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Friday, 15 August 2014

The Burning Circus, Edited by Johnny Mains, Reviewed.

Horror is a very special genre, and not to everyone’s taste, of course. But it’s not all blood and gore, as this anthology demonstrates. Here we have a collection of stories to engender dread, unease, shock and downright horror in the reader. Most leave you with the impression that the world isn’t quite as you thought it was.

There’s a subtlety to many of the tales, a subversive undercurrent that makes the reader question certain well-loved attitudes about people in general. There is much psychological tension here, stories to make the reader pause and to think. Amongst the stories, there are images fairly recognisable to readers of the genre, but these are then twisted and distorted so that unease replaces familiarity.

Eight tales written by masters of the craft inhabit the pages of this hardback publication. It is, by the way, only available to members of the British Fantasy Society. If you’re a fan of fantasy, horror or science fiction, you’d do well to become a member. The book, along with its partner publication, Unexpected Journeys, comes as part of the benefits of membership.

I enjoyed these tales. They’re all different, showing the diversity of the genre and demonstrating its ability to sow seeds of doubt, fear and terror. Well-written and entertaining, the anthology is definitely worth a read. Get hold of it if you can. How refreshing to handle a book that resides between hard covers for a change! Recommended.

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