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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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Short Take: “There’s a Giant Trapdoor Spider Under Your Bed,” Edgar Cantero

Pros: Hilarious, terrifying, and uniquely imaginative all at the same time Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Edgar Cantero’s There’s a Giant Trapdoor Spider Under Your Bed (Dark Corners collection) is a remarkably short read (took me maybe a

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Review: “Spores,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Fascinating story of horror-in-the-woods Cons: Ending kind of goes off the rails Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s Spores is an entry into the world of horror-in-the-woods, with a heavy dose of possession and alien intent. Marie wants

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Review: “Behold the Void,” Philip Fracassi

Pros: Intense and fascinating Cons: Occasionally could have used a little more detail or explanation Rating: 5 out of 5 Philip Fracassi’s anthology Behold the Void was recommended by a friend who knows my penchant for good horror, so I

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Review: “Mumma’s House,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Excellent haunted house tale Cons: The ceremony was a tad weird Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s Mumma’s House introduces us to a most unusual haunted house. This isn’t the stereotypical empty, unlived-in building. Instead, it belongs to

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Review: “Into the Drowning Deep,” Mira Grant

Pros: Fantastic tension, characters, and attention to detail Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Mira Grant’s Into the Drowning Deep is a follow-on to her Rolling in the Deep. In that installment, a ship called the Atargatis sets sail

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Review: “Killer Savant,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Bizarre and fascinating Cons: Weird gender not-really-theme? Rating: 4 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s Killer Savant mostly worked for me. I find the quality of his work varies wildly, but on the whole I love it and want to

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Review: “Acceptance,” Jeff Vandermeer

Pros: Lovecraftian horror and madness for modern readers Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Jeff Vandermeer’s Acceptance (Book Three of The Southern Reach Trilogy) takes us back inside the mix of pristine wilderness and Lovecraftian madness that is Area

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Review: “Authority,” Jeff Vandermeer

Pros: Lovecraftian horror and madness for modern readers Cons: Didn’t like the main character Rating: 4 out of 5 Jeff Vandermeer’s Authority (Book Two of The Southern Reach Trilogy) follows on the heels of his Annihilation, in which the Biologist’s

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Review: “Annihilation,” Jeff Vandermeer

Pros: Lovecraftian horror and madness for modern readers Cons: Clinical tone might put off some readers Rating: 5 out of 5 Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation (Book One of The Southern Reach Trilogy) is a treasure trove of Lovecraftian horror and madness,

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