Best known for his violent fantasy works, Karl Edward Wagner also built an impressive oeuvre of horror stories. With an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre and a background in psychology, Wagner crafted taut tales of terror, from the classic Lovecraftian story “Sticks” to “In the Pines,” an incisive character study in the form of a ghost tale that is a precursor to The Shining. Where the Summer Ends, the first volume of Wagner’s horror stories, tackles everything from reincarnation to fame with equal adeptness.
While the first volume of editor Dan Lockwood’s The Lovecraft Anthology focused on adapting the seminal horror writer’s Cthulhu mythos to the comic book medium, Volume II focuses on lesser-known early tales. Jamie Delano (Hellblazer) heads a diverse group of writers and artists. Standouts include “From Beyond” and “The Hound.”
A modern master of the weird tale, Brian Evenson is also one of the genres most experimental. Windeye, his latest story collection, does what all good horror aspires to: reflect the tenor and fears of a given period. Tales of inexplicable disappearances, unreliable memories and a nebulous sense of identity create a paranoiac vision of reality itself slipping from our collective grasp.
Stephen Jones, the premiere editor of horror anthologies, sets out to reclaim the genre from the likes of sparkly vampires with A Book of Horrors, an all-new collection of original tales from juggernauts of the genre, including Stephen King, Dennis Etchison, Caitlín R. Kiernan, perennial anthology favorite Ramsey Campbell, and John Avjvide Lindqvist. Anyone looking to see what true, current horror writing is all about will find this a good place to start.
Perhaps best known as the basis for the film Stalker, Roadside Picnic is a science fiction classic which, after 30 years, is finally back in print with a fresh translation. This Soviet novel follows a “stalker,” a kind of black market scavenger who travels into Zones—quarantined areas where alien visitors once landed and left behind artifacts, and where few come out the same.