From the battlefields of a Vietnam veteran's memory to an old-time movie hero's search for a serial killer, from Halloween in a special town--where the rules of trick-or-treat are written in blood--to a Texas road where a wrong turn leads to a nest of evil, horror master McCammon is at his terrifying best in this collection of stories.
Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. Among his many popular novels were the classics Boy's Life and Swan Song. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.
His newest novel, The King of Shadows, is the eighth book in the Matthew Corbett series. It will be published in ebook and audiobook formats in June 2022, and in trade hardcover from Lividian Publictions in December 2022.
Lividian will also be releasing five books in the Matthew Corbett series in trade paperback formats, one per month starting in July 2022.
McCammon resides in Birmingham, Alabama. He is currently working on the ninth Matthew Corbett book, Seven Shades of Evil.
Brilliant collection of his shorter works from the 80s and a longer novella, Blue World. Yellowjacket Summer, Makup, Nightcrawlers, Pin, I Scream Man or Red House... there are so many great stories inside. Enjoyed every single one of them and wrote reviews about them. Blue World comes at the end and is an extremely compelling tale about a catholic priest falling in love with a blue movie actress, Debbie Stoner, aka Debra Rock. There is a mysterious cowboy hunting down adult stars. Will he also kill Debra? What about the priest and his role in this dark setting? Absolutely outstanding novella by McCammon. Couldn't put it down and can highly recommend the whole collection. Among the very best short stories I ever came across. Highly recommended!
Edited 12.27.13 after the third read. I started off making notes on each story that I thought was above average, as you can see below...
The first story in this collection knocked my socks off. It was eerily reminiscent of an episode of The Twilight Zone. The bees! 5* Edited: It turns out that this actually WAS a Twilight Zone magazine story in 1986.
The second story, "Makeup" was a tribute to horror films of old, with all kinds of references to a previous Robert McCammon novel, They Thirst. 4*
"Nightcrawlers"-a heavy story about a Nam vet dosed with a chemical named Howdy Doody. 4* Edited: This was adapted for the small screen by the new Twilight Zone show. You can watch the episode online at You Tube for free here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITl2BB...
Edited to add a few words about the story "Yellachile's Cage". This story is good enough to get its very own mention here. A prison story, slightly reminiscent of The Shawshank Redemption, with its message of hope.
Edited to add a few words about the story "Pin". Apparently, Pin was made into a short film by a student named Christian Frahme. This story was so disturbing I could not bring myself to watch the film. In case you would like to after you read "Pin", here is a link to the film: http://vimeo.com/19771743
"Night Calls the Green Falcon" had me in tears as did the last novella Blue World.
...then I realized that every story is above average in this collection. Well, all but one of these tales strongly resonated with me.
Robert McCammon will forever be one of my favorite authors. No matter the subject, the strength of his writing never fails to show through.
I love short stories. A volume of short stories is not something that's very likely to be published now, so whenever I come upon one I feel like a child who has been given a box of chocolate. And like Forrest's momma said, you never know what you gonna get when you decide to open one.
Robert McCammon is a master storyteller, and "Blue World" is a great example of his skill. Writing a short story is a task that requires considerable ability - an author has very limited space for characterization and plotting, but McCammon pulls this off brilliantly. Few writers can set the mood better than him; the reader literally feels the heat and terror of "Yellowjacket Summer", the horror of "Doom City" and the conflict between a young man trappeed in an old body in "Night calls the Green Falcon". McCammon's characters sparkle with life; each of them is unique and memorable, even when they get only 20 pages of reading time. Not all stories are "nerve-shredding nightmares", as advertised on the cover; The volume shows McCammon's versatility as an author. Titles such as "Nightcrawlers" or "He'll Come Knocking at Your Door" can be best described as nightmarish, but "Yellachile's Cage" and "Chico" are as far from horror as literature can be, heartbreaking and beautiful. The volume closes with the titular novella "Blue World", the longest entry in this collection, a perfect closure - a sublime tale of love and faith.
