A Sampling of Texas Horrors

road killRoad Kill
E. R. Bills & Bret McCormick, eds.
Eakin Press
Paperback $16.95
ebook $5.99

I’d like to thank Bret McCormick for sending me a review copy of Road Kill.  Most anthologies have two or three (or more) stories that aren’t my flagon of ale.  There was only one story in this one that fits that description.  All of the others I liked, some a lot.  And not just because of the Texas theme.

The variety in Road Kill is impressive.  The type of horror ranges from quiet to grisly to Lovecraftian to science fictional.  Here were a few of my favorites.

In David Bowles’ “Shrine”, a woman suffering from migraines discovers that not all good Samaritans are good.  Joe Lansdale gives us a meditation on death that is softer than what I usually expect from him in “Not From Detroit”, proving what a versatile writer he is.

My favorite of all the stories was “Ten Digit PIN” by Anna L. Davis.  Her author bio says Ms. Davis is a graduate of UT-Dallas.  Having graduated from UTD myself, I’m not surprised that another UTD grad wrote the science fictional horror, a cyberpunk tale about some killer drones.  I’ll be looking for more of her work.

A demon takes on human form in frontier Texas in Stephen Patrick’s “The False Face of Donovan O’Grady”, a tale that reminded me of Joe Lansdale’s work.  Bret McCormick’s “Crepuscular” tells what happens when a man tries to renovate an abandoned school house and turn it into an art museum.

Russell C. Conner takes a midnight trip to a body farm with three high school girls whose interest isn’t entirely academic, in “Pretty Deaths”.  Tom Bont introduces us to an FBI agent who discovers strange  allies in the small town of “Redstick, Texas”.

Michael Baldwin riffs on an old Twilight Zone episode written by Richard Matheson in “Winging It”.  We venture into Lovecraft country with Joe McKinney’s “Sky of Brass, Land of Iron”.

Like I said, I really enjoyed Road Kill.  Mr. McCormick told me they’re hoping this will become a regular series.  I hope so, because not only would I like to try to submit a story myself, I’d like to read more anthologies like this.  Bills and McCormick, along with Eakin Press, have set the bar quite high for follow-up anthologies.  Highly recommended.

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