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Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. Contents List: THE GOD BAG by Christopher Golden CAKER’S MAN by Matthew Holness THE BEECHFIELD MIRACLES by Priya Sharma CLOCKWORK by Dan Coxon SOAPSTONE by Aliya Whiteley THE DARK BIT by Toby Litt PROVENANCE POND by Josh Malerman FOR ALL THE DEAD by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten THE GIRL IN THE POOL by Bracken MacLeod NURSE VARDEN by Jeremy Dyson IF, THEN by Lisa L. Hannett AQUARIUM WARD by Karter Mycroft A MYSTERY FOR JULIE CHU by Stephen Gallagher AWAY DAY by Lisa Tuttle POLAROID AND SEAWEED by Peter Harness DER GEISTERBAHNHOF by Lynda E. Rucker ARNIE’S ASHES by John Everson A BRIEF TOUR OF THE NIGHT by Nathan Ballingrud THE CARE AND FEEDING OF HOUSEHOLD GODS by Frank J. Oreto YELLOWBACK by Gemma Files


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Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. Contents List: THE GOD BAG by Christopher Golden CAKER’S MAN by Matthew Holness THE BEECHFIELD MIRACLES by Priya Sharma CLOCKWORK by Dan Coxon SOAPSTONE by Aliya Whiteley THE DARK BIT by Toby Litt PROVENANCE POND by Josh Malerman FOR ALL THE DEAD by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten THE GIRL IN THE POOL by Bracken MacLeod NURSE VARDEN by Jeremy Dyson IF, THEN by Lisa L. Hannett AQUARIUM WARD by Karter Mycroft A MYSTERY FOR JULIE CHU by Stephen Gallagher AWAY DAY by Lisa Tuttle POLAROID AND SEAWEED by Peter Harness DER GEISTERBAHNHOF by Lynda E. Rucker ARNIE’S ASHES by John Everson A BRIEF TOUR OF THE NIGHT by Nathan Ballingrud THE CARE AND FEEDING OF HOUSEHOLD GODS by Frank J. Oreto YELLOWBACK by Gemma Files

30 review for Beyond the Veil

  1. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    I love short horror stories. Anthologies are my addiction and I pick them up whenever I can. I read and enjoyed last year's anthology from Flame Tree Press (After Sundown) and I was so excited to see that they will continue this annual tradition. This year's offering, Beyond The Veil may be even spookier and darker than the first volume. The first story The God Bag by Christopher Golden is about a woman near the end of her days, who has managed to keep a secret from her family until now. It raise I love short horror stories. Anthologies are my addiction and I pick them up whenever I can. I read and enjoyed last year's anthology from Flame Tree Press (After Sundown) and I was so excited to see that they will continue this annual tradition. This year's offering, Beyond The Veil may be even spookier and darker than the first volume. The first story The God Bag by Christopher Golden is about a woman near the end of her days, who has managed to keep a secret from her family until now. It raises the bar pretty high for those that have to follow, and yet the majority of these tales managed to keep up the deliciously grim tone that blasts off from the beginning, leading us through a procession of the macabre. Another story in the same vein was The Care And Feeding of Household Gods by Frank J. Oreto in which a happily married stay at home dad finds a bit of otherworldly help to get through his daily chores. I was holding my breath at the end of this one, afraid of where it was going to take me. Caker's Man by Matthew Holness was downright scary. A neighbor who has never bothered to introduce himself in the year since he's moved in suddenly becomes extremely pushy in very creepy ways. The Dark Bit by Toby Litt is a gruesome work of body horror not for the squeamish. For All The Dead by Angeline B Adams and Remco Van Straten takes place in a small coastal village where the women know that their men may not always return from the sea. This was suspenseful, sad, and spooky all at once. Away Day by Lisa Tuttle is about a woman who is always left out of everything, until at last she finds a place to belong. These are just a few of what for me were 5 star reads. If you enjoy short horror stories you are going to want to add this to your collection. I received an advance copy from Flame Tree Press under no obligation to write a review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Armand Rosamilia

    There are some amazing stories in this anthology, too many to name. Not a bad story in the bunch, either, and I found a few new authors to read further, too. Along with some of my favorites in the horror community, too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    I'm the first person to review this excellent frightfest. Woohoo. Let's do this... What scares you? Present day offers more than enough to fear even before supernatural enters the equation. Horror is a genre solely devoted to finding out the buttons and pushing them, often to cathartic ends. It allows a certain kind of release, conquering imagined terrors makes it easier to deal with the real ones. I recently read a study demonstrating that people who are horror fans, survivalists, preppers, etc. I'm the first person to review this excellent frightfest. Woohoo. Let's do this... What scares you? Present day offers more than enough to fear even before supernatural enters the equation. Horror is a genre solely devoted to finding out the buttons and pushing them, often to cathartic ends. It allows a certain kind of release, conquering imagined terrors makes it easier to deal with the real ones. I recently read a study demonstrating that people who are horror fans, survivalists, preppers, etc. have fared nicer during the sh*tshow of 2020 than those who are not. The miracles of properly tweaked mentality and all that. And with that in mind what is scarier than death? The awareness or our mortality is, after all, what (allegedly) separates us from other species. What a perfectly readymade subject for a horror anthology. Enter this book. A collection of short stories seemingly born directly out of 2020 with several well known names and many perfectly worthy contributions from lesser known ones. Which is to say I never heard of the majority of the authors but about 5 or 6 very well known names to genre fans and this didn’t really affect the overall quality very much either. In fact, Malerman’s (a recognizable name for sure,) contribution was pretty underwhelming., as opposed to the first story by Christopher Golden (another genre luminary) who absolutely nailed it with a gut whammy of a story. And most of these assorted tales are about death . Different styles, different approaches, but it’s always there. With a notable exception of a wildly incongruous random ditty about fairies. I can’t say all of these stories were equally good, that’s seldom the case with such a variety, but the overall quality was very good indeed. The middle sagged some, which is sometimes the case with anthologies and old mattresses, but there was a good number of stories that did shine brightly all around. Or maybe shine isn’t quite the right verb for something so thematically bleak and depressing, but you know… My favorite was the one about a mystery robot. Stories 1 and 19 were good too. There was a strictly literary quality bar here that even John Everson with his traditionally lowbrow erotica didn’t manage to bring down. Beyond the Veil takes you beyond the pale of everyday world. It scares all too well with nightmares contained within its pages. This is proper literary horror at its best. An elegant and terrifying contemplation of mortality. Read it if you dare. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley. This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    Once again, Morris has assembled an impressive line-up of the top names in the genre. Beyond The Veil contains 20 original horror stories. Sixteen stories have been commissioned from established authors. Four have been selected from the stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. I found Morris' previous anthology, After Sundown, more exciting and more consistent - I enjoyed most stories it featured. In Beyond The Veil I loved some of the stories, disliked more than a few Once again, Morris has assembled an impressive line-up of the top names in the genre. Beyond The Veil contains 20 original horror stories. Sixteen stories have been commissioned from established authors. Four have been selected from the stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. I found Morris' previous anthology, After Sundown, more exciting and more consistent - I enjoyed most stories it featured. In Beyond The Veil I loved some of the stories, disliked more than a few, and didn't care about a few. My favorite story is, without a doubt, Alita Whiteley's Soapstone. It starts as a mundane tale of grief but turns into something else and ends up giving you shivers. Gemma Files' Yellowback is an interesting take on cosmic horror with a surprising ending and fun story. Beyond The Veil is a solid horror anthology. Every fan of horror short stories will find something to terrify them. ARC through NetGalley

