Modern horror is not often subtle. Most of those who practice the art of the unsettling far too often go for the jugular, forgetting that the best predators are stealthy. Nothing wrong with going for the jugular, of course, but writers of genuine skill and talent have more than one trick in their bags.
…Joe Hill is one stealthy bastard.
This is my second book by Joe Hill, the son of my number one author Stephen King. His full name is Joe Hillstorm King. Joe wanted to succeed as a writer without carrying his father’s great name, hence he cut his name into Joe Hill.
20th Century Ghost is a collection of his short stories, just like his father, he began his carrier from writing short stories for some magazines. 20th Century Ghost received several awards, they were Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection (2005), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Collection (2006), Audie Award (2008), Tähtifantasia Award Nominee (2010), British Fantasy Award for Best Collection (2006)
Don’t let the title tricks you!! 20th Century Ghost is not merely about ghost and monster ready to scare you.
Joe Hill started his book with extra short story called Scheherazade’s Typewriter. It was about a typewriter that continued typing after the owner had died. The owner wanted to be a writer but his stories were never published. A week after he dies, the typewriter continued his stories. His daughter read all his stories and wanted them to be published because they were better than when his dead was still alive. I think this story is a good way to start a book.
Now, let’s summarize his 15 stories in this book.
Best New Horror is about the editor of American’s Best new Horror, a book filled with short stories from new horror writers. He was getting bored with his job because lately he hadn’t found good stories. One day, his friend sent him a story by Peter Kilrue called Buttonboy. The story was like fresh air to him. He wanted to publish the story and tried tracking peter Kilrue’s to ask his permission. Unfortunately, this first story is not as powerful as I expected it to be. I sort of guessed what will happen in the end…and a horror story that can be predicted is not going to be in my favorite list. Read more of this post