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After Sundown (Fiction Without Frontiers)

por Mark Morris (Editor)

Outros autores: Michael Bailey (Contribuidor), Simon Bestwick (Contribuidor), Ramsey Campbell (Contribuidor), Rick Cross (Contribuidor), Paul Finch (Contribuidor)15 mais, Elana Gomel (Contribuidor), Grady Hendrix (Contribuidor), John Langan (Contribuidor), Tim Lebbon (Contribuidor), Jonathan Robbins Leon (Contribuidor), Alison Littlewood (Contribuidor), Sarah Lotz (Contribuidor), Thana Niveau (Contribuidor), Laura Purcell (Contribuidor), Robert Shearman (Contribuidor), Angela Slatter (Contribuidor), Michael Marshall Smith (Contribuidor), CJ Tudor (Contribuidor), Stephen Volk (Contribuidor), Catriona Ward (Contribuidor)

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NOMINATED FOR A SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD AND BRITISH FANTASY AWARD "This rich and masterful collection of horror highlights both up-and-coming and established authors in an interesting twist on the standard anthology [...] Highly recommended for longstanding horror fans and those readers who may not think horror is for them. There is something for everyone in this one." -- Booklist 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. Contents List: BUTTERFLY ISLAND by C.J. Tudor RESEARCH by Tim Lebbon SWANSKIN by Alison Littlewood THAT'S THE SPIRIT by Sarah Lotz GAVE by Michael Bailey WHEREVER YOU LOOK by Ramsey Campbell SAME TIME NEXT YEAR by Angela Slatter MINE SEVEN by Elana Gomel IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT by Michael Marshall Smith CREEPING IVY by Laura Purcell LAST RITES FOR THE FOURTH WORLD by Rick Cross WE ALL COME HOME by Simon Bestwick THE IMPORTANCE OF ORAL HYGIENE by Robert Shearman BOKEH by Thana Niveau MURDER BOARD by Grady Hendrix ALICE'S REBELLION by John Langan THE MIRROR HOUSE by Jonathan Robbins Leon THE NAUGHTY STEP by Stephen Volk A HOTEL IN GERMANY by Catriona Ward BRANCH LINE by Paul Finch FLAME TREE PRESSis 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.… (mais)
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Mostrando 4 de 4
Originally posted on Just Geeking by.

I was provided with a free copy of this anthology via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My first clue to there this anthology being a letdown should have been that there’s not actually a synopsis given regarding the content. The synopsis attached to the book is more concerned with telling the reader how the anthology was created rather than what it actually contains. Before reading the anthology I had overlooked that the synopsis describes After Sundown as a “non-themed horror” anthology. Horror is a vast genre with multiple sub-genres which I’m inherently aware of, so I go into any horror anthology prepared to meet short stories on a variety of topics. That being so, the stories in After Sundown do not appear to have been collated using any sub-genres of horror that I am familiar with – and as an English Literature graduate, I feel confident enough to say that isn’t due to a failure on my part.

The problem is that the stories within the first half of the anthology are avant-garde. It isn’t that they’re “non-themed horror”, it’s that the idea of horror the author has chosen to portray in their story is so experimental that it simply doesn’t relate to anyone but the author. One particular story is focused on a man who donates blood and recounts the time the world’s overpopulation figure suddenly began to count down instead of up. There’s no twist, it is literally pages of a man giving blood, remarking on the hundreds of people are dying every day and the lack of blood donations. While this is all horrific it isn’t a horror story and is also extremely distasteful during a pandemic. If the author wanted to use the genre to comment on the pandemic and/or blood donations in a time of crisis they failed.

Other stories in the first 50% have the fatal flaw of bad pacing. They read like a chapter in a book, leading up to action which would finally reach its climax in the next chapter. The problem with the short story format is that there is no next chapter. One interesting story took forever to get to the point where the heroine realises she has the magical abilities to save the day, only for the story to abruptly end with her going to do just that. Did she manage to use her magic to save everyone? Who knows.

The second half of the book was much better. It wasn’t that these stories suddenly towed the traditional horror storyline; they were just better paced, they made sense, and they chilled you to the bone. They felt as though they were written with the reader in mind (with the aim of terrifying the reader!), not just random ideas that were thrown onto a page so they could say ‘look ma, I got published!’. These were the stories that I expected when I picked up this book, and if this is going to be an annual publication that is what the editor/s need to focus on.

I never did work out why the anthology is called ‘After Sundown‘; even a non-themed anthology still has something that links the whole thing together.

For more of my reviews please visit my blog! ( )
  justgeekingby | Jun 6, 2023 |
As a long time lover of short horror stories I'm smiling like a crazed Jack O'lantern at the thought of Flame Tree Press putting out an annual anthology. I would have been happier if it was Halloween themed but that did not stop me from enjoying what will hopefully become a yearly tradition.

