Just finished the anthology Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 from Comet Press. FAIR WARING: while the word 'hardcore' doesn't necessarily refer to porn, they put it in the title for a reason. These stories go a step or three beyond what you'll find in mainstream horror. They're a little harder, a little edgier.
I'm always looking for authors of the horror genre I haven't read before in search of new favorites. And, although I tend to be wary of collections entitled "BEST" of anything, this collection delivers some pretty great stories. I'd like to tell you about a few of the ones i liked best
At the top of my list is a gruesome little tale called 'Reprising Her Role', by Bracken MacLeod. Without giving away any spoilers, it's about what might go wrong when a cheap porno shoot becomes an unintentional snuff film. I highly recommend this one. In fact, I'm going in search of other stories by Mr. MacLeod. I'm curious if anyone has read his work and what did you think?
"Tree Huggers" by Nathan Robinson would probably do well as a movie. A group of environmental activists prepare to do battle with the industrial machines scheduled to arrive in the morning. Instead, they end up battling something out-of-this-world, which also hugs the trees.
"Til Death" by Tim Waggoner was gruesome and inspiring... but mostly gruesome. I'm familiar with Mr. Waggoner's work and was happy to see his name in the book.
Then there was "Bernadette" by R. Perez De Pereda, which reminds us that it's never a good idea to use the powers of evil to accomplish something good. Just don't do it...
"So Sings the Siren" makes you question, is it art, or is it something more sinister?. "Junk" makes you question how safe our social media is. "Burnt" gives you a whole new perspective on the hospital's burn ward. And Glenn Gray writes about a jail 'Break" for the ages.
All in all, there are a lot of great stories in this collection. It makes me want to check out volumes 1 and 2. If you decide to give it a try, let me know your thoughts.
Remember my motto: Monsters are really real. Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 introduces us to a few of them...
Dana / Danothy