Most of my recent horror reading is authors I've already mentioned upthread- more Ramsey Cambell (including The Overnight
, a menacingly enjoyable if somewhat repetitive novel about a haunted bookstore), more T.E.D. Klein, more Thomas Ligotti. I did read the latest Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
. As usual most of the entries, though technically well-done, weren't to my taste, but I did quite enjoy a few of the subtler stories, especially Christopher Harman's "The Last to be Found," Stephen Graham Jones's "Raphael," and Glen Hirshberg's "The Muldoon." Based on that last story I picked up Hirshberg's two ghost story collections (The Two Sams
and American Morons
) from the library. Both are excellent and earn my highest recommendation. Hirshberg's stories are modern and unusual in their settings and characterizations, but achieve traditional terror in the best style of M.R. James and other classic writers.
Today I bought Inferno
, a new horror anthology by Ellen Datlow. Datlow usually does theme anthologies, which I steer clear of because I think they're a bit cute, but her only requirement for this volume was that the stories be so terrifying as to be physically unsettling for the reader. A rough task for even the best writer, but I have high hopes. There's a new Hirshberg story too, which is something to look forward to.