Unlucky thieves invade a house where Home Alone seems like a playground romp. An antique bookseller and a mob enforcer join forces to retrieve the Atlas of Hell. Post-apocalyptic survivors cannot decide which is worse: demon women haunting the skies or maddened extremists patrolling the earth.
In this chilling 21st century companion to the cult classic Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror, Ellen Datlow again proves herself the most masterful editor of the genre. She has mined the breadth and depth of ten years of terror, collecting superlative works of established masters and scene-stealing newcomers alike.
Normally, I don’t read horror. As much as I love horror movies, something gets lost in translation when I try reading it on a page. Which is one of the reasons why (don’t hate me) I don’t read Stephen King, despite the fact that I love the movies inspired by his books. Just look at my review of It.
However, I got Nightmares: a New Decade of Modern Horror, among many other books, as a present this past Christmas. (Yes, I am a Buddhist. Yes, I still celebrate Christmas. Because, free food and presents and time off from work. That makes me sound like a crappy Buddhist, and I don’t care.) So as I looked at my growing To Be Read pile, I thought I’d give it a shot.
Anthologies are, by their nature, hit-or-miss, but I can honestly say that most of the stories in here were very good. There was suspense, creeps, and a couple of them even managed to be funny. It made me laugh one minute and squirm in my seat the next, which was undoubtedly very confusing to anyone who happened to be in the room with me at the time.
My favorite top five stories from Nightmares are:
“The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud
“Ambitious Boys Like You” by Richard Kadrey
“Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge
“Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe
“Strappado” by Laird Barron
I recommend this book to everyone, even those who, like me, honestly aren’t that interested in horror literature. It’s well worth the read.
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The first Dragons, Zombies and Aliens blog was started in 2015. Somewhere between college coursework, paying rent with door-to-door sales, and keeping up with my sorority sisters, I wrote reviews, rants and commentaries on books, TV shows, and movies. Now, this blog has moved, improved, and the sky's the limit!