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Midnight Mix-Tape: July 2017 – Under the Skin

 

Mixtapes ScatteredUncle Jake’s here to hook you up with some of the latest and greatest horror short stories available online right now.  Stories that will challenge, evolve, and redefine what horror is, and what it will become.  These are themed mix-tapes of fear, dread, danger, and gore, lovingly curated just for your reading pleasure.

One of my favorite types of horror stories are the ones involving transformations. The first book I remember claiming as my favorite when I was a kid was Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And don’t even get me started on werewolves, man–I love them! I’m drawn to the idea that there is an unknown beast lurking in our psyches, ready to claw itself out of our human suits and go rampaging through the city.

It’s hot, it’s summer, but instead of some fluffy beach read I’ve found some stories that amplify, alter, and evolve the idea of transformation. These aren’t fairy tales, but dark discoveries where what you see on the surface is only the thinnest disguise for the monsters we keep hidden away. These are horror stories, no doubt, and if you let them bite you I promise you’ll be changed.

Track One: The Bad Hour by Christopher Golden

After coming home from the war in Iraq, Kat goes in search of her old friend from the military in the small, isolated town of Chesbro, Vermont, where she learns her combat buddy has been keeping a terrible secret.

Track Two: Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma

Lola picks and picks at the wounds of her youth and fights against the twisty-dark serpentine legacy left to her by her family.

Track Three: A Discreet Music by Michael Wehunt

In this elegant story of love and loss and the horrific aftermath of both, Hiram wakes to find himself becoming something else as he hears the delicate sound of far-off music.

Hidden Tracks

Sometimes you’ve got to dig a little deeper. Pull a book down from your shelf, run out to the library, or order it from Amazon. Get a collection or anthology in your hands, crack the pages, and get into it. These “Hidden Tracks” can’t be found online (as of this publication), but are worth seeking out and devouring. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt by tracking them down.

Lovecraft's Monsters, edited by Ellen Datlow - coverTrack Four: Children of the Fang by John Langan

Rachel and her brother Josh discover that there are things in their Grandpa’s house that are both wondrous and dark and lead Rachel on a collision course with destiny. This story was originally published in Lovecraft’s Monsters, edited by Ellen Datlow.

Swift to Chase by Laird Barron - coverTrack Five: the worms crawl in by Laird Barron

Laird Barron’s story of a love triangle gone bad and cold, nasty revenge is a modern classic of horror transformations. It’s a helluva read, nightmarish and unlike anything else out there. It was originally published in Ellen Datlow’s anthology, Fearful Symmetries, but “the worms crawl in” can now be found in Barron’s stellar latest collection, Swift to Chase: a Collection of Stories.

If you have a favorite story or two that fits our theme, whether online or sitting on a shelf in your library, add it to the Comments below!

JAKE MARLEY

 

If you enjoyed our Midnight Mix-Tape and want to read our Hidden Tracks please consider clicking through to our Amazon Affiliate links. If you do you’ll help keep the This Is Horror ship afloat with some very welcome remuneration.

 Buy Lovecraft’s Monsters, edited by Ellen Datlow

 Buy Swift to Chase by Laird Barron


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2 comments

  1. priyasharmafiction

    Thank you so much for the mention!

    1. jakemarley

      My pleasure! It’s a haunting, beautiful story.

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