Drive by Mark West

The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog


“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.” – Neil Gaiman.


You’re sitting in your car on a deserted street. The lights change to amber. You put weigh on your foot ready to hit the accelerator pedal but something stops you. You think back to the party, it was a bust. Another lonely night on the hamster wheel that is your life. You look out of your window which is lowered slightly to allow the night air to drift through the interior and help you stay awake, or at least aware. A noise disturbs that air. Vibrations. Steel and alloy shake. You wait for the boom to grow louder, the engine revs to snarl closer. Your eyes widen as you see the other…

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The Brittle Birds, by Anthony Cowin – a review

Astonishing and insightful review from horror author Peter Labrow.

Peter Labrow

I’ve always felt that inside every really great short story is the makings of an even better novel. Not that the novel should always be written – the short form can be the best way to put the idea across.

Yet short stories shouldn’t have to mean small ideas. I cite as evidence for the defence The Sentinel by Arthur C Clarke. Famously the inspiration for Clarke’s seminal novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, the short story would be no less satisfying if Clarke and Kubrick hadn’t gone on to make one of the best science-fiction films of all time. I also cite as evidence for the defence the superb To Avenge Man by Lester Del Rey. This is possibly one of my favourite short stories, but it’s never been filmed or expanded into a novel – yet it has the capacity, easily, to be either.

All of which leads…

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News 09:07:2014 – The Quarantined City cover reveal

Spectral Press

Europe After the Rain II - Max Ernst 1940-42. © 2014  Wadsworth Atheneum Europe After the Rain II – Max Ernst 1940-42. © 2014 Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, USA

As reported on Monday, Spectral will be publishing another monthly serial in the form of James Everington’s The Quarantined City, and we are delighted to announce that we have received permission to use Max Ernst’s glorious evocation of war-torn Europe, Europe After the Rain, as the cover image. However, rather than use the whole image for each episode, we will be using different sections of it for the individual parts. The serial will run from January 2015 to June 2015.

More details of the story will be presented soon!

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A Place For Sinners by Aaron Dries.

My review of Aaron Dries disturbing novel, A Place for Sinners.

“It’s like the Rough Guide they never dared release; The Rough Guide to The Island of Horror.”

The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog


A Place for Sinners by Aaron Dries.

306 pages

Samhain Publishing May 2014.

Aaron Dries novel A Place for Sinners from Samhain Publishing is a real travelogue of horror. It starts with a child, Amity Collins, penned into a dark cave by feral dogs, helpless and static like the transistor radio that she carries around. The monsters never really leave after that; as much as the light never fully returns into the world of Amity, her brother Caleb or the people they meet. Sound is also stolen from her life after the gunshot to kill the dogs leaves Amity deaf.

We leapfrog into the present following the adult siblings as they plan an escape from their religiously zealous and overbearing mother. She’s a hoarder, a house full of yellowing newspapers, chipped bric-a-brac and broken lives. An Indonesian adventure awaits Amity and Caleb far from their tightknit Australian town and claustrophobic history.

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Massacre Summer Contest Winner: Shield Your Eyes, Because…

Massacre Publishing

Black eyes…Black is the Brightest Colour – by Anthony Cowin.

Once again we were (virtually) buried alive by submissions – many thanks to all those who entered!

Anthony receives an Amazon voucher for his winning entry and you will be able to read Black is the Brightest Colour in Issue 3 of Massacre Magazine in June.

Click on Flash Fiction to see our previous winners. Perhaps YOU should have a go, too…you’ll be able to get a sneak peek at the inspiration for Massacre’s Autumn Fearsome Flashers’ contest in Issue 3 – coming soon!

photo credit: Ferran. via photopincc

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The Elvis Room by Stephen Graham Jones

The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog

Tiny Window “Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.” –  N eil Gaiman.


The Elvis room by Stephen Graham Jones strikes the division bell between science and the supernatural and asks us to choose a corridor. Only these corridors are in hotels where the dead room at night looking for a chance to see a glimpse of life. The story revolves around an ambitious professor who finds himself cut off from his research and peers due to a miscalculated experiment. Research involving Patient 039, or Mary, a woman convinced her twin now stalks her life, haunting her in the darkness. The resulting exposure as tabloid fodder claiming the proof of ghosts leaves him without a job or a marriage. However during his enforced exile living in a city…

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The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog


Alison Littlewood has taken a risk in using a type of fractured tandem structure for her haunted house story. Supernatural tales are usually best left to a straightforward narrative that drives the reader along. But this isn’t a normal ghost story. This is a story of how ghosts are created and more importantly how they change the living world around them. The author took a risk and it paid off in spades.

The novel starts in present day. Nothing too unfamiliar here. A large country place called Mire House left in a will to Emma, a protagonist battling her own internal ghosts, a mystery surround the house and Charlie an uninvited relative from her childhood. While this territory may be familiar what follows is anything but.

The present is used like a framing device for two strands set in the past. The writing in the first part is haunting and beautifully written. It’s…

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