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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
“The Speed of Dark” is a horror anthology of short stories written by an assortment of authors, and published by Chase Enterprises Publishing. Editor Clayton Clifford Bye states in his Introduction that “horror” means many things to different people. It can mean an intense feeling of fear or shock or disgust. It can mean terror, dread and fright. He quotes Lovecraft as defining horror as a profound sense of dread. He quotes Stephen King as identifying three levels of “scary”: terror, horror, and revulsion. In “The Speed of Dark” the editors were going for a different level of horror: they hand-picked 27 authors to craft “disturbing” horror stories. They succeeded admirably. Don’t expect to sleep well after reading this book. Some of these stories will stay with you for a long, long time, continuing to disturb you long after you have read them.
Many of the tales in this collection are superbly written. They also happen to be very disturbing. One can be forgiven for wondering about the mental state of some of these authors. But for a fan of horror, there is much to revel in within the pages of this compilation. I believe that every word used above to describe “horror” represents an emotion you will feel during the course of reading this book. Some of the stories have unexpected endings, which create the horror you will feel. Others start out with disturbing circumstances, and maintain that sensation of uncomfortable dread throughout. The editors at Chase Enterprises Publishing have tapped some brilliantly twisted minds to contribute to their anthology. In their effort to produce “disturbing” horror stories they have succeeded far beyond what I expected, even in spite of the introductory warning. Horror fans take note: “The Speed of Dark” is a book you must add to your library. Now.