Short Stories, New Voices

As a young teen I wasn’t the avid reader of novels I am today. Maybe I didn’t have the patience for them back then; my hyperkinetic mind couldn’t yet commit to long-form genre literature. I do remember getting through a few Stephen King books (PET SEMETARY and CUJO come to mind), and some by John Saul (NATHANIEL) and John Coyne (HOBGOBLIN), but mostly I read anthologies of horror short stories.

Short stories were ideal for me because I could finish one in a single sitting. As a fright fan I bought up any horror collection I could find: SHADOWS (a long-running series edited by Charles L. Grant), GALLERY OF HORROR (also edited by Charles L. Grant), BORDERLANDS (another series, edited by Thomas Monteleone), STALKERS, and SPLATTERPUNKS, to name just a few. Each book offered me a trove of tales which appealed to my morbid mind and made my heart beat faster.

Shadows (1978) edited by  Charles L. Grant
Shadows (1978), edited by Charles L. Grant

As much as I loved chewing on these tasty terror morsels, I discovered some stories — and certain authors — hooked me more than others. As I got a little older I began seeking out novels written by authors whose short works I enjoyed. This was how I discovered many of my favorite writers today: Robert McCammon (STINGER), Joe R. Lansdale (THE DRIVE-IN), Richard Laymon (ONE RAINY NIGHT), Bentley Little (THE STORE), and a bunch of others.

Hence why I’m so exited to be editing a new Horror/Science Fiction anthology titled WHAT HAS TWO HEADS, TEN EYES, AND TERRIFYING TABLE MANNERS? (Story submissions are now closed.) I hope to find some talented new voices and share their words with the world. Maybe you’ll find a new author you love.

Short stories are a wonderful, powerful introduction to an author’s oeuvre. One piece can create a fan for life!

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