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Christmas Horror Volume 1

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Introducing the new annual Dark Regions Press holiday anthology: Christmas Horror. Volume 1 features all new and original stories from authors Joe R. Lansdale, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, Jeff Strand, J. F. Gonzalez, Stephen Mark Rainey, Nate Southard, Shane McKenzie and (in deluxe hardcover retail editions only) William Meikle. Each story is preceded by a full page/full Introducing the new annual Dark Regions Press holiday anthology: Christmas Horror. Volume 1 features all new and original stories from authors Joe R. Lansdale, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, Jeff Strand, J. F. Gonzalez, Stephen Mark Rainey, Nate Southard, Shane McKenzie and (in deluxe hardcover retail editions only) William Meikle. Each story is preceded by a full page/full bleed color illustration by artist Zach McCain. Table of Contents “Santa Explains” by Joe R. Lansdale “The Endless Black of Friday” by Nate Southard “Red Rage” by Stephen Mark Rainey “Pointy Canes” by Jeff Strand “Naughty” by Shane McKenzie “Krampusnacht in Cell Block J” by Cody Goodfellow “The Shittiest Guy in the World (A Christmas Fable)” by John Skipp “Belsnickel” by J. F. Gonzalez “The Color That Stole Christmas” by William Meikle (Deluxe Hardcover Editions Only)


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Introducing the new annual Dark Regions Press holiday anthology: Christmas Horror. Volume 1 features all new and original stories from authors Joe R. Lansdale, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, Jeff Strand, J. F. Gonzalez, Stephen Mark Rainey, Nate Southard, Shane McKenzie and (in deluxe hardcover retail editions only) William Meikle. Each story is preceded by a full page/full Introducing the new annual Dark Regions Press holiday anthology: Christmas Horror. Volume 1 features all new and original stories from authors Joe R. Lansdale, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, Jeff Strand, J. F. Gonzalez, Stephen Mark Rainey, Nate Southard, Shane McKenzie and (in deluxe hardcover retail editions only) William Meikle. Each story is preceded by a full page/full bleed color illustration by artist Zach McCain. Table of Contents “Santa Explains” by Joe R. Lansdale “The Endless Black of Friday” by Nate Southard “Red Rage” by Stephen Mark Rainey “Pointy Canes” by Jeff Strand “Naughty” by Shane McKenzie “Krampusnacht in Cell Block J” by Cody Goodfellow “The Shittiest Guy in the World (A Christmas Fable)” by John Skipp “Belsnickel” by J. F. Gonzalez “The Color That Stole Christmas” by William Meikle (Deluxe Hardcover Editions Only)

30 review for Christmas Horror Volume 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Robert

    Dark Regions Press is one of my favorite specialty publisher's puts together a fantastic series called Christmas Horror.  Not only are you getting a high quality product, the stories are written by the biggest names in horror. Dark Regions Press is one of my favorite specialty publisher's puts together a fantastic series called Christmas Horror.  Not only are you getting a high quality product, the stories are written by the biggest names in horror.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Frank Errington