Blue World is a great introduction to the works of Robert McCammon, a writer who doesn't seem to receive enough recognition. It's a great shame that this collection is now out of print. Luckily, used copies seem to be pretty common, and acquiring the volume shouldn't be a big problem. Not enough contemporary writers spend their time writing short stories; and certainly not many of them can spin them that good as the author of Blue World.
Seeing that the author of this book of short stories and one novella is Robert McCammon, I was expecting some scary stuff, AND I was not disappointed. I got to have an unsettling look inside the mind of a spree killer and spend a creepy All Hallow's Eve with a man who discovers that once a year, you need to GIVE if you wanna GET.
BUT...not all the stories were terrifying.
I got to meet a traveling canary that brings magic and wonder to some prisoners. A story about an elderly man who decides to become the superhero he once portrayed on film made me feel strangely happy and hopeful.
AND THEN...practically every emotion I can fake got whirled together in Something Passed By, one of the biggest, baddest, holy crappiest stories I've ever read. One minute, I'm laughing at the little "inside" jokes about the Bloch school, Bradbury park, and Lansdale's Exxon Station; the next, I'm squirming nervously as heads explode and neighbors burst into flame. Then, McCammon sneaks up behind and smacks me on the butt with a sweetly sad and touching ending.
A five, a couple of fours, and a handful of threes. Night Calls the Green Falcon is a fantastic and touching look at the bedrock of forgotten dreams beneath the Hollywood sign. When a retired serial actor seeks to solve the murder of his young neighbor, he and a handful of people who have slipped through the cracks rediscover the power of fantasy and find themselves transformed in their search for a killer.
Yellowjacket Summer is creepy and not too long. He’ll Come Knocking At Your Door, Doom city, and The Red House is creative 50s horror comic fodder with a dark sense of humor. Blue World is a melancholy novella about a priest who falls in love with a porno actress who happens to be a target of a serial killer. Starts kind of weird and grungy but becomes something approaching beautiful.
There are a few others that are more like weird little things. Pin really isn’t more than a very dark dramatic monologue and Yellachile’s Cage has a decent concept but hasn’t aged all that well. McCammon’s prose remains strong throughout and there’s a greater variety of tones here than I expected, from the silly and spooky to serious and bittersweet. Apparently, there is a Subterranean Press version with three more stories.
Great collection but why the long story? The only real problem I have with this enjoyable collection is the last story....Blue World. It is in fact more of a novella and in that respect is not a comfortable companion with the preceding 12 short stories, it upsets the complete rhythm of those that have gone before and whilst an interesting tale in its own way is totally out of context. It is the story of a priest John Lancaster who finds himself attracted to blue movie phenomenon Debra Rocks and the resulting moral dilemma that ensues. At some 200 pages long this one story although interesting and amusing soon runs out of ideas after the initial premise of "will he or won't he" loses its appeal.
In contrast to this "Night Calls the Green Falcon" is a work of pure magic! Creighton Flint is an old retired movie star and in his prime the afternoon movie and in particular the black and white weekly adventure series (you know where the hero is attempting to rescue a beautiful damsel in distress who has been tied to the railway line with an express train fast approaching...the action stopped at an impossible moment/cliff-hanger and a whole week had to be waited until hopefully our hero rescues said damsel) An old and somewhat weary Green Falcon is called into service again when his neighbour and friend is murdered. The Green Falcon must don his outfit and go in search of The Fliptop Killer. The real genius of this story is the way Robert McCammon divides the action into chapters with nail biting dastardly misadventure concluding each akin to the old black and white movies of days gone by...."Hey, amigo the man said, and flame shot from the barrel of the small pistol he'd just drawn" (my goodness has our hero been shot!)....now read on to start of next chapter..."The Hispanic man lit his cigarette with the flame"....phew that was close!
"Yellowjacket Summer" is not a story to read if you possess a bee phobia. The author uses both the desert heat and fear of yellowjacket bees to great effect in this "stinger" of a story.
