The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolf Stories – Anthology – by Hellbound Books Publishing – Book Review

Sales Link: The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolf Stories

Although werewolves are a classic monster standard, The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolf Stories breathes fresh, terrifying life into the horrifying concept of human-to-wolf transformations.

The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolf Stories is packed with original, never-before published stories of unique and contemporary takes on lycanthropy.

No Lon Chaney Jr. remakes here; instead, this spine-chilling anthology presents exciting, refreshing new ideas that won’t fail to impress even the most jaded horror readers.

Brought to you by the established, award-winning ezine and print magazine, only the best and most suspenseful tales can be found stalking the pages of The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolf Stories.

Includes an introduction by Stephen Graham Jones, a foreword by WD Gagliani, and spine-chilling tales of lycanthropy from Ramsey Campbell, JG Faherty, Susie Moloney, Nancy Kilpatrick, and myriad other noteworthy authors.

Hey diddily ho, fellow horror aficionados ! Did someone say we’re due a full moon? Beware!

This week I read The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolf Stories, and then felt inspired to go off and howl into the night. Except I’m a goat, and it didn’t quite have the fearsome result I was hoping for. Not even the sheep ran, and they bolt at everything. It’s a good thing the stories in this anthology are scarier than me!

Usually with a collection or an anthology, I say a little bit about every story, but there are too many in this book for me to do that and keep this review within a reasonable word limit, so I’m just going to discuss my favourites.

The alpha of this pack, for me, is without question Ramsey Campbell’s ‘The Change’. Lycanthrophy as a metaphor is used in several of the stories in this book, but it worked the best for me in this one. Plus, I also found this story the scariest in the entire bunch. Campbell’s writing is – as usual – beautiful and enthralling.

Another favourite is ‘Outside of Town’ by James Kidd. Once again, wonderful writing, and I liked the little name references in the characters (Ralston and Beauregard).

“She believed that killing anything changes you. Part of the killer fuses with the killed, and that little part gets taken away forever,”

I also loved ‘Free Download’ by Dusty Davis. This one has a weird, modern twist that worked so well for the theme, and was really tense.

Others of particular note for me are ‘Shaggy Gray’s Sea Song’ by Meg Smith, and ‘Unidentified’ by Duncan McGreary. Though neither of these were amongst my favourites, these two were definitely the most unique. ‘The Spectrum’ by Dean H. Wild is another that I really enjoyed, and it was just… well, it’s a tense ride!

This anthology got me thinking about horror as a reflection of society (particularly in the time the book is written), and how monsters are used as metaphors. Commonly, as I’m sure we’ve all noticed, werewolves are used to portray the duality of man, the yin and yang, the dichotomy of good and evil co-existing inside one being. Nature vs nurture, the repression of the more negative (or free) aspects of the self. Besides that, werewolves are also often used just for fun, because they’re ferocious beasties that make for great horror.

I found that a common theme running throughout these stories was almost this sense of self-hatred. There are a lot of people repressing their wolf side, and doing so with this general air of deep shame. This isn’t a new concept, of course, but the depth of the despair these characters felt and the fact that it was bound into the fabric of so many of the stories made me wonder what, as a society, we make of ourselves right now.

Side note: both the ‘Introduction’, by Stephen Graham Jones, and the ‘Foreword’ by W. D. Gagliani touch on our cultural interest in these two-sided beasts, and both are wonderful pieces of writing that get the anthology off to a great start.

Overall, this is a varied anthology that makes good use of the tropes we know and love, and also introduces some truly weird deviations. Recommended for fans of werewolves… obviously. A-woooooooo!

If you’d like to get your own copy or check out the press, the links you need are below. Beneath them, you’ll find the full list of authors featured in this anthology.

AMAZON SALES LINK: THE HORROR ZINE’S BOOK OF WEREWOLF STORIES

HELLBOUND BOOKS PUBLISHING

Stephen M. Dare, Michael J. Moore, Shawn P. Madison, Ramsey Campbell, James Kidd, Duncan McGeary, Rachel Coles, Jeff Parsons, JG Faherty, Meg Smith, Logan Fourie, David North-Martino, Dusty Davis, Susie Moloney, Christopher Ridge, Cynthia Herbert-Bruschi Adams, Theresa Jacobs, Gordon Linzner, Derek Austin Johnson, Terry Grimwood, Nancy Kilpatrick, Trish Wilson, Bruce Memblatt, Dean H. Wild, Jeani Rector

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