New Fears– Various (Titan Books)

Just in time for the Samhain festivities, comes this collection of short stories from Titan Books. Bringing together some of the genre’s finest and upcoming stars New Fears is not just a bunch of horror stories thrown together to sell a few books in October, but rather a well thought out collection of modern horror stories.

I’m a big fan of this type of media. Whether it’s because I was brought up on a steady diet of Stephen King anthologies, Twilight Zone, X-Files and Tales From The Crypt or perhaps I have a short attention span, but I like the idea of a tale getting to the point and scaring the shit out of me at the same time and this collection does exactly that. Sometimes you don’t need an entire book when just a chapter or two will suffice. There are ancient folk tales, Gothic Victorian revenge filled chillers, haunted family cars, possessed dolls houses, you name it, there’s something here to loosen your bowels. If I absolutely had to choose a favourite, it would have to be Shepherd’s Business by Stephen Gallagher. Big build up, with an absolutely skin crawling pay off. Just thinking of it again, causes me to shudder as I write this. It’s also worth mentioning that the whole thing is edited and introduced by one of the genre’s brightest stars, the wonderful Mark Morris.

As the nights get darker and colder, this book is the perfect way to get yourself in the mood for Halloween, or if you’ve got no interest in Halloween, then at the very least the short stories are just long enough to see you through a decent session on the can and might even help the process… Chris Andrews

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