"Nightcrawlers" a tale of murder and intrigue that happens in Cheryl's diner and the mystery that unfolds with the arrival of a Vietnam veteran called Price. Nightmares, mental awareness, and the fear of the unknown are issues hidden within. "He'll come knocking at your door" A very clever tale in which Dan Burgess lives the ideal life with a beautiful wife and daughter. This family wants for nothing but when Dan is summoned to an urgent Halloween meeting with some town locals he learns that there is no such thing as a free ride. A wonderful story with spooky folk lore overtones.
Virgil Sykes and his odd family move into their newly painted "The Red House" What is the significance of the colour red? and why does it so upset Bobby Deaken? How is Sykes able to work faster and smarter than all his colleagues....all will be revealed in this quirky, bubbly fun tale.
A great collection which would have been even better if "Blue World" the final story had either been replaced or somewhat edited.
Great short story collection with more than a shining & precious gem - one of them being "He'll Come Knocking at your Door" which turned out to be one of the best Halloween tales I've ever read.
The rest of the stories have a unique Twilight Zone flavour to them, and that definitely adds to the quality of the book itself.
The novella "Blue World" is truly a masterpiece. It's got everything I'm looking for when it comes to good story-telling: sharp humour, high tension, bitching characters (including a cleverly written psycho-villain) and a touching ending that reminded me of "Boy's Life" (best book ever, period.) because it sort of warmed my heart in the sense that it leads the reader to the conclusion the world's not as ugly a place as some people think it is.
This is superior writing, peeps. Highly recommended.
This is a terrific collection of shorts by one of the finest storytellers alive and working today. McCammon ably demonstrates his ability to maneuver deftly into different genres and come out with interesting, sometimes unforgettable results. I really loved this collection. I think the standouts are Pin, Something Passed By, Night Calls the Green Falcon, Doom City, and Yellow Jacket Summer. There isn't a bad story in the book. Some were just more memorable than the rest. The title novella was the weakest part for me. That's too bad, because I had high hopes for it. I can't give it a perfect rating, but I still think any self-respecting horror fiction enthusiast should read it.
One of the craziest books of short stories I have ever read. I think I was quoting the story, 'Something Passed By'. for years and years after I read it. "He was sitting on the front porch in the steamy heat of mid-day, sipping from a glass of gasoline, when the doomscreamer came." I am a harlot for great sentences, and this one is one of my top ten.
Blue World by Robert McCammon January 11, to January 15, 2015 Buddy read from Goodreads HR
Here we have a story of the nightmare the XXX—rated life style can create. A beautiful girl is shot through the head while satisfying her killer. I know, how creepy is that? Her friend, Debby (also part of this life-style), is so upset and frightened. When she finds out what has happened she goes to a priest and partakes of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but really she just wanted to talk to someone (she thought she could trust) about it. Could she trust Fr. John, was he really the loyal priest she thought he was? Time will tell
Once again, Mr. McCammon does not disappoint this reader. The story is well written, with enough character development for 3 novels. This author takes us through the streets of San Francisco with the swiftness of a ten-speed bicycle. We get the feel of the small neighborhoods that make up this city, both good and bad. We meet friends and enemies of our two protagonist. We learn about the secondary problems of the X-rated life-style and the temptations of a good and holy priest.
For me this story was a study of God's love for all of us, no matter how far down in trash we are lying. He is ready to forgive and forget the transgression of those whom have fallen into sin, no matter the circumstances. Most importantly God can change the hardest of hearts and make something wonderfully courageous out of the worst of circumstances.
I recommend this book to any Christian who is willing to have an opened mind to see how God can work if we only allow it. Also one can see in this book how sin can so gradually come into someone's otherwise holy life, that it is hardly noticed until it's almost too late. In this novel God works in mysterious way. Maybe it's not what McCammon intended, but it's what I took from the book.