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kat Dietrich

    Beyond the Veil, edited by Mark Morris is an anthology of short horror stories. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Flame Tree Press and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis and Opinions: As always with an anthology, I will be reviewing each separately.   There are 20 short stories, a few from authors known to me, but most of these authors are new to me.  A lot of these are about death, in som Beyond the Veil, edited by Mark Morris is an anthology of short horror stories. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Flame Tree Press and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis and Opinions: As always with an anthology, I will be reviewing each separately.   There are 20 short stories, a few from authors known to me, but most of these authors are new to me.  A lot of these are about death, in some for or another. So, let us begin: The God Bag by Christopher Golden (American) ... A woman writes her wishes down and places them in her "God Bag".  Some on white paper, and some on red. OMG...Loved it.  5 stars Man by Matthew Holness (British) ...  The neighbour across the street insists on providing cake for a mother and 3 children, but he's a creep.  Later, the baby-sitter takes over the cake thing. The whole story is creepy!  4 stars The Beechfield Miracles by Priya Sharma (British) ... A journalist investigates a young woman.  Is she a miracle worker, or just a charismatic leader of a cult?   WOW, that was really good. 5 stars Clockwork by Dan Coxon (British) ... A daughter, after burying her father, finds pieces of an automaton in his flower bed.  Didn't really enjoy this one, although it did have a certain creep factor, and the writing was fine. 3 stars Soapstone by Aliya Whiteley (British) ... A young woman deals with the death of a friend, or not.  This was creepy, but there was something missing.  3 stars The Dark Bit by Toby Litt (British) ... A couple get "threads" running through their bodies when entering a certain area of their home, and they deal with them.  This was simply wonderful.  5 stars Provenance Pond by Josh Malerman (American) ... A young woman thinks back to her childhood, and her imaginary friends.  This was a little disappointing from one of my favorite authors.  3 stars For All The Dead by Angeline B. Adams (Irish) and Remco van Straten (Dutch) ... A story about men lost at sea, and the women who wait for them.  This one did nothing for me, as it was more sad than scary.  1 star The Girl in the Pool by Bracken MacLeod (American) ... A thief who always wanted to be a good person has the opportunity, or so he thinks.  Good writing, but missing something.  3 stars Nurse Vaden by Jeremy Dyson (American) ... A man tries to determine why he has a fear of being unconscious.  Interesting, but the ending could have been better.  3 stars If, Then by Lisa L. Hannett (Australian) ... A gardener experiments on his loved one to heal her.  This one did nothing for me.  1 star Aquarium Ward by Karter Mycroft (American) ... A bug from beneath the sea emerges, and a doctor will do anything to save his patients.  Interesting!  4 stars A Mystery for Julie Chue by Stephen Gallagher (British) ... A young woman with a knack for finding worthwhile garage sale items. Absolutely loved it!  5 stars Away Day  by Lisa Tuttle (Scottish) ... A young woman on a team-building day gets lost.  It was okay, but I didn't really like it.  2 stars Polaroid and Seaweed by Peter Harness (British) ... A young child, whose mother left him, decides his real mother came from the sea.  Disturbing.  2 stars Der Geisterbahnhof by Lynda E. Rucker (American) ... A young woman goes with an old "friend" and some others in search of a ghost station in Berlin.  Eerie, but confusing.  2 stars Arnie's Ashes by John Everson (American) ... Arnie may have been cremated, but his friends keep seeing his face.  This was comical, in a strange way.  I loved it.  5 stars A Brief Tour of the Night by Nathan Ballingrud (American) ...  A man talks to ghosts, who sometimes answer him.  Great story.  5 stars The Care and Feeding of Household Gods by Frank J. Oreto (American) ... A stay-at-home father figures out a way to keep the children happy, the house spotless, and elegant meals prepared.  This, although a little disturbing at times, was good.  4 stars by Gemma Files (British) ... A virus which attacks women by covering their face and chest with a mask is running rampant throughout the world.  That was different, but good. 4 stars Overall, there are a lot of good stories in this bunch, more than normal in an anthology.  I never expect to love them all, but I was surprised at the amount that I did.  Yes, there were some that weren't my cup of tea, but those may be yours, so yes, you should take a chance on this book. Happy reading!  For a more complete review of this book and others (including the reason I chose to read/review this book, and a favorite quotation from it), please visit my blog: http://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Beyond the Veil gathers 20 horror short stories. I had the best time reading this varied collection of creepiness! I love short story anthologies, especially scary ones. So, I took my time....savoring each story and just enjoying the horror. Most of these writers are unfamiliar to me, which put a bit more fun in the mix. I love trying out new-to-me authors and adding their books/stories to my TBR. New styles. New ideas. Different shades of horror. Loved it! My favorite story? So hard to choose o Beyond the Veil gathers 20 horror short stories. I had the best time reading this varied collection of creepiness! I love short story anthologies, especially scary ones. So, I took my time....savoring each story and just enjoying the horror. Most of these writers are unfamiliar to me, which put a bit more fun in the mix. I love trying out new-to-me authors and adding their books/stories to my TBR. New styles. New ideas. Different shades of horror. Loved it! My favorite story? So hard to choose one -- I enjoyed reading every single one. But if I have to pick one....I'd choose: Arnie's Ashes by John Everson. I've read several of Everson's books....and this short story was short and creepy. Loved it! But, like I said, all of the stories in this book are good! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this story anthology from Flame Tree Press. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  7. 4 out of 5

    LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)

    Last year I read and enjoyed the previous short story collection from Flame Tree Press, After Sundown, last year, so I was eager to see what was on offer this year. Beyond The Veil is a collection of short horror stories with something for every type of horror fan, from classic monster tales to mind bending sci-fi to gruesome body horror. I will just put a trigger warning here before I go any further. This novel contains themes of grief, suicide, child abuse, and the death of an animal. In all ho Last year I read and enjoyed the previous short story collection from Flame Tree Press, After Sundown, last year, so I was eager to see what was on offer this year. Beyond The Veil is a collection of short horror stories with something for every type of horror fan, from classic monster tales to mind bending sci-fi to gruesome body horror. I will just put a trigger warning here before I go any further. This novel contains themes of grief, suicide, child abuse, and the death of an animal. In all honesty, most of the authors were unknown to me, so it was nice to find some new authors to add to my must read list. Like most types of collections, I found it a good mix of styles. Of course, there were some stories I enjoyed more than others. My standouts were: God Bag. The story that followed a man and his dying mum who was in the last grips of dementia. She carried around a strange little God bag containing prayers that started off innocently enough until he started digging. It was both heartbreaking and creepy at the same time. For All The Dead. A historical story about a young woman who lived in a small fishing village, where life and death were controlled by the sea. There was almost a fairytale-like quality to this one that I found magical. The Girl In The Pool. A thief breaks into a house planning to rob the place, instead finds a young girl dead in the pool. This was a gripping tale of monsters and morality. A Mystery for Julie Chu. A young woman has a knack for finding strange artifacts, but when she picks up an old radio from a car boot sale, she gets more than she bargained for. I loved the mix of mystery and spookiness of this one. The care and feeding of household gods. This is a story about a stay at home dad who makes household gods to help him get everything done. This one took me by surprise, starting off innocent enough, then got more and more sinister. I still can't stop thinking about this one! I would highly recommend Beyond The Veil if you're looking for a variety of short, sharp and shocking stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Van Damme

    Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. I will admit I didn’t know many of the contributi Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. I will admit I didn’t know many of the contributing authors but I’d had such a fabulous time with After Sundown, the first volume in this anthology series, that I jumped at the chance to read Beyond the Veil. I have no regrets: like its predecessor, Beyond the Veil is an eclectic collection of stories, tackling many of the horror subgenres. I love short stories, but I’m very particular about them: I need them to tell me a full story in a limited number of pages, the ideal short story is a novel told in a fraction of the pages it would normally take to tell. There is not one short story in this collection that doesn’t meet that requirement, which made me a very happy reader. I had a great time with this anthology! It’s perfect for reading back to back, which I did when I started it on a Sunday, but also for dipping into when you have a limited amount of reading time available, which I did when I continued reading it during the workweek. For those of you who like to know exactly what they’re buying, here’s an overview: THE GOD BAG by Christopher Golden: the first story in this anthology and boy what a story it is. The narrator’s mum is dying, her mind is going, honestly that’s a scary story all on its own, but there is one thing she refuses to let go of: her God bag. When the narrator and the reader find out what exactly that bag contains… well, it might not have been the hugest of surprises for this reader but I sure as hell hoped I was wrong. A full story in few pages, The God Bag is possibly my favourite story in this collection. Golden will have a new book out early next year, Road of Bones, that was on my radar before but it has just climbed to the top of my wishlist. CAKER’S MAN by Matthew Holness: so creepy, birthday cake is ruined forever. THE BEECHFIELD MIRACLES by Priya Sharma: an understated piece of psychological horror that is weirdly thought-provoking and ends with a bang that made me hungry for more. CLOCKWORK by Dan Coxon: short but sweet. A tad disturbing, with the sting in its tail. SOAPSTONE by Aliya Whiteley: the aftermath of the death of a friend. THE DARK BIT by Toby Litt: a chilling slice of body horror that made me cringe in a very good way. PROVENANCE POND by Josh Malerman: from the author of Bird Box comes an atmospheric story about a girl, a pond and imaginary friends, or are they? FOR ALL THE DEAD by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten: in a small coastal town, the people are subject to a sea that is a fickle mistress: “she may hear you but never does she obey”. THE GIRL IN THE POOL by Bracken MacLeod: an unsettling tale about a burglar who interrupts his thievery to save a drowning girl from a pool, but where did she come from and does she really need to be saved? NURSE VARDEN by Jeremy Dyson: a trip down memory lane can be dangerous… An addictive story whose ending left me craving more. IF, THEN by Lisa L. Hannett: a gardener and a lady’s maid and ifs leading to thens. To be honest, I’m still not sure what this was about, I have a theory, but am I right? I’ll never know and there is a certain charm in that. AQUARIUM WARD by Karter Mycroft: blue-eyed bugs that are watching and waiting, superpowered meth, feds in hazmat suits: a dystopian tale told with a certain urgency, I loved it. A MYSTERY FOR JULIE CHU by Stephen Gallagher: a hugely entertaining – if not that scary – story about a girl with a knack for finding treasure among junk. AWAY DAY by Lisa Tuttle: I had no idea where it would go but I loved where I ended up with it, one of my favourites in this anthology. POLAROID AND SEAWEED by Peter Harness: Christ on a cracker, what the hell did I just read?! A story that brought out many emotions in me, from pity to disgust and pretty much everything in between. DER GEISTERBAHNHOF by Lynda E. Rucker: a tragic and unsettling story set in Berlin. ARNIE’S ASHES by John Everson: Arnie is dead and his friends have the ashes to prove it. But then why are there people knocking on the door wearing Arnie’s face? A bit yuck, but very entertaining! A BRIEF TOUR OF THE NIGHT by Nathan Ballingrud: one that pulled on my heartstrings quite unexpectedly and one I definitely will revisit. THE CARE AND FEEDING OF HOUSEHOLD GODS by Frank J. Oreto: simply excellent! The suspense left me breathless and I’m still not sure what it says about me that I felt such relief at the denouement… YELLOWBACK by Gemma Files: a horrific, terrifying and nauseating story, seriously I was so happy I wasn’t anywhere near food while I was reading this. 100% eww but a great way to finish this collection.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    The book is a horror anthology of twenty stories. The book does not have a theme to it except that it is horror. Many of the authors that are included in this anthology’s reply top notched writers. The stories are scary and surprising. This is an excellent way to see what is currently being written in the horror genre. It covers the wide genre of horror. I think it’s a great collection! There is a story for everyone — horror lover or not. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author The book is a horror anthology of twenty stories. The book does not have a theme to it except that it is horror. Many of the authors that are included in this anthology’s reply top notched writers. The stories are scary and surprising. This is an excellent way to see what is currently being written in the horror genre. It covers the wide genre of horror. I think it’s a great collection! There is a story for everyone — horror lover or not. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    Beyond the Veil is a solid anthology of horror stories that wasn’t really to my taste. The stories were almost uniformly dark and depressing, with themes of illness and death. From the title and cover I was expecting something a little different, maybe ghostier. The writing in each of the stories is decent, but doesn’t stand out (many of the stories had the same voice to me); I prefer a more literary style of horror. I've read a couple of Morris's previous anthologies (the New Fears books) and fo Beyond the Veil is a solid anthology of horror stories that wasn’t really to my taste. The stories were almost uniformly dark and depressing, with themes of illness and death. From the title and cover I was expecting something a little different, maybe ghostier. The writing in each of the stories is decent, but doesn’t stand out (many of the stories had the same voice to me); I prefer a more literary style of horror. I've read a couple of Morris's previous anthologies (the New Fears books) and found the writing there to be more to my taste. I think if I’d read each story on its own, in other anthologies, I might have liked more of them, but there wasn’t enough variation for me, and I desperately need to read something happy now. Yes, horror can be depressing and gross, but I also love horror that’s beautiful, and hopeful, and tells me something new about the world. My favourite stories from the anthology were: - Priya Sharma’s Beechfield Miracles, a near-future setting, a jaded journalist, a possible messiah, and an ambiguous ending - Provenance Pond by Josh Malerman, which had some great creepiness and weirdness - For all the Dead by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten, with a wonderful sense of place and character in the fishing village in this story - A Mystery for Julie Chu - the title character stood out to me particularly in this anthology because she was a good person dealing with weird things happening; the story had a fun Twilight Zone feel to it I think this would be a great anthology for someone who enjoys horror that basks in the worst of humanity, and who is interested in the kind of horror inspired by the pandemic. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this review copy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Harris