The first story to totally blow me away was IT DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT by Michael Marshall Smith. Everyone has something that particularly creeps them out. For me it's always been stories about children. You just never know what a child will do. They're inconsistent and undependable and therefore terrifying.. One minute they tell you that you're the best mommy in the world and the next minute they hate you because their toothbrush is the wrong color. In this story, the every day chore of trying to get a child appropriately dressed and out the door in time for school was something I could commiserate with until it took a horrifying turn.

BOKEH by Thana Niveau also featured a terrifying child who sees and knows more than her unsuspecting mother gives her credit for until it's far too late. This one inspired such a deliciously dreadful feeling because I could just tell this child was up to no good from the start.

THE NAUGHTY STEP by Stephen Volk finds child services attempting to collect a small boy from his home after he survived a traumatic event. This story was as heartbreaking as it was shocking.

RESEARCH by Tim Lebbon had a Misery vibe to it as an author finds himself held hostage although not by his greatest fan, there is nothing personal in the confinement, just a twisted desire to observe what happens when a writer can not write.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ORAL HYGIENE by Robert Shearman is a dental horror story of epic proportions that at first glimpse seems to be merely the tale of a woman who fears losing her husband before it explodes into supernatural terror well beyond my expectations.

MURDER BOARD by Grady Hendrix should be a caution to anyone considering playing with a Ouija board, especially on a perfectly dark and stormy night in your secluded mansion with your embittered aging, has been, of a husband.

THE MIRROR HOUSE by Jonathan Robbins Leon makes me want to spout some overused cliché like there but for the grace of God go I.... But wait, in the mirror house which one is really me? This was a very clever and fear inspiring tale.

These were my favorites but every story is well worth a read.

I received an advance copy for review. ( )
  IreneCole | Jul 27, 2022 |
October is the perfect time to publish an anthology of horror stories! I decided to read this one for review for several reasons: I have enjoyed many horror novels published by Flame Tree Press; I love horror short story collections; and, 16 of these stories are by published authors I am familiar with and four of them were chosen from submissions sent to FTP. I'm always up for reading something by new-to-me authors!

Any time a reader delves into a collection of 20 stories there will be tales they love and ones that just missed the mark. That's the joy of a short story anthology -- what one reader doesn't like, another one will. So there is something for everyone! There weren't any stories in this collection that I didn't finish or that I completely disliked. Some were awesome....others were just ok....and there were a couple that just didn't hit the mark for me. But, not every story is for every reader. For the most part, I enjoyed the offerings in this demented little horror collection!

This book definitely primed my desire to start reading horror stories. I get into Halloween mode once September starts every year. I love autumn....and I love horror stories! So I enjoy making the season last as long as possible!

I believe this horror anthology is going to be an annual thing for FTP. I'm definitely in line to buy a copy each year! The stories in this first anthology are varied, interesting and definitely creepy fun to read!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Flame Tree Press. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
I always like picking up an anthology knowing all the stories will be new to me. There are some great authors in here, with a very nice variety of stories. There is something in here for every horror lover. As always, I enjoyed some more than others, but this is a solid collection of tales. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Aug 3, 2020 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Morris, MarkEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bailey, MichaelContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bestwick, SimonContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Campbell, RamseyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cross, RickContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Finch, PaulContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Gomel, ElanaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hendrix, GradyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Langan, JohnContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lebbon, TimContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Leon, Jonathan RobbinsContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Littlewood, AlisonContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lotz, SarahContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Niveau, ThanaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Purcell, LauraContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Shearman, RobertContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Slatter, AngelaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Smith, Michael MarshallContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Tudor, CJContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Volk, StephenContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Ward, CatrionaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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NOMINATED FOR A SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD AND BRITISH FANTASY AWARD "This rich and masterful collection of horror highlights both up-and-coming and established authors in an interesting twist on the standard anthology [...] Highly recommended for longstanding horror fans and those readers who may not think horror is for them. There is something for everyone in this one." -- Booklist 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. Contents List: BUTTERFLY ISLAND by C.J. Tudor RESEARCH by Tim Lebbon SWANSKIN by Alison Littlewood THAT'S THE SPIRIT by Sarah Lotz GAVE by Michael Bailey WHEREVER YOU LOOK by Ramsey Campbell SAME TIME NEXT YEAR by Angela Slatter MINE SEVEN by Elana Gomel IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT by Michael Marshall Smith CREEPING IVY by Laura Purcell LAST RITES FOR THE FOURTH WORLD by Rick Cross WE ALL COME HOME by Simon Bestwick THE IMPORTANCE OF ORAL HYGIENE by Robert Shearman BOKEH by Thana Niveau MURDER BOARD by Grady Hendrix ALICE'S REBELLION by John Langan THE MIRROR HOUSE by Jonathan Robbins Leon THE NAUGHTY STEP by Stephen Volk A HOTEL IN GERMANY by Catriona Ward BRANCH LINE by Paul Finch FLAME TREE PRESSis 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.

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