HORROR LIBRARY: Volume 3.

Morton, Lisa and John Palisano, signed) Cavender, R. J., editor.

ISBN 10: 0977826252 / ISBN 13: 9780977826254
Published by Austin, TX: Cutting Block Press (2008), 2008
Soft cover
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About this Item

SIGNED first edition - First printing, a trade paperback original. Includes an introduction by editors Cavender and Boyd Harris and 29 original short stories. SIGNED by two of the contributors - John Palisano and Lisa Morton - on the title page. 255 pp. Very near fine in illustrated wrappers. Bookseller Inventory # 52948

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Bibliographic Details

Title: HORROR LIBRARY: Volume 3.

Publisher: Austin, TX: Cutting Block Press (2008)

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Soft cover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Nominated for the 2009 Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology, this book features the latest work from the hottest and most talented horror writers of our day. These are cutting edge selections running the spectrum of the genre, from the spooky spine-tingler to the blood curdling screamer, this book covers it all, hence the title, +Horror Library+.

Review:

Focusing primarily on the vilest of human needs and deeds, R.J. Cavender assembles 30 new short stories for this third installment of the Horror Library series. Avoiding as many genre clichés as possible, this assemblage steers clear of your more straightforward supernatural monsters and apocalyptic tales. Instead, the slant here is towards the sorts of real-life dangers that come along with sharing a planet with millions of potentially unstable people.

Boyd E. Harris and R.J. Cavender open with an introductory story that bears a warning: every relative, neighbor, and colleague is a lurking danger. The tale reads like a barrage of news statistics claiming nothing is safe, not even a trip to the airport. That is not to say there aren't supernatural elements in the pages of this book, but the monsters are lurking in the background here, using their human minions to lure their prey.

The stories are uniformly well crafted and original, but a few really stand out. Sunil Sadanand's "Them" is a microscopic nightmare about a man being invaded by brain parasites. The reader follows his thoughts and actions as they become increasingly disjointed and robotic from the deepening invasion. Michael Louis Calvillo's "Consumed" finds a man buried alive within a pit of corpses - his only possible means of escape is to eat his way out. The most intriguing stories in this book follow the thought progressions and internal monologues of their characters as they pass in and out of unusual and horrifying states of consciousness. As well, several tales explore particularly current-day concerns, including authoritarian torture and pedophilia.

Each story deserves a proper reading, but to consume this collection as a whole is like digesting a storm of insults against human nature. By compiling these works into a single volume, the editor presents humanity as something hopeless and lost. All of the characters - even the protagonists - are cowardly, selfish, and desperately lacking redeeming qualities. As readers, we are looking to set ourselves apart from the monster, but here we are greeted by a twisted mirror image of ourselves. And that is true horror indeed.

--Rue Morgue

If you re not sure what to get the horror lovers on your Christmas list this year, Horror Library: Volume 3 would be a welcome addition to most fans collections. This reviewer was not sure what to expect from this anthology, having not read previous volumes. But with names like Bentley Little, Gary Braunbeck and John Everson gracing the table of contents, how could a reader go wrong? It wasn t until this reader flipped to a story called After that she initially suspected the editors had. Kealan Patrick Burke s After is a story about a school shooter, a topic that this reviewer found fascinating when she discovered Richard Bachman s Rage but one that had lost its appeal as fiction became reality in schools across the country in recent years. It was hard to want to read this story. With all the media scrutiny on the various real-life cases, how could Burke spin the subject matter to add something new? Happily, Burke does just that, leaving the reader with an emotionally satisfying payoff at the end. Frustrated by airport security procedures put in place in the wake of 9/11? Michael Arzen s Guarded explains why you have more to fear when you don t pass the initial screening process. Have you ever wondered what drives people to starve themselves? In The Living World, C. Michael Cook explores the motivating force behind one woman s eating disorder, and caused this reviewer to suffer a loss of appetite herself. The scariest thing about this story was the realization that the patient s logic is true. City dwellers avoid small town living for fear of a lackluster nightlife. In John Everson s Fish Bait, two friends find out what they ve been missing when a stop for food and camping supplies in a Podunk town goes horribly wrong. The funniest story in the anthology is Jeff Strand s The Apocalypse Ain t So Bad. Strand s protagonist is an optimist who can t understand why the people left in his post-apocalyptic world aren t thankful to have survived. Yes, there are mutants. But the lines at Disney World are now shorter. And thanks to the untimely demise of most of the world s population, Barnes & Noble has now become his own personal library. What s not to love? Even the dreaded mutant bite can t get him down. It s not often that a book reviewer is the protagonist in a horror tale, though it stands to reason why an author might want to subject a book reviewer to torment and woe. Rick Moore s The Review was the most enjoyable story to this reviewer on a personal level. Moore caused me to reassess why I chose to review books in the first place. Unlike Wilton, Moore s renowned book critic, my intent was not to pontificate, but to learn something about the craft of writing by reading and analyzing other writers works and see if I could apply that knowledge to make my own writing better. It s not known to the reader whether Wilton ever held that same intent, but it is clear that over the span of his career the joy he once derived from reading books has waned. And perhaps now, he only derives joy from the failure of others. The receipt of a strange book called The Review causes Wilton to take a hard look back at his own failures and to remember all that he d hoped to forget. If the quality of the stories selected for Horror Library: Volume 3 is any indication of what to expect from the series on the whole, readers may want to add the previous volumes to their Christmas wish lists as well. Review by: Martel Sardina Dark Scribe Magazine --Dark Scribe Magazine

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