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Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror

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A collection of horror-inspired flash fiction, featuring over 40 new stories from literary, horror, and emerging writers—edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, the twisted minds behind Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder (Black Balloon, 2018). In this playful, spine-tingling collection, leading literary and horror writers spin unforgettably chilling ta A collection of horror-inspired flash fiction, featuring over 40 new stories from literary, horror, and emerging writers—edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, the twisted minds behind Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder (Black Balloon, 2018). In this playful, spine-tingling collection, leading literary and horror writers spin unforgettably chilling tales in only a few pages. Tiny Nightmares brings to life broken-hearted vampires, Uber-taking serial killers, mind-reading witches, and monsters of all imaging, as well as stories that tackle the horrors of our modern world from global warming and racism to social media addiction and online radicalization. Writers such as Samantha Hunt, Brian Evenson, Jac Jemc, Stephen Graham Jones, Kevin Brockmeier, and Rion Amilcar Scott expand our understanding of horror fiction with inventive and blood-curdling new tales. We suggest reading with the hall light on and the bedroom door open just a crack.


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A collection of horror-inspired flash fiction, featuring over 40 new stories from literary, horror, and emerging writers—edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, the twisted minds behind Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder (Black Balloon, 2018). In this playful, spine-tingling collection, leading literary and horror writers spin unforgettably chilling ta A collection of horror-inspired flash fiction, featuring over 40 new stories from literary, horror, and emerging writers—edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, the twisted minds behind Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder (Black Balloon, 2018). In this playful, spine-tingling collection, leading literary and horror writers spin unforgettably chilling tales in only a few pages. Tiny Nightmares brings to life broken-hearted vampires, Uber-taking serial killers, mind-reading witches, and monsters of all imaging, as well as stories that tackle the horrors of our modern world from global warming and racism to social media addiction and online radicalization. Writers such as Samantha Hunt, Brian Evenson, Jac Jemc, Stephen Graham Jones, Kevin Brockmeier, and Rion Amilcar Scott expand our understanding of horror fiction with inventive and blood-curdling new tales. We suggest reading with the hall light on and the bedroom door open just a crack.

