My Year of Short Stories: August 14th-16th

My Year of Short Stories is an ongoing challenge I’ve set myself. My goal is to read 365 short stories from the day after I turned 30 (August 14th, 2017) to the day after I turn 31 (August 14th, 2018). This is a short entry. I’ll have a more extensive list of stories next week, but here are my entries fro August 14th-16th.

August 14th, 2017, Nesters by Siobhan Carroll, originally published in Children of Lovecraft, edited by Ellen Datlow, Reprinted in The Best Horror of The Year Volume Nine, edited by Ellen Datlow.

Blurb: A young girl’s father is asked by government men to investigate the town over which has experienced a strange anomaly. The father never comes back. The young girl goes in search of her father only to find a horror waiting in the abandoned town.

Opinion: A rather cheesy and cliche story of a monster devouring a town. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as lame if the monster hadn’t been revealed so vividly.

August 15th, 2017, The Oestridae by Robert Levy, originally published in Black Static Magazine, reprinted in The Best Horror of The Year Volume Nine, edited by Ellen Datlow.

Blurb: A brother and sister are abandoned by their mother only to have her estranged sister, their Aunt Lydie arrive out of the blue. It is clear, quickly that Aunt Lydie isn’t what she seems and it’s up to the narrator to save his sister from a sinister fate.

Opinion: I liked that the story hinged on the darkness within rather than a monster without. Still, I thought the themes didn’t really add up to create real or interesting characters. Even by the end, I felt pretty indifferent to the characters’ plights.

August 16th, 2017, The Nyctalops Trilogy: (one) The Chemist by Thomas Ligotti, published in Songs of A Dead Dreamer & Grimscribe, Penguin Classics.

Blurb: A chemist seduces a call-girl and drugs her with a sinister substance.

Opinion: This story rocks. It’s told as just one side of the conversations the chemist has with everyone around him. It’s filled with Thomas Ligotti’s signature nihilism, and while most nihilists might view everything as disconnected and hopeless, Ligotti sees the hopelessness in our interdependence of one another, and the dreams we create about each other. The end is a shocker that feels earned as well!


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