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Short Take: “The Sleep Tight Motel,” Lisa Unger

Pros: Vivid, melancholy, and beautiful Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Lisa Unger’s novella The Sleep Tight Motel (Dark Corners collection) is hauntingly beautiful. Eve is on the run from her abusive boyfriend Erik after unwillingly helping him to

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Ligotti’s “Autumnal”

If you have a few spare moments, read the super-short story Autumnal by Thomas Ligotti. I’ve read thousands of books, and I have a terrible memory, yet throughout the years this has remained my favorite short story. “Autumnal” is from

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Short Take: “Hannah-Beast,” Jennifer McMahon

Pros: Enthralling Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Jennifer McMahon’s novella Hannah-Beast (Dark Corners collection) tells a short, but engrossing, Halloween story. Amanda won’t let her daughter Erin go out trick-or-treating dressed as “Hannah-Beast,” the local scary legend. Decades

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Review: “Band on the Run: Rock Band Fights Evil Vols. 1-3,” D.J. Butler

Pros: Utterly fantastic third story; great set-up Cons: Some inconsistencies Rating: 4 out of 5 D.J. Butler’s Band on the Run: Rock Band Fights Evil Vols. 1-3 is amusingly creative and unusual. The rock band in question changes its name

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Short Take: “The Tangled Woods,” Emily Raboteau

Pros: Vivid Cons: Annoying characters; rambling Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Emily Raboteau’s novella The Tangled Woods (Dark Corners collection) follows a man and his wife and child as they go on vacation together. Reginald is a vicious film critic

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Short Take: “The Remedy,” Adam Haslett

Pros: Almost manages to live up to its high aim Cons: Doesn’t quite pull it off Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Adam Haslett’s novella The Remedy (Dark Corners collection) is about a young man who can’t seem to find a

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Short Take: “Oak Avenue,” Brandi Reeds

Pros: Dark and threatening Cons: Hard to read; cuts off a bit early Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Brandi Reeds’s Oak Avenue (Dark Corners collection) is a horror novella about a young family that moves into a historical house in

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Review: “Selected Stories: Horror and Dark Fantasy,” Kevin J. Anderson

Pros: Some gripping stories Cons: Breaks in mood Rating: 4 out of 5 Kevin J. Anderson’s Selected Stories: Horror and Dark Fantasy is definitely good, but I preferred his Selected Stories: Science Fiction Volume 1. There’s a handful of stories

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Review: “Residue,” Steve Diamond

Pros: Interesting premise Cons: Main character lacks agency; doesn’t make me want to read more Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Steve Diamond’s Residue (Jack Bishop) (Volume 1) follows Jack Bishop, a teenager in high school whose father disappears under mysterious

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Short Take: “Miao Dao,” Joyce Carol Oates

Pros: Utterly engrossing Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Joyce Carol Oates’s novella Miao Dao (Dark Corners collection) is a surreal story about an adolescent girl who’s having a hard time with her blossoming figure. She tries her best

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