Bedtime Horrors, Volume 1
Nic Kristofer Black
September 16, 2016
Reviewed by Matthew Scott Baker
A fear of the dark is one of the most natural and primal instincts ingrained into the psyche of humankind. But a child’s fear of the dark goes beyond that, into the realm of near hysteria. As such, bedtime is a rather traumatic time for some youngsters. I personally believe this is the reason the “bedtime story” was introduced; it helped take the child’s mind of off their unnatural fears.
Author Nic Kristofer Black has put together a collection of flash-fiction (with each story measuring in at only 1,000 words) that pays homage to bedtime stories…in a weird and horrific sort of way. I say this as a compliment, rather than a slur; Bedtime Horrors, Volume 1 is an excellent group of tales, and I can’t wait to see what Volume 2 has in store for us.
If you are not familiar with Bedtime Horrors, Volume 1, here is the synopsis courtesy of Internegative LLC:
Written for a new generation of fans, Bedtime Horrors is the first volume of a unique collection of dark stories, served with a twist and delivered in exactly one page. From author Nic Kristofer Black and illustrated by Jorge Gonzalez, the collection is written for the 140-character, web-surfing, binge-watching, Snapchat generation.
Perfect for the short attention span, each tale is exactly 1000 words in length – easily readable in the time it takes to watch a YouTube video. And because ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ every story is graced with chillingly illustrated artwork. From mindless zombies to insidious vaporghouls, each work fiendishly drags the reader, kicking and screaming, into its dark, decaying world.
Bedtime Horrors transports classic creatures from fog-laden hamlets to contemporary settings and the glare of modern life. The collection also introduces new creatures, eager to make the reader’s acquaintance, with hopes of someday becoming the subject of new tales told around the campfire.
Crafted for maximum potency, Bedtime Horrors is a smart and quirky update to the horror genre. The collection is a daily dose of horror, the reason to go to sleep with one eye open and almost worth dying for.
The illustration that accompanies each story is a very nice accent to the terror contained within. Artist Jorge Gonzalez does an excellent job of bringing to life some of the blood-stopping horrors mentioned in the author’s works.
Each story in Bedtime Horrors, Volume 1 is written well and flows nicely. The topic offers a nice diversity of horror, from monsters to zombies to…other things. I like this mixture, as it doesn’t tie down the reader to a specific sub-genre; it’s like a grab-bag of terror…you never know what you’re going to get when you turn the page!
My favorite story in this collection is the first one, “A Claw at the Closet Door.” This tale is very intense from the start, but the ending has a nice twist I didn’t see coming. I found myself smiling as the story concluded.
Bedtime Horrors, Volume 1 is an epic win, and I highly recommend it. The stories within are “short” shorts, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time with them. Still, they pack a lot of punch for such small packaging. Add this to your library soon…just don’t read the stories at bedtime…
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