The Horror Zine Review
Fear the Abyss
Edited by Eric Beebe
|Paperback (& Kindle): 320 pages
Publisher: Post Mortem Press (November 22, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
Fear the Abyss
Edited by Eric Beebe
Review by Jeani Rector
It was a great pleasure to read Fear the Abyss from Post Mortem Press. Editor Eric Beebe has gathered some really quality fiction, and this anthology contains a mix of both famous names and not-so-famous names, but all are exceptional writers. What I am trying to say is that Fear the Abyss is consistent in delivering excellent fiction from some very talented authors.
Fear the Abyss is my first encounter with Post Mortem Press, and I am impressed. This anthology contains a mixture of sci-fi, horror, and speculative works. Therefore it has a little something for everyone, yet it delivers the different sub-genres seamlessly.
Because this book has twenty-two stories, I cannot review them all, so I am going to talk about my favorites (which I consider to be the standouts) in this review.
The book opens with “Cutting the Cord” by Joseph Williams. This is a clever story about robots so human-like that they experience love, jealousy…and revenge. Immediately captivating, this is an excellent choice for first placement in the book, because first impressions count, and this story does indeed create a great first impression.
Best-selling author and Stoker Award winner Jack Ketchum always writes exciting fiction, and he delivers again with “Amid the Walking Wounded.” In the hour of the wolf, Alan wakes up with a nosebleed that progresses into far worse things. When the black man with the haunted eyes appears in the next hospital bed, Alan begins to hurt himself. “Amid the Walking Wounded” is a deliciously dark tale not to be missed.
“Human Caverns” by Lawrence C. Connolly is a beautifully descriptive tale that packs a wallop of suspense. Kevin is enjoying the beauty of the countryside…until he encounters the man with the shotgun. This is an amazing story right out of the X-Files.
Next we have another award-winning author, Gary A. Braunbeck. His “Always Something There to Remind Me” begins innocently enough when married couple Randy and Cindy watch home movies on the couch. But what if the movies show a past that never occurred? This story grabbed my attention from the start and it contains a surprise twist at the end.
“Broken Promises” by Jamie Lackey is a fascinating sci-fi tale. What if astronauts search for life on other planets and discover a world inhabited by sociopathic creatures? An imaginative story, Lackey turns the tables at the end and I thought about this story long after I finished reading it.
Then we are presented with yet another big name in fiction, Tim Waggoner. His “The Great Ocean of Truth” begins the way I like to see fiction written: with action, in the middle of the event. This is a modern story that takes place in a coffee shop ala Starbucks…except the barista’s face melts. When the universe breaks down, space and time will, too. Waggoner really delivers an intelligent, captivating tale.
Another standout is “Parasite” by Kenneth W. Cain. This one neatly fits into the horror category. Aiden reluctantly feels obligated to take care of his brother, even though he doesn’t like his brother very much. One day when Neil (the brother) doesn’t answer the phone, Aiden goes over there…and has to go into the basement (always a spooky place), only to find that Neil is drastically changed. “Parasite” is a graphic, gripping tale and I enjoyed it.
And finally, there is a zombie story so original that is makes for a refreshing read. “Life After Dead” by Jeyn Roberts is about UDI’s: the Undead Impaired. The characters in this book find it entertaining to watch bodies wash ashore from the Pacific Ocean, except once on land, they get up again. The undead have figured out that their teeth work just fine. This is a story that is fun in a scary, disconcerting sort of way.
In most reviews, there is a paragraph included that lists the negatives. I can honestly say that there are no negatives in Fear the Abyss. It is consistently good. All in all, I have to give a big congrats to Eric Beebe and Post Mortem Press for compiling such an excellent mixture of sci-fi, horror, and speculative fiction. I recommend this book.
You can buy Fear the Abyss HERE.
About the editor
Eric Beebe is the owner/founder of Post Mortem Press. As an author centric small press, Post Mortem Press works to bridge the gap between self-publishing and "corporate" publishing houses. Post Mortem Press strives to provide an outlet for talented writers outside the mainstream.
About the reviewer
While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead. She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters. It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?
Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Dark River, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, Story Mania, All Destiny, and many others. Her book Pestilence: A Medieval Tale of Plague was released by The Horror Zine Books in 2012.