With books like BLEAK HOUSE, WAR AND PEACE, and A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME still in the to-be-read pile, other titles get added to the stack and, simply because they're not as massive, get read first. Sometimes I ask myself how this happens when I know that if I stopped buying books today and started the backlog I could keep myself busy for at least three years (and possibly until I'm planted). But there's no need to ask, really -- I know how it happens.
It's Amazon's fault.
If you search an author's name in Amazon's book and Kindle stores, you'll get results that include other authors as well. So while checking to see if any more of Jack Ketchum's backlist had been published for Kindle, up popped a title for which Ketchum had done an introduction. The book was a novella called "Midlisters," by Kealan Patrick Burke. After reading Ketchum's introduction in the sample, I bought "Midlisters," and by the time I read it several more of Burke's stories were available. If you're a fan of horror fiction and have not yet read Kealan Patrick Burke, you're missing out. His short story "Empathy" is one of the most frightening pieces I've read in years, and while I haven't yet read all of the ebooks now available by Burke, I've yet to be disappointed by any of those that I've finished. This guy's GOOD.
While checking to see if any more of Shirley Jackson and Ramsey Campbell had been issued for Kindle, a title that showed up in searches for both was James Everington's THE OTHER ROOM. It's a collection of short horror stories, light on grue and long on chills. Everington's author page notes Jackson, Campbell and Robert Aickman as influences -- it shows, and I don't think that readers of Jackson, Campbell, and Aickman will be disappointed if they read THE OTHER ROOM. Very nicely done, particularly the title story and "A Writer's Words," "Red Route," "First Time Buyers," and "Home Time."
And while checking to see if Thomas Williams' work had been issued for Kindle, there was a listing for his National Book Award winner from 1975, THE HAIR OF HAROLD ROUX. I wasn't planning on unloading the hard copies, but wanted his titles as ebooks as well. The ebook included a new introduction by Andre Dubus III and a new afterword by the author's daughter Ann Joslin Williams, of whom I hadn't heard until reading the afterword. Ann Joslin Williams is also a writer, and her short story collection THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS and her recently-published first novel DOWN FROM MOUNT CASCOM use the same New Hampshire settings (and the fictional town of Leah) where most of Thomas Williams' work was set. The collection and the novel are both excellent; somewhere Thomas Williams is smiling.
No need to bother with plot descriptions -- you can find them in the book descriptions at Amazon. Here are links to Amazon's author pages for Williams, Everington, and Burke. Enjoy.
Ann Joslin Williams:
Kealan Patrick Burke:
And bests to all.
Brief commercial -- free short story offer.
My short ghost story, "The Point," is available free through the end of July at Smashwords as part of their summer site promotion.
Use discount code SSWSF when purchasing to get it as a freebie.