cover art by John E. Richards; design by Ignacio Carrion
The great Hello Horror has included my short story “The Inventor” in their Spring 2017 issue. The magazine is free to read (and they have quite the back catalog, so get on that, horror fans).
The issue contains nine short stories, four poems, three micros and the conclusion of a serialized novel, which I need to go back and read all of.
I had a fantastic time reading the stories today and I’m going to pitch them to you because I think you should read them, too. (If my pitches fall flat, blame me, not the author.)
All the stories are extremely readable, but I marked my three most-recommended with *** next to the title.
LOVER Short Story by PAUL TANNER
Shy Birdy and dangerous Kayla’s rituals have escalated.
This story made me look up Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages and I thank Mr. Tanner for bringing “She’s Fallen in Love with a Monster Man” into my life.
BLINDSPOTS Short Story by Steven Anzalone
Strange figures are appearing in Caden’s blind spot.
This is a delightful mix of literary and bizarre. Anzalone successfully uses dream-like imagery without losing control of the narrative.
MAYBELLINE Micro by H.M. Pridemore
Henry can’t talk right now. He needs to take care of something in the backyard.
***BOXING Short Story by Ron Riekki
A hot-headed boxer, shady manager, and disillusioned fiancé are invited to a private magic show.
Effortless writing. Absolutely effortless. Riekki is in complete control of his style. Each character has a distinct voice (in style, in dialogue, in action), the story knows where it’s going and exactly how to get there. Excellent short story; leaves you thinking, makes you want to read it again immediately.
“Boxing” is the stand-out piece of the issue. It would be the stand-out piece in any short story collection. If you read only one thing, read this.
THE OTHER MAN Micro by Alex Smith
A man is haunted by a reflection.
THE FIFTH CHAIR Short Story by Wade Newhouse
Wallace falls apart after losing his job. But, even after his wife leaves, he’s not alone.
This wins for best title in the issue. I love how Newhouse incorporates it into the story.
THE LODGE Micro by Megan J. Kaleita
Kyle and his friends summoned something they shouldn’t have
THE INVENTOR Short Story by Michelle Podsiedlik (Oh, hi!)
Thomas Mark Garrett is going down in history.
ONCE IN TOLEDO Short Story by Milt Johns
Escaping from 1937 Fascist-infested Toledo, Spain, Paco and the NKVD (Soviet secret police) officer he’s supposed to escort discover a church massacre.
***ANIMALS Short Story by Timothy G. Huguenin
Lonely Ethel goes on a dinner date with a handsome butcher.
Ethel completely comes to life as our main character; her awkwardness, her insecurity, her sadness. We feel dread for her long before she gets hip to the situation, which is my favorite horror-story set-up. And – my God – a vegetarian butcher. What a delightful touch.
INHERITANCE Short Story by David Dean
Someone is waiting for Anna and her father in their inherited, isolated home.
A classy, Gothic ghost story.
***THE HIDDEN Short Story by Melissa Pleckham
During a game of hide-and-seek, Hester finds herself hiding with an eerie boy.
Well-written, creepy as hell, and everything I wish Ramsey Campbell was.