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Look Out For… The Doll Master & Other Tales Of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates and Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt

26831729Look Out For… The Doll Master & Other Tales Of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates

“The tight, controlled prose makes the emerging dread in these stories the more profound.”

Six terrifying tales to chill the blood from the unique imagination of Joyce Carol Oates.

A young boy plays with dolls instead of action figures. But as he grows older, his passion takes on a darker edge…

A white man shoots dead a black youth creating a media frenzy. But could it have been self-defence as he claims?

A nervous woman tries to escape her husband. He says he loves her, but she’s convinced he wants to kill her…

These quietly lethal stories reveal the horrors that dwell within us all.

Why We’re Excited About This Book: Acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates returns with her thirty-ninth (!) collection of short stories, her second release of 2016. Nothing if not prolific (she’s written 40+ novels as well), it’s amazing that her work is so consistently brilliant. But it always is. So new stories from Oates are very welcome, especially when they are touted as “tales of terror.”

The sextet of tales in The Doll Master are each rooted in the mundane horrors of the everyday: missing children in ‘Big Momma’; gun violence and racism in ‘Soldier’; the effects of childhood cancer and grief in the title story. Oates’s tight, controlled prose makes the emerging dread in her stories the more profound. Her characters may be broken, unbalanced and unreliable narrators of their own fates but they are never less than engaging and perfectly written.

Oates is a bold and important writer and The Doll Master & Other Tales Of Terror will likely further enhance her already formidable reputation.

The Doll Master & Other Tales Of Terror is released on 1 May 2016 from Head Of Zeus.

greenerpastures_smLook Out For… Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt

“The horror in these stories is of the quiet, lingering type that you find yourself reminded of in the dark hours of the night.”

In his striking debut collection, Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt shows why he is a powerful new voice in horror and weird fiction.

From the round-robin, found-footage nightmare of “October Film Haunt: Under the House” to the jazz-soaked “The Devil Under the Maison Blue,” selected for both The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, these beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant stories speak of the unknown encroaching upon the familiar, the inscrutable power of grief and desire, and the thinness between all our layers. Where nature rubs against small towns, in mountains and woods and bedrooms, here is strangeness seen through a poet’s eye.

They say there are always greener pastures. These stories consider the cost of that promise.

Why We’re Excited About This Book: Michael Wehunt is a relatively new author but he has already made his mark on the horror scene, having work published in Shadows & Tall Trees, Cemetery Dance and the anthology Aickman’s Heirs, among others. His début collection, Greener Pastures (an ironic title, if ever there was one) is thus highly anticipated, especially as it comes loaded with praise from the likes of Nathan Ballingrud and Gemma Files.

Wehunt is a master at evoking atmosphere; these are slow burning stories and all the better for it. The supernatural elements dovetail with a genuine sense of human frailty. The grief of widowhood provides the foundation for ‘A Discreet Music’, whilst ‘The Devil Under The Maison Blue’ is capped with an elegiac sense of innocence’s passing. The horror in these stories is of the quiet, lingering type that you find yourself reminded of in the dark hours of the night.

Look out for this fine collection.

Greener Pastures is out now from Shock Totem.

JAMES EVERINGTON


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