FIVE brightly colored stars for this entertaining and uplifting book
This is a terrific collection of short fiction from Robert McCammon, who proved that he is an equally adept writer at any length. Nightcrawlers is an eerie story that was made into what was arguably the best episode of the '90s T.Z. reboot, Pin is a short tale with quite a punch, and the titular story is a thought-provoking short novel that's quite memorable. My favorite is the bittersweet Night Calls the Green Falcon, but there are really no "filler" stories in the book; they're all good dark stories with plenty of chills and shivers.
Damn, this was an awesome collection of stories. Some weren't horror, but so well done it didn't matter. The title novella was excellent, although it probably could've been shorter. All in all a great, fun read.
I'm not a big fan of short stories, but I do read them occasionally. Man I'm glad I picked this up. Already familiar with the author, so his style was comfortable and made it easy to jump right into each story. If your not familiar with Robert McCammon, this is a good place to start.
The stories create a mood of horror that gave me chills. There is graphic stuff throughout that is not for the weak heart. There were a couple of cheesy ones, but they were what they were meant to be so it's not like he was trying to be serious and came off as cheesy.
Three of my favorites:
My favorite was Blue World, which was actually a novella. It was about a priest, a prostitute and a seriel killer. Another really good one was the Night of the Green Falcon, which is about an old movie star that used to play in the pulp serials in the movies. Yellowjacket Summer, about a backwards country boy that has a special relationship with Yellowjackets (yes it's as creepy as it sounds). Not a bad one in the bunch.
This is a good book if your looking for an enjoyable read and a break from your regular stuff.
I have been a fan of Robert McCammon ever since I read a copy of Stinger and his book Wolf's Hour is one of my all time favourites. So I have been sitting on this copy of his shorter work for some time now (years I think) and never quite getting round to reading it.
That changed after I read the two "I travel by night" books and so here we are. The book itself contains stories of varying lengths from a couple of pages to nearly 150. They showcase the range and skill of the author and I have to say that not one disappointed.
Now several have been released as single shot ebook stories so I am sure I have read some of them before however this is the first for many and I really enjoyed it. So if you want to experience the shorter works of Robert McCammon this is a brilliant place to start
In a word.... sensational. Damn can McCammon write and short stories are no exception. This collection is packed with horrifying, suspenseful and emotional pieces of stellar fiction from one of the masters in the horror genre. If you love the collections of Stephen King, then I thoroughly recommend having a dabble with these. You won't be dissapointed. I guarantee it.
My top five entries are:
1 Something Passed By 2 Blue World 3 Nightcrawlers 4 He'll Come Knocking at Your Door 5 Makeup
five outta five outta five. Face is tight and tears have been shed. A beautiful collection of horror short stories. Stellar stand-outs are Pin, Night Calls the Green Falcon, Something Passed By, and of course, the titular story, Blue World. I didn't dislike a single one of these stories, though there were certainly some I could easily rank at the bottom. Compare this to my still struggling to get through David J. Schow's Seeing Red, which I've been stuck on for something close to two months.
Absolutely incredible collection of short stories and the perfect introduction to an amazing author. Each story put you right into the middle as if you were right there with the characters. I wasn’t too keen on Pin, but every other story was superb. My personally faves were Yellachile’s Cage, Night Calls the Green Falcon and Blue World. 100% recommend everyone read this if you haven’t already!
At this point in my life my favorite authors are John Shirley, F.Paul Wilson and Robert McCammon. McCammon wrote my second favorite novel of all time – Swan Song. He has written several other favorites in my collection including Mine and the weird crime classic Gone South. I had been saving two of his books for the “Right time” for years. That has included “Boy’s Life,” and his short story collection “Blue World.”
While I still have found the perfect time for the other yet, I read Blue World this last summer and I am so glad I did. McCammon is to me the genre author who has the most readable and smooth prose of any I have ever read. The pages just fly when you read his novels. I had read one or two of these short stories but I was reading most of these ten short stories for the first time. The title piece at the end is longer and I would argue that it is actually a novel. In the fifties it’s length would have been considered a novel. It is easily 60,000 words, has twenty three chapters and it feels like a novel. I Digress.
