I’m “borrowing” (some may say “stealing”) an idea from Mark Starlin and compiling a little “favorite reads” list here. I liked how Starlin’s post allowed me to discover new writers, so I’m hoping to provide the same service here.
My only concern here is that there are so many good reads that I may miss some. I’m not saying this obsequiously and I have never been one to blow smoke up arses. The thing I’ve appreciated most about Medium is that it has so many good writers posting quality stuff.
The downside to the good side of Medium is that I will inevitably either (A) miss some great stuff I’ve read, or (B) make this list so long that it becomes absurd.
Anyway, without further ado:
Annie Caldwell: “there is a hunger in the empty house.” This fictional work by Caldwell is oddly unsettling. Is it about the memory of Daddy or is Daddy a real, lurking monster? I’ve always felt some degree of ambiguity was essential to horror, and Caldwell does it beautifully here.
Stranger, you must have made a wrong turn somewhere outside of town to end up here in these woods on this lonely…
Edd Jennings: Jennings’ work reminds me of why I started writing in the first place. His prose is reminiscent of all my writing heroes, Jack London, Jack Kerouac, Hemingway, and Cormac McCarthy. It’s tough, gritty Old World stuff, and his work inspires me to take writing seriously again.
Sometime during the dark part of the night In my sleep, I heard two long, deep notes on the flute. I woke.
A Maguire: As I mentioned in the Caldwell entry, I’ve always felt true horror requires a degree of ambiguity and mystery. The most frightening thing is the unknown. Maguire applies this technique masterfully in “Inside Out.”
Frenzied. Terrified. Trapped in the crystalline lattice of mind and soul. Beating helplessly against the bars.
Inge Moore: “The Old Had and the Spider”
This story threw me for several curve balls and left me staring at the screen with a screw-faced expression saying, “Whoa.” I actually suffered from sleep paralysis from over a decade, so the terror in this story felt very real to me.
The Old Hag and The Spider
Spiders. I am afraid of these small creatures. Even I realize that this is odd, because I am not afraid of lions or…
Moses in the Wild: Moses in the Wild has chosen the perfect pen-name. In his writing, he regularly unleashes lines and thoughts that sound like channeled messages from a higher plane of reality. At times, it’s downright apocalyptic, but always mingled in with daily life and simple reality. Powerful stuff, every time.
Emma Poe: This is a fascinating, sad story of how the demands of the world (in this class represented by marriage) warp, twist, and shame our most essential self.
When I was little, we only had a bathtub, no shower. I can’t remember exactly when we got a shower, but I think I was…
Mark Starlin: I always check in on Mark’s stuff to get a laugh, but I found this piece particularly endearing. My father died when I was a kid, and I found Mark’s salute to his own father to be very moving. “My Dad” makes me smile in the best way.
Elektra Sunn: Elektra Sunn packs a wallop.
Little Love Lost
From unconscious anguish an unexpected blessing was born. For all that was taken, I was given back tenfold. Motherhood…
Sana Tariq: In addition to the obviously masterful language in this piece, what I appreciated most was the way Tariq dug into the real emotional depth of watching a loved-one smoke cigarettes. It cuts to the deepest emotional roots of the situation is a way that’s truly enlightening.
Something about the ease with which you hold the cigarette in your mouth leaves me insanely jealous. I watch as the…
Ecem Yucel: It’s not difficult to shock me or catch me completely off-guard, but this story did both, beautifully.