“SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS: FROM THE HORROR ZINE” (Book Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Camilla Jackson
Horror Zine founder and editor, Jeani Rector has masterfully put together a collection of spine-chilling and macabre tales in her third installment of anthologies SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS: FROM THE HORROR ZINE. The bite-sized short stories showcase Rectors flair as not just an editor, but for seeking out the best in known and up and coming talent in the horror fiction genre in her third offering from THE HORROR ZINE. And although a new publisher is on board for this anthology (Post Mortem Press) the novel still follows the same solid format as the two previous compilations.
Bentley Little (THE REVELATION) gives deserved praise for Rector and her series of anthologies in his foreword that additionally conveys his sadness that this may be the last anthology in the series, concluding that SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS could potentially attain collectors item status, featuring stories from the likes of the next Stephen Kings and Clive Barkers. In John Russo’s (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) preface, ‘A Word About Zombies’, Russo muses on certain Zombie characteristics that took shape in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as well as the careful thought and consideration that was put into their fabled idiosyncratic quirks.
Like a sommelier of horror fiction, Rector has placed 31 authors at an equable level, fusing emerging writers with notable scribes such as William F. Nolan, Rena Mason, Elizabeth Massie and Joe McKinney, making this not only diverse in styles, but with the choice of anti-hero stretching from the typical zombie to utterly imaginative and unforeseen takes on the malefactor. Some examples include a ruthless tapeworm, supernatural sideshow freaks, a stool sample with extremely sharp teeth, werewolves and the Craven-esque recount of a Somniphobic.
A few of the standouts include Joe McKinney’s “Pete’s Big Break,” the story of a dog trainer working on John Carpenter’s THE THING who encounters an enraged Sasquatch in the surrounding woods. The story culminates with a twist that is completely unanticipated and a newspaper story that leaves the reader wondering if the macabre events were based on truth. Meanwhile, Tim Jeffrey’s “Stalker” is an eerie recount of a nurse who is unnerved by the sound of mysterious footsteps following her every stride, slowly making her question her own sanity. And relative new-comer Jonathan Chapman’s “The House” portrays an original take on a witch and her lifelong quest for the company of young, handsome and educated men.
With such a plethora of chronicles in the horror genre, it is impossible for these tales to become repetitious, darting in and out of different styles and storylines with deft skill. And with the majority of stories being neatly wrapped up with a clever twist, SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS is undoubtedly one of the better places to get your fix of the best in new and established dark executioners of horror fiction!