    Following on from last year's anthology After Sundown, editor Mark Morris's new collection of stories Beyond the Veil is an eclectic sampling of modern horror, touching upon so many varieties of the genre beyond the spooky house or violent slasher. In some of the most shocking stories, the darkness comes from bleak relationships or social isolation rather than the overt supernatural. Consider Soapstone, for example, in which Aliya Whiteley looks at the aftermath of a funeral. Jen has chickened o Following on from last year's anthology After Sundown, editor Mark Morris's new collection of stories Beyond the Veil is an eclectic sampling of modern horror, touching upon so many varieties of the genre beyond the spooky house or violent slasher. In some of the most shocking stories, the darkness comes from bleak relationships or social isolation rather than the overt supernatural. Consider Soapstone, for example, in which Aliya Whiteley looks at the aftermath of a funeral. Jen has chickened out from attending her friend Sam's send-off. In a sensitive and poignant (and sympathetic) examination of death we see something of what he meant to her, but her reaction seems extreme even before taking a turn for the weird and the horrific. This does though seem to exemplify something about modern society and its capacity for distraction. One of my favourites in this volume. Or Away Day by Lisa Tuttle, which updates an old folk motif - I won't say which for fear of spoilers. I will just say that the horror in Kirsty's team-bonding weekend seems to lie in her dreadful colleagues and frosty husband - but maybe there's worse in the woods? Or look at A Mystery For Julie Chu, in which Stephen Gallagher gives us what could almost be a pilot for an urban fantasy series. Julie makes a bit of money on the side by spotting useful stuff in car boot sales and selling it on to auction houses. She seems to have a knack for spotting things that will command a good price for, well, esoteric reasons. Things that aren't auctioned publicly but which will find just the right client. But that can lead to some dark places and reveal some dark secrets. Does the horror come from what's revealed here, or simply from the way it happens? Either way, an enjoyable, twisty and well realised tale. Clockwork by Dan Coxon is also an eerie little tale, a story of abuse, revenge and obsession in a potentially slightly steampunky alternative present. I loved what it doesn't tell us - why, after a pitiful funeral, a young woman is so eager to dig up her father's rhododendrons. She finds something down there, but was she looking for it? Is what happens after intentional? That mystery adds to the claustrophobic texture of a story set largely in one down-at-heel home. I should say, to the multiple mysteries: we don't get all the answers. There are also more traditional stories. For All the Dead by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten takes place in the Saltcamp, a small fishing village on, I think, the Dutch coast. It's an atmospheric, sea-drenched story focussing on young Hanne whose father was lost, with many other men of the place, in a catastrophe at sea. The story is steeped in the superstition of those whose lives depend on the unpredictable sea. It's a place and time where customs are fiercely protected and change is distrusted. A real classic ghost story, to read on a dark night when the wind is growing. And years ago (before I was blogging) I loved Jeremy Dyson's collection The Cranes that Build the Cranes - it's great to see a new short story form him. In Nurse Varden, Brosnan needs an operation on his knee, but a pathological fear of being unconscious holds him back. Seeking therapy to overcome his problem, he tries to recall his earliest memory... from what seems liken a simply phobia, Dyson creates a really creepy story of compulsion, bristling with suppression and darkness. A real chiller. Those are only some of my favourites. Mark Morris has assembled stories from more than twenty writers, some I'd encountered before but most of whom were new to me. It's one of the joys of a collection like this that one will encounter new writers and new writing and, prompted, look out for their future appearances. I think there will be something here for everyone. In The God Bag by Christopher Golden, an elderly woman, suffering from dementia and other illnesses, draws comfort from what she refers to as her "God Bag" - which contains scraps of paper on which she's written heartfelt prayers, both weighty and trivial. Caker's Man by Matthew Holness is a really dark story in which so much might be taken more than one way. An innocent gift of cake? A lonely neighbour who simply want to be friends with a young family? Where is the line crossed, and how exactly? Holness's story expertly keeps one doubting, from that first line - 'They keep asking me...' Who are asking, and why, and why don't Toby's answers satisfy? Priya Sharma's The Beechfield Miracles is set in a new future, decaying UK ('Brexit Britain. Blackout Britain. Britain on the brink.') in which Rob Miller, a notorious journalist, sets out to investigate one of the vestigial reasons for hope - a (perhaps) miracle worker who's giving the poor new hope, rescuing the vulnerable and, we learn, punishing the wicked. What's her secret? We're left wondering if the horror is what surrounds,. or what may come. The Dark Bit by Toby Litt features a comfortably-off urban couple, Pyotr and Anaïs, who Pyotr admits won't garner sympathy (mid-thirties, corporate... South London') whose lives are about to be seriously derailed (or have been - for reasons the story makes clear, Pyotr is recalling what happened). It's an intensely creepy story of something going gradually wrong. Whether in reality, or in a kind of collective delusion, is never clear but, oh, it's scarily plausible and made me want to switch all the lights on and sweep out all the dark bits ion my own home. In Josh Malerman's Provenance Pond, Rose plays by a pond at the end of her garden. She meets imaginary friends there. All seems harmless enough, but her parents, and particularly her father, object, telling her she should be growing up. Yes, Rose's friend, especially Theo, seem a bit weird but can this justify what her father does? But then Malerman pulls away the rug, twisting things round so that the whole story appears in a new light, commenting on the relationship between childhood and adulthood and the peculiar dynamics of families. A moment of enlightenment but still a very scary one! The Girl in the Pool by Bracken MacLeod is a third story exploring the fear and peril to be found in water - but we move from the dark and cold and wind of the Old World to the heat and dappled light of the new, and from seasalt to the chlorine of a swimming pool, as Rory sets out to burgle a wealthy mansion. He's done his homework and nobody should be at home, but makes a nasty discovery. A bitter little example of that theme of classic horror, the trespasser who gets more then they expected, I found this one enjoyable on every level. If, Then by Lisa L. Hannett is a clever take on a fairytale theme - the briar-encrusted castle, the sleeping princess, the faithful gardener are all there... as are the nobles clearing the thorny growth from the enchanted building. But nothing is quite what it seems here. Hannett pivots her story from charming and romantic to horrific and... other things I won't mention for fear of spoilers... in the blink of an eye. The sounds of the exes from outside may build tension, but it's what's going on inside that brings the real dread. Aquarium Ward by Karter Mycroft evokes some of the feelings of the current pandemic - the new condition springing from nowhere, overwhelmed medical staff and and an atmosphere of frenzy and even suspicion. But with the presence of mysterious law enforcement operatives hauling away victims, a fatal condition and a miraculous cure, one overworked doctor begins to think they see a pattern in events... grim, heart-thumping horror in this one. In Polaroid And Seaweed by Peter Harness, my heart really went out to sad little Danile, a boy who never seems to get a break in life. The horror, again, seems to come from humdrum things: a difficult home situation, horrible kids at school who scent blood and go after him like a pack. But, again, there may be worse things at sea? This one definitely left me wondering, and thinking. Are you intrigued by abandoned urban sites - lost metro stations, for example? If so, Der Geisterbahnhof by Lynda E. Rucker is for you. Set in Berlin, this sees Abby's past reach out to her - in a city that has so much past. Rucker seems to be able to evoke all those layers, all that horror, as Abby navigates her way around the city, eventually receiving an invitation that she she can't quite see her way to refusing. Chilling and unusual. Arnie's Ashes by John Everson evokes the sticky, seedy horror of the sprawling modern city - the things that may breed in darkness in the corners of the "adult" club, its impact on those living precarious lives in cheap lodgings, and the means that may need to take top defend themselves. Grimly funny, this is monster horror a million miles from the gothic castle or whispering wood. In A Brief Tour Of The Night by Nathan Ballingrud, we see something of the same world as in Arnie's Ashes - desperate men and women living on the edge, always one payday away from ruin, but the story reminds us that there are others caught up in that world too. Allen, a figure hated and derided in his community is able to see ghosts. But what does he seem to welcome that? Who does he want to come to him on his nocturnal walks? In their very different ways, though, the two stories that close the book encapsulate for me the essence of horror. The Care And Feeding Of Household Gods by Frank J. Oreto was I think the most horrific story in this book. It's hard to say anything about it without giving too much away - as the title hints, it features a particularly ancient superstition which ought to hold no traction in the modern day but which surprisingly does. Then Oreto takes that idea and lets it run. Where might we end up...? Finally, Yellowback by Gemma Files is one of several stories here with a pandemic influence. Women are being struck down by a strange skin condition which results in their faces scabbing over, ending up producing a yellow-brown, chitin-like mask whose detaching marks the end of a painful and unpleasant illness, almost invariably resulting in death. The rapid speed of this affliction has produced all sorts of ructions in society, including firing misogyny, but as Files hints there's something else at work besides a new pathogen. The attentive reader may notice implicit references here to something older, deeper and distinctly creepy. So - overall, this is a very strong collection indeed, one I'd unreservedly recommend. For more information about Beyond the Veil, see the publisher's website here. As well as visiting the other stops on the blogtour, which are set out on the poster below.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John J Questore

    First, I need to thank Flame Tree Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, I’m not sure they’re going to provide me with any others after providing said review. While this wasn’t the worst anthology I’ve ever read, it certainly ranks in the top five; which is surprising seeing the talent amassed within. The anthology starts off with a bang. A very enjoyable story with an unforeseen ending; and like a roller-coaster that reached it’s highest peak, what followed was, for the most First, I need to thank Flame Tree Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, I’m not sure they’re going to provide me with any others after providing said review. While this wasn’t the worst anthology I’ve ever read, it certainly ranks in the top five; which is surprising seeing the talent amassed within. The anthology starts off with a bang. A very enjoyable story with an unforeseen ending; and like a roller-coaster that reached it’s highest peak, what followed was, for the most part, downhill. I felt a lot of the stories were unfinished, disjointed, confusing, and/or just unentertaining. I was only able to read one story at a time, and on a few of them, found myself rereading sentences because I either dozed off, or didn’t understand what was written. Now, this isn’t to say there weren’t some standouts: THE GOD BAG - Christopher Golden CLOCKWORK - Dan Coxon PROVENANCE POND - Josh Malerman THE GIRL IN THE POND - Bracken MacLeod A MYSTERY FOR JULIE CHU ARNIE’S ASHES - John Everson THE CARE AND FEEDING OF HOUSEHOLD GODS - Frank J Oreto But those seven only account for 35% of this huge anthology. Had Mark Morris just stuck with that (and maybe one or two as fillers, he would have knocked it out of the park, but I just felt as a whole it fell flat.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This was an explosion of horror from authors that I’ve read a lot of and some brand new authors that I’ll be reading more of in the future! Caker’s Man by Matthew Holness was full of a kind of sinister dread. The wildly inappropriate, but seemingly physically harmless, old man neighbor. He’s off putting and builds enough disgust throughout the story that you know something really bad is coming. The Darkbit by Toby Litt had me visibly cringing. This tale was part “haunted” house and part body horro This was an explosion of horror from authors that I’ve read a lot of and some brand new authors that I’ll be reading more of in the future! Caker’s Man by Matthew Holness was full of a kind of sinister dread. The wildly inappropriate, but seemingly physically harmless, old man neighbor. He’s off putting and builds enough disgust throughout the story that you know something really bad is coming. The Darkbit by Toby Litt had me visibly cringing. This tale was part “haunted” house and part body horror. A Brief Tour of the Night was a spin on the ghost story. Allen is haunted or rather he seeks out ghosts in order to be haunted. But why? The ending is painful and heartbreaking. Yellowback by Gemma Files hits close to home with a pandemic tale. Not our current world or our current pandemic, but still enough similarities to be eerie. The world building was amazing. This could be a novella or even a full fledged novel. Unsettling reads for a dark October night! Hit all the right moods for me!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Woolard

