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FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditio FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life." With over 450 pages, Fresh Fear is packed with stories written by both masters and up-and-coming maestros of the horror genre. Tales steeped in psychological horror sit alongside visions of strange worlds and fantastical landscapes drenched in blood. 'Quiet horror' sits comfortably next to more visceral portrayals of the monsters that lurk deep within the human heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famously once said, "where there is no imagination there is no horror" - the horror expressed by the authors in Fresh Fear show that imagination is indeed tantamount to excellent story-telling. Prepare yourself for 28 tales of fear-inducing horror from some of today's best authors of dark fiction. Authors/Stories Scathe meic Beorh – God of the Wind Robert Dunbar – High Rise Ramsey Campbell – Welcomeland Lily Childs – Strange Tastes Lincoln Crisler – Nouri and the Beetles Jack Dann – Camps Thomas Erb – Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted Brandon Ford – Scare Me Carole Gill – Raised Lindsey Beth Goddard – The Tooth Collector JF Gonzalez – Love Hurts Dane Hatchell – ‘takers Charlee Jacob – Inside the Buzzword Box K Trap Jones – Demon Eyed Blind Tim Jones – Protein James Ward Kirk – Block Roy C Booth & Axel Kohagen – Just Another Ex Shane McKenzie – So Much Death Shaun Meeks – Perfection Through Silence Adam Millard – The Incongruous Mr Marwick Christine Morgan – Nails of The Dead Billie Sue Mosiman – Verboten Chantal Noordeloos – The Door Don Noble – Psych WH Pugmire – Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes William Todd Rose – The Grave Dancer EA Irwin – Justice through Twelve Step Anna Taborska – Out of the Light *WARNING: R 18+ - Contains graphic scenes of violence and psychological horror. Not suitable for younger readers. Keywords Horror Psychological Horror Fantasy Horror Dark Fiction Literary Horror Genre Fiction Horror Anthology Modern Gothic Horror Contemporary Horror Adult Horror Fiction


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FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditio FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life." With over 450 pages, Fresh Fear is packed with stories written by both masters and up-and-coming maestros of the horror genre. Tales steeped in psychological horror sit alongside visions of strange worlds and fantastical landscapes drenched in blood. 'Quiet horror' sits comfortably next to more visceral portrayals of the monsters that lurk deep within the human heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famously once said, "where there is no imagination there is no horror" - the horror expressed by the authors in Fresh Fear show that imagination is indeed tantamount to excellent story-telling. Prepare yourself for 28 tales of fear-inducing horror from some of today's best authors of dark fiction. Authors/Stories Scathe meic Beorh – God of the Wind Robert Dunbar – High Rise Ramsey Campbell – Welcomeland Lily Childs – Strange Tastes Lincoln Crisler – Nouri and the Beetles Jack Dann – Camps Thomas Erb – Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted Brandon Ford – Scare Me Carole Gill – Raised Lindsey Beth Goddard – The Tooth Collector JF Gonzalez – Love Hurts Dane Hatchell – ‘takers Charlee Jacob – Inside the Buzzword Box K Trap Jones – Demon Eyed Blind Tim Jones – Protein James Ward Kirk – Block Roy C Booth & Axel Kohagen – Just Another Ex Shane McKenzie – So Much Death Shaun Meeks – Perfection Through Silence Adam Millard – The Incongruous Mr Marwick Christine Morgan – Nails of The Dead Billie Sue Mosiman – Verboten Chantal Noordeloos – The Door Don Noble – Psych WH Pugmire – Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes William Todd Rose – The Grave Dancer EA Irwin – Justice through Twelve Step Anna Taborska – Out of the Light *WARNING: R 18+ - Contains graphic scenes of violence and psychological horror. Not suitable for younger readers. Keywords Horror Psychological Horror Fantasy Horror Dark Fiction Literary Horror Genre Fiction Horror Anthology Modern Gothic Horror Contemporary Horror Adult Horror Fiction

30 review for Fresh Fear: An Anthology of Macabre Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    First off please heed the warning. If you are easily offended this book is not for you. If you are a horror lover than prepare to be delighted and disturbed by 28 horror tales that are indeed horrifying! This is a large volume at over 400 pages of gruesome acts and evil doers. There are stories of cannibalism, serial killers, madness, abuse and more. There is the sarcastic wit found in "Scare Me" "Love Hurts" is a twisted tale of love and sex, and fulfilling a lovers deepest darkest wish. Broth First off please heed the warning. If you are easily offended this book is not for you. If you are a horror lover than prepare to be delighted and disturbed by 28 horror tales that are indeed horrifying! This is a large volume at over 400 pages of gruesome acts and evil doers. There are stories of cannibalism, serial killers, madness, abuse and more. There is the sarcastic wit found in "Scare Me" "Love Hurts" is a twisted tale of love and sex, and fulfilling a lovers deepest darkest wish. Brothers fall prey to a sex crazed ghost in their new apartment in "High Rise" In "Nouri and The Beetles" 2 jealous girls conspire against the village's most beautiful young woman. A hospitalized man has vivid dreams of Nazi prison "camps" Kidnapped children are found alive and a happy reunion takes place in "So Much Pain So much Death" There is a tooth fairy the likes of which you never imagined in your childhood. "Psyche" just plain scared the bejeezers out of me. A child is terrified of what's behind "The Door" A girl will do whatever it takes to find her missing sister in "Verboten" All of this and more await you in Fresh Fear, enter if you dare and remember.. I warned you. I received a complimentary copy for review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave Granger

