Book Review: Howls from Hell
This anthology is great because not only did it introduce me to a bunch of new authors, but it introduced me to the HOWL Society (the “Horror-Obsessed Writing and Literature” society) which I’m very excited to learn more about!
SUMMARY: pacefaring researchers disturb an ancient horror. An enchanted object curses a grieving widow. A haunted reel torments a film student. A murder trial hinges on a chilling testimony. In Howls From Hell, sixteen emerging horror writers pave the way for the future of the genre. Fans of dark and macabre fiction will savor this exhibition of all-original tales born from one of the fastest-growing horror communities in the world: HOWL Society. The With a foreword by Grady Hendrix, this anthology unveils the horror writers of tomorrow with spine-tingling stories from P.L. McMillan, J.W. Donley, Shane Hawk, Christopher O’Halloran, Alex Wolfgang, Amanda Nevada DeMel, Lindsey Ragsdale, Solomon Forse, Justin Faull, M. David Clarkson, B.O.B. Jenkin, S.E. Denton, Thea Maeve, Joseph Andre Thomas, Joe Radkins, and Quinn Fern.
Man, what a fun collection of stories! There is so much variety presented here (body horror, sci-fi horror, folklore, occult/cults, cosmic horror, hilarious horror, demons, monsters, evil twins, etc). Seriously, there’s definitely something for everyone here – and luckily for me almost all of it worked! It just seemed like everyone involved had a great time writing these twisted tales, and their enthusiasm and creativity spills from the pages.
And speaking of the writers, it was awesome getting to meet a huge cast of new (to me) authors! Lots of talent here for sure. Oh, and several of the authors also provide illustrations for the stories which were so cool! Like I said, lots of talent.
I really did enjoy most of these stories, but some stand out ones for me were:
“Manufactured Gods” by P.L. McMillan – an epic blend of sci-fi horror, tech horror, and Egyptian mythology where a group of scientists go to explore the ruins of Earth and find a truly unsettling monster deep below ground.
“Red Punch Buggy” by B.O.B. Jenkin – at first read I found it to be a funny and disturbing little tale, but it has since burrowed into my brain and I can’t stop thinking about it. Much like Scott Cole’s Crazytimes, it uses humor mixed with shocking violence to wonderful effect.
“A Fistful of Murder” by Lindsey Ragsdale – a story about a man who finds a dollar bill with the word KILL written on it, and every time he looks at it he is forced to do just that. It’s a simple idea but structured and played out beautifully.
“Suspended in Light” by Alex Wolfgang – another one that got under my skin and I can’t stop thinking about. Creepy story of a women reviewing old film reels and unleashing a haunting force. I didn’t fully understand the ending, but I enjoyed the ride.
Check out their website to learn more about the HOWL Society: https://howlsociety.com