Editors: Randy Chandler & Cheryl Mullenax
Release Date: June 1, 2017
Year’s Best Hardcore Horror is a yearly collection showcasing the extreme, harder side of horror, stories that break boundaries and trash taboos.
Available for at Amazon in print and ebook and many other online retailers
Cover and book design by Inkubus
“I enjoyed each and every story. Some hit me harder than others, but that is a personal reaction. If you enjoy extreme horror and vivid imaginings, then this book is for you.”
“With heavy hitting, no holds barred authors like Wrath James White and Adam Cesare contributing I knew I was In for a disturbing and stomach churning read. YBHH2 never wavered in delivering the nasty. From a rather disgusting fairy to a nightmarish glimpse of those prize claw machines, YBBH2 is simply a must have for fellow hardcore horror aficionado’s!”
Comet Press is extremely proud to present its second annual anthology featuring this year’s hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2016 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos.
Selected from indie publishers and magazines such as Weirdpunk Books, Necro Publications, Splatterpunk Zine, Corner Bar Magazine, Carrion Blue and Raw Dog Screaming Press, these stories represent the state of the art of extreme horror fiction. Whether extreme in theme or with gore galore, these disturbing tales will be hard to forget even though you may wish you could.
Yes, there will be blood. Lots of it. Gore galore and plenty of the gushy stuff. But you’ll also find tales less graphic but with hardcore attitudes, transgressive stories you’re not sure you should be reading, stories showing you things you shouldn’t see. Visceral fiction.
Read at your own risk.
Michael A. Arnzen “55 Ways I’d Prefer Not to Die”
Jasper Bark “Bed of Crimson Joy”
Christa Carmen “The Girl Who Loved Bruce Campbell”
Marvin Brown “The Field”
Adam Cesare “Please Subscribe”
Matthew Chabin “Father of Dread”
Jose Cruz “American Gods, American Monsters”
Andrew Darlington “Coming of the Darkula”
Paolo Di Orazio “The Contract”
Stefanie Elrick “Mother’s Nature”
William Grabowski “Out Hunting for Teeth”
Sarah L. Johnson “Little Sister, Little Brother”
Eric LaRocca “Miss_Vertebrae”
Alessandro Manzetti “Kozmic Blues”
Tim Miller “Backne”
Alexandra Renwick “Redux”
Bryan Smith “Implant”
Jeremy Thompson “The Hallowfiend Remembers”
Tim Waggoner “A Face in the Crowd”
Wrath James White “Ownership”
Stephanie M. Wytovich “On This Side of Bloodletting” & selected poems from “Brothel”
Arnzen holds a PhD in English from the University of Oregon (where he researched his non-fiction book, The Popular Uncanny) and he is presently a Professor at Seton Hill University, where he teaches horror and suspense fiction in the country’s only graduate program in Writing Popular Fiction (http://fiction.setonhill.edu).
Arnzen resides near Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife of many years, Renate, and a brood of deranged cats. His website is http://gorelets.com
JASPER BARK is infectious—and there’s no known cure. If you’re reading this then you’re already at risk of contamination. The symptoms will begin to manifest any moment now. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no itching or unfortunate rashes, but you’ll become obsessed with his books, from the award winning collections Dead Air and Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts, to cult novels like The Final Cut and acclaimed graphic novels such as Bloodfellas and Beyond Lovecraft.
Soon you’ll want to tweet, post and blog about his work until thousands of others fall under its viral spell. We’re afraid there’s no way to avoid this, these words contain a power you are hopeless to resist. You’re already in their thrall and have from the moment you clicked onto this page. Even now you find yourself itching to read the rest of his work. Don’t fight it, embrace the urge and wear your obsession with pride!
