Favorites from 2012

Some of my favorite writings of 2012.

Pitting artistic works against one another to find out who the ‘best’ is always rubbed me the wrong way. What speaks to me may not speak to you, and that doesn’t mean either is any better or any worse. So instead of saying these were the best of last year, how about knowing these were works I really enjoyed. There were a lot more I wanted to read during the year, but didn’t get a chance. I’ll make up for it soon, but there’s only so much time. Without further delay:

Lisa Morton’s amazing collection of work this year was unbelievable. “Trick Or Treat: A History Oh Halloween”, “The Legend Of Halloween Jack”, “Hell Manor” and “Witch Hunts: A Graphic  History of the Burning Times”. It is awesome seeing just how multi-talented Morton is in many different mediums. Each of these is fantastic. I learned a lot in “Witch Hunts”, which was co-authored with Rocky Wood and illustrated by Greg Chapman.

Mercedes M. Yardley “Beautiful Sorrows”. This was not what I expected. A collection of short, and short-short fiction, I would most liken it to Tim Burton’s small collection of micro-shorts. A really neat, fun to read book.

Willum H. Pugmire’s “Uncommon Places”. Pugmire has got quite the poet’s gift with words. His Lovecraftian fiction escalates the genre. He’s got his own, unique voice, which seems to be coming from another era by way of some electro-magnetic field. If you like Lumley and Ligotti, you’ve got to check out Pugmire’s work.

“Call Of Cthulhu 2” edited by Ross E. Lockhart. Oh, man. Where to begin? First of all, the cover is irresistible. The stories collected within gather many reprints and originals. Absolutely fantastic cover to cover.

Gene O’ Neill’s “In Dark Corners”. Raw and tense, Gene’s storytelling is his own. You can’t help but getting drawn in to these stories. At least, I couldn’t. Another excellent collection from this modern master.

Brad C. Hodson’s “Darling”. At first, I wasn’t sure where ‘Darling’ was going. It starts off in a slow burn, but it builds by its middle. He really makes a great modern haunting here. Quite good, and a great debut novel from an author to watch.

“Dark Tales of Lost Civilzations” edited by Eric J. Guignard. This was just a whole sandy Jeep filled with archaeological fun. If you like explorations and adventure, then this is for you. I had a blast reading this anthology.

“Progeny” by Eric Williams. Twisted. Twisted. Twisted.

“Inheritence” by Joe McKinney. A really great novel. I don’t want to give it away, but it, too, builds slowly, but then kicks you in the gut. Fantastic storytelling.

“Westlake Soul” by Rio Youers. One of my favorites of the past couple of years. It’s rare when a book makes you shut it and think and feel so deeply, but that’s just what I did several times. There’s a whole lot of soul in this story. Unforgettable, and Rio’s voice has hit full stride. This is a masterwork.

“The Void” by Brett J. Talley. I loved his last book, so I was really excited to check this out. And it is a science fiction/horror hybrid. Very different, but also, expertly executed.

“The Donors” by Jeffrey Wilson. This is one creepy read. I’m still thinking of a lot of the events inside this book. Awesome.

“The Dark” by Scott Bradley and Peter Giglio. Okay? So this book is really cool. I felt like I was being led on an underground, middle-of-the night excursion into the reality of an underworld. These guys work seamlessly together. Peter Giglio released other works this year, and they’re all fantastic. This year made me a fan.

INHUMAN magazine, edited by Allen K. This is one of my favorite magazines. Hand-sized and exquisitely illustrated by genre vet Allen K., Inhuman is immensely readable. I cannot wait for the next issue, but the wait is worth it.

“Edge Of Dark Water” by Joe R. Lansdale. Again, Lansdale impresses in how he can write in a different genre and be about a million percent convincing. A gorgeous book.

“Psychos” edited by John Skipp. These massive books have really been fun, but this one knocked me down. The stories were terrifying because real life stuff to me is much more frightening than monsters. Usually. Especially great is Cody Goodfellow’s appendix piece.

“Seal Team 666” by Weston Ochse. So much fun it should be illegal. Written with such verisimilitude in the military action, when the supernatural shite hits the fan, you’re there all the way. A great, wonderful book by Mr. Ochse.

“All You Can Eat” by Shane McKenzie. This was my first true McKenzie experience, barring his many performances at Gross Out contests over the past two years. He really lives up to it. This is one sick, and very fun, novella. Cannot wait to read more.

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