Welcome back everyone and welcome to my stop on the Random Things Tours blog tour for After Sundown, a short story collection editted by Mark Morris!
This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2 week open submissions window. It is the first of what will hopefully become
an annual, non-themed horror anthology of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners and exciting, original voices.
Is there ever a better time of year to experience an anthology of short horror stories than right now? This book was the perfect October read and it’s been such a long time since I read a book of short stores that this looked to be the perfect combination.
I must say this was both a wonderful and surprising book. There are so many names that people will recognise here such as Grady Hendrix and C.J Tudor among them. Some wonderful names I really as looking forward to was reading Stephen Volk’s short story. In case you’re unaware Stephen Volk is the mind and writer behind the famous and terrifying BBC event that was Ghost Watch. That being one name I really enjoyed seeing listed.
This is a wonderful achievement for both Flame Tree Press and Mark Morris, this is unique collection of startling, strange tales that are suitable for anyone’s tastes in horror. What I really loved was the effort that was clearly put into making sure this book had that varied amount of stories with very different aspects of the genre. There is post apocalyptic stories, reworked stories and fairytales and even if you are someone who likes to make your own mind up on the supernatural potential in a story, there are a number of stories in the 20 tales that do have you thinking was it the narrator going mad or was it really the ghost of a murdered girl.
I do find it so interesting that some of the tales that were my favourite were written by some of the women authors in this collection. My personal standouts included ‘Swanskin’ by Alison Littlewood and Laura Purcell’s wonderfully strange ‘Creeping Ivy’. As is the way with anthologies, there were stories I did like, stories I didn’t, some I found uncomfortable but overall, this made to be a genuinely fun experience.
I know the introduction from Mark Morris makes it clear that the book is intended to be read start to finish as a whole piece but I know for a fact I will find myself returning to some of my favourite stories in this collection again and again and will definitely be investing in the authors new to me.
Thank you to both Flame Tree Press and Anne for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for review! ‘After Sundown’ is available now!
Mark Morris (editor) has written and edited almost forty novels, novellas, short story collections and anthologies. His script work includes audio dramas for Doctor Who, Jago & Litefoot and the Hammer Chillers series. His recent work includes the official movie tie-in novelizations of The Great Walland (co-written with Christopher Golden) The Predator, the Obsidian Heart trilogy (The Wolves of London, The Society of Blood and The Wraiths of War), the anthologies New Fears (winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology)and New Fears2 as editor, a new audio adaptation of the classic 1971 horror movie Blood on Satan’s Claw, for which he won the New York Festival Radio Award for Best Drama Special, and a new audio adaptation of the M.R. James ghost story A View From a Hill, for which he won his second New York Festival Radio Award, for Best Digital Drama Program, and which has also been
nominated for an ARIA (Audio & Radio Industry Award).