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Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue Kindle Edition
From the Publisher
Tales from the Darkest Depths
Since its founding in 2012, Crystal Lake Publishing has quickly become one of the world’s leading publishers of Dark Fiction and Horror books. With multiple award nominations and wins (including the HWA’s Specialty Press Award), we put integrity, honor, and respect at the forefront of our publishing operations.
Join the Crystal Lake adventure as we strive to present only the highest quality fiction and entertainment, while also supporting authors along their writing journey.
- ASIN : B07FTKJD3F
- Publisher : Crystal Lake Publishing (August 3, 2018)
- Publication date : August 3, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 2463 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 220 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #616,997 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The book starts right off with a solid five star piece: Alan M. Clark's introductory story 'What Sort of Rube' tells us about the dark history of The Shantyman, a music venue in San Francisco.
The following stories all take place in the Shantyman, but that is their only connection. There are all kinds of evil creatures making their appearance, above all those of the human kind, and all facettes of the horror genre are represented - be it sad, funny or straight out scary (or all of them at once), supernatural or not, from historical to futuristic. The diversity of the anthology - and the quality of each of its stories - is simply stunning.
If I had to choose just one favorite story, I guess it would be the introduction, but because it is so hard to decide I'll make a short list of favorites: I especially enjoyed reading 'A Tongue like Fire' by Rachel Autumn Deering and 'Open Mic Night' by Kelli Owen, both very surprising and with a sad angle that I found refreshing (OK that sounds weird somehow).
On the other hand, 'True Starmen' by Max Booth III and 'The Southern Thing' by Adam Cesare were extremely funny which created a nice balance.
Oh, and 'Ascending' added such a nice romantic touch *sigh*.
Not to forget the last story 'We Sang in Darkness' by Mary SanGiovanni, which adds a touch of scifi and creates a creepy X-Files atmosphere.
I am still reveling in the afterglow of having read the finest horror anthology so far... Highest recommendation!
WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a themed anthology with all of the stories revolving around, (or involving in some way), a rock n' roll club named The Shantyman. That's it! There's no hard thread connecting all the tales other than the club itself. That makes it different because there's no one "bad guy" to blame things on. In this case, the "bad guy" is anyone or anything the writer wanted them to be. In this regard, I think the authors involved had a lot more leeway as far as the direction each story would take and I think that resulted in an above average anthology as far as the quality AND the variety of the stories within.
I can't get into all of them here, because I don't want this review to be as long as the book itself, but the ones that stood out the most to me were:
WHAT SORT OF RUBE by Alan M. Clark. A was a perfect start to this book, providing a bit of history and setting the tone. (I've never read any of Clark's work before, but he's on my radar now.)
NIGHT AND DAY AND IN BETWEEN by Jonathan Janz. This story went in a totally different direction than what I had expected. Loved it!
TRUE STARMEN by Max Booth. I'm not sure that it was supposed to, but this story cracked me the heck up! It's the first time The Shantyman hosted pod-casters instead of a band, and the results just made me laugh.
OPEN MIC NIGHT by Kelli Owen. The 27 Club-you know, those singers and musicians that never made it past that age? I thought this anthology would be a shoe-in for stories about that club, but this was the only one. I was glad because it made this tale stand out even more.
PARODY by Jeff Strand. Zany Chester and his plans to be the next Weird Al fizzle out before they even got started. (It's birdies, not bodies!) Chester had to go to a few back up plans, actually, and none of them were pretty.
DARK STAGE by Matt Hayward. This tale spoke to me in a personal way which made it that much more horrifying at the end.
A TONGUE LIKE FIRE by Rachel Autumn Deering. The end was NOT what I was expecting at the beginning. Usually I can see that coming..in this case I saw something coming, but not what I got. Well done!
Brian Keene's tale RUNNING FREE made me laugh at the premise before it got all serious. (A man trying to run himself to death by heart attack, thereby evading death from the cancer already running through his body. Come on, that's kind of funny! [All right, I know I'm messed up.]) Anyway, this story didn't go the way I thought it would and I loved how it tied into previous tales in this book.
WE SING IN DARKNESS by Mary SanGiovanni. This story had everything that I've come to expect from Mary's work. A terrifying future where music is banned is only the beginning.
I enjoyed this collection and even though it was a little uneven throughout, the variety and quality more than made up for that. I liked that everyone didn't have quite the same view was to what was going on at The Shantyman because that allowed for more creativity in the tales. Variety is the spice of life and all that, you know?
I read a lot of collections and anthologies over the course of a year and there is no doubt in my mind that WELCOME TO THE SHOW will be among the best I've read this year. For this reason, I highly recommend it!
**I bought this book with my hard earned cash and these opinions are my own.**
Top reviews from other countries
For this review I am going to choose some of my favourites.
Night and Day and in Between by Jonathan Janz: The year is 1926, Raft a PI has been hired to find Clara. His leads take him to The Shantyman, where a singer matching Clara’s description is performing. The early scenes in the club, were just how I imagine a speakeasy. The sultry blonde, singing seductively accompanied by a piano. What starts out as a simple missing person case soon takes a turn to the dark side when Clara’s secret is revealed.
Pilgrimage by Bryan Smith: Jason, George and Karla were sightseeing, stopping outside the Shantyman to learn its history, they decide to get off the bus and get a feel of the place. What they don’t factor in is the odd, stoned passenger that joins them. Things get stranger when the drug they take, takes them to different times. The story continues around Jason and his time in the club. What wasn’t expected was him running into 2 infamous people from history.
Master of Beyond by Glenn Rolfe: Sean now the owner of the club decides with his staff to play with a Ouija board. Jillian the manager wants no part of it and leaves, but the following day not only has she got to deal with a big concert but also what was called. All I will say is that there is a reason why I will not play with Ouija boards and this story enforces this.
Open Mic Night by Kelli Owen: We have all heard of the 27 club, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison to name a few. This story is how the famous became members of it and Harry is the one man who can stop it, but he needs the help of Gwen who works the bar on open mic. I enjoy the speculation of the 27 club and this story puts a different spin on it.
Just to be Seen by Somer Canon: The story of a fan and her infatuation with the singer Will Fontaine. This story could be real live account as there are some fans that have such a stalker obsession it could result in death.
I have been spoilt by Crystal Lake Publishing, the anthologies published have all had some great stories and this book is no different. Welcome to the Show has 17 stories, each with a different insight of what goes on behind The Shantyman’s four walls