The Horror of Public Transportation: Recent Reads

One of the advantages of taking the bus when your commute is 45 minutes to an hour? Well, besides stealing all sorts of interesting characterization from your fellow bus-riders, you can read. A lot.

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Pathfinder RPG: Horror Adventures

I’ve been getting back into tabletop roleplaying, specifically the Pathfinder RPG, with a group of coworkers. I picked this 2016 release up last month (before I started riding the bus, admittedly), and I don’t regret it. It’s a great supplement to the game (think Dungeons & Dragons) that takes Pathfinder one step closer to Call of Cthulhu territory. I also recommend this as an inspiration tome for horror writers. Every page has awesome horror ideas and hooks. Check out our most recent episode of Spooklights for the full take: Spooklights #13: The Book of Blasphemous Words

Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesiaszsgb

I’d seen this cover a few times, popping up in Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s got strong underground buzz, and it lives up to the hype. Zero Saints is a short, tough, street-beautiful piece of work. A small-time drug pusher runs up against some really bad dudes—think demonic bad—and we follow him throughout the course of this small-scale, but no less suspenseful, conflict. There’s a few scenes of gangster action, a lot of tension, and plenty of insight into the dark, occult-ridden underbelly of Austin, Texas. A fun read with a unique setting.

people-lightsAfter the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones

Colorado’s favorite adopted son/horror writer is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I know I’m late to the game here—I didn’t discover him until I read his story in Nightmare Carnival—but damn, if his style of literary-meets-pulp ain’t something to marvel at, nothing is. Jones’ collection is everything you’d want out of a weird-horror anthology. There were a pair of stories that didn’t quite stick the landing for me, but I always admired the characterization, setting, and sense of voice each story possessed. The majority of the stories are creepy and emotionally intense, with a few that stuck with me well after my own people lights went out… That’s rare for me to say these days. I’ve listened to a few of his recent interviews and he strikes me as the kind of guy you could drink a couple of tall boys with and talk about the finer points of 80’s shlock horror cinema. (It was my pleasure to interview him via email a while back.) I’ll be picking up his novel Mongrels because my favorite story in this collection (“Doc’s Story”) apparently is chapter one of that novel. If that’s how it starts, I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Altar by Philip Fracassialtar-v2

This chapbook from Dunhams Manor Press is a sharp, button-pushing tale of one very bad afternoon at a community pool. I was clenching my fists in anger at what was happening on the page, then pulling back in horror as the painful climax erupted. No spoilers; just give it a read. If you enjoy Altar, check out his previous release, Mother.

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