30 review for Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    You expect a glove in a melting snow mound. Three days later we realized it was a hand. - The Barrow Wight The human fang is unique in that we use it to bite not only one another but ourselves. - Joy, and Other Poisons There’s plenty of ways to manipulate the man you love, and most of them you learn by watching. - Carbon FootprintSo, really, what are the sources of nightmares, small or large? Well, the big ones are fairly obvious, war, plague, violence against one’s person, violence against one You expect a glove in a melting snow mound. Three days later we realized it was a hand. - The Barrow Wight The human fang is unique in that we use it to bite not only one another but ourselves. - Joy, and Other Poisons There’s plenty of ways to manipulate the man you love, and most of them you learn by watching. - Carbon FootprintSo, really, what are the sources of nightmares, small or large? Well, the big ones are fairly obvious, war, plague, violence against one’s person, violence against one’s loved ones, death, serious illness, serious pain, loss of functionality, or body parts, being cut off from those we love, being cut off from everyone, the loss of freedom, the loss of hope, being unable to communicate, and plenty more. We do not really need immortal serial killers, witches, zombie apocalypses, hungry great-white sharks or dark-hearted supernatural or alien creatures to give us the chills. In stories, they often stand in, though, for the horrors we face (or assiduously avoid) in real life. Like Invasion of the Body Snatchers as a metaphor for the dread of Communism, for example, in the 1950s. There is plenty of that here. Editor Lincoln Michel - image from his site Still, there is a generic element that tends to frighten, the unnatural. We are used to a world that operates by certain rules, that fulfills general expectations, that usually sticks to certain norms. Up is up. Down is down. The sun rises and sets. You know, normal. The creepiness of the unnatural is a frequent element in horror stories. (as well as in the real-world unnaturalness of our current political reality). Editor Nadxieli Nieto - image from House of Speakeasy I always thought a sleeping nightmare only counted as such if one was startled to wakefulness by the dream. Turns out, not so much, at least according to the definition below. What level of fear is required for a dream to cross over to nightmare from simply, scary? This from Lexico.com1) a frightening or unpleasant dream 2) A terrifying or very unpleasant experience or prospect 3) A person, thing, or situation that is very difficult to deal with. It is derived from - Middle English (denoting a female evil spirit thought to lie upon and suffocate sleepers): from night+ Old English mære ‘incubus’. Turns out it is a fairly common experience. A nightmare is simply something that sucks, which puts many of us afloat in a sea of suckitude. Which would be a really awful way to talk about this collection, which most definitely does not suck. The Nightmare - by John Henry Fuseli – 1781 – image from Wikipedia There are some stories in which the protagonist has unpleasant, or at least decidedly strange, experiences while asleep. But most are awake for their adventures. “Terrifying or very unpleasant experience” definitely covers many of the stories here. Some very definitely have to do with people who are difficult to deal with. Tiny Nightmares, with forty-two stories of 1500 words or less, offers a wide swath of tale types from which to choose. They take place in a range of locales, from bars to shops at sea, from the oceanfront to the desert, from a police station to a museum, from other planets to other dimensions, to horrible places where one might flee to escape the even greater horror of reality. There are plenty of the monsters here that one might expect to unsettle our rest, shape-changers, witches, a demon, a many-mouthed reptilian, a vampire, werewolf, and ghosts, among others, as well as situations or environments that are decidedly unnatural. But most are of the very human sort. Pogo famously said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It might as easily be said that we have seen the face of true horror, staring back at us from a mirror. There are many stories among the forty-two that reflect real-world, reality based-fears. In what is perhaps the most chilling, a trio of cops lead us to recall incredible deaths of prisoners in custody. A potential rapist lets his potential victim know just how vulnerable she is. A potential murderer lets his next victim, a gay man, know he is coming for him, and knows his secrets. A killer leaves parts to be found, and leads us to wonder if one was enough. Eco-terrorists practice a dark (and particularly inefficient) form of population control. There are many stories in here in which we are presented with a situation, and offered no resolution. If you are looking for beginning-middle-end narratives with wrapped up endings, you might find a few here, but there are many more that present wonderful concepts, scary concepts. The short story is often just a delivery mechanism for an idea or an image. In longer pieces we have a much greater opportunity to develop a feeling for a character or characters, and it is that relationship, the ability to see ourselves in a character’s situation, that usually makes a dark outcome scary. That is very tough to accomplish with stories that allow only up to 1500 words in which to create, and connect readers with, a made-up person while also presenting the notion. So ideas rule here. There is O-Henryian irony, biting social criticism, some really bad parenting, less than wonderful marriages, and of course, there are a few stories for which you might do a Lewis Black jowl-shake finishing with a “huh?” Overall, though, this is a fascinating collection. Not, for me, all that frightening, but, if you have read my previous reviews of horror books, you know that I have a particularly high bar for scary. I even wonder sometimes if maybe I am missing one of the usual DNA bits that encourages one to keep the lights on overnight after a masterfully terrifying read. Maybe. Dunno. But that said, a few in here did give me chills, the images having planted themselves into my dodgy memory. If you are a fan of the genre, Tiny Nightmares should do quite nicely. And if you are a fan of flash fiction (presuming the 1500 word count limit qualifies. I know for some it is 1000) it is a double win. So, if you are a reader with the eeeeeeek!!!!! genes I lack, you can probably look forward to some large nightmares, just in time for Halloween. Review posted – October 23, 2020 Publication date – October 13, 2020 I received a copy of Tiny Nightmares from Catapult in return for a fear-free review. =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to editor Lincoln Michel’s personal, Twitter, Instagram and FB pages Links to Nadxieli Nieto’s’s Twitter and GR pages In the STORIES section below, in Comment #1, there are links to almost all the authors, and you will find a few of the stories linked as well, so you can take in a small sample of the product. I would not want to a miss this obvious opportunity for a bit of self-promotion, so offer the following horror stories by moi for your consideration. -----The Hand - definitely of flash length, coming in under 500 words -----Page Turner is a wee bit longer coming in at around 9K ==========In the summer of 2019 GR reduced the allowable review size by 25%, from 20,000 to 15,000 characters. In order to accommodate the text beyond that I have moved it to the comments section directly below.

