My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh, wow, this is a great issue. I haven’t read a lot of horror short fiction in recent decades and I’ve been curious to see what writers are writing about. Thus, I’m a new subscriber; it has already been rewarding.
What interests me most about “Great Black Wave” by David Tallerman is the technology of modern and near-future warfare, and how it might provide a handhold for an ancient evil to ascend into the modern world. There are also elements in this story that remind me of one of my favorite Dean Koontz novels, Phantoms.
The surprise of “The Finest, Fullest Flowering” by Marc Laidlaw is how subtlety the tension builds in a story that doesn’t otherwise seem to have much horror in it. At first. The ending gave me a delicious and unexpected chill. The story is a very satisfying read.
“Things of Which We Do Not Speak” by Lucy Taylor is full of repressed awfulness that explodes into unsettling psychological horror. It’s a truly uncomfortable read but also a masterfully written examination of the darkness hidden inside people.
“Ruminations” by Rena Mason brings together contemporary reality and a vaguely science fiction and frightening future via a supernatural bridge. I love how genres mix in this story, but the mixing is grounded by two very captivating characters who make it seem all too real.
The nonfiction in this issue is interesting, though the “The H Word” column seems to continue a conversation of which I haven’t read previous installments. Joyce Carol Oates is interviewed and provides nice insights into the horror-writing side of her work.