MARVIN BROWN is the author of suspense novels Jigsaw Man and Covet, as well as the nonfiction work The House the Lord Built. He is a regular contributor to Insomnia & Obsession magazine. Marvin lives in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and two daughters. Visit his website, www.marvincbrown.com, for book excerpts, blog essays and book reviews. Marvin’s movie reviews are available on the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com). Follow him on Twitter: marvbrown9 and Instragram: marvincbrown
CHRISTA CARMEN’s short fiction has appeared in WolfSinger Publications’ Just Desserts, the DreamFusion Press anthology, The Book of the Macabre, Devolution Z Horror Magazine, The J.J. Outré Review, Jitter Press, Literally Stories, Fiction on the Web, Corner Bar Magazine, pennyshorts, and Dark Fire Fiction. “Four Souls of Eve” was published by Frith Books as a standalone eBook, and is soon to appear in their All Hallows’ anthology, and “The One Who Answers the Door” took Best in Genre for Thriller/Horror in wordhaus’ Trick or Treat Fall Story Contest. Additional work is forthcoming in the Mad Scientist Journal and the speculative fiction ezine, Anotherealm. Christa works at Pfizer in Clinical Trial Packaging, and at a local hospital as a mental health clinician. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and a beagle who rivals her in stubbornness.
ADAM CESARE is a New Yorker who lives in Philadelphia. His books include Mercy House, Video Night, The Summer Job, and Tribesmen. His work has been praised by Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Publishers Weekly, Bloody Disgusting, and more. His titles have appeared on “Year’s Best” lists from outlets like Complex and FearNet. He writes a monthly column for Cemetery Dance Online.
MATTHEW CHABIN is a writer from Portland Oregon. He worked as a journalist in the US Navy and studied literature and philosophy at Southern Oregon University. His work has appeared in Gravel: A Literary Journal, Southern Pacific Review, and O-Dark Thirty: A Veteran’s Writing Project. He currently lives in Nagano Prefecture of Japan with his wife and two cats.
His story, Father of Dread, originally appeared in Cthulhu Lies Dreaming, an anthology from Ghostwoods Books.
JOSE CRUZ is an author and freelance writer whose work has appeared in print and online venues such as Nightscript, Turn to Ash, bare•bones e-zine, The Terror Trap, Classic-Horror, and Paracinema Magazine. He lives in southwest Florida with his wife and a very furry child.
The first thing ANDREW DARLINGTON had published was the poem “Anthem For A Lost Cause” in Barnsley-based “underground”-arts magazine Sad Traffic (no.5, May 1971). It was also the first poem he’d ever written. It name-checks Homer’s Odysseus, and the Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Tales establishing the recurring technique of using the trash Junk Culture of cheap pulp SF (and loud Rock ‘n’ Roll) to reference personal issues—the “lost cause”, of course, being himself! Over 3,000 published items follow, extending across a widthband from Music Journalism to Erotica, from closely-researched historico-features on Science Fiction to interviews with culture icons William Burroughs, the Kinks, Kurt Vonnegut, Stone Roses, Byrds, Craig Charles, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Cabaret Voltaire, Carolyn Cassady (Kerouac’s lover), EC Tubb, Jack Dee, and many more (a selection collected into I Was Elvis Presley’s Bastard Lovechild, Headpress, 2001).
He was born 18th September 1947—to coincide with the Roswell UFO Incident in New Mexico, and pubesced through the fantastic graphic-strip exploits of “Jet-Ace Logan” (a SFictional hero he later scripted for). Fiction was the first form—in New English Libraries Stopwatch anthology (editor: George Hay, January 1975) through multiple magazine and hard/softback appearances around the world (including German and Flemish translations) to the 2015 The Mammoth Book Of Sherlock Holmes Abroad (editor: Simon Clark, 2015). In fact, space restrictions mean that elaboration of the Alternative Cabaret “Stand-Up Poet” work, the vinyl records as part of UV Pop, editing Ludds Mill alternative-arts magazine, the Don’t Call Me Nigger: Sly Stone & Black Power biography (Leaky Boot Press, 2014), new fiction collection A Saucerful Of Secrets now available from Parallel Universe Publ. and poetry collection The Poet’s Deliberation On The State Of The Nation (Penniless Press http://www.pennilesspress.co.uk/books/poetdeliberation.htm). His website is: www.andrewdarlington.blogspot.com
PAOLO DI ORAZIO, born in Rome, Italy, in 1966, is a writer, painter, drummer, and an HWA active member. He has published short novels, long fiction and comic books since 1987 in Italy. The very first splatterpunk author of his country, his first book raised a Parliamentarian scandal in 1990—for instigation of murder (My Early Crimes, Raven’s Head Press, 2015).
