Mornin’ kids… I’m on a roll!
So y’all know I like to read. A lot. And then I like to talk about what I read so other people can read it too. Today’s post is all about something I read. My good friend, Stephen Zimmer, published a collection of short horror stories last year entitled Hellscapes. (By the way, he totally doesn’t know I’m doing this, so his reaction will be big fun!) When it went on sale earlier this year, I snapped up my copy, and over the last few months I’ve been reading the stories one at a time.
One at a time is good for this collection. Trust me. More than one will give you nightmares.
First, let’s talk about the book:
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Seventh Star Press
Cover Artist: Matt Perry
Journey into realms of darkness and explore the regions where angels fear to tread! Welcome to the Hellscapes, featuring tales of the infernal in settings where the horror never ends and the inhabitants experience the ultimate nightmare.
In “Blood Dreams” follow the tale of a woman who knew great political authority and influence in life, as she discovers the reward awaiting her in the next world.
“The Grove” welcomes a new arrival, a wealthy man who is looking forward to a weekend of indulging in lust and libation, as he has for many years in this secluded convocation for the elite. Something is different this time, though, and he soon finds that his visit will be taking a very different turn.
In “The Smallest Fish”, the story is told of a ruthless business mogul who finds himself in an abandoned, ruined version of the city he knew well, in life. This city won’t be remaining vacant for long.
“Drowning in Tears” tells the story of a young man’s unhealthy obsession for a suicidal girlfriend that leads him on a path of severe transformation.
The final tale of Volume 1, “Lords of War”, follows the story of a man who wielded military power on a worldwide scale as a Secretary of Defense, who now learns the deeper nature of war and what kinds of monstrosities it breeds.
Hellscapes, Volume 1 is the first release in an exciting new themed horror collection from Stephen Zimmer.
And now…my thoughts.
In a word: TWISTED. This book is dark, kids. It’s creepy, it’s scary, and it’s deeply poignant. Psychological and situational horror combine to bring you a brand new set of nightmares. Just as the title promises, each story is a glimpse into the personal Hell of its main character. There’s chaos and destruction, debauchery, and even a little bit of a sad love story. Human emotions are powerful things, as is evidenced in every story in this collection.
If I had to pick a favorite, I think it would have to be The Grove. I knew what was happening long before the main character did, but that just made the anticipation even sweeter. A close second would have to be Drowning in Tears. It’s a horrifically beautiful display of obsession. To be honest, there isn’t a bad story in the bunch. They’re all good, all frightening, and all perfectly executed.
The reason I said reading them one at a time is wise is because they truly are frightening. More than one is almost guaranteed to induce nightmares in even the strongest of minds.
Overall, an excellent display of literary terror.