  2. 4 out of 5

    karen

    SO MANY PICTURES!! TINY TINY FOR SPOOKTOBER!!! a couple years back, i read Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, and i've decided to review this companion book in the same foolishly time-consuming way. lifting the intro from my tiny crimes review: part of the reason i don’t read a ton of short story collections is because the prospect of reviewing short story collections makes my soul quake. it’s like having to write 20 reviews instead of one. or in the case of this anthology, FORTY- SO MANY PICTURES!! TINY TINY FOR SPOOKTOBER!!! a couple years back, i read Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, and i've decided to review this companion book in the same foolishly time-consuming way. lifting the intro from my tiny crimes review: part of the reason i don’t read a ton of short story collections is because the prospect of reviewing short story collections makes my soul quake. it’s like having to write 20 reviews instead of one. or in the case of this anthology, FORTY-TWO. and sure i could just write a review for the collection in toto or not review the book at all, but that seems worse somehow. so, instead of shrinking from a challenge or rising to a challenge, i am going to ricochet the challenge a little and write a FORTY-TWO-THOUSAND WORD REVIEW, using that math where a picture is worth a thousand words. picture reviews take much longer than word-reviews, but they’re much more fun. for me, anyway. i’m not sure who you are or what you find fun. but feel free to tell me. i’m just going to be over here, finding the one perfect image that nutshells each individual story perfectly... PART ONE: HEADS GUESS - MEG ELISON ★★★★★ REARVIEW - SAMANTHA HUNT ★★★☆☆ GRIMALKIN - ANDREW F. SULLIVAN ★★★★☆ DOGGY-DOG WORLD - HILARY LEICHTER ★★★☆☆ TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY VETALA - AMRITA CHAKRABORTY ★★★☆☆ WE'VE BEEN IN ENOUGH PLACES TO KNOW - COREY FARRENKOPF ★★★☆☆ LIFELINE - J.S. BREUKELAAR ★★★★☆ JANE DEATH THEORY #13 - RION AMILCAR SCOTT ★★★★★ THE BLUE ROOM - LENA VALENCIA ★★★☆☆ UNBEKNOWNST - MATTHEW VOLLMER ★★★★★ LONE - JAC JEMC ★★★★★ PART TWO: HEARTS PIPEWORKS - CHAVISA WOODS ★★★★☆ THE OWNER - WHITNEY COLLINS ★★★☆☆ THE RESPLENDENCE OF DISAPPEARING - IVAN PARRA GARCIA, TRANSLATED BY ALLANA C. NOYES ★★★☆☆ THE WHEAT WOMAN - THERESA HOTTEL ★★★☆☆ HAROLD - SELENA GAMBRELL ANDERSON ★★★☆☆ CANDY BOII - SAM J. MILLER ★★★★★ THE UNHAUNTING - KEVIN NGUYEN ★★★★★ THE MARRIAGE VARIATIONS - MONIQUE LABAN ★★★★☆ THE FAMILY DINNER - MICHELE ZIMMERMAN ★★★★☆ AFTERLIVES - BENNETT SIMS ★★★☆☆ THE STORY AND THE SEED - AMBER SPARKS ★★★★☆ PART THREE: LIMBS FINGERS - RACHEL HENG ★★★★☆ CARBON FOOTPRINT - SHELLY ORIA ★★★★☆ WE CAME HERE FOR FUN - ALANA MOHAMED ★★★★☆ THE BARROW WIGHT - JOSH COOK ★★★★★ KATY BARS THE DOOR - RICHIE NARVAEZ ★★★★☆ PINCER AND TONGUE - STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES ★★★★★ THE MASK, THE RIDE, THE BAG - CHASE BURKE ★★★★☆ CEDAR GROVE ROSE - CANISIA LUBRIN ★★★☆☆ #MOTHERMAYHEM - JEI D. MARCADE ★★★★☆ LEG - BRIAN EVENSON ★★★★☆ PART FOUR: VISCERA VEINS, LIKE A SYSTEM - ESHANI SURYA ★★★★☆ CARAVAN - PEDRO INIGUEZ ★★★★☆ DOWNPOUR - JOSEPH SALVATORE ★★★☆☆ HUMAN MILK FOR HUMAN BABIES - LINDSAY KING-MILLER ★★★★☆ PICTURES OF HEAVEN - BEN LOORY ★★★★☆ GABRIEL METSU, MAN WRITING A LETTER, C. 1664-66 - HELEN MCCLORY ★★★☆☆ INSTRUMENT OF THE ANCESTORS - TROY L. WIGGINS ★★★★☆ JOY, AND OTHER POISONS - VAJRA CHANDRASEKERA ★★★★☆ VISITING HOURS - LILLIAM RIVERA ★★★☆☆ PARAKEETS - KEVIN BROCKMEIER ★★★★★ at the end of my Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder review, i wrote "good lord, never again..." guess i never learn. come to my blog!

