I’ve been really looking forward to this bumper issue of Unnerving Magazine. October is always a special time of year for horror fans, for obvious reasons, and what better way to spend the dark nights than with a copy of this excellent magazine.
What I really enjoy about this issue is that the stories are short, sharp and heaps of fun, some pack a real punch and all are very different. Things get off to a great start with Madison McSweeny’s Luddid House. This is a superbly creepy trick or treat tale with a fabulous ending. I love it! Max Booth III chips in with a short about keeping it in the family…even if your mum/mom is a serial killer and Black Balloon by Christopher Shultz is also very good. Thomas Joyce’s By The Gun is a western tale that should feel out-of-place, yet it doesn’t. I’d also like to tip the hat in the direction of William Cooper and his story, Puke. This is not the sort of story I was expecting at all, in fact it is a strange story about a strange boy and a strange knife. Read it, it’s a cracker. Trick by Andrew Cull is another good one, a little bit more thought in this story, it is very good, too. My favourite has to be Staying Alive Among The Beasts by William Meikle. Most horror readers are all too familiar with Meikle’s Lovecraftian stories. The man writes pulpy horror and this story is just huge, huge fun. This apocalyptic tale features a man called Fred who is just trying to stay alive after the world’s end. Just him and his animals, y’know. But what happens when raiders come by and try to take what is not theirs? Great story, great ending, just heaps of fun.
There are two interviews, one with Stephen Graham Jones and the other with Mark Allan Gunnells. Both are simply fun Halloween chats and succeed in breaking up the magazine nicely. I also want to mention the excellent piece by Gwendolyn Kiste, in which she makes a few Halloween costume suggestions that are maybe a little bit out of the norm and also Dustin LaValley’s piece on how to survive a Z attack when you don’t have any weapons. Finally, there is an excerpt from Renee Miller’s forthcoming novella, Church, which is due any day now from Unnerving. Miller’s short story included here is top draw so I’m expecting great things from the novella and if the excerpt is anything to go by, then it will be a doozy.
I always finish reading Unnerving Magazine with a huge smile on my face. Unnerving makes reading horror fiction fun, and contained within this issue are exactly the sort of stories I want to read at this time of year. If you haven’t hopped aboard the Unnerving train yet, then now is as good a time as any. As Gwen Stefani said “What you waitin’, what you waitin’, what you waitin’, what you waitin’ foooooooorr?”
5/5 razor blade filled chocolates from the Grim Reader.
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