    I normally tear through these anthologies, but this one requires a little more time due to how amazing each and every story is. Not only is it full of some of my favorite writers (ie Ramsey Campbell, Shane McKenzie, Shaun Meeks, JF Gonzalez and Adam Millard), but it has introduced me to some all new favorites (ie Scathe meic Beorh, K Trap Jones, Christine Morgan, Chantal Noordeloos and Anna Taborska). William Cook has put together an amazing collection of some of the best writers who have obviou I normally tear through these anthologies, but this one requires a little more time due to how amazing each and every story is. Not only is it full of some of my favorite writers (ie Ramsey Campbell, Shane McKenzie, Shaun Meeks, JF Gonzalez and Adam Millard), but it has introduced me to some all new favorites (ie Scathe meic Beorh, K Trap Jones, Christine Morgan, Chantal Noordeloos and Anna Taborska). William Cook has put together an amazing collection of some of the best writers who have obviously brought some of their best tales to the table. Trying to pick favorites in this amazing line up was like taking two cans of Pepsi and asking "which one do you like more". But I did it anyway, although I am sure I will read each of these stories again, and again. My top picks would have to be Shane McKenzie's So Much Pain, So Much Death; Shaun Meeks' Perfection Through Silence; Chantal Noordeloos' The Door; Anna Taborska's Out of the Light; Adam Millard's The Incongruous Mr. Marwick; RObert Dunbar's High Rise and Scathe meic Beorh's God of the Wind. That being said, there is not a single story I would pass on during a second reading of this. It really is one of the best anthologies of the year.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Donald White

    Fear comes in many forms and speaks with countless voices. This is a collection of stories from authors living in diverse places. It is a tapestry woven from these disparate elements and presented all for the love of horror. The introduction is a selection from W.J. Renehan's "The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction." Entitled "Why We Turn to Horror," it is an illuminating piece on the very attraction of horror in all its many forms. Launching into the book, we find Scathe Fear comes in many forms and speaks with countless voices. This is a collection of stories from authors living in diverse places. It is a tapestry woven from these disparate elements and presented all for the love of horror. The introduction is a selection from W.J. Renehan's "The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction." Entitled "Why We Turn to Horror," it is an illuminating piece on the very attraction of horror in all its many forms. Launching into the book, we find Scathe meic Beorh's "God of the Winds." It is a vision of human depravity with a taste of ancient terrors. Ramsey Campbell's "Welcomeland" takes you on a journey into an amusement park, forgotten by time but not by the memories which lurk within its depths. Lily Childs brings us "Strange Tastes," a tale of secret hungers revealed. In "Nouri and the Beetles," Lincoln Crisler tells of primal desires and awful betrayal. Jack Dann's "Camps" takes us into the mind of a dying man with nightmares of a haunted past. In "High Rise," Robert Dunbar reveals a deadly seduction while Thomas A. Erb's "Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted" is a shocking tale of vengeance. Brandon Ford's "Scare Me" tells of a woman forced to drive to an inevitable fate. In "Raised," Carole Gill tells of ancient magic and an obsession with death. Lindsey Beth Goddard weaves a tale of unspeakable tragedy and the price to change one's fate in "The Tooth Collector." In "Love Hurts," J.F. Gonzalez speaks of a love for pain taken to a horrific level. Dane Hatchell's "The `takers" is about a mind's descent into madness, while in "Justice through Twelve Steps," E.A. Irwin speaks of insanity talking to those who will hear. Charlee Jacob brings us "Locked Inside the Buzzword Box," a story about devouring hunger. K. Trap Jones speaks of a demon hunter faced with a deadly choice in "Demon Eyed Blind." Tim Jones' "Protein" is a fight for survival against cannibal hunger. Vada Katherine's "Block" describes the hunt for a killer and the desire for release. Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen tell of a man facing a lover's vengeance in "Just Another Ex." Shane McKenzie's "So Much Pain, So Much Death" is about a father finding his daughter, only to discover an awful truth. Shaun Meeks brings us "Perfection Through Silence," the tale of a man constantly vexed by a disturbing noise. In Adam Millard's "The Incongruous Mr. Marwick," a boy learns that some solitary souls are better left alone. Christine Morgan's "Nails of the Dead" is a disturbing journey into mythological depths. Billie Sue Mosiman's "Verboten" tells of sisterly love with fatal results. D.F. Noble's "Psych" pulls you into the psych ward to learn what hideous presence lurks in the shadows. In "The Door," Chantal Noordeloos reminds us dangers can be found on either side. W.H. Pugmire's "Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes" is about a lost being and that which it sees in the depths of a mirror. William Todd Rose gives us the seduction of an urban legend in "The Grave Dancer," while Anna Taborska's "Out of the Light" speaks of a soul's desire pulling a man into the darkness. William Cook has truly brought us a fresh perspective, like a sharpened blade that cuts to the quick. The forms of fear are many and you will find them all waiting for you here. For just like flesh, horror will decay... unless you keep it fresh.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Reid