While McCammon doesn’t write traditional horror anymore, he is stillactive with historical mystery novels like “Speaks the Nightbird” which do contain macabre elements and the novel “the Five” which was genius Rock and Roll thriller. Blue World is filled with classic 80’s McCammon shorts and I loved every single page of it.
My favorite story was a Halloween classic called “He’ll come a knocking at the Door.” This perfectly wicked Halloween story would be perfect for a campfire. Other favorites included “Something Passed By,” and the opener “Yellowjacket Summer.” The classic story Nightcralwers that William Fredkin directed as an episode of the 80’s Twilight zone and the amazing “Night calls the Falcon” which celebrates old school super hero serials.
The title story is a very strong character piece that is more about people in the story than the thriller aspects. It is the story of a porn star named Debra Rocks, and the priest that falls in love with her after she comes into confessional. Father John can’t himself, but as he gets to know Debra he discovers that he not only one obsessed with the star. Someone is killing her co-stars, is she next?
There is no dud in this collection, McCammon was at the top of his horror skills in the 80’s. I am glad I finally read this one, it’s a classic, If you like short horror fiction do yourself a favor and read it.
Excellent and amazing volume, all in the same time! The Blue World was the most surprising novella, about a catholic priest that gets in love with a porn star...I didn`t knew any of these stories so the effect after reading them was more powerful than usual...
Very, very strong volume of short stories that I recommend it with all my heart to the readers out there!
Re-reading "Blue World," I was reminded of why it's such a pity McCammon doesn't write more than he does.
"Blue World" is a collection of 12 short stories spanning McCammon's career, and one novella. The stories are all worth reading, offering up a good variety of material, from the frightening ("Yellowjacket Summer") to the disturbing ("Pin") to the sublime (the novella, "Blue World").
What this collection brings to mind most, however, is McCammon's skill at setting a mood. He tells a great story, but very few writers can set the stage better than McCammon. While reading "Yellowjacket Summer" the reader can't help but feel the oppressive heat prevalent throughout the story, and how the characters must have felt experiencing that same heat. In "Blue World," he captures equally well the quiet of that soft twilight, just before full dark. In "Night Calls the Green Falcon" one can really feel and understand the frustration and the impotence of a young man's ambition trapped in an old man's body.
By so skillfully establishing the mood in each and every one of the stories in "Blue World," McCammon makes the reader experience them as if they were there, inside the story itself. This is the magic of what great writing can do, bring the story home to the reader, and make it an experience.
Like my other McCammon favorites, "Boy's Life" and "Speaks the Nightbird," "Blue World" is one of the books that I treasure, from an author who now writes far too infrequently.
This is my second favorite collection of short stories I’ve ever read (after King’s untouchable classic anthology, Night Shift). Experiencing these excellent tales was a pure joy from start to finish. SO many heavy hitters in here. Blue World has everything I look for in a horror collection: intriguing premises, a large variety, an abundance of creative twists, and very satisfying endings! My favorites include: Something Passed By, Nightcrawlers, Blue World, He’ll Come Knocking At Your Door, Makeup, Yellowjacket Summer and Doom City. If you love short stories, this has to be on your short list of must-reads. Make it a priority. You won’t be disappointed. McCammon kills it with Blue World.
This is one of the best collections I’ve read. Up there with Night Shift and The Illustrated Man which I think are the two best collections.
This was almost a 5/5 but there were at least three stories I wasn’t a fan of, Doom City, Pin and Yellachile’s Cage, I felt they were too weird, confusing or weren’t just good stories overall.
This wasn’t much of a spooky book, it felt more of just weird and unusual stories which I like. A few of these could be easily adapted into cult movies. The stories are just cult film material with the oddball characters and the strange circumstances they go through. Some of the stories had a Ray Bradbury feel to it, meaning they felt nostalgic or homey.
My top 5 out of the book I’d highly recommend are:
1. Blue World 2. Nightcrawlers 3. Makeup 4. Night Calls the Green Falcon 5. Yellowjacket Summer