  3. 5 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    The thing about fear is that it can start small. Just one little sentence can plant a seed in your mind that grows and grows and before you know it, there it is on some dark night when you are home alone casting its shadow over every detail around you. I often don’t find horror stories or films particularly scary in the moment, but later on… The anthology Tiny Nightmares, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, thrives on this and delivers 42 very short stories that are sure to dig their cl The thing about fear is that it can start small. Just one little sentence can plant a seed in your mind that grows and grows and before you know it, there it is on some dark night when you are home alone casting its shadow over every detail around you. I often don’t find horror stories or films particularly scary in the moment, but later on… The anthology Tiny Nightmares, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, thrives on this and delivers 42 very short stories that are sure to dig their claws into your mind. The list of contributing authors is excellent, with familiar names and favorites as well as authors I was introduced to for the first time (and have read more from after reading them here) and while anthologies can be a mixed bag of hit-or-miss this one has an extremely high success rate. There is certainly something for everyone here too, from standard monsters or violent shock scares to ecological horror and stories where societal ills are cast in the light of terror. Honestly, this is a perfect little collection for Spooky Season. These are bite sized stories--usually 3-6 pages--but they have lasting power. There’s one about it becoming common for people to randomly throw strangers in front of a subway car that I will think of literally every time I wait for one now. There are so many variations on fear here that you will find yourself constantly surprised and eerily aware that terror can pop up in any scenario. It is also really versatile with the storytelling, with epistolary stories and one, The Marriage Variations by Monique Laban written in a short choose-your-own adventure style that was such an excellent throwback to childhood reading. It is also peppered with art by Daehyun Kim that are really quite fun. If you are looking for some quick thrills, this is an unrelenting frightfest that will stick with you. There are honestly too many good stories to list, I’d basically just be rewriting the entire table of contents. And the best part is that they are all REALLY short and the compact size of this book makes it a perfect companion to carry around with you for whenever you get a moment to read. This is an essential spooky season read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    This is a mixed bag of Halloween goodies: plenty of Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but there are also more than a few Smarties, and whatever that weird crap is that comes wrapped in orange and black paper. The rule that applies to most flash fiction goes double for horror - most of the tales are just too short to get really invested in them: you don't care about the characters, and suspense takes a while to build - it doesn't happen in less than two pages. But, if time (and the candy yo This is a mixed bag of Halloween goodies: plenty of Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but there are also more than a few Smarties, and whatever that weird crap is that comes wrapped in orange and black paper. The rule that applies to most flash fiction goes double for horror - most of the tales are just too short to get really invested in them: you don't care about the characters, and suspense takes a while to build - it doesn't happen in less than two pages. But, if time (and the candy you bought for the Trick-or-Treaters) is in short supply this spooky season, you could do a lot worse than polish off a few of these stories while you wait for the Great Pumpkin to show his big orange face.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Perfect for when your attention span doesn't last beyond a few pages. Perfect for when your attention span doesn't last beyond a few pages.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Confession: I saw this book posted on social media in October 2020 and had to have an early copy for review. I had never worked with the publisher, Catapult, but I reached out and crossed my fingers. As soon as it arrived, I knew we would use it for Night Worms. The book design is compact & sexy. Flash fiction is something I love promoting to genre fans so I withheld review until after Night Worms successfully acquired and shipped TINY NIGHTMARES in a package. This book would perfectly function as Confession: I saw this book posted on social media in October 2020 and had to have an early copy for review. I had never worked with the publisher, Catapult, but I reached out and crossed my fingers. As soon as it arrived, I knew we would use it for Night Worms. The book design is compact & sexy. Flash fiction is something I love promoting to genre fans so I withheld review until after Night Worms successfully acquired and shipped TINY NIGHTMARES in a package. This book would perfectly function as something readers could carry around with them for easy access to quality shortie-short fiction in a pinch. Let's say you're waiting in a doctor's office, stuck in a line, or waiting out a downpour in your car...you could literally dive into this book ANYWHERE and get some good stories into your brain. My favorite stories: GUESS by Meg Elison- the curse of people who know too much WE'VE BEEN IN ENOUGH PLACES TO KNOW by Corey Farrenkopf-There's something in the basement; the tenants won't (can't) leave. LONE by Jac Jemc- I admit, I skipped and read this first. It did NOT disappoint. THE UNHAUNTING by Kevin Nguyen- People with ghosts (a longer flash fiction) PINCER AND TONGUE by Stephen Graham Jones- A vampire and a werewolf are exes. Territorial; An epic battle. #MOTHERMAYHEM by Jei D. Marcade- This was such a strange, amazing little story LEG by Brian Evenson- Hekla's leg talks to her. And then the leg does other fantastic things. HUMAN MILK FOR HUMAN BABIES by Lindsay King-Miller- this one stayed with me all day after I read it. PARAKEETS by Kevin Brockmeier- Birds are fucking creepy. That is all. This is a quintessential book for any collector of horror. I also recommend breaking the spine--the last 15 stories or so require it. I broke the spine halfway in. Ya gotta do it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    Tiny Nightmares, oohh how delightful you are! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in other reviews, but I am a sucker for a short story collection, they are truly a favorite of mine. This is an eerie collection of 43 bite size horror stories and they are the perfect treat! Tiny Nightmares, oohh how delightful you are! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in other reviews, but I am a sucker for a short story collection, they are truly a favorite of mine. This is an eerie collection of 43 bite size horror stories and they are the perfect treat!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    This collection really was excellent; a varied assortment of chills from equally varied authors provided several hours of creepy delight. Modern and timely, many themes will likely remain relevant and horrific for years to come. A+!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Max

