As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).
In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future.
Note: this collection includes the stories found in Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston and Alien Embrace.
The short stories contained include:
A Tale of Hell: A man with anger issues has a nightmare of being in Hell.
Dream Warrior: A young man intent on avenging his girlfriend’s death learns the ancient ways of Aztec sorcery from his grandfather.
Devil Star’s Revenge: A cowboy suffers a horrendous fate after raping the daughter of a powerful Apache medicine man.
Shapeshifter: An innocent, starving wolf believed to be a lycanthrope is pursued through a seventeenth-century French town in this black comedy of errors.
Wolfsheim: A graduate student in 1970’s West Germany researches his thesis on Hitler’s Nazi Werewolves post-war resistance program in a remote Bavarian village.
Hitchhikers: A newly married couple encounter two mysterious girls late one night while driving through a remote part of the Navajo reservation.
Ivan: A young geek bullied by classmates dreams of being a serial killer.
Sorcerer: A retired sorcerer named Jack Thurston in New Mexico revives his black arts to avenge the death of his daughter and grandchild in childbirth in horrific fashion.
Under the Willow: Jack Thurston returns to New Mexico from living a dissolute life in Central America to help defend his simple, lovable brother against a neighborhood menace.
Alien Embrace: An astronaut on a distant planet finds himself trapped in a horror-filled world trapped between dream, nightmare, and reality.
The flash fiction stories (1,000 words or less) includes:
Murder by Plastic: A mafioso catches up with the man he believes ran down his son in a city street.
Alain Devereux Falls in Love: A twisted sorcerer falls in love with and unlucky lady.
Necromancers: A sorcerer summons a vengeful former master from Hell. Jack Thurston assists.
The microfiction stories (less than 300 words) includes:
Love of a Stunning Woman: A psychopath falls in and out of love.
Special: A psychopath explains what happened on his last visit to his psychiatrist.
Note “Alien Embrace” is sold separately as a novelette. Follow this link to read a sample.
Also note that the three stories involving Jack Thurston are sold separately in the collection Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston. Follow this link to read a sample from “Sorcerer”.
Comments on previously published stories include:
Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”
Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:
“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”
“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”
” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”
Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:
“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”
“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”
“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”
“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”
Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:
“Chilling and brilliantly economical”
“Very well-paced and intriguing”
“Fabulous story! Five stars!”