What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Short story collection, possibly horror-themed (jack the ripper arcade game in one of them). [s]

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message 1: by Abserd (new)

Abserd | 5 comments Hello! I read this book years ago, possibly around 2006-2009.

As I recall it was a collection of short stories; they were all rather disturbing, which makes me think the collection/anthology might have been horror-themed.

I remember 2 stories in particular--one based around a game (possibly in an arcade?) where you play as Jack the Ripper, and another one that I can't describe without spoilers so

SPOILERS AHEAD






The first story is told from the perspective of a man who is hooked on an arcade game which is basically a jack the ripper simulator. In the game you roam the streets of London and you have to kill off five women (the victims historically attributed to him); each woman marks a different level. The man is trying to clear a certain level, but he fails because he kills the woman on the wrong street in the game (she screams for help and he gets caught). The man is incredibly frustrated; he leaves the arcade and actually kills a woman on the streets (it is implied that this is not the first time he's done this.) The story ends with him thinking about returning to the arcade the next day, and I think the last line is something like..."he would beat THE GAME." (yes, the last part was in caps lmao) Which makes me think that "the game" might be the title of the short story? Lol.

My memory of the second one is sketchy, but some key details: there is a woman in the kitchen and she's making something in the oven. At one point another woman breaks into her house begging for help; she has her children with her. Oven lady suddenly goes hysterical, she tries to seize the other woman's children and push them into the oven, saying "it's not too late to save them!" The twist is that she's killed and cooked her own children, also to save them from this undisclosed threat--it's unclear if she's hallucinating or if this is some apocalyptic world where the danger is real...I think she was afraid of beasts(?) I also vaguely remember mud as a key element in the story...either the thing in the oven was described as made of mud...or her children are described as mud? Sorry this is unclear.

I've tried googling a bunch of key words for each but I've had no luck. I've been looking for this collection for years--I literally don't recall anything about authors/titles etc. I read this when I was pretty young after picking it up at a secondhand bookstore, but after reading it I was so disturbed I sold it back to the shop. But these two stories really stuck with me, and tbh I'm more hoping to ID these two shorts in particular, I'm less concerned about the collection itself. Here's hoping people might know of these two stories specifically.

Many thanks!


message 2: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35128 comments Mod
A long shot - Up the Rainbow: The Complete Short Fiction of Susan Casper by Susan Casper? One story is called "Spring-fingered Jack" which is her first published work about Jack the Ripper and video games. Another story is called "Mama". I haven't seen descriptions of these short stories.

Abserd, about how many short stories are in the book? Are they written by a single or multiple authors? Any famous authors?


message 3: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4228 comments "Spring-fingered Jack" does seem to be the first story based on fragments here: https://books.google.bg/books?redir_e...

Here's isfdb.org's list of works it's been included in: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cg...


message 4: by Rosa (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5204 comments “Spring-Fingered Jack” is definitely the first story, but “Mama” is not the second one.


message 5: by Rosa (last edited Dec 18, 2018 09:39AM) (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5204 comments 100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories? “We Have Always Lived in the Forest” sounds similar to your description of the second story.


message 6: by Abserd (last edited Dec 18, 2018 10:56AM) (new)

Abserd | 5 comments Holy shit. Yes, the first one is indeed "Spring Fingered Jack" and the second one is "We have Always Lived in the Forest." I'm absolutely floored that people managed to ID them based off of my scant description! And I am so glad I can read them again. Thank you so much, everyone! I highly highly recommend checking out "We Have Always Lived in the Forest," which is weird and slow-building and bafflingly great. You can find a transcribed version here, under the post by dragoness.

And the collection in question is "100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories" (Thanks, Rosa!)


message 7: by Abserd (new)

Abserd | 5 comments Rosa wrote: "100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories? “We Have Always Lived in the Forest” sounds similar to your description of the second story."

Yes--that's it exactly! Thank you so much!


message 8: by Abserd (new)

Abserd | 5 comments Ayshe wrote: ""Spring-fingered Jack" does seem to be the first story based on fragments here: https://books.google.bg/books?redir_e...%..."

Yes it is, thank you!


message 9: by Abserd (new)

Abserd | 5 comments Kris wrote: "A long shot - Up the Rainbow: The Complete Short Fiction of Susan Casper by Susan Casper? One story is called "Spring-fingered Jack" which is her first published wo..."

That's definitely the first story--thank you!


message 10: by Rosa (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5204 comments Abserd wrote: "Rosa wrote: "100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories? “We Have Always Lived in the Forest” sounds similar to your description of the second story."

Yes--that's it exactly! Thank you s..."


I’m glad I could help! I can’t wait to read this collection now myself!


message 11: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35128 comments Mod
Glad you found your book, Abserd. FYI, the first clue surfaced in a Google Books advanced search:

https://books.google.com/advanced_boo... > All of the words: short-stories video game | Exact phrase: jack the ripper | Books | English | 1970-2010


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