    'Tis the season...for horror? You betcha. Why should Halloween have all the fun? Editor Chris Morey and the team at Dark Regions Press put together an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year and the result was a wonderfully enjoyable collection of horror stories for Christmas. Before we get to the stories, I need to mention the interior color art which accompanies each story. Kudos to artist Zach Mccain for his fitting drawings. ~ "Santa Explains" by Joe R Lansdale. Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. La 'Tis the season...for horror? You betcha. Why should Halloween have all the fun? Editor Chris Morey and the team at Dark Regions Press put together an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year and the result was a wonderfully enjoyable collection of horror stories for Christmas. Before we get to the stories, I need to mention the interior color art which accompanies each story. Kudos to artist Zach Mccain for his fitting drawings. ~ "Santa Explains" by Joe R Lansdale. Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. A delightfully wicked way to kick of the anthology as a down on his luck husband finds a Santa suit and pays a visit to his estranged wife...and then the twist. "The Endless Black of Friday" by Nate Southard. Nate writes prose and comics, lives in Austin, Texas, and has a cat. This is a story which gives Black Friday a who new meaning. A tale like the best episodes of the original Twilight Zone TV series. Perfectly executed. "Red Rage" by Stephen Mark Rainey. Stephen is the author of a number of novels, five short story collections; and over 90 published works of short fiction. After reading this bloody short, I found myself taking a closer look at the ornaments on my Christmas tree, and checking then twice and then again. "Pointy Canes" by Jeff Strand. Growing up, Jeff desperately wanted to be a cartoonist. Then he wanted to make video games. Then he wanted to write movies. Actually, he still wants to do all of those things, but for now he's quite happy writing lots of demented novels. Jeff Strand never disappoints as he delivers horror with his wry sense of humor. By the way, who among us has NOT sucked a candy cane until it has a pointy end? "Naughty" by Shane McKenzie Shane is the author of many books and he's written comics, as well. Shane lives in Austin, TX with his wife and daughter. He's staring at you right now. This is certainly the darkest and most violent of the stories in the anthology. Some may find its subject matter to be a bit off-putting, but if you can handle it, you'll be rewarded with a fine tale of retribution. "Krampusnacht In Cell Block J" by Cody Goodfellow. Cody has written five novels and co-wrote three more with John Skipp. His first two collections each received the Wonderland Book Award. Cody lives in Burbank, California, and is currently working on building a perfect bowling team. Christmas is certainly no time to be locked up in a juvenile detention center. "The Shittiest Guy In the World" by John Skipp. John is a New York Times bestselling author, editor, film director, zombie godfather, compulsive collaborator, musical pornographer, black-humored optimist and all-around Renaissance mutant. John brings his brand of Bizarro storytelling to this wonderful tale about bring balance to Christmas. It truly warmed the cockles of my heart. "Belsnickel" by J. F. Gonzalez. Jesus was an American author, primarily of horror fiction. He has written many notable novels and has done collaborations with Bram Stoker Award winners Mike Oliveri and Brian Keene. His voice is sorely missed. What we have here is a nice little kick-ass story of a Pennsylvania Dutch legend to remember him by. "The Color That Stole Christmas" by William Meikle. Willie is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with twenty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries. A small town, a Christmas tradition complete with Reindeer and a sleigh with Father Christmas at the helm. Sounds pleasant enough, but in the hands of storyteller William Meikel, be prepared for the worst. I know it may seem weird, but as a lover of horror and Christmas, this anthology really hit the spot for me. The perfect gift for the horror reader in your life or for yourself to enjoy by the fire on those cold winter nights. Christmas Horror Volume 1 was originally offered through an Indiegogo campaign, but is now available to the general public as well. There is a Deluxe edition signed by most of the authors, a paperback edition, and it's also available in all of the popular e-reader formats. Visit www.darkregions.com for details. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.5 stars. A great "Christmas themed" anthology with some great writers contributing. I can honestly say that I liked all of the stories within to some degree or another--which is rare for ANY kind of anthology. These were all short stories--no novellas--by nine different authors. Also included (at least in the paperback version I have) was some great artwork by Zach McCain; these really helped bring "life" to the stories! My personal favorites in the collection were "Pointy Canes", by Jeff Strand, 4.5 stars. A great "Christmas themed" anthology with some great writers contributing. I can honestly say that I liked all of the stories within to some degree or another--which is rare for ANY kind of anthology. These were all short stories--no novellas--by nine different authors. Also included (at least in the paperback version I have) was some great artwork by Zach McCain; these really helped bring "life" to the stories! My personal favorites in the collection were "Pointy Canes", by Jeff Strand, "Naughty", by Shane Mckenzie, and "The Color That Stole Christmas", by William Meikle. However, every one of these stories will stay with you long after the holiday season..... Highly recommended!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Irene Well Worth A Read

