Back From The Dead: The Legacy of The Pan Book of Horror Stories
Selected by Johnny Mains,
Published by Noose & Gibbet, 2010.
This batch of four more stories from Back from The Dead: The Legacy Of The Pan Book Of Horror Stories takes us over the halfway mark. If you have missed the previous instalments you can find them here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This week we start with:-
13 – Dreaming The Dark by J.P. Dixon
One of the longer stories in the book. We meet horror writer Ross who partly bases his material on crimes shown to him by a police contact. When he starts to come across inexplicable deaths it leads him deep into an underworld of ancient terrors. This dark urban tale does feature vampires but manages to avoid falling into the generic urban fantasy trap. Ross’s Nihilistic world view is refreshingly bleak as indeed is the whole story.
14 – The Little Girl Eater by Septimus Dale
The Little Girl Eater is the very definition of a Pan Horror story, short, sharp and shocking. Although first published in 1963 it still holds up today, even if the dialogue feels slightly dated, the ending is as powerful as ever. It’s a perfect example of how something can be stylistically very simple yet be powerful enough to leave a lasting impression, as Stephen King once described it like recieving “a mortal icepick blow”.
15 – Mr Golden’s Haunt by Christina Kiplinger
An incredibly black tale about Mr Golden, retired and “all used up” his life appears to be meaningless. This is an interesting tale as it deals with something we may all have to face in later life.
16 – The Stare by John Burke
Harry Gourlay finds himself attracting the attentions of a stranger but when the stranger seems to follow him everywhere it becomes clear that there is more to this than meets the eye. The second story in this collection by John Burke and it’s another powerful psychological terror story.
Another four excellent stories and again all very different but focusing this time on more pyschological terror. This book so far has been a delight to read, a seemingly endless stream of ideas from some very talented writers who have perfected the art of making a story readable yet powerful at the same time. As you can probably guess I love this book and would urge you to buy a copy now, more info here.