingly creepy. 14.) “At Night, When the Demons Come” by Ray Cluley: A big, strong man and a little girl meet, and team up with, a party of four survivors in a demon-infested dystopian wasteland. Whether the odd pairing are truly allies, or, if not, what type of threat they present is not as was expected and made for a thought-provoking piece. I found this tale to be clever, and it revealed an unexpected theme. 15.) “Was She Wicked? Was She Good?” by M. Rickert: A little girl makes enemies by cruelly dispensing with little forest creatures--fairies, perhaps. Her parents debate what they should do to stave off the wrath of their neighbors of another species. The title says it all. This is one of those stories that tactically reveal information to keep the reader wondering. 16.) “The Shallows” by John Langan: It’s not so easy for me to describe this story. There’s a lot going on. It’s what I’d call busy. The part of the story that resonated with me was about a stray dog that a family adopts only to have its (apparently-negligent) owner come and retrieve it. This was among my least favorite entries, but it was solidly written. 17.) “Little Pig” by Anna Taborska: A newly-wed man waits at Heathrow airport for the grandmother of his Polish wife. That present-day event brackets a flashback from the grandmother’s youth that helps to explain what seems like inexplicable old-world behavior. This is one of the shortest pieces, but it’s an endearing tale--even with the dark events of the flashback. 18.) “Omphalos” by Livia Llewellyn: This is an intense story about a family of four who go on a vacation that’s a sham. The mom and dad pretend they are taking the kids to Canada in their RV only to detour into remote parts of the Pacific Northwest. The depravity quotient of this family is high. Much of the story is brutally realistic, but there is a supernatural element with regards maps, which appear to be marked up differently to each member of the family. The maps play an important role in the unfolding of the story. This story is well-written and gripping, but, unlike the bulk of the works herein, it’s not PG-13. 19.) “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” by Dan Chaon: This is the story of a father and son living in a zombie apocalypse-ish—after the mother died. That may make this sound like one of the more derivative stories in the bunch, but the author creates a unique zombie “apocalypse.” This isn’t the dark and gritty world of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.” Here, the zombies are more of an inconvenience—like wild animals that get into one’s garden--rather than a swarming threat to life and limb. This is both an interesting take on the sub-genre, and an intriguing commentary on humanity. 20.) “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman: A girl requires the execution of her dolls from both her brother and later her new husband. She says she cannot love them fully as long as the dolls are there taking in her love. Creepy, that’s the word for this one. It has a lower body count (of living things) than many of the stories, and yet it’s as disturbing as they come. 21.) “Interstate Love Song” by Caitlin R. Keirnan: A couple of homicidal girls pick up a hitchhiker as they ride cross-country. There are some interspersed flashbacks that show that this isn’t their first rodeo, but, still, it doesn’t go like the others. This is a page-turner. 22.) “Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix: Wouldn’t it suck to die because the post-Cold War bureaucracy didn’t have institutional memory of one of its doomsday technologies—especially one that lived next door? This is one of my favorites. Besides the fear factor, this story has a dry humor that I found amusing. Like a few of the others, this story manages to make a commentary without detracting from its entertainment value. 23.) “The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud: A bookstore owner / occultist who used to work for a crime boss is strong-armed back into the life. What he stumbles into is even worse than he expected, but he makes a decision that will dramatically change his life. This was also an engaging story as well as a strong entrant in the anthology. 24.) “Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey: A couple of burglars badly overestimate the ease of robbing an old man and what will come of it. It starts out a bit like a creepy version of “Home Alone”--with an old man instead of an eight-year-old, but then takes a turn into territory darker than Wild Bill of “Silence of the Lambs” fame. This is a strong collection. There are several stories that have that cinematic quality that make for gripping reading. There weren’t any pieces that I didn’t at all care for, and there were several that hooked me. I’d recommend this collection for those who like dark fiction.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vijayalakshmi

    This anthology of 24 short stories, though slotted under horror, spans a bigger range of genres with horror intersecting fantasy, crime fiction and even sci-fi. It has something for everyone. Broadly, this is weird fiction. Like all anthologies, there is a mix of stories that are amazing, to others that one wants to skip over. I should add in here, that many of the stories are extremely disturbing and could be triggering. So the recommendation comes with trigger warnings for sexual abuse, incest, This anthology of 24 short stories, though slotted under horror, spans a bigger range of genres with horror intersecting fantasy, crime fiction and even sci-fi. It has something for everyone. Broadly, this is weird fiction. Like all anthologies, there is a mix of stories that are amazing, to others that one wants to skip over. I should add in here, that many of the stories are extremely disturbing and could be triggering. So the recommendation comes with trigger warnings for sexual abuse, incest, body horror, graphic torture. A lot of the descriptions are pretty gory and nasty, expected for the genre, but certainly not for a reader who may be disturbed by them. What ties a lot of these stories together is the horrifying realization that there is much more to fear in the here and now; that the real monsters walk amongst us. In touching upon these very real horrors that we read about in the newspaper everyday and then magnifying them, Nightmares succeeds in being a true representation of what scares us in today’s world. Full review here: https://thereadingdesk.wordpress.com/...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Barbi Faye (The Book Fae)