    I love Christmas themed horror almost as much as I love Halloween horror. So that, and this gorgeous cover meant I had to own a copy of this book. Most of these stories just weren't that impressive. I did love The Endless Black of Friday by Nate Southard. It takes place outside a big box store as people line up for hours to get the best Christmas deals, but there is more to worry about than getting trampled over the hottest new toy or the last giant screen tv. Red Rage by Stephen Mark Rainey was a I love Christmas themed horror almost as much as I love Halloween horror. So that, and this gorgeous cover meant I had to own a copy of this book. Most of these stories just weren't that impressive. I did love The Endless Black of Friday by Nate Southard. It takes place outside a big box store as people line up for hours to get the best Christmas deals, but there is more to worry about than getting trampled over the hottest new toy or the last giant screen tv. Red Rage by Stephen Mark Rainey was also very good, told on two timelines about a family recently moved into a house near Christmas, and what happened to the previous owners. I also enjoyed Belsnickel J.F. Gonzalez when a long lost uncle comes to visit at Christmas. but all is not as it seems. The other stories just weren't for me and the only one I will mention by name is because Naughty by Shane Mckenzie should really have come with a trigger warning. Think Stir of Echoes but with revenge for an unnecessarily graphic gang rape on a physically and mentally disabled teen. Put a warning on that shit! Not everyone wants to read that. 3 out of 5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    G. Munson

    Christmas Horror is the first in a series of holiday-themed horror collections from Dark Regions Press. I received both the ebook and print versions through DRP’s “grab bag” and read the ebook as soon as it came in. I mention this only because of the quality of the in-book illustrations. On my kindle, they were impressive black and white sketches that matched the stories quite well. After I was done, I glanced at the paperback and was absolutely blown away by the full color illustrations. Really Christmas Horror is the first in a series of holiday-themed horror collections from Dark Regions Press. I received both the ebook and print versions through DRP’s “grab bag” and read the ebook as soon as it came in. I mention this only because of the quality of the in-book illustrations. On my kindle, they were impressive black and white sketches that matched the stories quite well. After I was done, I glanced at the paperback and was absolutely blown away by the full color illustrations. Really well done. If you read the ebook version, try to at least take a look at the illustrations on a regular tablet or a pc. Anyway, on to the stories. I loved this collection. Every story was very well written, and although it was easy for me to pick a top three, I couldn’t break it down any more than that. All but one remaining were tied. The one remaining is the reason I give this book 4 stars; it’s a real clunker in my eyes. I’m not one to call out something I don’t like (because you may think it’s wicked awesome), but I’m happy to share my two favorites: Pointy Canes by Jeff Strand and Naughty by Shane McKenzie. I’ve read both of the authors in the past so I admit I may be biased, but it’s my review, so there. Pointy Canes is the story of the creepy uncle (doesn’t everyone have one?) who has a habit of sucking candy canes to a sharp point and saving them. He does this every year for as long as anyone can remember, but eventually he “finishes” and is ready to share his twisted vision with the world. Naughty is the story of a young man who goes through a horrible experience with his older brother and friends, although they’re not on the receiving end of the horror...well, at least not at first. In this tale, revenge certainly is a dish best served bloody. Other stand-outs include just about everything else. Seriously, it’s really well done and I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed. Unless you like happy endings (not that kind, sicko). If you’re looking for everyone to come out shiny and happy in the end, try the YA section. If you’re looking for a holiday-themed bloodbath with a dose of black humor sprinkled in, you’ve come to the right place.