I got to about “C” before I realized I should take down notes to do a quick book review for Alphabet Soup, but then decided I wasn’t going to go into detail like I did with Will Dalphin’s book (Don’t Look Away) and thought that a quick-n-dirty review would be fun.
Wow. Has it really been like a week since I posted? Bummer.
Anywho. Let’s have a quick-n-dirty review.
Alphabet Soup: Horror Stories for the Tormented Soul
This is a book collected/put together by Tobias Wade (Tobias Wade did 51 Sleepless Nights, which is a great collection)/P F McGrail (who writes the forward) and the art is by Taylor Tate. I love the art in this book. The entire collection is by different authors playing in roughly the same world.
A is for Addiction, by David Maloney – A guy meets an addict, becomes an addict, and winds up getting a dose of something he wasn’t after. I like how it goes from typical “dude winds up an addict” to something you’d find on an early season of NoSleep Podcast.
B is for Barnacle, by Mr Michael Squid – Northeastern town is hit with a hell of a storm when this old captain collapses in a sub shop, much to the dismay of the employees. Really fucked up The Thing kind of stuff happening throughout the story while you realize that the person who wrote it loves marine biology.
C is for Clairvoyance, by Ryan Cook – A person has a gift for seeing peoples’ past/future. He’s told to not do anything about it, but does it anyway, and, eventually, has to make a terrible decision. Fun story!
D is for Daniel, by DoverHawk – Alien Hand Syndrome mixed with Phantom Limb Syndrome. A terrifying concept that made me think of another story kind of like this one (instead of Phantom Limb Syndrome, the character with Alien Hand Syndrome ends up being taken over by it). It’s a quick gut punch of a story.
E is for Echo, by Tobias Wade – A teenager hears the last thoughts of people who have died in any given location. Unfortunately, they go to a nearby lake with classmates for ditch-day and get consumed by the noise. It’s a really neat story.
F is for Formaldehyde, by Kyle Alexander – A guy gets revenge on his neighbors for managing to kill his friendly neighbor upstairs with cigarette smoke. This is a fun story and I highly enjoyed it. It gives off that sweet, sweet revenge feeling.
G is for Gang, by Grant Butler – Weird shit’s going down in Pine Grove Mall and a young officer winds up witnessing it. At first, the story seems a bit lackluster, and then the farther you go into the book, the more you realize that everything’s connected and this story was the introductory build-up to more twisted shit.
H is for Hegemonic, by Rafael Marmol – Religious cult! Sacrifice to a Dead God! Creepy ass priest. Did I mention religious cult? This story is so close to what we know of religious cults in our real-world that the only thing that’s different is the fact that this one has some sort of god living in a sarcophagus. But, really, who’s to say that hasn’t happened in meat-space yet?
I is for Ideation, by Jack T Anderson – A stone tablet falls to Earth, causing a scientific study of it. The downside is, once they’re able to translate it, they can’t get it out of their heads. This was a really awesome story.
J is for Jackass, by Saint Entropy – A person is remembering their college roommate, Jeff, who was your typical self-righteous asshole. Until he disappeared after making a poorly timed joke to the wrong guy. It’s a good story and I like the simplicity of it.
K is for Kinky Serial Killers, by Bak Hayong – Pretty much what it says on the tin: a group of serial killers go out, kill evil bastards, and have an orgy afterwards. The leader of the murderers realizes that for every one they kill, three more pop up, and he’s decided who the last victim will be. Despite the name, it’s a pretty good story and I enjoyed it.
L is for Lunacy, by Chris Thompson – A person has landed on the moon (with a group) in order to colonize it while firmly believing they are the only sentient beings there. After the description of something akin to Geiger and The Thing, I Noped the fuck right out of the story.
M is for Mirror, by Jacob Mandeville – A cursed mirror turns a man’s world upside down. I enjoy mirror stories, despite not being much of a fan of them in real-life. It’s like if Through the Looking Glass and American McGee’s Alice were to meet and manipulate people into murder.
N is for Necrosis, by J Y – A kid is forced to grow up with their obese mother and, while trying to get away as fast as possible, winds up having to come home from college in order to care for her. Her back has started to necrotize and, well…let’s just say if you’ve ever read or listened to any of the narrations for William Dalphin’s Hunger, it’s…a bit like that. I was super grossed out. (but it was so well written!)
O is for Olivia, by Marni Sue – A woman goes from a terrible near-death experience to being able to murder people with psychokinesis! It’s super awesome.
P is for Prey, by Kaitlynn Cooney – A “step by step” guide in how to lure and kill people and frame the coworker you absolutely hate. This story cracked me up.
Q is for Quota, by Kelly Childress – A woman leaves a note for her former bosses, thanking them for their hospitality before telling them who she is and what she’d done. She found that while her family was cursed, she also got screwed with the cure for the curse. I don’t want to give it away, but it was really enjoyable.
R is for Romance, by Mikey Knutson – A woman hooks up with a guy and changes his life. Again, I don’t want to give the story away, but it was well done.
S is for Sable, by Noah Rex – A homeless man, trying to find somewhere to crash for the night, winds up on Sable Lane and regrets it instantly. Horror ensues, the artwork for the story helps you imagine the climax, and it was fun. I was kind of hoping for an Adam Nevill style ending, but it works out for later on in the book.
T is for Time Travel, by John Buffalo – A kid shows off his parents’ time machine to his new friends and learns why you don’t leave people in there. This reminded me of a story I read years ago in the Darkness Creeping anthology, so I highly enjoyed it.
U is for Undelivered, by Harrison Prince – Killer Klowns for Outer Space meets Christmas is the best description you’re going to get from me. And now I have a reason to find snowglobes creepy as fuck. It’s a great story though!
V is for Venom, by P F McGrail – A woman gets conned into using her psychic abilities to take him to where he needs to go by using a synthetic poison. It’s a fun story that reminds me of like an old movie or something.
W is for West Bale Path, by P F McGrail – A recurring character meets another past character and shows him all the sights at West Bale Path. Terrible things are shown, memories of previous stories are brought up, and it’s a fun little story.
X is for Xenophobia, by Claudia Winters – A teenager is in charge of their town’s militia until one of her team mates winds up killing a stranger. Terrible things ensue and we get a glimpse of a character previously mentioned, which I thought was pretty cool.
Y is for Your Match, by Kyle Burton – A woman is recounting her terrible date with a guy to her best friend. It reads exactly how it would if someone were recounting their evening. Bosch is mentioned, which was neat, and I like the breif mention of something else (but, if I say it, then it’s going to take from the story itself, which I don’t want to do). I liked the brief mention of the thing, but also kind of hated the narration style. I understand why it was written like that, and I think that’s great. Just not my thing overall.
& is for Ampersand, by Christopher Maxim – Also known as “If You See This Building,” which MCP narrated a few weeks back. I started reading it and realized “hey! I know this story!” and that’s why (I’d listened to the narration). Quantum Physics in a building sent out to destroy worlds/timelines. It’s pretty great.
Z is for Zodiac, by Alex Baran – The thrilling conclusion to the book that leaves us with more questions than answers and the fear of world domination. It’s wonderful.
Overall, it’s a great anthology and I’m glad to have gotten the experience of reading it. It is available on Amazon for kindle (currently available for free if you have kindle unlimited) as well as paperback ($9.99).
If you’re into horror, then you will probably enjoy this read. It’s also fairly quick.