    Let’s start off by saying I love short stories, particularly those in the horror genre. A slow build up of tension over twenty-odd pages before the pay-off - what’s not to like? Here we have 20 tales - edited by Mark Morris - each with a sting in their tail. As he says in his introduction, “If you’re coming to this anthology with the hope of experiencing nothing more than a few cosy and familiar chills... you’re in for a rude awakening.” There are, like in any collection, some stand-outs but these Let’s start off by saying I love short stories, particularly those in the horror genre. A slow build up of tension over twenty-odd pages before the pay-off - what’s not to like? Here we have 20 tales - edited by Mark Morris - each with a sting in their tail. As he says in his introduction, “If you’re coming to this anthology with the hope of experiencing nothing more than a few cosy and familiar chills... you’re in for a rude awakening.” There are, like in any collection, some stand-outs but these in particular sent the most shivers down my spine... The opener, Christopher Golden’s The God Bag finds a son discovering his dementia-suffering mother’s bag of prayer requests in two colours of paper. What’s their relevance and have they all been answered? What would YOU sacrifice for you and your family? The Dark Bit by Toby Litt - a couple can’t quite get at that itch under their skin and go to extreme lengths to relieve it. I actually found myself squirming at this story and if I could shut my eyes while reading, I would have. Clockwork by Dan Coxon - what’s buried in the garden and can it be be rebuilt? Unsettling. A mystery for Julie Chu by Stephen Gallagher - On the hunt for curiosities Julie unearths a frog shaped radio that channels voices of the dead! I’ll steer clear of these weird-looking items in carboot sales from now on. The Care and Feeding of the Household Gods by Frank J. Oreto - a stay-at-home dad relies on some (not-so) higher powers and interesting ingredients for his cuisine. You’ll never look at a hotpot or soufflé in the same way again. Overall a beautifully put together, solid, scary collection after last year’s volume ‘After Sundown’ - ‘Beyond the Veil’ is out in paperback now. Perfect if you love the horror genre in short form, but be warned - you may find yourselves seeking out full length novels from the contributors. I know I will. Thanks to Random Things Tours, Flame Tree Press and Mark Morris for my review copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Bacon

    Beyond the Veil is the second non-themed horror anthology from Flame Tree Press edited by Mark Morris, following on from last year's After Sundown. I had a enjoyable time reading the first book so I approached this one with a great deal of anticipation. I'm pleased to say I was not disappointed. There are 20 stories in Beyond the Veil, 16 of which were commissioned from some of the best writers working today, with the remaining 4 selected from an open submission window in which Morris invited the Beyond the Veil is the second non-themed horror anthology from Flame Tree Press edited by Mark Morris, following on from last year's After Sundown. I had a enjoyable time reading the first book so I approached this one with a great deal of anticipation. I'm pleased to say I was not disappointed. There are 20 stories in Beyond the Veil, 16 of which were commissioned from some of the best writers working today, with the remaining 4 selected from an open submission window in which Morris invited the public to send stories into Flame Tree Press for consideration. This is an ideal way to balance ensuring both a good foundation of quality to the book's contents, whilst also allowing a way to foster fresh talent from emerging writers. An anthology stands or falls by its stories. And yet it's only reasonable to expect that not every story works on the same level for each reader, and so this review comes with the age-old caveat that the stories that I preferred might not necessarily be the ones that are liked by everyone. It's fair to say that Christopher Golden's The God Bag might not have the most original plot, but nevertheless it's delivered in a masterful way. Caker's Man is a wonderfully unsettling tale about a young family's rather grotesque elderly neighbour. The always-brilliant Priya Sharma's contribution, The Beechfield Miracles, is a slice of near-future dystopia, covering Brexit and xenophobia, food-shortages, and a society on the brink of collapse. Its prescient almost-believable truth makes for uncomfortable reading, and it builds to a superb climax. Clockwork by Dan Coxon was another favourite, detailing a man's uncanny discovery of some metal items in his garden, building towards a dark suggestion of what caused the breakdown of his relationship with his recently-deceased father. Aliya Whiteley's Soapstone is dreamlike and hypnotic, and Toby Litt's The Dark Bit is equally as unsettling (in a way that is difficult to describe). Provenance Pond by Josh Malerman is an evocative tale, written from the point of view of ten-year old Rose and her childhood recollections of an area of water in their garden and the shadowy characters that lingered there. Stephen Gallagher - who contributed one of my favourites in a previous anthology edited by Mark Morris, New Fears - here delivers another fine story in A Mystery For Julie Chu, which is incredibly engaging and comes with a satisfying twist. Lisa Tuttle's Away Day concerns a work trip to Inverness in which put-upon Kirsty journeys north, losing her way and finding rather more than she feared. Polaroid and Seaweed is a disturbing, and at times funny, story about troubled child Daniel and his broken family and unpleasant classmates. Lynda E Rucker's Die Geisterbahnhof is a wonderfully-written haunting tale of regret and nostalgia; another highlight. The Care and Feeding of Household Gods by Frank J Oreto reminded me fondly of the Pan Book of Horror Stories with its accessible tone and dark twist. There's a strong sense of body-horror which chimes uncomfortably with the recent global pandemic in Yellowback by Gemma Files, a writer whose work never fails to deliver. There are also stories by Bracken Macleod, Angeline B Adams & Remco van Straten, Lisa L Hannett, Karter Mycroft, John Everson, Nathan Ballingrud, and a rather Tales of the Unexpected-esque story from Jeremy Dyson. There is a high quality of stories here and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good horror story. The themes and styles are varied, and editor Morris – a fine author in his own right – has done a great job of assembling a selection of work that represents contemporary horror in all its forms, highlighting the nuances of the genre and, above all else, entertaining greatly. Recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    Beyond the Veil is the latest horror anthology collection from one of my favorite publishers, Flame Tree Press. It contains 20 short stories by some of the best horror authors. This compilation begins with The God Bag by one of my favorite authors, Christopher Golden. It is a solid 5 stars all by itself. The Care and Feeding of Household Gods by Frank J Creto is also another 5 star story. These two stories alone make this book worth reading. There are also solid stories from Josh Malerman, Steph Beyond the Veil is the latest horror anthology collection from one of my favorite publishers, Flame Tree Press. It contains 20 short stories by some of the best horror authors. This compilation begins with The God Bag by one of my favorite authors, Christopher Golden. It is a solid 5 stars all by itself. The Care and Feeding of Household Gods by Frank J Creto is also another 5 star story. These two stories alone make this book worth reading. There are also solid stories from Josh Malerman, Stephen Gallagher, John Everson, and Gemma Files. Overall, most of the stories are well fleshed out. Of course in any anthology there are stories that don’t necessarily resonate with every reader. That doesn’t mean that the stories aren’t good, just that they aren’t for every reader. I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next anthology collection from Flame Tree Press.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    The new collection from Flame Tree Press is an uneven collection of short stories that worm their way into your subconscious that stay with you long after the final words are read. The stories held within are well put together with a consistent flow from one tale to another. Although with most anthologies, there is an uneven appreciation for some as you find you like some a lot more than others while others make you feel cold. This may have more to do with liking a story so much that the next on The new collection from Flame Tree Press is an uneven collection of short stories that worm their way into your subconscious that stay with you long after the final words are read. The stories held within are well put together with a consistent flow from one tale to another. Although with most anthologies, there is an uneven appreciation for some as you find you like some a lot more than others while others make you feel cold. This may have more to do with liking a story so much that the next one pales in comparison and find when reading an anthology, it is best to read a short and then read something else before moving to the next. This helps me open my mind to the next story to help look at it from a fresh pair of eyes. There are some real gems to be found within the pages and although most are written in the first person, the subject matter still holds some surprises for the narrator. As shorts all come down to personal taste there are some that stand out more than others but personally there really isn’t a bad tale to be told. All are well written and have their own unique style and prose to send a chill up and down the spine. Overall, this dark, twisted collection is recommended and feels that Mark Morris has done an excellent job putting this together. This is a real taster from this group of authors and piques one interest in reading more from everyone involved. It is slightly uneven but there is more excellence than below and even the below only pale to the stories that are around them. On their own, they have their own unique excellence. Recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I've read several horror anthologies lately. I'm impressed with the imagination and variety coming from the writers. Beyond the Veil, from Flame Tree Press, is another happy clump of ickiness...and I mean that in a good way. There's a few stories that seemed like the opening chapters to upcoming books, and that's perfectly all right. I think some authors hash out their novels through the writing of short stories. One, A Mystery for Julie Chu, seemed like a first chapter, had an intriguing subjec I've read several horror anthologies lately. I'm impressed with the imagination and variety coming from the writers. Beyond the Veil, from Flame Tree Press, is another happy clump of ickiness...and I mean that in a good way. There's a few stories that seemed like the opening chapters to upcoming books, and that's perfectly all right. I think some authors hash out their novels through the writing of short stories. One, A Mystery for Julie Chu, seemed like a first chapter, had an intriguing subject about a young woman who sluices out mysterious and magical items at flea markets, and sees a future in buying and selling weirdness. I'd read that one if it gets turned into a novel. Who doesn't want to find something magical at a flea market? There are creepy stories, and gory stories, icky stories and hopeful stories, lots of misunderstood little kids, and one story that is like a fairytale. A woman finally escapes a bad boss, bad co-workers, and a bad husband. Isn't that a real horror story--to be stuck in a rotten job and marriage? I bet we've all dreamed of running away with fairies a time or two in our lives. I know I have, like every other day. One that gave me a chuckle (I'm biased toward funny horror) was The Care and Feeding of Household Gods. If you ever get the urge to draw a face on your jug of laundry detergent, you might want to think twice. And for Heaven's sake, leave the kids' hamster alone. A little bit of something for everyone here. Thanks to Netgalley and Flame Tree for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leah Anderson