    A quick, fun, October spooky read that is for anyone with a craving short horror tales. Lots of standouts in this collection, my favorites probably being the mud pits story, the bagged serial killer, and the dog story. I don't have a lot of issues with this because it's such a diverse range of stories and you'll get something crazy each time you turn the next page. It just depends if that story fits your vibe or it's something conceptually you'll dislike. But there's always a plus of being able t A quick, fun, October spooky read that is for anyone with a craving short horror tales. Lots of standouts in this collection, my favorites probably being the mud pits story, the bagged serial killer, and the dog story. I don't have a lot of issues with this because it's such a diverse range of stories and you'll get something crazy each time you turn the next page. It just depends if that story fits your vibe or it's something conceptually you'll dislike. But there's always a plus of being able to skip over ones you don't enjoy as much! I enjoyed Tiny Nightmares, and while others may be easily forgotten a few stories will live in my head for weeks to come!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    For some reason, I have totally convinced myself that flash fiction is something both valuable and exciting. And yet, endlessly I am disappointed. Lots of stories here, all very short, a few, and really only a few, were very good , but I get the feeling that reading anthologies of flash fiction is a little like panning for gold. How many pans return so little before we get our reward. Two or three quality stories in what felt like a hundred not so good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helen McClory

    Full disclosure - I have a story in this collection. Aside from that, this reads like a morning fever dream, tossing you about from nightmare to nightmare. When at last you drag yourself up from it, the world tastes a little metallic, and everything is just lightly askew.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Do tiny nightmares, once introduced to us, stay tiny? Or do they latch on and gain strength, until we are the ones small and afraid, unable to protect ourselves from what lies in the dark? Tiny Nightmares gives authors the chance to terrify in 1500 words or less over a variety of subjects; from the fantastically supernatural to the depressingly here and now, and everything muddled between and around. I found myself surrounded by these tiny nightmares; some whispering over my shoulder, some diggi Do tiny nightmares, once introduced to us, stay tiny? Or do they latch on and gain strength, until we are the ones small and afraid, unable to protect ourselves from what lies in the dark? Tiny Nightmares gives authors the chance to terrify in 1500 words or less over a variety of subjects; from the fantastically supernatural to the depressingly here and now, and everything muddled between and around. I found myself surrounded by these tiny nightmares; some whispering over my shoulder, some digging under my skin, some even calling to me from the darkened corners of my room or scratching at the mirrors, and even after reading the last words, found them with me still. Thank you to Black Balloon Publishing for allowing me a chance to read the ARC to review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bill Hsu

