Erik Hofstatter’s new horror anthology, Moribund Tales, kept me busy this week. It’s an ebook and served as Kindle entertainment to liven up my tube journeys. I found it the perfect filler between one destination and another, quick shots of espresso horror, short and bittersweet stories to liven up the transit on the Morning Meat Train.
If, like me, you’re a horror junkie and a fan of things that go bump in the night, or fascinated by superstitions and stories of a sacramental kind, then this book might just do it for you.
Much like the gory beast-in-the-basement stories that I often found in the Pan Books of Horror, the tales are page-turners (if that’s the right thing to say of an ebook) about unsuspecting protagonists destined for an ill-starred end or ominous fate.
Not all of Hofstatter’s stories were to my liking but Moribund Tales is a book that contains a little of everything: horror, eroticism, necrophilia, murder, supernatural and the paranormal. It’s difficult to find something you won’t enjoy.
Affectionate Cadaver had me whizzing through the text wondering what will happen to the protagonist after being fired from his job as a mortician’s assistant. And then there’s On the Edge of the Marsh using the tried and tested cabin-in-the-woods premise. A father and daughter visit a log cabin in a forest and come face to face with an intruder. Despite the inevitable doom, there is a clever twist at the end… well, forget I ever said that.
Erik’s stories are a comfortable if sometimes predictable read. I would have liked more originality. More character and more layers to the stories. Horror fanatics will recognise the inspirations behind some of the tales. Many are undoubtedly rooted in movies and stories that we’ve all grown up with. They reflect the horror zeitgeist that all fans inhabit and Erik has rendered them in his own way, carving out his own personal vision of some classic themes.
In reading Moribund Tales I was reminded of the many characters horror fiction has offered us in the past, from hillbillies and witches to the walking dead. Moribund Tales has them all. Nevertheless, horror fans are insatiable creatures. The book has received good reviews on Amazon and even debuted at number 6 in the horror anthology charts. H. P. Lovecraft currently stands at number 1 in that chart so be assured that competition is fierce.
Moribund Tales is an homage to the horror genre and might serve as inspiration to other authors, including me, considering the ebook market as a home to their deranged imaginations. Start writing. I have. The sky is the limit.
Moribund Tales is available on Amazon.