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A Review of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Scream’ by Christopher Golden

Eighteen stories of Christmas horror from bestselling, acclaimed authors including Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire, Josh Malerman, Michael Koryta, Sarah Pinborough, and many more.

That there is darkness at the heart of the Yuletide season should not surprise. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is filled with scenes that are unsettling. Marley untying the bandage that holds his jaws together. The hideous children–Want and Ignorance–beneath the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The heavy ledgers Marley drags by his chains. In the finest versions of this story, the best parts are the terrifying parts. 
Bestselling author and editor Christopher Golden shares his love for Christmas horror stories with this anthology of all-new short fiction from some of the most talented and original writers of horror today.


Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Anchor Books
Published Date: October 23rd 2018
Genre: Horror | Short Stories | Holiday | Anthologies | Fiction | Satire | Occult
Goodreads | Amazon


The Author

Christopher Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) Mind the Gap. Golden co-wrote the lavishly illustrated novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire with Mike Mignola, which they are currently scripting as a feature film for New Regency.

He has also written books for teens and young adults, including the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA’s Best Books for Young Readers. Upcoming teen novels include Poison Ink for Delacorte, Soulless for MTV Books, and The Secret Journeys of Jack London, a collaboration with Tim Lebbon.

With Thomas E. Sniegoski, he is the co-author of the dark fantasy series The Menagerie as well as the young readers fantasy series OutCast and the comic book miniseries Talent, both of which were recently acquired by Universal Pictures. Golden and Sniegoski also wrote the upcoming comic book miniseries The Sisterhood, currently in development as a feature film.

Working with actress/writer/director Amber Benson, he co-created and co-wrote Ghosts of Albion, an original animated supernatural drama for BBC online, from which they created the book series of the same name. (www.ghostsofalbion.net)

As an editor, Golden’s work has included the Hellboy novel series, a trio of Hellboy short story anthologies, and co-editing duties on British Invasion, from Cemetery Dance. His non-fiction work includes collaborative efforts such as The Stephen King Universe, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher’s Guide, and the upcoming Neil Gaiman Companion. His other writing has included video games, numerous comic books, and short stories.

Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. His original novels have been published in fourteen languages in countries around the world.
Website: http://www.christophergolden.com/


Interview

Do you look to incorporate your own phobias into your writing, or do you prefer to avoid it?

I can’t help it. Honestly if you’re writing horror stories of any type and not incorporating the things you find frightening or unsettling, you’re just doing it wrong. At the very least, you’re going to have a harder time bringing the audience along for the ride.

What is the story behind the duck in your profile picture?

 so wish it was something more colorful than this, but many years ago, I think when I was doing so many Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels, a guy came up to me at a signing and handed me the duck. He wanted to take my picture with it. For whatever reason, it became a thing, and somehow the photo ended up on my Wiki page at some point, and has been carried on from there. It’s certainly not my author photo of choice, but it is pretty amusing.


The Review

Hark! the Herald Angels Scream: An AnthologyHark! the Herald Angels Scream: An Anthology by Christopher Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly a special thank you to Christopher Golden, Netgalley and Anchor Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

This book was chock full of stories around Christmas time, nearly 400 pages worth, and I am a huge fan of horror and anthology! So this book called to me and I enjoyed reading them. The cover made me think of Tales from The Crypt which I grew up watching a million times and still love to this day.

Bellow is a few of my favorites!

YANKEE SWAP by John McIlveen. Wow! We go from a woman trying to avoid her sexually aggressive boss at a Christmas party, to her getting knocked over the head and waking up tied to a chair. This tale had it all-violence, surprises and plot twists along with a satisfying conclusion. Bravo!

CHRISTMAS IN BARCELONA by Scott Smith. This story follows a couple with a young baby on a trip to Barcelona and is creepy on multiple levels as it explores the exhaustion and domestic horror that can be experienced as new parents.. Being I was about to become a new parent this sounded horrible to me but I loved it!

THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE CHRISTMAS HOTEL by Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe Lansdale. This was a perfect “ghost gets revenge” type story and I loved it, as I do most anything he writes. 4.5*

GOOD DEEDS by Jeff Strand. I don’t even know what to say about this one, but it’s Jeff Strand. What else do I have to say, really?

HIKING THROUGH by Michael Koryta. Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine. It has all the elements of a good horror story: a sense of adventure; romance; telling scary stories and laughing around a campfire; and the terror of being lost.

Lastly, THE HANGMAN’S BRIDE by Sarah Pinborough. A very creepy Gothic house elements and a real Dickensian vibe, young William and his soot-filled lungs stole my heart.

Most anthologies are hit and miss with me-very rarely do all the stories hit their mark. In this case, though, it was pretty close to doing so, therefore I gave it a four star rating.

Even if you hate Christmas, and you “Bah Humbug” with the best of them, this anthology has something for everyone-the variety is outstanding. So as the title suggests HARK people! Come and hear the angels scream!

Highly recommended!

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