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I really enjoyed the MAJORITY of these stories. I would give all, but one, a solid 4-5 stars. But I’m gonna be real in this review and I ain’t covering it with a spoiler alert (this is your I’d turn back if I were you last chance) ... I busted two stars off the collection for the editor even including the story “Naughty” by Shane McKenzie. In which a high schooler hauls his buddies and little brother out on Christmas Day and they all (willingly or unwillingly) gang rape the town mentally handica I really enjoyed the MAJORITY of these stories. I would give all, but one, a solid 4-5 stars. But I’m gonna be real in this review and I ain’t covering it with a spoiler alert (this is your I’d turn back if I were you last chance) ... I busted two stars off the collection for the editor even including the story “Naughty” by Shane McKenzie. In which a high schooler hauls his buddies and little brother out on Christmas Day and they all (willingly or unwillingly) gang rape the town mentally handicapped girl (this is a Xmas “present” from the older bro to force him into losing his virginity in this rape train), brutally kill her, and bury her where no one ever finds her and her parents don’t really care because they aren’t “burdened” with her anymore. Yea. And then. THEN. Some “ghost” of the girl (??) systematically kills off all the older boys year after year. But the “climatic ending” of the story is when, on Christmas, the younger of the boys, who now has a knocked up girlfriend, is terrorized by the “spirit” and the revenge is that she delivers an (obviously?) special needs child. WHAT IN THE SHIT?! And I am frankly appalled at people who reviewed this and thought this story was the highlight of the collection. And went so far as to say it was “perfect revenge” and he got what was coming to him. Like no. Just no. No special needs child should ever be presented as some variety of penance and have people reading it nodding their heads like it’s such a great piece of writing. Nothing about this was okay. No I’m not a snowflake. No I don’t get “triggered.” This story wasn’t horror. This was just a plague on the world of horror literature. It’s not even gratuitous torture porn. It’s way way worse. If you buy this collection, do yourself a favor and SKIP that story. I will never read anything by Shane McKenzie again. All the thumbs down.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    I enjoyed this anthology of Christmas themed horror stories immensely. I don't always read every story in an anthology, but I did in this one. Highly recommended. Also, the trade paperback version has wonderful color illustrations at the beginning of each story. I enjoyed this anthology of Christmas themed horror stories immensely. I don't always read every story in an anthology, but I did in this one. Highly recommended. Also, the trade paperback version has wonderful color illustrations at the beginning of each story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This one was a mixed bag for me. Santa Explains - Joe R. Lansdale – Thought this one was okay. Nothing special. The Endless Black of Friday - Nate Southard – Absolutely loved this one. My favourite in the book. Red Rage - Stephen Mark Rainey – Interesting story. Quite original. Pointy Canes - Jeff Strand – Usual Strand madness. Really enjoyed it. Naughty - Shane Mckenzie – This one wasn’t for me. Krampusnacht in Cellblock J – Cody Goodfellow. Didn’t enjoy the writing style and found the story uninter This one was a mixed bag for me. Santa Explains - Joe R. Lansdale – Thought this one was okay. Nothing special. The Endless Black of Friday - Nate Southard – Absolutely loved this one. My favourite in the book. Red Rage - Stephen Mark Rainey – Interesting story. Quite original. Pointy Canes - Jeff Strand – Usual Strand madness. Really enjoyed it. Naughty - Shane Mckenzie – This one wasn’t for me. Krampusnacht in Cellblock J – Cody Goodfellow. Didn’t enjoy the writing style and found the story uninteresting. The Shittiest Guy in the World – John Skipp – This one was excellent. Belsnickel – J.F. Gonzalez – Quite enjoyed this one. To sum up, my favourite stories were by Nate Southard, Jeff Strand and John Skipp. While I am a big fan of Strand, I’ve never read Southard’s work and I’ve only read the Bridge by Skipp, which I didn’t enjoy, but I think I’ll need to check out a few more titles by these guys. 4 stars is a push but it's not a 3 star book. Maybe a 3.7 so rounded up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lars (theatretenor) Skaar

