The editorial reigns for this anthology have been handed over to genre expert and all round good guy Johnny Mains. Johnny was the man behind the Auction for Japan, for those of you who didn't know.
It's always a bit of a punt when you first encounter a new publishing house. Up until I heard of thios collection a few weeks ago I had never heard of Obverse books, and to be honest until I head Johnny's name being bandied around the internet for his Auction for Japan, I had never heard of Johnny either.
Looks like I'm late for the party as usual. Bite Sized Horror, is one hell of a damn fine read, every story in this anthology is deserving of its place. johnny has excelled himself in collecting together this band of authors and stories.
The six stories presented here are all excellent examples of first class short horror fiction. Kicking of the anthology is chilling ghost story, Brighton Redemption by Reggie Oliver. Reggie has captured the feel of a classic Victorian ghost story, brimming with murdered children, and Victorian Clergymen. A rich atmospheric tale that sets the standard high for the subsequent stories. Prior to reading this story I had never heard of Reggie Oliver, however based on this rather fine tale, I'll be tracking down as much of his work as possible.
Next up is The Between by Paul Kane. Wow, this is one hell of a story,. Trapped in a lift with a bunch of strangers Joe is about to go to the place in-between, place filled with darkness and terror. I loved this story right up to the pay off. I'm one of those guys who needs a full and proper explanation to the how why and wherefores of any story he reads. For me the story ended to quickly, which was a great pity as it was shaping up to be my favourite of the anthology. This is just my opinion and I guarantee there are loads of folk out there who will love the ending of this story.
Next up is David A. Riley's take on a zombie story His Pale Blue Eyes . This is a well crafted story that shows us that sometimes it's not the zombies that we have to watch out for. of all the sun genres of horror, it is perhaps the zombie genre that is the most overused, so it his nice to see that there are folk like David, who are more than capable of doing something different within the confines of the short story.
The Unquiet bones by Marie O Regan,is a brilliant tale of Witchcraft v's The Church and revenge from beyond the grave. A broken down car, a monastery and a sliced finger soon set off the release of a long bound evil. This story really put me in mind of a classic Hammer Horror film. You can picture the story unfolding in your minds eye in all the Technocolour glory of these classic films.
The Rookery by Johnny Mains is the shortest tale of the bunch. What the story lacks in length, is more than made up for. This is a moving tale that will set up residence in your brain for a long time after you have finished reading it. A father battling a belligerent ex wife over the custody of their son soon turns to tragedy, sadness and loss.
The anthology is rounded off with a tale from Conrad Williams - The Carbon Heart. Yet again Conrad Williams shows why he is one of thr top genre authors working in the genre today.
I highly recommended that you go and get this anthology, and while you there get the subscription, it works out at great values four editions for the price of there.
and direct from Obverse Books