In English, he published stories for Heavy Metal (2000-01), and Kipple (Dark Gates, with Bram Stoker Award Alessandro Manzetti, in 2014. The Monster, The Bad And The Ugly, anthology). His short novel Hell was recommended by Ellen Datlow in The Best Horror Of The Year Vol.7 (2014).
STEFANIE ELRICK is a writer, artist and performer from Manchester. She’s toured fantasy stage shows with Hawkwind, The Levellers, The Age of Glass, Peaches Christ and others as well as devising the immersive LABOLIS theatre series. As a performance artist she’s blood-lined poetry into her skin, been strapped to a 12-foot spinning timepiece and escaped Houdini like out of mod-roc cocoons. Her written work has been published in Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis and she has lectured at Manchester University and Wimbledon Art College. She’s particularly fascinated by hybrids, shape-shifting and magic. www.stefanieelrick.com
WILLIAM GRABOWSKI is the author of 9 books (ghostwriter of more), most recently the techno-thriller Infinity Point, media tie-in Castro’s Cadillac (from the screenplay by Michael Sayles, optioned for filming on September 12, 2016 by CuffLink Productions), Amazon bestseller Black Light: Perspectives on Mysterious Phenomena, and Traces of Oblivion—a collection of best short stories including his 2004 novel The Untold—a conspiracy thriller. Five years with World Fantasy Award-winner The Horror Show earned Grabowski a Best Writer nomination from SPWAO. Over 350 of his articles, essays, interviews and reviews have appeared on Forbes dot com, Philadelphia Business Journal digital edition, Hellnotes and elsewhere; in magazines Cemetery Dance, Beware the Dark, NPR-associated Wireless and others. He’s a popular guest on radio and podcasts, and a contributing editor with Library Journal, Metaphysical Circus Press’s See the Elephant, and JournalStone Publishing.
SARAH L. JOHNSON lives in Canada with her family and two bewildered felines. Her work has appeared in Shock Totem, Crossed Genres, and the Bram Stoker nominated Dark Visions 1. Her short story collection Suicide Stitch was released by EMP Publishing in 2016.
ERIC LAROCCA’s horror fiction has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies such as, Of Devils & Deviants: An Anthology of Erotic Horror and Stiff Things: The Splatterporn Anthology. He is also the author of several plays, which have been developed and produced by various theater companies including, Gadfly Theater Productions, Hartford Stage, La Petite Morgue, and Love Creek Productions. He currently resides in New Hampshire.
ALESSANDRO MANZETTI is a Bram Stoker Award winning author of horror fiction and dark poetry, editor and translator. His work has been published extensively in Italian, including novels, short and long fiction, poetry, essays, and collections. English publications include his collections The Monster, the Bad and the Ugly (co-written by Paolo Di Orazio),The Massacre of the Mermaids, The Shaman and Other Shadows, Dark Gates (co-written by Paolo Di Orazio), Stockholm Syndrome (co-written by Stefano Fantelli), and the poetry collections Eden Underground, Venus Intervention and Sacrificial Nights (co-written with Bruce Boston). His stories and poems have appeared in Italian, USA and UK magazines and anthologies, such as Dark Moon Digest, The Horror Zine, Disturbed Digest, Illumen Magazine, Devolution Z Magazine, Recompose Magazine, Polu Texni Magazine, Bones III Anthology, Rhysling Anthology (2015 and 2016), HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. III, The Beauty of Death, Mar Dulce, I Sogni del Diavolo, Danze Eretiche Vol. 2, Il Buio Dentro and many others.
