Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve Shorts: Hark! The Herald Angels Scream ed by Christopher Golden

I'm a huge fan of the tradition of ghost stories on Christmas Eve. As such, reading something along those lines has become something of a tradition of mine for the holiday season.

Blumhouse Books, part of PRH's Anchor imprint had previously put together a Halloween anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton, my reading choice for that season this year, so when I saw they were putting together a Christmas anthology of horror stories as well, I knew it had to be on my list for the current holiday season. Of course added bonuses for me are 1. the fact that it's short stories and with admittedly limited time to devote to reading, shorts are perfect for this new mom and 2. the collection includes original short stories by some of my FAVORITE current authors - Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Lotz, and Elizabeth Hand just to name a few - and a novella by Sarah Pinborough :)

Beginning with Kelley Armstrong's creepy mummer's tale and ending with Sarah Pinborough's fabulously atmospheric novella, Hark! The Herald Angels Scream has something for every kind of horror fan. And while all not all of the stories are ghost stories - Tim Lebbon's "Home," finds an old man traveling an apocalyptic landscape with a strange companion while Josh Malerman's "Tenets" features an incredibly awkward holiday get together amongst college classmates -, I'll admit I was personally pretty pleased with the number of actual ghost stories that are included (I'm a fan of horror of any kind, but I've admitted many times that ghost stories are my favorite!).  Joe Lansdale's "The Second Floor of the Christmas Hotel," for example, pits two old acquaintances against a mystery in a decrepit hotel, Michael Koryta's "Hiking Through" is a chilling ghost story set along the Appalachian Trail, and Elizabeth Hand's "Farrow Street" takes readers to a piece of London no one would ever want to visit!

Here's the full TOC:

"Absinthe & Angels" by Kelley Armstrong
"Christmas in Barcelona" by Scott Smith
"Fresh as the New-Fallen Snow" by Seanan McGuire
"Love Me" by Thomas E. Sniegoski
"Not Just For Christmas" by Sarah Lotz
"Tenets" by Josh Malerman
"Good Deeds" by Jeff Strand
"It's a Wonderful Knife" by Christopher Golden
"Mistletoe and Holly" by James A. Moore
"Snake's Tail" by Sarah Langan
"The Second Floor of the Christmas Hotel" by Joe R. Lansdale
"Farrow Street" by Elizabeth Hand
"Doctor Velocity: A Story of the Fire Zone" by Jonathan Maberry
"Yankee Swap" by John M. McIlveen
"Honor Thy Mother" by Angela Slatter
"Home" by Tim Lebbon
"Hiking Through" by Michael Koryta
The Hangman's Bride by Sarah Pinborough

Whether you partake in the Christmas Eve scary story game or not, this collection is perfect reading for any horror fan facing a hectic holiday schedule! Definitely one to add to your reading list before this year is out.

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