    Oh my god what a great set of horror stories that are truly bloody awful horror stories! I was pleased as punch with this collection! I have volume 2 of the Christmas Horror stories and I can’t wait to dig into this now if they’re as good as volume one!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Greg Kerestan

    This collection may be small, but it's certainly worth a read. None of the stories are bad, and though some in the second half of the book border on clichés, or restatement of the themes already present in the first half, those first few stories, especially "The Blackest of Fridays" and the shocking "Santa Explains," provide appropriate holiday shivers. This collection may be small, but it's certainly worth a read. None of the stories are bad, and though some in the second half of the book border on clichés, or restatement of the themes already present in the first half, those first few stories, especially "The Blackest of Fridays" and the shocking "Santa Explains," provide appropriate holiday shivers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elke

    Santa Explains (Joe R. Lansdale) While I already expected the outcome of this story, which slightly remembered me of Kealan Patrick Burkes 'Visitation Rights', it was a good opener for this anthology. **** The Endless Black of Friday (Nate Southard) Leaves several questions dangling wide open, but otherwise a charming and enjoyable tale. **** Red Rage (Stephen Mark Rainey) Entertaining, but not remarkable. *** Pointy Canes (Jeff Strand) While I love the strange humor of this author, I could not relate Santa Explains (Joe R. Lansdale) While I already expected the outcome of this story, which slightly remembered me of Kealan Patrick Burkes 'Visitation Rights', it was a good opener for this anthology. **** The Endless Black of Friday (Nate Southard) Leaves several questions dangling wide open, but otherwise a charming and enjoyable tale. **** Red Rage (Stephen Mark Rainey) Entertaining, but not remarkable. *** Pointy Canes (Jeff Strand) While I love the strange humor of this author, I could not relate to this story, which was too abstruse and incoherent for my taste, especially at the end. ** Naughty (Shane McKenzie) Imho the most gripping story of the collection. ***** Krampusnacht in Cell Block J (Cody Goodfellow) I love Krampus stories, this one was ok. *** The Shittiest Guy in the World (John Skipp) Boring. ** Belsnickel (J. F. Gonzalez) Great! ***** Illustrations (Zach McCain) Each story was introduced with a beautiful illustration, which sometimes revealed its gory details only after your read the accompanying stories. *****

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Juvenile and mean-spirited collection. One story was passable, primarily because it was imitating Stephen King’s The Mist. Avoid.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 9Too much toxic masculinity, Made me angry. I liked the shortstory by jeff strand the most. The endloses black of friday was ok, it remainted me of the movie Black friday with bruce campbell. Santa explains made me roule my eyes, it is aweful, the writing is good, it is just not for me, becouse of all the domestic murder - femizit - in Austria. Rad rage - the same. Naughty again violance agains women, wow we are not done jet. The shittiest guy - not my cut of tea, voilance against a professionel 9Too much toxic masculinity, Made me angry. I liked the shortstory by jeff strand the most. The endloses black of friday was ok, it remainted me of the movie Black friday with bruce campbell. Santa explains made me roule my eyes, it is aweful, the writing is good, it is just not for me, becouse of all the domestic murder - femizit - in Austria. Rad rage - the same. Naughty again violance agains women, wow we are not done jet. The shittiest guy - not my cut of tea, voilance against a professionell woman. Belsnickel that was a good story, but guess what, the woman was abused in the past. Krampusnacht in cell block j that one is not so good, i can not point on what it is missing, but the idea of the unreliable neriator was realy good in that story. Summery: not much horror, some good stuff, some not so good stuff, okeyish.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    The only thing cooler than curling up with some horror during Halloween is curling up with some great horror near Christmas! Maybe because the days get darker more quickly? The mood is already halfway set. The unnatural stillness, eerie beauty and sense of isolation of a snow filled night... Although I enjoyed them all, my personal favorites from this particular book are; (and please don't confuse this with me saying these are the only ones worth a read. My favorites may not be yours and vice v The only thing cooler than curling up with some horror during Halloween is curling up with some great horror near Christmas! Maybe because the days get darker more quickly? The mood is already halfway set. The unnatural stillness, eerie beauty and sense of isolation of a snow filled night... Although I enjoyed them all, my personal favorites from this particular book are; (and please don't confuse this with me saying these are the only ones worth a read. My favorites may not be yours and vice versa) Pointy Canes by Jeff Strand- A real, wtf story. Ya know, One of those stories that can only properly be summed up with those three letters, "WTF" Naughty by Shane McKenzie- I'm actually going to read this one out loud to the husband. I liked it that much. Nobody has ever accused us of being normal lol. Anyways, an absolutely brutal tale of revenge. A ruthless read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    I loved it!! Joe Lansdale is one of my absolute favorites and I did like his story the best, but the rest of the collection is wonderful!! Our library just purchased another collection called "Hark! The Herald Angels Scream!" edited by another favorite, Christopher Golden and includes a story by Lansdale and another by a new favorite of mine, Seanan McGuire--I will be starting that one soon!! Tis the season! Ha Ha! I loved it!! Joe Lansdale is one of my absolute favorites and I did like his story the best, but the rest of the collection is wonderful!! Our library just purchased another collection called "Hark! The Herald Angels Scream!" edited by another favorite, Christopher Golden and includes a story by Lansdale and another by a new favorite of mine, Seanan McGuire--I will be starting that one soon!! Tis the season! Ha Ha!

