cover image Poe's Children: The New Horror

Poe's Children: The New Horror

Peter Straub, . . Doubleday, $26.95 (534pp) ISBN 978-0-385-52283-0

Anyone concerned about the future of horror will find plenty of reassurance in this outstanding reprint anthology showcasing short fiction by today's best writers in the genre. Straub (The Throat ) skillfully varies tempo and style, mixing stories of psychological terror with more traditional ghostly tales. Thomas Tessier puts a fresh spin on the empty old house theme in the memorable “In Praise of Folly,” in which the lonely protagonist pursues his fascination with bizarre structures to the Adirondacks. Tessier subtly raises chills even as the tale proceeds to its inevitable and dark conclusion. Another winner is Dan Chaon's “The Bees,” a powerful account of a man haunted by mistakes of the past. Ramsey Campbell's terrifying “The Voice of the Beach” echoes Algernon Blackwood's classic “The Willows,” with its account of two friends' fateful encounter with a remote beach that may be an entry point to another dimension. Aimed at a general audience, this volume also includes works by Stephen King, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link and Joe Hill. (Nov.)