Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Red Empire and Other Stories” as Want to Read:
The Red Empire and Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Red Empire and Other Stories

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Joe McKinney's debut collection, The Red Empire & Other Stories, brings together eight tales of haunted policemen and cosmic horrors...

A chance encounter with a homeless man one hot summer night opens the doors of perception for a Houston beat cop...

Genetically engineered fire ants threaten to devour a small Texas border town, and the only thing in their way is a grief
Paperback, 355 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Redrum Horror Publishing (first published April 29th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Red Empire and Other Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Red Empire and Other Stories

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nick Cato
Dec 09, 2011 Nick Cato rated it liked it
McKinney, best known for his Dead World zombie novels, here delivers a collection featuring a novella and seven shorts, most with a police-theme.

In the novella THE RED EMPIRE, a secret military bio-weapon is accidentally unleashed on a small town where a woman and her young daughter (who is recovering from having cornea implants) are trying to get home during a heavy rain storm. Adding to the problem is an escaped cop killer, who seeks refuge in the woman's isolated home. While the story is acti
Rebecca Besser
Jun 20, 2014 Rebecca Besser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe McKinney grabs ahold of his readers and pulls them inside his stories. He makes sure he carries you along in his worlds so that the one around you fades away.

The Red Empire and Other Stories is made up of eight stories. I’ll comment briefly on each:

Story One - The Red Empire: The first story of the collection is the longest. It’s based on a military experiment that gets unleashed on the public. At the same time, a convict escapes. A young woman and her daughter (who just had surgery on her e
Ray Wallace
Oct 22, 2014 Ray Wallace rated it really liked it
(Originally published at

A violent thunderstorm, a cop killer on the loose, and an army of genetically modified, giant fire ants; put them all together and what do you have? The Red Empire, the titular tale of Joe McKinney’s short story collection, The Red Empire and Other Stories. Here we follow a number of different characters including a recently widowed young mother and her daughter, the latter temporarily blinded after undergoing a cornea transplant. There’s the aforementioned c
Elizabeth A.
Mar 23, 2012 Elizabeth A. rated it really liked it
Though Joe McKinney has made quite a name for himself as a novelist, he was a 2009 Bram Stoker Award nominee, his collection The Red Empire and Other Stories was my first experience with his writing. I'm happy it happened this way, as the eight stories in the collection have given me a nice cross-section of what McKinney's capable of considering they run the gamut from horror to sci-fi to police procedural and even a non-fiction entry. A solid collection from top to bottom, three in particular j ...more
William M.
Jun 30, 2011 William M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Author Joe McKinney, best known for his zombie fiction, takes a detour with “The Red Empire”, showing us that a very small enemy can be just as deadly. This pulse-pounding novella reminded me of Jack Ketchum’s Off Season and Offspring, where the suspense builds slowly, until eventually, the intersecting characters are tossed together into a pressure cooker that is ready to explode.

McKinney is relatively new to writing, having started professionally in 2006, but you would never know that reading
Mar 23, 2012 Deanne rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. As usual, I find myself wishing Goodreads had 1/2 stars. I would definitely up this rating to 3 1/2.

I had not read any of McKinney's other works nor did I know anything about them. I'm glad that I didn't because I probably wouldn't have given these short stories a chance.

These stories were all very different however the details and descriptions in each were consistently well done. The main story kept me up late to finish and could only
May 10, 2012 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book I rated as a four stars because it is just pure fun, but the work also seems to be researched well as it all seems plausible to a point. It tells of two disasters that occur in a huge rainstorm in Texas, one is a about a convict that gets loose when the police car is overturned in the storm, and the other disaster occurs when a government project that was genetically altering red ants also crashes in the same storm and lets loose The Red Empire. The ants and the convict along with a un ...more
David Bernstein
Nov 09, 2014 David Bernstein rated it really liked it
I love Mr. McKinney's zombie books and I was excited to read The Red Empire, a non-zombie tale. And like his other books, The Red Empire is just as great. The writing is superb, the characters fantastic and the story is something different. A throwback to the great horror tales of the 70's and 80's, but with a current feel, if you will. Yes, there are military ants--nasty buggers--that cause quite a havoc, but its still the people that make the difference in this story. This is a great read and ...more
Jan 24, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
A different side of Joe McKinney...

I purchased this one expecting to get some great zombie short stories from Joe McKinney.

I was honestly surprised after reading the first story, The Red Empire. No zombies to be found and I couldn't put the book down.

Joe definitely showed his writing flexibility with these stories. Each one kept me drawn in and turning the pages, reluctant to put the book down.
Ryan Daley
Feb 22, 2012 Ryan Daley rated it really liked it
Sergeant McKinney supplements his excellent title novella with an impressively diverse collection of shorter pieces; ghost stories, crime tales, and even a non-fiction piece. But The Red Empire--which combines a devastating rain storm, an escaped convict, and mutant red ants--is easily the highlight of this anthology.
Mar 17, 2013 Pete731 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first story was thebest. Awesome combination of trapped-by-killer and monster threat. The others were good, his experience as a police officer definitely informs his writing. Most of the time that's good, but occasionally he reads like a written report.
christopher russin
christopher russin rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2015
Scott Shoyer
Scott Shoyer rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2012
Tina rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2012
Keith Milstead
Keith Milstead rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2012
Holly rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2013
Scatoma Caserole
Scatoma Caserole rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2012
Harry Shannon
Harry Shannon rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2012
Tristan rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2012
James Newkirk
James Newkirk rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2017
Corey Mitchell
Corey Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2012
Scott rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2015
Michael Mclendon
Michael Mclendon rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2014
Corey Mitchell
Corey Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2012
B. D.
B. D. rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2012
Hannah rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2012
Gavin Cooksley
Gavin Cooksley rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2014
Deryck rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2015
Sheila Borton
Sheila Borton rated it liked it
May 18, 2011
Jonny Berg
Jonny Berg rated it liked it
May 30, 2014
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Glimpses: The Best Short Stories of Rick Hautala
  • Offline
  • Help! Wanted: Tales of On-The-Job Terror
  • Martyrs and Monsters
  • Attic Toys
  • Don't Need No Water
  • Zippered Flesh: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad!
  • The Boy in the Lot
  • Shock Totem 4: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted
  • Night Terrors (Savage Species, #1)
  • Pandora's Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1
  • Toes Up
  • The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus
  • Out the Window (A Matthew Scudder Story)
  • The Grind Show
  • 65 Proof
  • Tight Little Stitches on a Dead Man's Back
Joe McKinney has been a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a homicide detective, a disaster mitigation specialist, a patrol commander, and a successful novelist. His books include the four part Dead World series, Quarantined and Dodging Bullets. His short fiction has been collected in The Red Empire and Other Stories and Dating in Dead World and Other Stories. For more informati ...more
More about Joe McKinney...

Share This Book