    Reading this anthology on the heels of an exceptional one, also here on Net Galley ( “Dark Stars” edited by John F.D. Taff), made the contrast between great and mediocre all the more stark. I do think it started very strong with Christopher Golden’s “The God Bag” but then it just kind of meandered from one forgetful story to another. Priya Sharma is consistently good, and I did enjoy her story,” The Beechfield Miracles” and the stories by Malerman and Everson, were good, but there’s so much that Reading this anthology on the heels of an exceptional one, also here on Net Galley ( “Dark Stars” edited by John F.D. Taff), made the contrast between great and mediocre all the more stark. I do think it started very strong with Christopher Golden’s “The God Bag” but then it just kind of meandered from one forgetful story to another. Priya Sharma is consistently good, and I did enjoy her story,” The Beechfield Miracles” and the stories by Malerman and Everson, were good, but there’s so much that left me frankly, bored. There were several stories I really wanted to love, because I’m a fan of several of the authors that contributed, but they were duds. I don’t want to mention who, and prejudice anyone reading these reviews. Everyone should make up their own minds. I don’t mind saying that as a huge Mark Morris fan, I was a tad disappointed in him as an editor. Other stories I enjoyed were writers I read for the first time including Bracken Macleod (“The Girl in the Pool”) and Frank J. Oreto (“The Care and Feeding of Household Gods”). Unfortunately the ratio of good to not good was less than I’m comfortable with, even though anthologies are typically a mixed bag. I do thank Flame Tree Press for providing me the opportunity to read “Beyond the Veil” because the stories I liked were great little discoveries. Isn’t that part of the danger and allure of horror anthologies? You never know what you’ll get.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Grønsund

    I received an advanced digital copy of this book, courtesy of the author and publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. RTC

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    This brand new, all-original short stories anthology provides a glimpse of the current state of horror themes and brings forth a couple of stand out authors in the genre. The second volume in the anthology series edited by Mark Morrris prides itself in not being a themed commissioned book like others in the market, and it has the advantage of showcasing surprising and random stories in the horror genre without depending on a keyword. A few of the stories deal with the use of the unknown for perso This brand new, all-original short stories anthology provides a glimpse of the current state of horror themes and brings forth a couple of stand out authors in the genre. The second volume in the anthology series edited by Mark Morrris prides itself in not being a themed commissioned book like others in the market, and it has the advantage of showcasing surprising and random stories in the horror genre without depending on a keyword. A few of the stories deal with the use of the unknown for personal benefit: take for example Christopher Golden’s The Gold Bag in which the protagonist mother asks for wishes by writing them on a piece of paper and putting them inside a mysterious bag. But there is a price to pay for the wishes granted; Also, Frank J. Oreto’s The Care And Feeding Of Household Gods deals with mysterious forces when the protagonist, starting as a joke, gives household objects the status of gods so that he can ask them for favors while the ‘sacrifice’ said objects demand get bigger and bigger; A twist on this theme can be found in Stephen Gallagher’s A Mystery For Julie Chu in which Julie finds by chance a magical object that could be good or bad, depending on the person receiving it. She tries to sell it nonetheless, and if she can make an extra buck for the collateral damage, she’ll take it; One of the most inventive and, probably, the best written story in this collection is Lisa L. Hannet’s If, Then in which a gardener uses magical plants to seal up a castle where his loved one remains sick. He bewitches the people inside and alone he remains, trying to find a cure and doing several experiments, some of them quite gory. It’s the way Hannet mixes the botanical and the mythical language the thing that remains with the reader after finishing it. But this being a horror anthology, there are at east three that truly do justice to the genre and those are: Jeremy Dyson’s Nurse Varden in which a man has a fear of being unconscious and his psychologist tries to regress his memory in order to find the original reason for that fear. However, the protagonist gets more than he bargained for because he remembers a nurse that he hadn’t thought about before and soon starts to have visions where he sees her everywhere; Another truly spooky story is Mathew Holness’ The Caker Man in which a weird neighbour gives out cakes to the kids who live next door. At first, one of the boys think that he’s interested in pleasing his mother, but soon realizes the man is fixated on his little sister. The boy tries to protect his family, but the man has some devious resources the boy may not have considered before; And the last horror — and gore — story that truly fits the genre is Toby Litt’s The Dark Bit in which a married couple gets hurt by walking by a part of their home after having a strange nightmare. Firstly, is the husband who gets cut by an invisible knife or string, and because the mystery is too great, he walks by it on purpose in order to find the reason. Soon his curiosity spreads to his wife and both of them start cutting themselves to find whether there is something beneath their skin that they are not seeing. Talk about a deadly obsession. Some stories fall in familiar territory — meetings with ghosts, parental issues, long-lost places — but there is a novelty in the prose of a few of the writers here, and that alone can become the favorite part of a story even if the theme sounds cliché to most of the veteran horror readers. ~

