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Publisher's Summary

It was a killer year for horror fiction of the harder kind. Authors, editors, and publishers presented readers with some startling works of horrific imagination, stories graphic in the extreme yet with subtleties suggesting larger meanings, tales that explore humanity by plumbing depths of soulless inhumanity and, in some cases, outright depravity. The stories here represent the best of them, disturbing tales that dig deep and take you into the dark heart of horror itself, unrelenting and unapologetic. 

  • “So Sings the Siren”, by Annie Neugebauer, takes us onto a dark fantasy stage for a one-night-only performance of mythological torture. 
  • Ryan Harding’s “Junk” gets right to the hardcore stuff with the ultimate dick-pic horror tale. 
  • Robert Levy’s “The Cenacle” is a literary cemetery feast you may have a hard time stomaching (Tums won’t save you). 
  • Luciano Marano made his first pro sell when he sold “Burnt” to DOA III, and the tale has its own fiery fetishistic twist. 
  • Tim Waggoner’s “Til Death” is Lovecraftian post-apocalypse horror at its absolute best. 
  • “Letter from Hell” comes with that special delivery you only get from Matt Shaw. 
  • Dani Brown gets down and very dirty in her “Theatrum Mortuum”, which may be the most extreme thing you hear all year. 
  • In “Bernadette”, Ramiro Perez de Pereda gets medieval in his tale of a djinn summoned by a desperate priest. 
  • Brian Hodge takes you on a trip to Mexico you will never forget in “West of Matamoros, North of Hell”.
  • Bracken MacLeod’s “Reprising Her Role” takes us behind the scenes of a porno snuff film for a gut-wrenching reprisal and unexpected bonus footage. 
  • A real-life death threat inspired Doug Ford’s “The Watcher”, and we think it shows. 
  • “Scratching from the Outer Darkness” showcases Tim Curran’s descriptive prowess and gives you a tale of hardcore Cthulhu mythos. 
  • Brace yourself when Adam Howe’s “Foreign Bodies” takes you deep into the bowels of a nasty abyss. 
  • Sean Patrick Hazlett introduces us to “Adramelech”, an ancient demon with a taste for broiled children. 
  • Scott Smith (A Simple Plan and The Ruins) wraps up this year’s fat package of the hard stuff in a big bloody bow with “The Dogs”. The canines in this tale are not "man’s best friend" variety, nor are they woman’s besties, as you will see. 
  • And many more!

Thanks for coming along into this year’s heart of hardcore darkness. We hope to see you on the other side. 

©2018 Comet Press (P)2018 Comet Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT ASSORTMENT!

I really enjoy horror stories. This book is so full of different scenarios that it is impossible not to find a few to your liking. The narration was good and kept you entertained. These authors did a great job with their characters considering they were all short stories. This was the third book and I can't wait to read the first 2 books in this series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More hits than misses in this collection

I know that when I read/listen to short story compilations, I won't enjoy every single story. I call it a win if I can pick out a half dozen that resonate. In this audiobook, I'm happy to have found several stories here that I really enjoyed: "Burnt", "Til Death", "Bernadette", "Reprising Her Role", "Treehuggers", "West of Matamoros, North of Hell", "Ultra", and "The Dogs" were the ones that stood out for me personally. Everyone has different preferences and thresholds when it comes to hardcore horror, and I"m not sure that I'd classify all of my favourites here as hardcore. Of my handful of favourites, I'd consider "Burnt" and "West of Matamoros, North of Hell" to definitely align with my internal definition of hardcore horror, and maybe also "The Dogs".

When I see a book titled "Volume 3", my subconscious grades the content as somehow inferior to the stories that would make the cut in "Volume 1" or "Volume 2". That's why I suppose I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of these stories were so compelling (in a hardcore horror sort of way).

I really enjoyed the narrator - I'm a fan of alto female voices for narrators and I liked her dispassionate tone as she was narrating. It seemed to fit well with this genre of audiobook because it shifted the focus to the stories and let the words speak for themselves. A hyper-emotional narration would have been overkill, I think. It occurred to me as I was listening to the audiobook that the narrator does good accented voices, too. I'm not sure how authentic they are to the specific regions where the stories took place, but I found them to be quite compelling. I didn't give five stars for narration because I felt that the pace was a bit too slow; once I increased the playback speed to 1.25x, I hit a sustainable comfort zone with the narration.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • Vermont
  • 10-10-18

Fantastic narrator!!

There were a few short stories that made me laugh entirely too long. Like “Junk” featuring Nick, who likes to flash his stuff and gets his own facial from someone upping the ante on flashing genitals. That was quite an interesting story! It ending up… well bloody! My delicious need for revenge was definitely satisfied! Some were creppily scary, some not so much, some… ok, a lot, were really gory and a bit gross! I seriously LOVED it!

The narrator, Angel Leigh McCoy, had an amazing voice. She narrated the entire 15 hours. I was captivated by her voice. It was fascinating… her voice could give me chills but it also could confuse me and give me this false sense of ease. Ms. McCoy was really able to channel all the various characters… and there were a lot. She did a young ladies voice… an old ladies voice. She was a fantastic narrator, really could be a top favorite!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Twisted and Entertaining and at times boring

Definitely a mixed bag .. wouldn't say horror would be a proper description but still I found the stories to Entertaining some more then others. Some are great .. Some just kinda dumb ... but still enjoy the series. Definitely would recommend if you just want anything goes hardcore twisted short stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KD
  • Somewhere
  • 10-07-18

Great collection in time for the holidays!

The thing about short stories is they only stay for as long as they are welcome. Sometimes you want more but that's a good thing. Not every story was great but at least it was short and the great ones really stick with you.