    I love horror anthologies, and I can honestly say I have never read one where I enjoyed every single story. There always tends to be one or two duds, right? With "Fresh Fear", this just wasn't the case! It's chock full of everything readers of the macabre want: revenge, cannibalism, haunting dreams, demons, deadly bargains, necrophilia, graveyards, naughty doctors, serial killers, ghosts, obsession and madness, even S&M. In other words, fun for the whole family!! I started to list my favorite sel I love horror anthologies, and I can honestly say I have never read one where I enjoyed every single story. There always tends to be one or two duds, right? With "Fresh Fear", this just wasn't the case! It's chock full of everything readers of the macabre want: revenge, cannibalism, haunting dreams, demons, deadly bargains, necrophilia, graveyards, naughty doctors, serial killers, ghosts, obsession and madness, even S&M. In other words, fun for the whole family!! I started to list my favorite selections, and realized it's just too long of a list. There were even a few stories that stuck with me for days after reading, especially "So Much Pain, So Much Death", "The Door", and "Strange Tastes". Buy it Read it Get creeped out You won't be disappointed

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    Abandoned. Only made it through three stories. Possibly (probably?) it got better. The writing was pissing me off, then story three was (view spoiler)[ a guy dismembering and eating a woman (hide spoiler)] and I realized I was getting nothing from it. Abandoned. Only made it through three stories. Possibly (probably?) it got better. The writing was pissing me off, then story three was (view spoiler)[ a guy dismembering and eating a woman (hide spoiler)] and I realized I was getting nothing from it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Baal Of

    The second book I pulled from this list: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1... and this one is substantially better than the other. There are some very good gory, violent, and just plain fucked up stories in this collection. An example description that I liked: "The babies looked like roasted whole chickens, thrown in sloppy piles around her." You should be able to tell from that whether this anthology is for you or not. There are also some more atmospheric offerings as well. The second book I pulled from this list: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1... and this one is substantially better than the other. There are some very good gory, violent, and just plain fucked up stories in this collection. An example description that I liked: "The babies looked like roasted whole chickens, thrown in sloppy piles around her." You should be able to tell from that whether this anthology is for you or not. There are also some more atmospheric offerings as well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angela Crawford

    In Fresh Fear you will come across monsters in all forms, from ghosts and demons to monsters who are all to human. .A great anthology put together by William Cook. Has stories from some writers I was familiar with as well as some I'll be looking for in the future. A few of these stories are really great, most are very good, only a few left me cold. So curl up somewhere cozy and enjoy this solid 4 star read. In Fresh Fear you will come across monsters in all forms, from ghosts and demons to monsters who are all to human. .A great anthology put together by William Cook. Has stories from some writers I was familiar with as well as some I'll be looking for in the future. A few of these stories are really great, most are very good, only a few left me cold. So curl up somewhere cozy and enjoy this solid 4 star read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Thacker

    Loved it! I am a horror story fanatic! Loved this one. One of my favorites was "Scare Me". Can't wait for more! Loved it! I am a horror story fanatic! Loved this one. One of my favorites was "Scare Me". Can't wait for more!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eric Guignard

    Great assemblage of extreme horror tales. Unique voices from around the world with one thing in common: The drive to terrify you. Not for the faint of heart!

