Review: +HORROR LIBRARY+ VOLUME 8
By Nadia Bruce-Rawlings
Well, Eric J. Guignard can certainly curate a book of horror short stories. This volume of the +Horror Library+ Volume 8 is the third volume he has edited (6-8) in the series, and he has done an amazing job. These stories flow, they chill, they bring on the creeps, and they bring on disturbing thoughts and dreams that linger just a tad too long. Thirty-one stories and not a dud amongst them.
The anthology starts strongly with a very eerie story, “Rides,” by Eric Del Carlo…a look into a man’s past that gets the book off to a thrilling start. The next story honestly really scared me: “Only The Stones Will Hear You Scream,” by R.A. Busby. This one touched on all my greatest phobias - abuse, claustrophobia, bugs, darkness, the whole nine yards. I was literally clutching my heart reading it. And from this auspicious beginning, the book goes on to reveal an intelligent array of chills.
In his introduction, Guignard states that although he loves the standard fare of zombies and ghosts, he prefers “fiction that innovates, tales that bring fresh perspectives, that explore lore with surreal or provocative twists, that latch onto ideas and transform them into something ominously alluring.” This collection does just that, and honestly left me wanting more.
From a mundane life that brings solitude to such a deep level the protagonist is forced to flee, in “Solace” by Anna Ziegelhof, to an ultra-disturbing tale of the Steppes and incredible writing that will have you thinking, “wait…is she a …?” halfway through, in “Broodmare” by Jo Kaplan, I promise you will not be disappointed with this book. “Mr. Hunicutt” by Bentley Little tells the tale of a couple stalked by a walnut-man. Sounds ridiculous, but it is very unnerving.
Octavia Cade shines in her story “Lise Meitner Speaks to the Living,” wherein she gets inside the head of the physicist who discovered nuclear fission, as she confronts the ghosts of Hiroshima. “Clay,” written beautifully by Colin Leonard, portrays a mountain of clay taking vengeance on those that have destroyed it. In addition, Guignard has included a gallery of incredible artwork by Jana Heidersdorf, a German artist whose disturbing art fits wonderfully within this collection.
Guignard has managed to group these thirty-one very unique stories in such a way that they flow gracefully from one to the next. There is some humor, some beauty, and a lot of disturbing chills. He has truly selected some of the best horror stories from around the world, which cannot have been an easy process. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with these words.