  16. 4 out of 5

    A.L. Miller

    Some of the stories in this one were quite strange and I found myself only enjoying a few and there were a few that were quite terrifying and disturbing. One of the last ones had me at the edge of my seat and it was just so messed up and terrifying I couldn't stop reading it and that ending was was crazy and I liked that I didn't catch on to the twist at the end.I wanted to love it more but it was just okay for me as far as short stories go. The candy cane story was just really weird to and I co Some of the stories in this one were quite strange and I found myself only enjoying a few and there were a few that were quite terrifying and disturbing. One of the last ones had me at the edge of my seat and it was just so messed up and terrifying I couldn't stop reading it and that ending was was crazy and I liked that I didn't catch on to the twist at the end.I wanted to love it more but it was just okay for me as far as short stories go. The candy cane story was just really weird to and I could have done without that one lol and I got a bit confused with the last story and found myself going back on some of these to make sure I wasn't missing anything. This was a pretty short book though so I made it through it quickly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Loved this! Read in less than 24 hours. A lot more gruesome than the Christmas horror anthologies that I usually read. I need to gather the rest of these. Pointy candy canes and cannibalism galore!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lira

    Ugh. I did not find a single thing to like in this anthology. It should be called “Christmas Gore”. It is to horror what B-movies are to The Shining. Gang rape of a developmentally disabled girl? C’mon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Really enjoyed this dark collection of holiday stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Misslapin

    I expect anthologies to be uneven, but I found most of these pretty disappointing except for the first one and the one about Black Friday. Disappointing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rose Haskins

    Scary If you like seeing the bad guy get his you will enjoy reading these short stories. And they do indeed set at Christmas time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danelle Our-Wolves-Den

    Review to come

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elise Taylor

    Some pretty dark Christmas stories, by some pretty talented authors! Loved it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Langel Catan

    I was disturbed during most of these stories but I was interested. However, this is a good read and is defiantly a Christmas Horror.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. DNF after “Naughty.” I am not easily offended but that was just sick.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John J Questore

    Christmas and horror - together? Absolutely. But I'm not talking the "tongue-in-cheek" style like the movie "Santa's Slay". I'm talking about taking a beloved holiday like Christmas and twisting it into something Halloween would be proud of. Did I pique your interest? Well then head over to Dark Regions Press and pick up Christmas Horror Volume 1 edited by Chris Morey. It's delightfully wicked. I also need to mention that each story is joined by a drawing from the talented Zach McCain. So, with t Christmas and horror - together? Absolutely. But I'm not talking the "tongue-in-cheek" style like the movie "Santa's Slay". I'm talking about taking a beloved holiday like Christmas and twisting it into something Halloween would be proud of. Did I pique your interest? Well then head over to Dark Regions Press and pick up Christmas Horror Volume 1 edited by Chris Morey. It's delightfully wicked. I also need to mention that each story is joined by a drawing from the talented Zach McCain. So, with that being said, let me give you a rundown. "Santa Explains" - Joe R Lansdale. What a way to start this anthology. Joe weaves a tale of a man who has had a few curves thrown his way. He finds a Santa suit and decides to pay his estranged wife a twisted visit. "The Endless Black of Friday" - Nate Southard. A perfect "Outer Limits" or "Twilight Zone" story. I can almost guarantee you won't be waiting in line for that television this coming Black Friday. If you do, don't say Nate didn't warn you. "Red Rage" - Stephen Mark Rainey. When packing away your ornaments, keep stock of what you have. That one that you don't recognize? Well, it may just have it's eye on you. "Pointy Canes" - Jeff Strand. Every kid does it. You suck on the end of a candy cane until it becomes a sharp point. Come on... you've done it at least once. Well, Uncle Jack has done it - 1,000 times! And has a plan for them. That's right, he's kept all 1,000. I've given up on eating candy canes after reading this one. "Naughty" - Shane McKenzie. This one was hard to read. Not because of the writing, but because of the subject matter. This one was dark and by far the most violent of all the stories in this anthology. However, if you can stick with it, it turns out to be an outstanding story with a satisfying ending. "Krampusnacht In Cell Block J" - Cody Goodfellow. This is your typical story of Krampus, told in a very non-traditional way. Being in juvie during Christmas has it's difficulties... dumb wardens being the least of them. "The Shittiest Guy In the World" - John Skipp. Bizaro is a sub-genre that isn't for everyone, myself somewhat included. While there are enough elements in this story to classify it as such, it isn't so far into the genre as to turn people off. Give it a shot. And if you are one of those that can afford a brand new $100,000 car every year because you are an a$$hole to others, pay close attention to this story. "Belsnickel" - J. F. Gonzalez. This is a very interesting story of a little known Pennsylvania Dutch legend. Or is it just a story of a schizophrenic woman? You decide. "The Color That Stole Christmas" - William Meikle. While this was an OK story, all I kept thinking was I've heard it before - when Stephen King wrote it and called it "Weeds". Different take, same theme. So there you have it. Nine stories that may have you sitting up at night waiting for Santa... or Krampus... or Belsnickel... or something even more sinister. Some of the top authors in the field contributed, and each as good as the other. I can't wait to see what Volume 2 may have in store.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gary Mc