  10. 5 out of 5

    S. Nash

    There is no set theme for this anthology, but each story touches on the fears of the modern world. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renham's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life." Some stories examine the experience of being bullied, losing a child, and the terror of becoming a drooling husk devoid of emotion. Pri There is no set theme for this anthology, but each story touches on the fears of the modern world. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renham's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life." Some stories examine the experience of being bullied, losing a child, and the terror of becoming a drooling husk devoid of emotion. Primal fears of ghosts, demons and ancient evil unleashed upon humanity are also found here. Some of these tales are a closer look at the horrors we view on the 24-hour news feeds where serial killers, rapes and murders keep us both frightened and entertained. Some authors examine the quiet horrors of isolation, insanity, and the the complacency of those who look at evil but do nothing to stop it. Be warned: none of the authors shy away from vivid imagery, gore, violence or misogyny. The one story that haunts me the most, "Camps" by Jack Dann, was a glimpse into the history of World War II. The images conjured in his words are as haunting as the photographs that survive the Nazi concentration camps. Another favorite was "Welcomeland" by Ramsey Campbell. His portrait of a dilapidated town and the equally ramshackle amusement park gave me chills. The lyrical, "Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes" by WH Pugmire was a glimpse of eternal loyalty, beauty, and pain. I highly recommend Fresh Fear for lovers of gut-wrenching horror. Scathe meic Beorh – God of the Wind: An academic research trip to Mora, New Mexico brings a man face-to-face with the gods of the desert and teaches him more than he wants to know. Ramsey Campbell – Welcomeland: A man travels home to visit the amusement park he he helped finance. Meant to revitalize the economy, he finds the park failed and the town in shambles. You can’t go home again, but if you do, can you ever leave? Lily Childs – Strange Tastes: She’s the perfect caretaker. Loyal, neat, clean, and a fantastic gourmet cook. When her employers are arrested for tax fraud, she discovers they share her tastes in more than kitchen appliances. Lincoln Crisler – Nouri and the Beetles: In a time of war, the young men leave to fight. What does a girl have to do to get a husband? Jack Dann – Camps: People often speak of those suffering a terminal disease as being fighters. Stephen fights his war for survival on two fronts. The first is a war of pain and drugs. The second is a battle of memories long past and never forgotten. Robert Dunbar – High Rise: Brandon, his brother Tyrone, and their mother move to a better room in an ill-kept high rise. When Tyrone meets one of the ghostly former tenants, Brandon must save his life before he wastes away. Thomas Erb – Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted: A teen has only the internet, and his mother to help him get through his last year of High School, and get revenge on the bully who tormented him. Brandon Ford – Scare Me: As a reviewer, I can honestly say that this was my favorite story in the whole anthology. It was fantastic! I swear it. Really. Not joking. Looks nervous. Carole Gill – Raised: A boy’s despair over his mother’s madness leads him to a career in medicine. While dissecting corpses for his classes, he discovers he has a passion for studying the deceased. Will his mother’s curse follow him, or is there something else in the past that haunts him? Lindsey Beth Goddard – The Tooth Collector: When her daughter is killed in traffic, Jenny knows it wasn’t an accident. She seeks out the man responsible and demands her daughter be returned to her. JF Gonzalez – Love Hurts: A tale of the Black Dahlia, the Laguna State Mental Hospital, undying love, and the transforming ecstasy of pain. Dane Hatchell – The ‘takers: Mr Jaffe is being held in a medical testing facility, desperate to escape. The Rooks shoot him full of drugs to steal his soul. The ‘takers shuffle him from place to place and whisper the words that strike terror in his heart, “It’s Wednesday, and it’s time for Bingo!” E.A. Irwin – Justice through Twelve Steps: Particularly disturbing tale of insanity, rape and murder that went too far for this reader. Charlee Jacob – Locked inside the Buzzword Box: Clanci Feamy is her father’s greatest experiment in terminal insanity. She's thinking outside box, and she's hungry. K Trap Jones – Demon Eyed Blind: A demon-hunter pursues her prey with skill and precision until she backs him -- and herself -- into a corner. She’s down to two souls, one body, and the police banging on the locked door. Tim Jones – Protein: When the ice melts and the world is awash with water, the next world war will be fought over calories. You can survive if you have enough protein. Vada Katherine -Block: Block’s wife, Luna was murdered. Now he is investigating a series of murders that may be related. Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen – Just Another Ex: A private investigator goes after a man suspected of cheating on his wife. Unfortunately, it’s not his wife who has hired the detective. Shane McKenzie – So Much Pain, So Much Death: Distraught parents are overjoyed to discover that their missing daughter has been found alive. The man responsible for her disappearance rots in a cell, but her father has suspicions that all is not as it seems. Shaun Meeks – Perfection Through Silence: Tom is tormented by a sound. All he wants is silence, to quiet the ticking that no one else can hear. His grandmother could help him, but she’s been dead for almost a year. Adam Milliard – The Incongruous Mr Marwick: Which is the greater evil, the perpetrator of torment, or the one who stands by and merely observes? Christine Morgan – Nails of The Dead: Plenty of people are preparing for the end of the world. Some intend to merely survive it, others work to build the vehicles that will usher it in. Billie Sue Mosiman – Verboten: Dorothy wants to be a singer in Nashville, but her sister vanished from the truck stop up the road. Her grandfather says strangers are verboten, but it doesn't stop her from looking. D.F. Noble - Psych: Working on the psych ward is a difficult job. Sometimes it helps to talk to a professional so your work doesn't follow you home. Chantal Noordeloos – The Door: Jen’s sister Mila is having nightmares. Their stepfather is acting strangely and the basement door is locked. Is the danger on this side of the door or beyond it? WH Pugmire - Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes: Enoch Blade awakens in his master’s house, alone and despondent. He still seeks to serve the alchemist who taught him to dance when there is nothing left but grave stones and shadows in the mirror. William Todd Rose – The Grave Dancer: People have attempted to film and photograph ghosts for as long as the technology has been available. When Jamie and his friends view an 8mm film from his late grandfather’s collection, they decide to find out if the local ghost stories are real. Anna Taborska – Out of the Light: In the vast stacks of the Bodleian Libraries, a student’s book request becomes a scholar’s worst nightmare. www.bookie-monster.com

