Reviews of Dark Fiction

Fright Train edited by The Switch House Gang

FRIGHT TRAIN features stories centered around trains. I thought perhaps the theme might get dull, but these authors built all kinds of narratives around these engineering behemoths and this volume ended up being a lot of fun!

I can’t get into all the stories here but I will mention a few.

Mercedes Yardley’s story THE RHYTHM OF GRIEF was so poignant and not what I expected at all. I’ve been a fan of her writing for a while now, so I’m not sure why I was so surprised. Just…heartbreaking and beautiful.

THE HABIT OF LONG YEARS by Charles Rutledge. I flat out ADORED this tale. I love when vampires show up where they’re least expected. On steamboats in the Mississippi, (George R.R. Martin’s FEVRE DREAM), and here, on trains. Bravo, Mr. Rutledge! This was a blast!

PEPERE’S HALLOWEEN TRAIN is another poignant tale-this one about a veteran, that is at least, how it started out. Tony Tremblay never lets me down.

I’m not sure what this says about me but Jeff Strand’s contribution might be my favorite in the volume. DEVIL-POWERED DEATH TRAIN OF DOOM had me laughing my butt off. First I was confused, but I was glad I rolled with it. Sometimes I think that Jeff Strand is criminally underrated. He can bring the laughs to even the worst of situations. In the horror genre that’s rare.

Elizabeth Massie is an author I want to read more of. I read SINEATER back in 2013 and loved it, and have been meaning to get deeper into her work ever since. (So many books, so little time!) Anyway, the aptly titled TUNNEL VISION was delightfully twisted and satisfying.

For me, the closest competition to the Jeff Strand story is Errick Nunnally’s LUST FOR LIFE. Starting out with an adulterer going on a train trip as a gift from his new mistress, and ending up with him…well, I don’t want to spoil it. This was a rip-roaring gore fest and I loved every minute of it. Again, I’m not sure what it says about me but I may have laughed quite a bit throughout before I sobered up at the end. I need to read more of this guy’s work, STAT!

Lastly, a previously unknown-to-me author, Amanda DeWees, enters with her tale A TRAVELER BETWEEN ETERNITIES. It was just…sad. Sad and beautiful and more sad. Well done!

There are also two classic tales-one from Dickens and the other from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (I liked Dickens’ story best.)

Overall, this selection of train stories surprised and pleased me with the variety presented. It’s almost Halloween, my horror people, why not catch the FRIGHT TRAIN to terror town?!

Highly recommended!

A thank you goes out to author and friend Tony Tremblay, who offered me a paperback copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

Fright Train Book Cover Fright Train
The Switch House Gang
Horror, Dark Fiction, Anthology, Short Stories
Twisted Publishing, (Haverhill House Publishing)
07/28/2021
Paperback
286
Author

Out in the darkness a mournful whistle howls, the ground shakes, and steam hisses as the Fright Train rumbles into the station. From the Victorian Age to contemporary times, fear rides the rails in these tales set on and around trains of all kinds. Climb aboard and let 13 of today’s best and two classic horror writers take you on night journeys to destinations unknown. Featuring stories by: Amanda Dewees Christopher Golden Scott Goudsward Bracken MacLeod Elizabeth Massie James A Moore Lee Murray Errick Nunnally Stephen Mark Rainey Charles R Rutledge Jeff Strand Tony Tremblay Mercedes M Yardley And Classic Stories by: Charles Dickens Arthur Conan Doyle

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