    A great read. Christmas themed horror stories that can be enjoyed any time of year. This collection features some of my favourite authors Southard/Gonzalez and some authors that I have not encountered before. To be fair there isn't a bad story in the collection, my personal favourites were Jeff Strand - Pointy Canes. His usual comedic, farcical approach to the horror tale was brilliant and in total contrast was the heavy going, grim tale Naughty - Shane McKenzie. This story surely got him crosse A great read. Christmas themed horror stories that can be enjoyed any time of year. This collection features some of my favourite authors Southard/Gonzalez and some authors that I have not encountered before. To be fair there isn't a bad story in the collection, my personal favourites were Jeff Strand - Pointy Canes. His usual comedic, farcical approach to the horror tale was brilliant and in total contrast was the heavy going, grim tale Naughty - Shane McKenzie. This story surely got him crossed off Santa's nice list. The book comes with great coloured illustrations to set the scene for each short story. I hope that there is a Vol. 2 as Vol.1 didn't disappoint.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jayrchase

    The stories were good. I like stories that challenge my world view, and these were definitely the ticket. Not for the faint of heart or those who hold Christmas as traditional, warm, and loving.... These are DARK tales. They will leave an impression. So, if you have eclectic tastes and can easily recover your holiday cheer after reading some seriously dark ( but highly entertaining) shit... I definitely recommend this collection!!! Afterthought: most collections have a wide range of abilities... The stories were good. I like stories that challenge my world view, and these were definitely the ticket. Not for the faint of heart or those who hold Christmas as traditional, warm, and loving.... These are DARK tales. They will leave an impression. So, if you have eclectic tastes and can easily recover your holiday cheer after reading some seriously dark ( but highly entertaining) shit... I definitely recommend this collection!!! Afterthought: most collections have a wide range of abilities... I felt this one was unique in that all were grade A... No filler stories. But heed me well... They are VERY dark!!! All the best, Jay

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Can we say REDRUM? No, this is not a Stephen King book but this collection of Christmas Horror stories has a lot of macabre REDRUM in it. In fact, this collection could easily be called Murderous Christmas Horror Vol. 1. There is one story I wasn't too crazy about. All I'll say is it deals with a group of high school jocks on Christmas Eve. They aren't nice. They are very naughty. But they seem to have forgotten the old adage of "what goes around comes around." Can we say REDRUM? No, this is not a Stephen King book but this collection of Christmas Horror stories has a lot of macabre REDRUM in it. In fact, this collection could easily be called Murderous Christmas Horror Vol. 1. There is one story I wasn't too crazy about. All I'll say is it deals with a group of high school jocks on Christmas Eve. They aren't nice. They are very naughty. But they seem to have forgotten the old adage of "what goes around comes around."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Phil Zimmerman

    A good collection with the typical hits and misses. Highlights were “Santa Explains” by Joe R. Lansdale “Pointy Canes” by Jeff Strand “Naughty” by Shane McKenzie “The Shittiest Guy in the World (A Christmas Fable)” by John Skipp With the best being Pointy Canes. I have got to check out more Jeff Strand.

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