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donald Armfield

    This collection has a powerful kick of horror. Many well know names come together with Fresh new stories and gives the reader a fear of what may be around the next corner. God of the Winds by Scathe meic Beorh I'm in need of more by this author. He has a great ability of storytelling. Very poetic and visualizing. This story is a powerful Indian mythology twist a must read....."Enter The Flesh House" Strange Taste by Lily Childs What are you eating tomorrow night or tonight for a midnight snack. L This collection has a powerful kick of horror. Many well know names come together with Fresh new stories and gives the reader a fear of what may be around the next corner. God of the Winds by Scathe meic Beorh I'm in need of more by this author. He has a great ability of storytelling. Very poetic and visualizing. This story is a powerful Indian mythology twist a must read....."Enter The Flesh House" Strange Taste by Lily Childs What are you eating tomorrow night or tonight for a midnight snack. Let this author but a taste in your mouth. A cannibalism twist that will have you drooling for more of its find writing taste. Nouri and The Beetles by Lincoln Crisler This is the second story I have came across by this man. I'm not sure which one I liked the best....I also have his novel "Skin Jumper" to dive into as well. As for this piece AMAZING! "Eat the heart and gain the strength, in this case its fight for beauty. Digging skin deep should be enough" High Rise by Robert Dunbar A sexual ghost story and a brother determination to make this ghost see the light. Interesting read. So Much Pain, So Much Death by Shane McKenzie Instead of death knocking on your door. How bout death ticking in your skull? And the only thing that can stop it is buried six feet deep. A gorey spectacular read!! Psych by D.F. Noble Noble opens up the doors to psych ward where the tunes are heard through the vents. A physiatrist struggle to hear what they hear. Betcha he wished he choosed and easy feat. Those are some of my favorites but the collection has a Fresh Fear for all readers. Open your eyes and let them fall out on to these pages, they will bleed with excitement.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lee Murray

    Fresh Fear (edited by William Cook) provides everything WJ Reneham promises in his opening essay on the effect of horror fiction: shock, repulsion and that paradoxical intrigue that the imagery invokes. As Renehan rightly points out, “Fear is a wonderful reminder that we are indeed alive,” and with tales of necrophilia, human sacrifice, cannibalism, abduction, torture, and mutilation, Fresh Fear as all the accoutrements for a spine-chilling, life-affirming night on the couch. But whether the dem Fresh Fear (edited by William Cook) provides everything WJ Reneham promises in his opening essay on the effect of horror fiction: shock, repulsion and that paradoxical intrigue that the imagery invokes. As Renehan rightly points out, “Fear is a wonderful reminder that we are indeed alive,” and with tales of necrophilia, human sacrifice, cannibalism, abduction, torture, and mutilation, Fresh Fear as all the accoutrements for a spine-chilling, life-affirming night on the couch. But whether the demons are lurking in the vents or under the stairs, or in our childhood heroes like the tooth fairy, the themes of these stories are universal, covering jealousy, desire, loneliness, despair, bullying and mental illness. Luckily, there are one or two lighter stories in the mix: one abduction story, in particular, made me smile. This is a great anthology for readers to reacquaint themselves with their favourite horror writers, while also discovering some newer talent. But for those squeamish and prudish sorts, you might prefer something tamer. Bungy jumping springs to mind.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pheebz

    Stories that will get under your skin. I am not one easily cheeped out by the horror I read but I have to admit this one got under my skin and gave me the creeps. WOW what a great collection, most of the contributors were new to me but I think I love each and every one. I could just imaging them all sitting in one room reading their work to the others and trying to one up the story told before. Yes, yes I know it really doesn't work that way. I love the way Wm Cook writes I have read a few of his Stories that will get under your skin. I am not one easily cheeped out by the horror I read but I have to admit this one got under my skin and gave me the creeps. WOW what a great collection, most of the contributors were new to me but I think I love each and every one. I could just imaging them all sitting in one room reading their work to the others and trying to one up the story told before. Yes, yes I know it really doesn't work that way. I love the way Wm Cook writes I have read a few of his books and have a pile waiting to be read of his work, he did a tremendous job with this anthology, fitting the short stories into the right place, next the one that would foster the best reaction. William Cook did indeed pick the best Dark Fiction that complimented his own style. Great job to all. I was given an copy as a gift from family. What a great gift for the Horror enthusiast. They may just be the best I have read to this point in time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Harris

    It's rare to read an anthology where every single story fits into your preferences, that they are all enjoyable, but William Cook has put together just that. Each story is different from the last and stands well above the average horror short story you might come across in other anthologies. Some of my favorites were Scathe meic Beorh's God of the Wind, Max Booth III's Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will, Robert Dunbar's High Rise, JF Gonzalez's Love Hurts, Shane MacKenzie's So Much D It's rare to read an anthology where every single story fits into your preferences, that they are all enjoyable, but William Cook has put together just that. Each story is different from the last and stands well above the average horror short story you might come across in other anthologies. Some of my favorites were Scathe meic Beorh's God of the Wind, Max Booth III's Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will, Robert Dunbar's High Rise, JF Gonzalez's Love Hurts, Shane MacKenzie's So Much Death, Shaun Meeks' Perfection Through Silence, Adam Millard's The Incongruous Mr Marwick, Christine Morgan's Nails of the Dead and Chantal Noordeloos' The Door. The book is so good, cutting down my favorites to that long list was very hard as I could have included so many others as my favorite, but these are the best of the best. All in, this is a great anthology and should not be overlooked.

  15. 4 out of 5

    PJ Lea

    Not for the squeamish! This collection of short horror stories is repulsive, yet holds you enthralled. A vast array of themes, some that are outright horrific, others that are simply downright creepy. I'm unable to choose a favourite as they were all fascinating and gut-wrenching in their own way. As is usual with an anthology it has introduced me to many new authors and I would heartily recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach and a very open mind, definitely not for the squeamish! Not for the squeamish! This collection of short horror stories is repulsive, yet holds you enthralled. A vast array of themes, some that are outright horrific, others that are simply downright creepy. I'm unable to choose a favourite as they were all fascinating and gut-wrenching in their own way. As is usual with an anthology it has introduced me to many new authors and I would heartily recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach and a very open mind, definitely not for the squeamish!