    Some more creepy stories, and these are so creepish, especially when they're being read at night....! Contains ten years of terror from masters and newcomers both, and there are so MANY really great short stories that I need to highly recommend that you give this tome a lookie loo. In saying this, I really loved "Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad #8)" by Caitlin R. Klieman; it was my absolute favorite!! It was a big book, it contained lots of stories, it was a recent publication, and I enjoyed Some more creepy stories, and these are so creepish, especially when they're being read at night....! Contains ten years of terror from masters and newcomers both, and there are so MANY really great short stories that I need to highly recommend that you give this tome a lookie loo. In saying this, I really loved "Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad #8)" by Caitlin R. Klieman; it was my absolute favorite!! It was a big book, it contained lots of stories, it was a recent publication, and I enjoyed the skeleton decoration between chapters immensely. Unique...!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    *I've got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review* Firstly, I like to say, that I love this cover...But that is all that is good about this book. I hated the content of it. The stories were boring, flat and some of them just plain absurd. I really tried to like it, but it was impossible. Finally, I just gave up and put this book down at about 50% of it. Such a disappointment.....

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura Ruetz

    I really enjoyed the writing in this anthology. All of the stories are enjoyable and held my attention. From subtle to bloody, these are from all ranges of the horror spectrum.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    Mix bag. Some really good stories with new to me writers I'll be checking out. I had forgotten how much I love Caitlin R. Kiernan; going to have to dig her books out and do a little rereading!

  30. 5 out of 5

    GracieKat

    Typically I try to do anthologies by rating them on a story by story basis. For shorter collections/anthologies I will still do that but some are a bit too story-packed to go story by story. So I'm going to try something a little different with this one. Generally Ellen Datlow's anthologies are themed. This one is a follow up to her Darkness: Two Decades of Horror anthology. They don't really have a 'theme' exactly. Just a general collection of horror stories. So! Let's get started. First off, I l Typically I try to do anthologies by rating them on a story by story basis. For shorter collections/anthologies I will still do that but some are a bit too story-packed to go story by story. So I'm going to try something a little different with this one. Generally Ellen Datlow's anthologies are themed. This one is a follow up to her Darkness: Two Decades of Horror anthology. They don't really have a 'theme' exactly. Just a general collection of horror stories. So! Let's get started. First off, I love the cover. Even though I read the e-book this would be one I would want for the cover. Now, I'll move on to the stories. Stories I Loved:  Our Turn Too Will Come One Day (Brian Hodge), Spectral Evidence (Gemma Files), Hushabye (Simon Bestwick), The Clay Party (Steve Duffy), Mr. Pigsny (Reggie Oliver), Was She Wicked? Was She Good? (M. Rickert), Ambitious Boys Like You (Richard Kadrey) Stories I Liked: Dead Sea Fruit (Kaaron Warren), Very Low-Flying Aircraft (Nicholas Royle), Lonegan's Luck (Stephen Graham Jones), The Shallows (John Langan), The Atlas of Hell (Nathan Ballingrud), Closet Dreams (Lisa Tuttle) Stories That Made Me Go "Meh" (meaning I generally liked them but thought they could have been better): Sob in the Silence (Gene Wolfe), Strappado (Laird Barron), Little Pig (Anna Taborska) Stories I Did Not Like. At All: Shallaballah (Mark Samuels), The Goosle (Margo Lanagan), How We Escaped Our Certain Fate (Dan Chaon), Interstate Love Song: Murder Ballad 8 (Caitlin R. Kiernan) There were a few that I teetered back and forth on. The writing was great, nothing to complain about there. It was the subject matter that I didn't like. No fault of the authors, it just didn't agree with me. Other people might not have problems with them. The Iffy Category: Omphalos - Livia Llewellyn (I thought it was disturbing and I really wasn't sure what the ending was all about), The Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love - Robert Shearman, Shay Corsham Worsted - Garth Nix (I really liked it but it needed to be longer. It just seemed like a snippet with no real background or conclusion. I was definitely interested in it but there needed to be more.) The stand-outs for me were Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files, Mr. Pigsny by Reggie Oliver and Ambitious People Like You by Richard Kadry. Spectral Evidence because I am a total sucker when it comes to document-type or epistolary type stories and books. And this was a good one. I loved Mr. Pigsny because it had an interesting demonic story and a creepy painting. Horror gold for me. Ambitious Boys Like You interested me because it starts with the often used 'robbing the mysterious old man' theme (which we all know does not end well for the would-be robbers, usually) and I was interested in seeing which way this one would go. Received from Netgalley for an honest review

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