  22. 5 out of 5

    G

    Looking for some negativity? Step right up. I know every anthology's a mixed bag, but this one had almost nothing for me. I *love* horror, I'm just not a fan of the nihilism that runs through 90% of these stories (like the world isn't awful enough right now as it is); I'm an escapist at heart, but when the book you're escaping into makes you glad to shut your KIndle down and watch some news instead, you know something is wrong. This book took me freakishly long to finish simply because I never f Looking for some negativity? Step right up. I know every anthology's a mixed bag, but this one had almost nothing for me. I *love* horror, I'm just not a fan of the nihilism that runs through 90% of these stories (like the world isn't awful enough right now as it is); I'm an escapist at heart, but when the book you're escaping into makes you glad to shut your KIndle down and watch some news instead, you know something is wrong. This book took me freakishly long to finish simply because I never felt like picking it up, much less read another story. And it was all so, well, soulless, to me it felt like every other story was calibrated towards maximum pessismism and negativity. If there's a kid or a pet, they'll die. If there's a plan, it'll backfire in the nastiest possible way. If the MC can be punished, deservedly or completely at random, they will. It got to the point where reading this turned into some kind of punishment itself. Negativity aside, in general the stories ranged from "meh" ("Away Day", "Nurse Varden") to "eww" ("Polaroid and Seaweed", "Yellowback") to "huh?" ("The Dark Bit", "Clockwork", "Der Geisterbahnhof", "If, Then"), but almost none of them delivered what I like about horror -- intrigue, fear, the feeling that behind our basic everyday there lies something awe-inspiringly dark and unknowable we can't fathom or grasp. This was more about destruction of security than anything else, and to me, that is not quite the same, and also, it doesn't interest me very much. I did like a few of the stories, but even those weren't exactly stellar; "A Mystery For Julie Chu" was fun in an old school, Twilight Zone-y kind of way, but in the end amounted to nothing more than a sample chapter from what seems like an unfinished/proposed novel. "The Girl in the Pool" was one of the highlights for me, but left me wondering about the girl's motivation. "Caker's Man" was nicely spooky but then I did not get the ending. "A Brief Tour of the Night": cool story, but the nastiness of the denouement put me right off it again. Top names aside, I didn't bother checking out which were the "professional" authors and who got in through the open submissions bit. I'm sure there probably are people out there who get a kick out of this kind of thing, or a lot of writers would be out of work; it's just that I was hoping for something more, or maybe different. Still I'd like to thank Flame Tree and Netgalley for the chance to read this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This is the second collection that Morris has put together for Flame Tree, following last year's After Sundown. And it's actually the fourth unthemed horror anthology that he's built: New Fears: New Horror Stories by Masters of the Genre released in 2017 from Titan, followed in 2018 by New Fears 2: More New Stories by Masters of the Macabre. Morris has a real eye for truly terrifying tales and he really may have outdone himself with Beyond the Veil. The very first story, "The God Bag" from Chris This is the second collection that Morris has put together for Flame Tree, following last year's After Sundown. And it's actually the fourth unthemed horror anthology that he's built: New Fears: New Horror Stories by Masters of the Genre released in 2017 from Titan, followed in 2018 by New Fears 2: More New Stories by Masters of the Macabre. Morris has a real eye for truly terrifying tales and he really may have outdone himself with Beyond the Veil. The very first story, "The God Bag" from Christopher Golden sets the tone for a seriously unsettling series of stories. The full story list is as follows: The God Bag by Christopher Golden Caker's Man by Matthew Holness The Beechfield Miracles by Priya Sharma Clockwork by Dan Coxon Soapstone by Aliya Whiteley The Dark Bit by Toby Litt Provenance Pond by Josh Malerman For All the Dead by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten The Girl in the Pool by Bracken MacLeod Nurse Varden by Jeremy Dyson If, Then by Lisa L. Hannett Aquarium Ward by Karter Mycroft A Mystery for Julie Chu by Stephen Gallagher Away Day by Lisa Tuttle Polaroid and Seaweed by Peter Harness Der Geisterbahnhof by Lynda E. Rucker Arnie's Ashes by John Everson A Brief Tour of the Night by Nathan Ballingrud The Care and Feeded of Household Gods by Frank J. Oreto Yellowback by Gemma Files I've said it before and I'll continue to scream it from the rooftops, but I really do love short stories and especially anthologies like this one! When I'm tight for time, a short piece that I can read in between toddler responsibilities and other daily tasks is perfect. And this collection features pieces from favorites like Christopher Golden, Priya Sharma, Josh Malerman, and Stephen Gallagher (to name a few), who I know are going to deliver on a great tale! Anthologies are also a great way to discover new to you authors, too. Matthew Holness's "Caker's Man" would not leave my head after I read it! Dan Coxon and Lynda E. Rucker are also a few of the names that were completely new to me—and definitely on my to read list from here on out! Truly, each piece in here is a gem that is guaranteed to give you nightmares! Just what I'm looking for when I dive into a collection. And again, Morris seems to have a sincere talent for bringing together a great collection!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    A horror anthology with no particular theme, but none the worse for that. It perhaps leans a little towards stories set just a little past the grim edges of the moment, as in Priya Sharma's near future of ganglords, shortages, and rolling blackouts, where the miracle of the loaves and fishes is reprised at a food bank. Or, further up the social scale, the gentrifying couple of Toby Litt's piece – and yes, I know gentrification has become quite the new horror cliche of late, but even so, this ver A horror anthology with no particular theme, but none the worse for that. It perhaps leans a little towards stories set just a little past the grim edges of the moment, as in Priya Sharma's near future of ganglords, shortages, and rolling blackouts, where the miracle of the loaves and fishes is reprised at a food bank. Or, further up the social scale, the gentrifying couple of Toby Litt's piece – and yes, I know gentrification has become quite the new horror cliche of late, but even so, this version manages to be authentically horrible in so many ways. Meanwhile, Stephen Gallagher reminded me of my favourite car boot sale from back in the day with his tale of someone who has a knack for finding collectible items, just not necessarily the ones you might think. The collection leans British, but not exclusively so; Christopher Golden is first up, and he's American, as are his characters. And somehow the transactional approach to religion here feels uniquely suited to the land of megachurches and prosperity gospels, even if the eponymous God Bag is a much more idiosyncratic approach to petitioning the lord with prayer. There's also a visit to the ghost stations of Berlin; a warped epiphany in a drowning Toronto; and sometimes we're not in a recognisable country at all, as in Lisa L Hannett's sleeping beauty riff, animated by botanical detail which really makes the image of the overgrown castle pop, even as elements from another familiar story start to creep in. But more often than not, it's back to one or another unlovely incident on this tattered, decaying isle, as in the bullying children and shit-caked beaches of Peter Harness*' nightmarish Polaroid And Seaweed. I think the most memorable one for me was Matthew Holness' contribution, Caker's Man. I do wish he'd go back to doing comedy horror, because between Possum and this, his real horror is far too good at recalling the quiet awfulness of Britain a few decades back, the Britain to which we're rapidly returning. *Yes, the same one who perpetrated Kill The Moon, somehow come good. (Netgalley ARC)

  25. 4 out of 5

    JL Dixon

    🄱🄻🄾🄶 🅃🄾🅄🅁 🄱🄾🄾🄺 🅁🄴🅅🄸🄴🅆 𝗕𝗘𝗬𝗢𝗡𝗗 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗩𝗘𝗜𝗟 Flame Tree Press, edited by Mark Morris 🎃🎃🎃🎃 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗼𝗽𝘀𝗶𝘀 Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories,16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree dur 🄱🄻🄾🄶 🅃🄾🅄🅁 🄱🄾🄾🄺 🅁🄴🅅🄸🄴🅆 𝗕𝗘𝗬𝗢𝗡𝗗 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗩𝗘𝗜𝗟 Flame Tree Press, edited by Mark Morris 🎃🎃🎃🎃 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗼𝗽𝘀𝗶𝘀 Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories,16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. 𝗠𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 Today is my spot on the tour of Beyond The Veil, from Flame Tree Press, and edited by Mark Morris. I liked this selection of horror stories, each in a different way, and some more than others. Of all, I found The God Bag to be the most disturbing and probably the best story. But that said, most were so close as to make little difference. As the authors who submitted stories are from around the globe, there is a delicious variety in the styles of writing, making this a much more enjoyable read. Mark Morris has identified some real talent here and I fully expect to read much more from many of these authors, either in short stories, or novels. This may not be ‘camp fire ghost story' scary, but it’s definitely ‘don’t read alone after dark’ scary. I would recommend this to all horror readers, and gave Beyond The Veil, edited by Mark Morris, four stars (pumpkins). #ad #gifted #beyondtheveil #markmorris #flametreepress #randomthingstours #genrehorror #booklover #bookstagrammers #johnsbookshelf #bookstabloggers #bookreader #blogtour #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookshelf #bookaddict #igreads #bookblog #readabook #johnsbookshelfblogs #bookaholic #fortheloveofbooks #goodreadschallenge2021 #bookpost #blogpost #johnsbookshelfreviews