  16. 5 out of 5

    rebecca lou

    Worth every penny If you love horror and you love short stories, this book is perfect for you. Each story is breathtaking and horrifying in equal measures and very different ways. More please!

  17. 5 out of 5

    William Bitner Jr.

    Just finished reading “Fresh Fear” An Anthology of Macabre Horror”, edited by William Cook and authored by 28 different authors. Some of which I’ve read before, but the majority of them I haven’t had the opportunity to read before. This was a wonderfully, deliciously, eerie, dark, disturbing, frightful, ghoulish, grim, gruesome, morbid, scary, disturbing, menacing, nightmarish, ominous, sinister, terrifying read (love it when that happens). Horror the way it should be written. It is a great way Just finished reading “Fresh Fear” An Anthology of Macabre Horror”, edited by William Cook and authored by 28 different authors. Some of which I’ve read before, but the majority of them I haven’t had the opportunity to read before. This was a wonderfully, deliciously, eerie, dark, disturbing, frightful, ghoulish, grim, gruesome, morbid, scary, disturbing, menacing, nightmarish, ominous, sinister, terrifying read (love it when that happens). Horror the way it should be written. It is a great way to read authors you may not have had the chance to read before, and I highly recommend this book for your horror collection. I am already searching for some titles from a few of the authors in this book. Oh, by the way, did I say this book scared the shit out of me….. Synopsis from back cover: “FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life." With over 450 pages, Fresh Fear is packed with stories written by both masters and up-and-coming maestros of the horror genre. Tales steeped in psychological horror sit alongside visions of strange worlds and fantastical landscapes drenched in blood. 'Quiet horror' sits comfortably next to more visceral portrayals of the monsters that lurk deep within the human heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famously once said, "where there is no imagination there is no horror" - the horror expressed by the authors in Fresh Fear show that imagination is indeed tantamount to excellent story-telling. Prepare yourself for 28 tales of fear-inducing horror from some of today's best authors of dark fiction. Authors/Stories Scathe meic Beorh – God of the Wind Robert Dunbar – High Rise Ramsey Campbell – Welcomeland Lily Childs – Strange Tastes Lincoln Crisler – Nouri and the Beetles Jack Dann – Camps Thomas Erb – Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted Brandon Ford – Scare Me Carole Gill – Raised Lindsey Beth Goddard – The Tooth Collector JF Gonzalez – Love Hurts Dane Hatchell – ‘takers Charlee Jacob – Inside the Buzzword Box K Trap Jones – Demon Eyed Blind Tim Jones – Protein James Ward Kirk – Block Roy C Booth & Axel Kohagen – Just Another Ex Shane McKenzie – So Much Death Shaun Meeks – Perfection Through Silence Adam Millard – The Incongruous Mr Marwick Christine Morgan – Nails of The Dead Billie Sue Mosiman – Verboten Chantal Noordeloos – The Door Don Noble – Psych WH Pugmire – Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes William Todd Rose – The Grave Dancer EA Irwin – Justice through Twelve Step Anna Taborska – Out of the Light *WARNING: R 18+ - Contains graphic scenes of violence and psychological horror. Not suitable for younger readers”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dona Fox

    Fresh Fear, the smell of quick and sudden sweat inspired by the passion of the hunter, the fresh fear underlying the excitement, the smell that alerts you to incipient danger. You may struggle to break free but the pen strokes slash across the page before your eyes, creating a trap for your imagination. Which way do you run? There is no escape; indeed, you will find yourself bound by these macabre tales. This book made me uneasy; it’s just too big and too good. Beginning with a substantive intro Fresh Fear, the smell of quick and sudden sweat inspired by the passion of the hunter, the fresh fear underlying the excitement, the smell that alerts you to incipient danger. You may struggle to break free but the pen strokes slash across the page before your eyes, creating a trap for your imagination. Which way do you run? There is no escape; indeed, you will find yourself bound by these macabre tales. This book made me uneasy; it’s just too big and too good. Beginning with a substantive introduction by W.J. Renehan, the anthology is 450 pages in all, twenty-eight tales from horror’s heaviest hitters, names like Scathe meic Beorh, Robert Dunbar, Lily Childs, Lincoln Crisler, Thomas Erb, Carole Gill, Lindsey Beth Goddard, K Trap Jones, James Ward Kirk, Shaun Meeks, Christine Morgan, Billie Sue Mosiman, Chantal Noordeloos, Don Noble, WH Pugmire, Jack Dann, Brandon Ford, JF Gonzalez, Dane Hatchell, Charlee Jacob, Tim Jones, Roy C. Booth, Axel Kohagen, Shane McKenzie, Adam Millard, William Todd Rose, EA Irwin, Anna Taborska—and did I say Ramsey Campbell, seriously, Ramsey Campbell. I can’t think of any other anthology that I’ve reviewed where I had to name every author in the book because there were no low points. Not to say that I wasn’t disappointed, disappointed that the editor, William Cook, didn’t slip one of his own dark thrillers into the mix. I’m always looking for a new story by William Cook. This anthology proves he’s not only a master of psychological thrillers and horror fiction, he can also edit an anthology that is so big and beautiful it’s frightening. A few of my favorite stories – Of course I must start with J.F. Gonzalez, Love Hurts, the topic is so edgy I almost felt guilty reading it but, like many of the stories in Fresh Fear, it was so beautifully written the horror crept up on me easy; Charlee Jacob, Locked Inside the Buzzword Box, because I love clever surreal stories that tangle meaning and horror; W.H. Pugmire in Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes played on my fear of mirrors delightfully, this is a trip I will take again for the chills; James Ward Kirk’s Block is again a very clever story which is so well written the horrors kind of seem normal, until you think about it; Shaun Meeks contributed a stand out story in Perfection Through Silence, and I love Billie Sue Mosiman’s voice in Verboten. I’d be hard put to choose a favorite. But it would be my pleasure to give Fresh Fear another read and see what my favorites are this time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Whitaker

