Publisher’s Comments: From the pages of The Horror Zine-the critically acclaimed online horror magazine-comes A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE edited by Jeani Rector. Featuring dark fantasy, mystery, pure suspense and classic horror, this book from The Horror Zine is relentless in its approach to basic fears and has twisted, unexpected endings. Come and find out what terrifying things can creep out of The Horror Zine to make your skin crawl.
A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE contains fiction from such renowned masters of the macabre as Simon Clark, Graham Masterton, Joe R. Lansdale, Scott Nicholson, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Joe McKinney, Susie Moloney, Tom Piccirilli, Ed Gorman, Trevor Denyer, and Jeff Strand. This book has amazing articles from John Gilmore, Deborah LeBlanc, Earl Hamner, Kasey Lansdale and Tim Lebbon, and a Foreword from horror great Ramsey Campbell. Here you will also find other deliciously dark delights from morbidly creative people who have not yet made the big time…but will soon. Each tale and poem, every article and artful rendering is a dark delicacy of its own, making this a true Feast of Frights!
Dear readers and fellow devotees of the weird and horrorific,
Today I am pleased to bring you another review by our faithful minion Heather Royston on another anthology based on tales and assorted scary things from The Horror Zine.
Heather’s great respect for these offerings have whetted my own appetite, and after lurking around their website a bit, I must say that I am impressed with the fiction, poetry, and art they have available for public consumption.
But I’m not trying to steal all of Heather’s thunder; so without any further ado from your humble narrator, please enjoy Heather’s review of A Fest Of Frights From The Horror Zine.
After having read (and loved) The Horror Zine’s previous collection What Fears Become, I was incredibly excited to get my paws on their new book, A Feast Of Frights. From the moment I saw the amazing cover art I was sure that this was going to be another marvelous collection.
A Feast of Frights begins with a foreword from Ramsey Campbell, which both amped me up and scared me. He had written a masterful review of the book himself and I frankly had no idea then (nor do I now) have any idea how to match him. I humbly acknowledge that I can’t, but I will try to convey my feelings on the subject as best I can.
The book is structured much like its predecessor, stories first then poetry with the art intermingling through the pages, with “The Editors Corner” as the finale. New to this collection was a series of interviews and articles by people from the various industries that embrace the love of terror.
Before reviewing any of the pieces individually, I would like to touch on my emotional reaction to the book overall. I noticed that each and every time I picked the book up to read that certain emotions tended to rise in me. There seemed to be an unofficial theme to the book, though in many stories or poems it was subtle. I felt a veil of sadness and loneliness, woven throughout the macabre words. I had moments of laughter, and many times my skin crawled and my body shivered and I scooted a little closer to my husband for comfort, but that vague feeling of sadness in the words flowed pretty consistently though there was a wild variety of subject matters. Now I want it made clear that this is not a bad thing at all. In fact, that slight perpetual feeling of melancholy made me love the book even more.
While I did have many favorites from this collection, I will focus one only from each category for the purposes of this review. (Though I still think Mr. Campbell did a better job than I could ever do with his description of each piece).
I think of all the stories in A Feast Of Frights, “The Tide Clock” by James Strauss scared me most of all. It’s a story based in reality — and the ones that can really happen are always the most terrifying to me. I have been places similar to where this story takes place, and I now I will undoubtedly get the shivers every time I picture them.
“John Gilmore Tells Us About Hollywood’s Dark Side” was a truly fascinating article. Mr. Gilmore talks about the people in Hollywood who passed through his life, briefly or as dear friends, and then passed from it entirely through tragic circumstances. He touches on the emotions he felt as he wrote books on them, as well as the books he wrote about other horrible tragedies, such as the Charles Manson Family murders. But perhaps saddest of all is the fact that he has been trying to work on a “passion project” for a very long time, but it keeps getting set aside for these books or films or memorials (or whatever else the folks in La La Land keep coming to him for). I do hope he gets to finish, I very much want to read it.
I find myself once again citing Dennis Bagwell as a favorite for “If Frankenstein’s Monster Were Alive Today.” I would hope that it would go better for “the monster” in this poem, but the reality is that this is probably exactly how it would happen. Which makes it both funny and very very sad.
“Apiphobia” by Paula McDonald gave me quite a fright. To this day I have yet to be stung by a bee and the prospect of it terrifies me. This piece took that fear and revved it up to the point where I turned the page very quickly and wouldn’t put my fingers behind it. The abject horror of the idea brought me back to this piece of art later on and in the end, that feeling that it invoked won me over and I love it. I love it even more so to find that the artist is completely self-taught!
And of course, The Editors Corner with two stories by Jeani Rector and one by Dean H. Wild was fantastic as was expected. All three stories were amazing and all followed that underlying theme of sadness. “The Golum” (Rector) and “The Bond” (Wild) both especially brought tears to my eyes.
I am happy to say that, once again, editor Jeani Rector and assistant editor Dean H. Wild have amassed a collection of amazing pieces, each one brilliant and terrifying, that have evoked such a depth of emotion in me. This is a perfect follow up to “What Fears Become,” and I am forever a fan of The Horror Zine and their staff. I am very proud to award “A Feast of Frights” 5 out of 5 tentacles …
…and to once again extend 5 out of 5 to the staff of The Horror Zine for such extraordinary talent in choosing and arranging this book.
Heather Royston, Minion/Reviewer