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CHIRAL MAD 2 by Michael Bailey


edited by Michael Bailey

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1494239978
Publisher: CreateSpace

A new anthology of psychological-horror tales, with proceeds going to Down syndrome charities.

This volume, the second in a series, offers 28 short stories written by authors from all over the world, and of various literary standings—from veteran award-winners (such as Jack Ketchum, author of the famous 1989 horror novel The Girl Next Door) to the greenest neophytes. However, the authors’ previous writing experience, or lack thereof, doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality of their contributions. Their stories also don’t always abide by the “thriller” label, but exist just a bit outside the boundaries; most of the offerings are engaging, although some are rather reserved in tone. However, there are a few that deliver shiver-inducing feelings of horrified delight, and one such gem is Dustin LaValley’s gritty, feral “Picture-in-Picture.” Things start to really heat up with Thomas F. Monteleone’s eerily demented “When I Was,” which sheds new light on guardian angels. There’s little time for readers to calm their nerves before Lucy A. Snyder’s creative marital nightmare, “Approaching Lavender,” and Ann K. Boyer goes straight for the blood and gore in her squeamishly titillating “In the Eyes of the Beholder.” These samplings in no way comprise a complete list of all the great stories in this compilation—many more deserve kudos—but it should be noted that, as in most collections, not every story is a home run. Some simply may fail to capture readers’ attention, or leave them scratching their heads as to their meaning. However, with such an eclectic group of writers, whose styles and voices range from quietly intense to literally thrilling, there’s bound to be something here for everyone.

An entertaining horror-story collection that helps support a good cause.