    If you are a fan of horror stories... Do NOT pass this book. This is a fantastic collection of short stories by an amazing group of authors. Each story is a chilling tale that grips you and won't let go. Highly recommended If you are a fan of horror stories... Do NOT pass this book. This is a fantastic collection of short stories by an amazing group of authors. Each story is a chilling tale that grips you and won't let go. Highly recommended

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    Pretty great stories. There were maybe two that didn't hold my interest but threat were great Pretty great stories. There were maybe two that didn't hold my interest but threat were great

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Thomas

    Could this collection get any better? That’s a rhetorical question, which will become obvious once you have read it! A bunch of well-known horror authors collide in a truly exhilarating anthology full of horrors of all kinds. Some anthologies and collections tend to have a theme within the horror, making them somewhat similar. These stories are excitingly different. You never know what will be around the next bend after you finish one story. Some are terrifying, others are gory, a few are unique Could this collection get any better? That’s a rhetorical question, which will become obvious once you have read it! A bunch of well-known horror authors collide in a truly exhilarating anthology full of horrors of all kinds. Some anthologies and collections tend to have a theme within the horror, making them somewhat similar. These stories are excitingly different. You never know what will be around the next bend after you finish one story. Some are terrifying, others are gory, a few are unique and unusual, and most are filled with tension and suspense. I do not want to steal any magic from these tales by even clueing you (the reader) in on anything that happens. However, I will mention my favourite tale, which is: ‘Strange Taste’ by the extraordinary author Lily Childs. While some may find it difficult to stomach for reasons that will become apparent when you’ve read it, it is undeniably a great read. For sure, it is one you’ll never forget. If you are like me and occasionally snack whilst reading, you may want to reconsider when you reach this tale. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of superb stories in this anthology, but that one just really stood out. In all honesty, I don’t think there is a bad one in the bunch. Quite a few collections have at least a handful of stories that aren’t too great; they just don’t quite reach the mark. However, this is not one of those collections. Each story, as mentioned before, is unique in its own way. Regardless of the particular type of horror you prefer, you will appreciate every story. And dare I say, love every one? Although, readers, please prepare yourselves. If you like the tamer horror that is just a little bit scary and mildly gory, then I suggest you stay clear of this one. Stories are bloody and horrifying, which would appeal to the large majority of horror readers, but I know some like it gentler. But don’t by any means assume that means they are just senselessly gory tales. Oh no. The gore is only added to the tale when it is essential to have a desired effect on the reader. If you stripped away the horror from each story, you would still have incredible triumphs of short fiction, without a shadow of a doubt. And how generous have they been? 28 stories. Over 400 pages! That is quite a lengthy collection. It should certainly keep you busy over Christmas and well into next year!

  22. 4 out of 5

    A.R.

    This collection actually had some good stories--holy crap and miracle--one of them great. Like many anthologies and magazines today, only half of the tales were worth reading, but those make it worth a look. The grim, haunting cover of the book lets you know you're in trouble. "Perfection Through Silence" by Shaun Meeks plagued me so badly I won't even allow myself to think about it. Do you dare read this collection? If I was you, I'd flee from it. I've already perused it, so I'm wrecked. This b This collection actually had some good stories--holy crap and miracle--one of them great. Like many anthologies and magazines today, only half of the tales were worth reading, but those make it worth a look. The grim, haunting cover of the book lets you know you're in trouble. "Perfection Through Silence" by Shaun Meeks plagued me so badly I won't even allow myself to think about it. Do you dare read this collection? If I was you, I'd flee from it. I've already perused it, so I'm wrecked. This book's more proof that regular horror's scarier than bizarro or extreme horror.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Elliott

    Dark,disturbing and utterly compelling. This is certainly one of the darkest and frightening anthologies I've ever read. The authors are all masters of their craft. Each story is chilling in it's own way from the bdsm story that spirals to a horrifying conclusion to the story about the strange figure who collects the fingernails from the dead. Definitely worth reading. Dark,disturbing and utterly compelling. This is certainly one of the darkest and frightening anthologies I've ever read. The authors are all masters of their craft. Each story is chilling in it's own way from the bdsm story that spirals to a horrifying conclusion to the story about the strange figure who collects the fingernails from the dead. Definitely worth reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff McIntosh

    Reading Ramsey Campbell is always nice, but I found the collection to be uneven. And, perhaps its me as a reader, but several of the tales seemed to have limited horror content. Can't complain too much - I bought it as a kindle ebook..now, if I had paid full price for it.... Reading Ramsey Campbell is always nice, but I found the collection to be uneven. And, perhaps its me as a reader, but several of the tales seemed to have limited horror content. Can't complain too much - I bought it as a kindle ebook..now, if I had paid full price for it....