    Not a bad start. I don't get Samantha Hunt. But Meg Elison does a nice job with the protagonist's voice in "Guess", and sets an interesting context for the idea. Andrew Sullivan's little girl protagonist in "Grimalkin" is also immediately engaging, and the hidden tension between her and Grandma is understated and compelling. I'll remember very little of the stories that follow. However, most of the writing is at least competent, and the tales (even the duds) don't outstay their welcome. Stephen G Not a bad start. I don't get Samantha Hunt. But Meg Elison does a nice job with the protagonist's voice in "Guess", and sets an interesting context for the idea. Andrew Sullivan's little girl protagonist in "Grimalkin" is also immediately engaging, and the hidden tension between her and Grandma is understated and compelling. I'll remember very little of the stories that follow. However, most of the writing is at least competent, and the tales (even the duds) don't outstay their welcome. Stephen Graham Jones' contribution is no "Father, Son, Holy Rabbit" (a vampire vs. werewolf riff? argh). Brian Evenson's story is also slight, but sly and dark and with a surprising twist or two. The overall book design is quite attractive, and I like Daehyun Kim's few illustrations. Some samples: https://plainmagazine.com/daehyun-kim... 2.5 stars, rounded up. Note to publishers: it's helpful to have more of the 42 authors listed in the database entry. (I can only bother to enter a few of them.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    I feel like all anthologies are hit-or-miss, but this one has a frankly ungodly number of hits. Nearly every single story in here is terrific, which may be due to the flash length or just the right pairing of subject matter and writer? Who knows; what I do know is that these stories are spooky, scary, eerie, weird, strange... and terrific. Specifically loved SGJ's, Lena Valencia's, Samantha Hunt's, and a few others -- but everybody, fright-master or scaredy-cat, will find something to enjoy here I feel like all anthologies are hit-or-miss, but this one has a frankly ungodly number of hits. Nearly every single story in here is terrific, which may be due to the flash length or just the right pairing of subject matter and writer? Who knows; what I do know is that these stories are spooky, scary, eerie, weird, strange... and terrific. Specifically loved SGJ's, Lena Valencia's, Samantha Hunt's, and a few others -- but everybody, fright-master or scaredy-cat, will find something to enjoy here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    What’s better than a book full of 40 fast moving horror stories that you can tell and read throughout the Halloween Season. Written by literary, horror and emerging writers, there’s a little of something spooky for everyone. I love reading a little bit everyday especially during spooky season. It creates the perfect atmosphere to get me in the Halloween Spirit.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    Short, engrossing and insanely unrealistic situations without a hint of rational intention. I LOVED IT. Stories are divided between four parts - Heads, Hearts, Limbs and Viscera; not necessarily relative to the context. My favourites from each part are - Doggy Dog World, Afterlives, Cedar Grove Rose and Human milk for babies. I read these stories one or two at a time for a week. They aren’t that frightening, but definitely nightmare-ish!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Lindsey