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Rimmelzwaan

    Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. I haven't read the first volume of this series bu Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window. I haven't read the first volume of this series but, knowing it was from Flame Tree Press was enough for me. One of my go-to publishers for horror or creepy stories so I knew I had to check this book out. This collection of short horror stories just about covers every type of horror, so there should be something for everyone. A few of my favourites in this collection are; The God Bag by Christopher Golden which is the first story in the collection and what a story to begin with. It is about a man and his mother, who is dying and in the grips of dementia. She refuses to let go of her God bag and her son decides to find out what's in the bag, when he does, well this is a creepy and heartbreaking tale. What a start to the collection. I loved the fact what this author has managed to create a story that satisfies in so little pages. The Girl in the Pool by Bracken MacLeod. A thief breaks into a house with a plan to Rob it. Instead he finds a young girl drowning in the pool and decides to attempt to save her, the question is does she need saving? I really can list every single story in this book, everyone is different to the last and just as creepy, scary or entertaining. A collection I can recommend if you enjoy variety and shocking stories that have the power to creep you out! Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Flame Tree Press for the copy of this fabulous collection of short horror stories

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Solid collection of short horror stories. There were very few misses for me in this anthology, with most stories being enjoyable. I've reviewed the stand-outs for me below. The God Bag- Good lord, this one was a gut punch. A slow building up of dread where you suspect where things are going, but that suspicion doesn't leasen the emotional impact at all. Caker's Man- One of my favorite kinds of horror is the slow, creeping one where things are just.... not right. This hits that perfectly, and eve Solid collection of short horror stories. There were very few misses for me in this anthology, with most stories being enjoyable. I've reviewed the stand-outs for me below. The God Bag- Good lord, this one was a gut punch. A slow building up of dread where you suspect where things are going, but that suspicion doesn't leasen the emotional impact at all. Caker's Man- One of my favorite kinds of horror is the slow, creeping one where things are just.... not right. This hits that perfectly, and even uses birthday cake to do it! The Dark Bit - What the fuck. Bizarre, uncomfortably posh body horror. Quite strange in tone, but I mean that as a compliment! If, Then- Ever since reading Nathan Ballingrud's book Wounds, I've craved more deliciously dark horror-fantasy blends. This definitely hit the spot. Aquarium Ward- It's not entirely the same, obviously, but as someone who worked in a nursing home straight through a Covid outbreak, this one hit kinda strong. Arnie's Ashes- I'm obsessed with horror that's about grief. This hit that spot for sure. A Brief Tour of the Night- This is the story I was most excited about in this anthology. Ballingrud might just be my favorite modern horror author, or at least one of them. His prose is always gorgeous and laden with emotion, and this one was no different. Another one about the horrors of grief and humanity. The Care and Feeding of Household Gods- Really enjoyed the darkly comic tone of this one, and I'm not one that usually enjoys horror blended with comedy. However, there was just enough of both in this. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I've read several horror anthologies lately. I'm impressed with the imagination and variety coming from the writers. Beyond the Veil, from Flame Tree Press, is another happy clump of ickiness...and I mean that in a good way. There's a few stories that seemed like the opening chapters to upcoming books, and that's perfectly all right. I think some authors hash out their novels through the writing of short stories. One, A Mystery for Julie Chu, seemed like a first chapter, had an intriguing subjec I've read several horror anthologies lately. I'm impressed with the imagination and variety coming from the writers. Beyond the Veil, from Flame Tree Press, is another happy clump of ickiness...and I mean that in a good way. There's a few stories that seemed like the opening chapters to upcoming books, and that's perfectly all right. I think some authors hash out their novels through the writing of short stories. One, A Mystery for Julie Chu, seemed like a first chapter, had an intriguing subject about a young woman who sluices out mysterious and magical items at flea markets, and sees a future in buying and selling weirdness. I'd read that one if it gets turned into a novel. Who doesn't want to find something magical at a flea market? There are creepy stories, and gory stories, icky stories and hopeful stories, lots of misunderstood little kids, and one story that is like a fairytale. A woman finally escapes a bad boss, bad co-workers, and a bad husband. Isn't that a real horror story--to be stuck in a rotten job and marriage? I bet we've all dreamed of running away with fairies a time or two in our lives. I know I have, like every other day. One that gave me a chuckle (I'm biased toward funny horror) was The Care and Feeding of Household Gods. If you ever get the urge to draw a face on your jug of laundry detergent, you might want to think twice. And for Heaven's sake, leave the kids' hamster alone. A little bit of something for everyone here. Thanks to Netgalley and Flame Tree for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    I love horror anthologies for the range of writers and dark tales they offer, and what better time than the Halloween season to indulge in a spook-fest. Beyond The Veil was conceptualized as a non-themed collection, where writers were included through invitation, and there was also an open submission call for new writers. The stories therefore arise from well known names like Josh Malerman and Nathan Ballingurd, (so the reader knows what to expect and is not at all disappointed), as well as firs I love horror anthologies for the range of writers and dark tales they offer, and what better time than the Halloween season to indulge in a spook-fest. Beyond The Veil was conceptualized as a non-themed collection, where writers were included through invitation, and there was also an open submission call for new writers. The stories therefore arise from well known names like Josh Malerman and Nathan Ballingurd, (so the reader knows what to expect and is not at all disappointed), as well as first-time writers (many of whom hold up the quality of the anthology as a whole). Christopher Golden kicks off the collection with an unsetting tale of parent-child-grandchild relationships in The God Bag. This is followed by Matthew Holness’ creepy neighbour in Caker’s Man. The stories that follow range across out-and-out gore and body horror, to subtle eeriness and atmospheric fear. Clockwork by Dan Coxon and The Dark Bit by Toby Litt were among my favorite stories, for the subject matter and style of writing. The collection offers a mixed bag of horror and its sub genres. While some stories are superlative in darkness and stand out among the rest, some of the others did nothing for me at all (leaving me to wonder why they were in a horror anthology). I love the genre and read across collections, novellas and novels. I just didn’t feel the stories came together as a book. My rating is based on the few outstanding stories that are so good, it makes it worth buying the book. A majority of the stories were disappointing, but the few good ones deserve to be read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Denice Langley

    I love anthologies. They provide new, interesting stories from some of my favorite authors and give me a look at many new to me authors. Horror anthologies are some of the best for my reading because I can easily become scared silly by some stories so these let me known the books I should not read in the dark long before I have to lock myself in a room with no windows. I gift anthologies, especially horror, to teens who can't seeem to transition from video games to reading. The short stories giv I love anthologies. They provide new, interesting stories from some of my favorite authors and give me a look at many new to me authors. Horror anthologies are some of the best for my reading because I can easily become scared silly by some stories so these let me known the books I should not read in the dark long before I have to lock myself in a room with no windows. I gift anthologies, especially horror, to teens who can't seeem to transition from video games to reading. The short stories give them a look at gifted authors without having to commit to a complete length book. I always have a couple of anthologies going so I can read whenever, wherever I want. This book contains 20 excellent short stories. There are no duds in here. You'll even recognize some of the people in your neighborhood in these stories and never be able to see them the same again. This is the second annual collection, now I have to go find the first one. Read, enjoy, share....

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