The horror genre is as wonderfully unique and varied as the fans who love it, and this month’s featured reads highlight that diversity.
Horror is everywhere and in everything. Wherever there is a light shining through, there will always be a shadow lurking, ready to pull us into the deep abyss. The horror genre is one of the most versatile genres, able to shift and mold itself into whatever the creator needs from it.
This month we bring in another wide range of horror tales, exposing fresh takes on the genre.
1. Beyond Dimensional Veils (Kyle J. Durrant)
Explore these horrors of the unknown as we examine the dark forces that converge upon our world from beyond dimensional veils.
Harkening back to a Lovecraftian style, Durrant brings a modern approach to creating a mystery and dread around the unknown.
Weaving a mythos-styled rotation of stories, where he goes back and fills in minor details of previous stories, we are given a modern set of gods and monsters to fear.
Ranging from the shorter flash fiction-esque stories that tell enough to raise hairs but give nothing of the mystery away, to fully fleshed unknown relics and gods, the stories never tire or bore. As with most cosmic horror, the effectiveness lies in the prose.
Turn of phrases appear and blend in with the unusual, creating a vague enough picture of what should scare us, without revealing its truth and allowing ourselves to become calm with it.
2. Broken Heart Mosaics/Mosaicos de un Corazon Roto: A Bilingual Poetry Collection (A.L. Garcia)
A hyperpersonal bilingual collection of poems dealing with love and loss, death and grieving, sexuality and society, survival, and recovery.
Poetry is a format best used to serve raw and emotionally charged pieces of prose to elicit the things that the author wants and demands to be felt.
Garcia does this tenfold. She exposes her heart in a flurry of turn of phrases. With emotions dripping in every line, she creates deep, haunting, and outright beautiful verses. Showing her talents in both English and Spanish, the poems follow the rollercoaster of life, and the things we feel, are forced to feel throughout.
While not outright horror in the usual sense, the backdrop of where these words come from weighs the reader’s heart with dread and sorrow that the author masterfully plays with.
She is never too vague to understand what she’s trying to say, and she paints pictures in these short pieces that maintain relatability with the reader, causing a conduit of author-book-reader.
3. Outrage: Level 10 (Lucy Leitner)
A horror-comedy with an epic scope, Outrage: Level 10 is an antihero’s journey through the inner workings of a violent, near-future dystopia.
Outrage: Level 10 is unique in its scope.
Leitner relishes the absurdity of the world she created. Living up to the idea of a dystopian future, she juggles the world-building and conspiracy-themed plot with such a sarcastic flair in her prose, that the pages breeze on by. Always with a tangent on hand that doesn’t bog down the story, Outrage takes punches at this social media-driven day and age.
Almost in the vein of George Romero or Douglas Adams, Leitner has a voice for delivering deeply compassionate character moments that mesh with the satirical — almost bordering on parody — elements of the story.
For all the insanity, humorous and disturbing alike, Outrage hits with a through-line that manages to captivate the reader.
From a satirical take on a dark future that will make a reader laugh and shiver to cosmic horrors that unleash the fear of the unknown, to even poetic dalliances of haunting imagery taken from real life, horror is never satisfied with being just one thing. Brilliant in their executions, these books are unique in what they bring to the genre. Having plucked these three from such a wide spectrum, it still does not showcase all that horror can do. So come back next month, where further voices of horror shall be revealed.