    Very short horror novels. Some were pretty good, but most were just okay at best. I've been reading one or two of these a night for the past month. A good way to get to sleep. Very short horror novels. Some were pretty good, but most were just okay at best. I've been reading one or two of these a night for the past month. A good way to get to sleep.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Small stories that pack deceivingly large punches, this flash length anthology pulls together some of the best names in contemporary horror and weird fiction. I had high hopes for this one and it definitely did not disappoint. All the usual tropes are here - monsters known and unfamiliar, the terror of technology, horrors both physical and psychological - yet they are dressed up and served to us in new and unique ways. Good old ghosts stories? Check. Scary shit on space ships? Check. Creepy fair Small stories that pack deceivingly large punches, this flash length anthology pulls together some of the best names in contemporary horror and weird fiction. I had high hopes for this one and it definitely did not disappoint. All the usual tropes are here - monsters known and unfamiliar, the terror of technology, horrors both physical and psychological - yet they are dressed up and served to us in new and unique ways. Good old ghosts stories? Check. Scary shit on space ships? Check. Creepy fairy tale retellings and a pretty cool choose-your-own-adventure? Check and check! Whether you're a seasoned horror reader like me or a novice who scares easily (i'm looking at you, scaredy cats who hide horror books in the freezer (do people seriously do that?)), there's something for everyone and just so darn much to love. And what better time to dip into a book of spooky stories than right now?!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    A solid collection of brief horror stories, some of which shine more brightly than others. However, there are enough here that every horror fan should find at least a few to their tastes. Also, luckily, none of the stories are very long, so even if you don't like one it will soon be over. Personal favorites include: Corey Farrenkopf's "We've Been in Enough Places to Know" about an abandoned building and the mysterious creature in the basement. "Jane Death Theory #13" by Iron Amilcar Scott is brief A solid collection of brief horror stories, some of which shine more brightly than others. However, there are enough here that every horror fan should find at least a few to their tastes. Also, luckily, none of the stories are very long, so even if you don't like one it will soon be over. Personal favorites include: Corey Farrenkopf's "We've Been in Enough Places to Know" about an abandoned building and the mysterious creature in the basement. "Jane Death Theory #13" by Iron Amilcar Scott is brief but still searing look at police brutality. Jac Jemc's spooky "Lone" about a woman camping in the woods by herself for the first time. "The Mask, the Ride, the Bag" by Chase Burke is an effective little story of a driver giving a lift to a serial killer. "#MotherMayhem" by Jei D. Marcade is set in an alternate world where a teen losing the skin of their right hand is a right of passage. Pedro Iniguez's "Caravan" tells the story of hardships in a South American caravan headed to the United States. "Human Milk for Human Babies" by Lindsay King-Miller expertly builds dread through communications via internet messages. "Gabriel Metsu, Man Writing a Letter, c. 1664-66" by Helen McClory is a rather simple, but expertly told, story of a haunted painting (based on a real life painting - look it up to get a better feel for the story).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Shaw

    This is a great anthology that introduced me to some new and upcoming writers and provided great content from established horror voices. I don't think there was one story that I didn't enjoy or appreciate, though I definitely have my favourites. My one minor complaint with the collection is that while the short format worked for most of the stories, there were others that I felt would have been more effective as longer works. My favourites include "Guess" by Meg Elison, which is a bit of cli-fi d This is a great anthology that introduced me to some new and upcoming writers and provided great content from established horror voices. I don't think there was one story that I didn't enjoy or appreciate, though I definitely have my favourites. My one minor complaint with the collection is that while the short format worked for most of the stories, there were others that I felt would have been more effective as longer works. My favourites include "Guess" by Meg Elison, which is a bit of cli-fi dystopian goodness about a woman who can accurately predict how people will die. "We've Been in Enough Places to Know" by Corey Farrenkopf is a commentary on housing inequality that involves a very creepy basement dwelling aquatic creature. "Jane Death Theory #13" by Rion Amilcar Scott explores the horrors of police brutality. "Pincer and Tongue" by Stephen Graham Jones explores the repercussions of two exes - a vampire and a werewolf - battling it out in a jungle. "Fingers" by Rachel Heng is another bit of cli-fi that begins with children getting pulled under the muddy ground by fingers that grip them from below, but it goes in a really interesting and unexpected direction. "#MOTHERMAYHEM" by Jei D. Marcade has one of the best first lines I've ever read and is legitimately creepy as hell. These are just some of the stories that gripped me the most, but as I said, each one is pretty great. The anthology gets more gruesome or more reflective of "traditional" horror as it progresses. There are some stories that are more on the "weird fiction" spectrum, and sometimes the horrors are more about social ills than traditional monsters. This is definitely up my alley, and I appreciated that the anthology treated horror as a broad category, focusing on experimental approaches to the genre rather than popular tropes. However, there is also a good amount of pulpy horror fun for those who like that kind of thing (I do). Content warnings for pretty much all the things: violence, murder, abuse, violent deaths, sexism, racism. Recommended for: literary horror fans, weird/experimental fiction fans, those interested in how literature can address social issues in fresh and effective ways, those interested in exposure to new and upcoming horror/spec fic writers. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jaylen

