Saturday, November 7, 2015

An Honest Review of "Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups"

The editor of Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups) came under fire from some people for conducting a Kickstarter to solicit donations. She used the donations to pay her contributing authors professional rates. I thought (and still think) this is a great idea. I didn't understand the rationale behind the criticism. Then someone playing Devil's Advocate asked me, "Well, are all these authors really good enough to deserve pro rates?"

Fair question. Let's find out...

Among my favorites:

The end of Ken MacGregor's "Upping the Production Values" provided the first of several jaw-dropping moments.

Reading "Rabbit Man" by Joseph Rubas, I felt transported back to the late 70's of my childhood, where urban legends and serial killers in the news lent everything a feeling of simmering fear. This story, told in a matter-of-fact newspaper article style, is the perfect compliment to the mood I felt back then.

"Grasshopper" by Ellen Denton mixes vintage science fiction (think H.G. Wells) with horror for an interesting story.

"A Good Price" by Louis Rakovich combines dark fantasy with horror in an excellent story with building suspense and a satisfying conclusion.

"Night Feeds" by Kris Ashton provided another jaw-dropping moment. I saw it coming, but not early enough to ruin the story. Overall, probably the most memorable story in the anthology for this reader.

Josh Shiben's "No Strings" has a creepy idea and great execution. I'm curious to know if it's really that easy to break into a water tower, but I'm not feeling brave enough to research it myself!

Bernard McGhee creates a tiny tableau of terror in "Paradise Railroaded." This one reminded me favorably of the kind of stories Weird Tales printed when Dorothy McIlwraith served as editor.

There wasn't a single story that I thought was a dud. Everything was worthy of inclusion. Ghosts, gore, urban legends, supernatural horror and the darkness of the human heart are all included.

My story,"Rougher Than the Rest," is included as well. It's been described as "weird western erotic horror." Because I am a contributor to Creepy Campfire Stories, Amazon will not allow me to post my review.

I found only one typo as I read, and the artwork by Fatlind Colaku is eye-catching and well done.

I give this anthology 4.5 out of 5 stars and I hope lots of people buy it.


No comments:

Post a Comment