  25. 5 out of 5

    grammarchick

    I couldn't even finish the first story. It left me alternately wanting to vomit and set my Kindle on fire. Nothing scary except that they thought it was a good start to a collection. Yeah, a disgusting S&M torture porn piece really feels "macabre" here. *rolling eyes* I couldn't even finish the first story. It left me alternately wanting to vomit and set my Kindle on fire. Nothing scary except that they thought it was a good start to a collection. Yeah, a disgusting S&M torture porn piece really feels "macabre" here. *rolling eyes*

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    This is one of the best collections of horror stories that I've read in a while. This is one of the best collections of horror stories that I've read in a while.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Skjam!

    Horror anthologies are like a box of chocolates. One story might be crunchy frog, another spring surprise, while a more disappointing one is just maple cream. (Seriously, maple cream?) This is because horror tends to be a balancing act between what the writer finds scary and what the reader does. Two different readers looking at the same story may fiercely debate whether it’s terrifying or just kind of gross. This particular anthology is listed as “contemporary horror” which seems to mean mostly Horror anthologies are like a box of chocolates. One story might be crunchy frog, another spring surprise, while a more disappointing one is just maple cream. (Seriously, maple cream?) This is because horror tends to be a balancing act between what the writer finds scary and what the reader does. Two different readers looking at the same story may fiercely debate whether it’s terrifying or just kind of gross. This particular anthology is listed as “contemporary horror” which seems to mean mostly recent stories, set close to the present day. Other than that, there’s no real overarching theme or subgenre requirements. After an introduction that talks a bit about why people read horror stories (among other things, to feel horrified), the opening story is “God of the Winds” by Scathe meic Beorh, a hallucinatory piece that is at least partially about the tendency of white people to appropriate Native American mysticism in stupid ways. The final story is “Out of the Light” by Anna Taborska, a Lovecraftian-feeling story about a man who gets too heavily invested in reading a horror anthology. Hmm. I was a bit disappointed that the piece by big-name author Ramsey Campbell (“Britain’s most respected living horror writer”) was a reprint from 1988. Which is not to say that “Welcomeland” itself wasn’t a fine story. It concerns a man returning to his home town which has been partially rebuilt into a failed amusement park. Or has it succeeded at its true purpose? It doesn’t feel dated. Also outstanding is Christine Morgan’s “Nails of the Dead” which looks at Norse mythology from the point of view of a very minor character with a small but important job. Of local interest to me is “Just Another Ex” by Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen. A man is sent to find another man who may be unfaithful to his loved one. His reward is non-standard. There were some typos, most clustered in “Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted” by Thomas A. Erb, about a bullied high schooler who gets pushed too far. Because of this, and the rather immature feel of the plot points, it felt more like something a high school student would write than something for a professional anthology. (“Did I mention the head bully has a small penis? Well he does.”) This is an “18+” book, which has sex, rape, foul language, torture and in some cases excessive focus on body fluids. Happy endings are few. But with twenty-eight widely varying stories, there’s something for almost every horror fan. Recommended for the horror buff who wants to try some new authors.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Harris

    It's rare to read an anthology where every single story fits into your preferences, that they are all enjoyable, but William Cook has put together just that. Each story is different from the last and stands well above the average horror short story you might come across in other anthologies. Some of my favorites were Scathe meic Beorh's God of the Wind, Max Booth III's Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will, Robert Dunbar's High Rise, JF Gonzalez's Love Hurts, Shane MacKenzie's So Much D It's rare to read an anthology where every single story fits into your preferences, that they are all enjoyable, but William Cook has put together just that. Each story is different from the last and stands well above the average horror short story you might come across in other anthologies. Some of my favorites were Scathe meic Beorh's God of the Wind, Max Booth III's Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will, Robert Dunbar's High Rise, JF Gonzalez's Love Hurts, Shane MacKenzie's So Much Death, Shaun Meeks' Perfection Through Silence, Adam Millard's The Incongruous Mr Marwick, Christine Morgan's Nails of the Dead and Chantal Noordeloos' The Door. The book is so good, cutting down my favorites to that long list was very hard as I could have included so many others as my favorite, but these are the best of the best. All in, this is a great anthology and should not be overlooked.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beatriz Gonzalez

    This book was just so boring. None of the stories caught my attention.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Angela Garibay

    Good Some stories were great and others not good at all sadly. Perhaps some authors are redundant. My favorite was J.F. Gonzalez's. Good Some stories were great and others not good at all sadly. Perhaps some authors are redundant. My favorite was J.F. Gonzalez's.

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