Weird Review: Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, Edited by Terry M. West
Editor: Terry M. West
Publisher: Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc.
Number of Pages: 297
Format: Print (Electronic)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars aligned
Sating that appetite for the weird while supplementing the idea of found footage, Terry M. West and Pleasant Strom Entertainment, Inc. have manifested from dark vaults, Journals of Horror: Found Fiction. 29 uncomforting tales of delusion and terror that will have you locking your doors, checking your phone settings and finding your journal so you can chronicle the onset of madness that may inevitably take hold. 29 authors who were fortunate enough to be released from their own straightjackets to pen some disturbing literature, instead of screaming their tales or spelling them out in missives with their medication. Oh, but enough with the Crypt Keeper treatment, lets open up this dark tome.
Anything from sensationalized pulp, to eloquent horror will be found while traveling through these pages. I myself found many of the stories to be entertaining, yet there were few that made me pause my reading and recollect my thoughts. Those were the best tales. There were stories that read like standard weird fiction, and some that read like submissions to Creepy Pasta. However, though these tales are works of fiction, the tales that teetered on the edge of truth were the ones that dragged me in. Some of these entries, for example; West’s “Bagged, Tagged & Buried,” Rolfe’s “Killing Jessica” and Leflar’s “Letter to Grandma,” exhibited masochistic tastes with dashes of schizophrenia and paranoia for flavor which, along with some other minor ingredients, developed a fun psychotic recipe for great found fiction. Bellow is a list of the stories and the authors behind them.
- Bagged, Tagged & Buried by Terry M. West *
- Turn Me On, Dead Man By Robin Dover
- Truant By D.S. Ullery
- The Book of Flesh and Blood By Jeff O’Brien *
- Beyond Castle Frankenstein By Paula Cappa
- Dying Scrawl by DJ Tyrer
- Girl in the Woods By Evan Purcell
- Going Home By Michael McGlade
- Hamburger Lady By Darryl Dawson
- Hole By Joseph Ramshaw
- Human Resources By Todd Keisling
- In the Woods, We Wait By Matt Hayward
- “Killing Jessica” By Glenn Rolfe *
- Letter to Grandma By Crystal Leflar *
- Look Up By Michael Seese
- Lucca By John Ledger
- Night Terrors: Journal By Michael Thomas-Knight
- Finders Keepers By Paul D. Marks
- The Anniversary By Sonja Thomas
- The Breath Within The Darkness By Essel Pratt
- The Devil’s Irony By Lori R. Lopez
- The Note By P. D. Cacek
- The Seahorse Speaks By Erik Gustafson
- Vermilion A Traveler’s Account By Stuart Keane
- Whispers on the Wind By Robert McGough
- There’s something in my house By Wesley Thomas
- Tweets of Terror By Robert Holt
- Self-Consumed By Terry M. West & Regina West *
- Note-To-Self By Christopher Alan Broadstone
Now, not having read much “found fiction,” I began to wonder if this is/would/could be a new genre of fiction. Yet after a second thought, and reading, I believe that found fiction is more likely a subgenre rather than a leading criteria for any fiction. After all, some of the best stories in history are technically “found fiction.” Brom Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, or more notably, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. Though I know Dracula and Frankenstein are more well known than Lovecraft’s work, I can’t help but first think of The Call of Cthulhu first because of it’s opening statement, “(Found Among the Papers of the Late Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston)”
Though TCoC isn’t an epistolary formed story like Dracula or Frankenstein, by simply stating that the documents were found and are reviewed (within the story) simply opens the door for use of the term found fiction. Yet the reason I claim that found fiction would be best suited as a sub genre, is due to the fact that the three classics I mentioned are primarily categorized as horror fiction, or even in the case of H.P.’s story, weird fiction. Any genre can contain the elements of found fiction, though they may not be as potent as a horror setting, they are out there.
It took me longer than I originally expected to get through this book, as I am sure it took longer than Mr. West anticipated for me to complete the reading and an honest review in exchange for some pretty thought provoking and unsettling fiction. In that regard I ranked this collection a 3 out of 5 stars. The book could have been condensed to 20 tales and maintained a stronger consistency of quality, and a more digestible overall length of the book. As you may see above I marked, with a *, certain stories as favorites or plots that when looking back stick out the most in my mind. I have more selections from Terry M. West’s library of publications; such as, The Giving of Things Cold & Cursed: A Baker Johnson Tale, What Price Gory?, and Heroin in the Magic Now, along with a couple others. I am excited to dive into those soon and share my thoughts with everyone.
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