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Year's Best Hardcore Horror #4

Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 4

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Red Room Press is extremely proud to present its fourth annual anthology featuring this year's hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2018 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos.

First up is “Vigil” by Chad Lutzke. Chad takes us into a neighborhood where a steady stream of decayed corpses are exhumed from a neighbor’s cellar. Extreme olfactory horror at its best.

Deborah Sheldon went under the knife for the inspiration of “Hair And Teeth,” and the result is a tale of gynaecological body horror likely to terrify women and make most men squeamish.

With “Rut Season” Brian Hodge makes a return to Year’s-Best pages in a tale as chilling as it is heart-wrenching, inspired by a thousand-mile drive littered with roadkill and some personal tragedies.

“Control” by Jeff Parsons introduces us to a meth addict stalking potential victims in Central Park to get money for the next score.

Annie Neugebauer is back with “Cilantro,” a Neugebauerian yarn of culinary chaos sure to turn stomachs and cause nightmares.

Tim Waggoner likewise returns this year with “Voices Like Barbwire,” an exploratory dig into old wounds and painful memories.

Rebecca Rowland’s “Bent” wins the Most Cringe-worthy Story honor with her twisted tale of extreme body horror. Her well-drawn characters seem to come off the page but God forbid they do. Their idea of a pretzel party is truly twisted.

Scath Beorh takes Lovecraftian cosmic horror to its next level with “Lord of the Mesa.”

Sean Patrick Hazlett’s story “The Godhead Grimoire” possesses dangerous religious overtones and a forbidden bloodthirsty book.

“Carnal Bodies” by R.E. Hellinger is a shocking story of baroque horror and demonic necrophilia from Two Dead Queers Present: Guillozine. You’ll have to read this one to believe it.

In “Crossroads of Opportunity” Ed Kurtz and doungjai gam take you on a-deal-with-the-devil-at-the-crossroads trip with a son driving his dead mother to an uncertain destination. Trouble is, his mother is a bit of a backseat driver and she just won’t shut up.

Seras Nikita’s “Dad’s Famous Preserves” won’t do much for your appetite but it will show you a recipe for disaster when a jungle missionary’s foot infection blossoms into a stomach-churning nightmare.

“The Bearded Woman,” brought all the way from Rome, Italy, by the inimitable Alessandro Manzetti. His dystopian future tale takes us for a ride in the Bearded Woman’s circus trailer as she and her dwarf husband bring their marriage to a bloody end.

Sara Tantlinger’s “The Devil’s Dreamland” takes us inside the Murder Castle of the infamous H.H. Holmes with her brilliant narrative poem of macabre beauty.

Frank Oreto’s “All God’s Creatures Got Reasons” reveals that there are real monsters walking among us, monsters with a savage appetite for young flesh, but they are so skilled at covering their tracks, we never even know they’re there.

“The Ugly” by J.R. Park introduces us to a couple of sweet little kids who may have a good reason for torturing and eating cats. It’s a way to keep the Ugly at bay. Or is it?

Doug Ford’s “I Have a Confession” takes a coldblooded plunge into sex with a ghost. But what if it’s not a ghost?

In “When the Owls Call” Lyman Graves takes us “stealth camping” in a Texas park after hours, where a strange and dangerous gathering is taking place. David Lynch might say, “The owls are not what they seem.” But are they?

Jeremy Thompson is back this year with his nefarious pal the Hallowfiend in “Bloodletting and Intrigue On All Hallows’ Eve.” With a stylistic nod to Ray Bradbury, Jeremy delivers on our promise that something twisted this way comes.

Capping it all off, Alicia Hilton serves up “Monkey See, Monkey Do” as a tasty little nightcap (for those with hardcore tastes).


Sleep well. If you can.

—Randy Chandler & Cheryl Mullenax

347 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 13, 2019

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Randy Chandler

43 books68 followers

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5 stars
14 (26%)
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16 (30%)
3 stars
13 (25%)
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7 (13%)
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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Steve.
962 reviews96 followers
October 22, 2019
I received this book from AudioBookBoom in exchange for an honest review.

DNF @ 30%.

Disappointed with this one. There's not much "hardcore horror" here except the stomach-turning horror of what one person can do to another. Several of the stories felt incomplete and left me hanging for a conclusion or punchline, something.
Profile Image for Bill.
1,526 reviews107 followers
November 4, 2019
Not the best of the series so far. The narration for the audio wasn't for me and detracted from my enjoyment so much so that I had to switch to the ebook to finish it up. Unfortunately, it didn't get much better after that. Not that all of the stories were bad (because they weren't) but as a collection they seemed uneven and disjointed. Even my favorite stories seemed a wee tame for a collection of hardcore horror.
Profile Image for Angela.
940 reviews49 followers
October 23, 2019
I really didn't enjoy this, which is a shame as I love horror and I love short stories.
I abandoned listening to this about 1/3 through. I did not enjoy the narrator at all and that may have been part of the problem I had with this book, his voice was a little nasally and it was really starting to grind on me. The stories that I did listen to were alright, but certainly nothing that I would class as 'hardcore horror', more 'mild'.
Sorry, I tried but this wasn't for me.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request via Audioboom and have voluntarily left this review.
207 reviews2 followers
October 23, 2019
I recieved a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

None of the stories present here are entirely skippable. Each have a unique take on a Horror Story that is entirely viable and each of the author's pulls off perfectly fine. The only issue that I have with the Anthology is that it is marketed as the best hardcore horror that I feel most of these stories do not begin to touch what is hardcore. Again, the stories are perfectly fine but anyone looking for a stream or splatterpunk is probably going to feel a little disappointed by the degree of what this Anthology deems is hardcore.

Bent and Vigil are certainly the two standout stories for me
Profile Image for Deborah Sheldon.
Author 65 books243 followers
June 11, 2019
A terrific collection. The editors have curated a heady mix that provokes shock, revulsion, surprise and dread. (Please note: I have a story in this one, which I'm leaving out of my review.) The stories vary in subject, style and approach so there is something to suit every horror fan. Recommended.
464 reviews8 followers
October 8, 2019
I’ve become a fan of many talented authors through this series
This felt less gory and more story driven then the previous three books witch should attract a larger horror crowd
The narrator was good but the odd background noise could be distracting
If your looking to get into more hardcore horror I highly recommend this series as a whole
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review
Profile Image for David Woodall.
11 reviews
April 12, 2020
May not be your cupatea, if it is grab a coffee cup. You're gonna be up for awhile.

I need to save up my dough cause I need to get volumes 2 & 3 asap. Kinda slow in the middle, but I still kept the light on throughout. Maybe they can see me better, but at least I'll see them comin"!
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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