His dark poetry collection Eden Underground won the Bram Stoker Award 2015 and was nominated for the Elgin Award 2016. His dark poetry collection Venus Intervention (co-written by Corrine de Winter) was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award 2014 and the Elgin Award 2015. Some of his poems were nominated for the Rhysling Award 2015 and 2016. Six of his stories were recommended by Ellen Datlow for the Best Horror of the Year Vol. 7, and two of his poems made the long list of the Honorable Mentions for The Best Horror of the Year Vol. 8.
He has translated works by Ramsey Campbell, Richard Laymon, Poppy Z. Brite, Edward Lee, Graham Masterton, Gary Braunbeck, Gene O’Neill, Lisa Morton and Lucy Snyder. He is the owner and editor-in-chief of Independent Legions Publishing, HWA Active Member, Italy Representative and member of the Board of Trustees.
More about Alessandro at his website: http://www.battiago.com/biography.html
TIM MILLER has dedicated his life to writing stories that will both scare readers and make them cringe.
Over the years, Tim’s writings have evolved into darker realms. He released his first horror novel, The Hand of God in 2011. Since then his books have become progressively more violent and gory. With the release of Family Night in 2013, Tim had moved into the world of extreme horror where he continues to push the boundaries of human suffering.
Tim is now an international best seller as well. His books, Hell, Texas and Family Night have recently ranked high on Amazon sales charts since their release in Germany under German publisher, Festa-Verlag.
Tim is very active on social media and loves interacting with his readers. You can find him at his website at http://timmiller.org.
ALEXANDRA RENWICK is the US/Canadian author of the award-nominated collection Push of the Sky, which was a Powell’s Books SF Book Club reading selection and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Her fiction has been translated into nine languages and performed in audio and on stage. She currently lives in a crumbling urban castle tending to a pondful of voracious koi she’s been warned not to name. More at http://alexcrenwick.com.
JEREMY THOMPSON is the fictionist responsible for the novels The Phantom Cabinet (Necro Publications) and Let’s Destroy Investutech (Bedlam Press). His stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Into the Darkness, Under the Bed, DarkFuse, Sanitarium, and Walk Hand in Hand into Extinction. A San Diego State University graduate, Jeremy resides in Oceanside, California.
TIM WAGGONER’s first novel came out in 2001, and he’s published over thirty novels and three collections of short stories since. He writes original fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. His novels include Like Death, considered a modern classic in the genre, and the popular Nekropolis series of urban fantasy novels. He’s written tie-in fiction for Supernatural, Grimm, The X-Files, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Transformers, among others. His articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, and Writer’s Workshop of Horror. He’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award, and his fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year. In 2016, the Horror Writers Association honored him with the Mentor of the Year Award. In addition to writing, Tim is also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College.
WRATH JAMES WHITE is a former World Class Heavyweight Kickboxer, a professional Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts trainer, distance runner, performance artist, and former street brawler, who is now known for creating some of the most disturbing works of fiction in print.
Wrath is the author of such extreme horror classics as The Resurrectionist (now a major motion picture titled Come Back To Me) Succulent Prey, and it’s sequel Prey Drive, Yaccub’s Curse, 400 Days Of Oppression, Sacrifice, Voracious, To The Death, The Reaper, Skinzz, Everyone Dies Famous In A Small Town, The Book Of A Thousand Sins, His Pain, Population Zero and many others. He is the co-author of Teratologist co-written with the king of extreme horror, Edward Lee, Something Terrible co-written with his son Sultan Z. White, Orgy Of Souls co-written with Maurice Broaddus, Hero and The Killings both co-written with J.F. Gonzalez, Poisoning Eros co-written with Monica J. O’Rourke, among others.
Wrath lives and works in Austin, Texas with his three daughters, Isis, Nala, and Zoe, his son and co-author, Sultan Z. White, and his beautiful wife Tammy.
STEPHANIE M. WYTOVICH is an instructor by day and a horror writer by night. She is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, and a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press, and her debut novel, The Eighth, is simmering in sin with Dark Regions Press. Follow Wytovich at http://www.stephaniewytovich.com/ and on twitter @JustAfterSunset
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