Not sure where this should go but it's just come out & it's very Vault so it deserves a post. Hopefully Mr D will file it in the (in)appropriate slot if I've got it wrong!
Spanning two hundred years of horror, this new collection features seventeen macabre gems, including two original tales and many others that have never or seldom been reprinted.
Table of Contents
Foreword by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle Aunty Green by John Blackburn Miss Mack by Michael McDowell School Crossing by Francis King A Psychological Experiment by Richard Marsh The Progress of John Arthur Crabbe by Stephen Gregory The Frozen Man by John Trevena California Burning by Michael Blumlein Let Loose by Mary Cholmondeley Out of Sorts by Bernard Taylor The Head and the Hand by Christopher Priest The Ghost of Charlotte Cray by Florence Marryat The Grim White Woman by M. G. Lewis The Terror on Tobit by Charles Birkin Furnished Apartments by Forrest Reid Something Happened by Hugh Fleetwood The Tarn by Hugh Walpole The Gentleman All in Black by Gerald Kersh
Aunty Green: Rich man returns to the house of the foster parent who tortured him as a boy. Nastiness ensues. I keep meaning to read some John Blackburn but this is as far as I've got. He's a late 1960s British horror writer but his stuff is hard to get hold of.
Miss Mack: Not read any Michael McDowell either until this. How useless am I? Because this is really rather good. Jealous suitor uses witchcraft to imprison titular character in a neverending night. Splendidly creepy.
School Crossing: From The 20th Pan Book of Horror Stories! Teacher who has been sacked for Something Awful keeps hallucinating children on the road. For a late Pan story this is remarkable subtle, multi-layered, and completely lacking in the gratuitous tits and bloody rat-eaten torsos the series was well into the swing of by now.
A Psychological Experiment: From the writer of THE BEETLE, we really are skipping all over what the genre has to offer with this book. Two men meet in a pub, one of them not realising he thought he had killed the other.
The Progress of John Arthur Crabbe. UK 1982 horror story about a boy who can do nothing but heal others. Wouldn't have fitted in a Pan or indeed in other popular UK horror anthos.
The Frozen Man: Blackwood-style horror as a sled being pulled across the Alaskan wastes runs into trouble when one of its three-man team dies and he gets put on the back to take home for burial. And then he starts whispering.
This looks well tasty - thanks for the alert, Lord P. Think I've read nine of the seventeen, including the Monk Lewis pome, and, on the strength of that, am super-confident the gents have delivered a terrific 1st volume. If I remember, they had a different Birkin story under consideration. Maybe they couldn't locate a copy in time (or, more likely, they did!). Am sure you will enjoy the genre-mangling novels of John Blackburn. It's sad that I don't think he wrote enough short horrors - mostly for Hugh Lamb anthologies - to fill anything but the most slimline collection.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.