    This is a collection of 42 spooky stories by various established and upcoming literary and horror writers. Ever since I heard about this book a few months ago I have been dying to get my hands on a copy. I binged this collection of horror nuggets and had a blast reading it. This book reminded me of the reading pleasures of binging the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collections as a kid. Each story in the collection is less than 1,500 words, making them consumable in minutes. Subjects range fr This is a collection of 42 spooky stories by various established and upcoming literary and horror writers. Ever since I heard about this book a few months ago I have been dying to get my hands on a copy. I binged this collection of horror nuggets and had a blast reading it. This book reminded me of the reading pleasures of binging the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collections as a kid. Each story in the collection is less than 1,500 words, making them consumable in minutes. Subjects range from an Uber-passenger serial killer, vampires, a zombie apocalypse, etc. Many of these stories get into even more bizarre territory that is difficult to briefly describe (I’ll give it a shot: one story involves a sea captain with a prosthetic leg, and the leg comes to life when it is detached from the captain and has sinister plans - fun stuff!). However, what I appreciated most about this collection is that the stories have depth despite their brief word count. Many of the stories serve as social commentary, based in a range of topics such as police brutality, environmental crises/climate change, sexism, etc. I can’t think of a better book recommendation for spooky season.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Raechel

    This is a great collection of very short horror stories. If you don't get a lot of time to sit and read in one long block, this is the book for you. I thought Monique Laban's 'The Marriage Variations' was so creative, and 'Human Milk for Human Babies' by Lindsay King-Miller absolutely freaked me out. There are a ton of great, creepy, creative stories in this book that really reflect the existential dread we feel in real life over horrors such as racism, environmental catastrophe, homelessness, et This is a great collection of very short horror stories. If you don't get a lot of time to sit and read in one long block, this is the book for you. I thought Monique Laban's 'The Marriage Variations' was so creative, and 'Human Milk for Human Babies' by Lindsay King-Miller absolutely freaked me out. There are a ton of great, creepy, creative stories in this book that really reflect the existential dread we feel in real life over horrors such as racism, environmental catastrophe, homelessness, etc. This is an amazing collection of stories that really leave an impact.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Denice Langley

    A Halloween treat with no trick attached. Each of these delicious stories is short...micro short...in length but huge in content. The authors are all skilled in their craft and could definitely cause a few nightmares with their contributions. I love anthologies because they give me a fresh look at new authors, or new to me anyway, and don't require a considerable time commitment to finish. I turn to these compilations when I'm burned out on series and repeated versions of the same stories told o A Halloween treat with no trick attached. Each of these delicious stories is short...micro short...in length but huge in content. The authors are all skilled in their craft and could definitely cause a few nightmares with their contributions. I love anthologies because they give me a fresh look at new authors, or new to me anyway, and don't require a considerable time commitment to finish. I turn to these compilations when I'm burned out on series and repeated versions of the same stories told over and over. TINY NIGHTMARES is an excellent read. Be sure to read with the lights on and the TV down low!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alec Lurie

    Unfortunately this was a disappointing book. I had high hopes, but most of the stories have some significant issues. A good deal of them are weird and pretentious, another grouping feel more like juvenalia, and then the good ones are too short to really pack any punch. Typically I feel bad writing bad reviews for books whose authors are alive and working, but hopefully this review can save an expectant reader some money.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky Spratford

    Review in the October 2020 issue of Library Journal Three Words That Describe This Book: fast paced, wide range of scares, unsettling Draft Review: In fewer than 300 pages, Michel and Nieto present 42, fascinating, compelling, and entertaining horror stories told with 1,500 words or fewer that lack for nothing in the anxiety and dread department. Each tale balances word count and terror with the accuracy of a marksman, creating characters and situations that reel readers in, hoping this next one wi Review in the October 2020 issue of Library Journal Three Words That Describe This Book: fast paced, wide range of scares, unsettling Draft Review: In fewer than 300 pages, Michel and Nieto present 42, fascinating, compelling, and entertaining horror stories told with 1,500 words or fewer that lack for nothing in the anxiety and dread department. Each tale balances word count and terror with the accuracy of a marksman, creating characters and situations that reel readers in, hoping this next one will turn out better, and yet knowing all along that, of course, it cannot. Broken into sections vividly titled, “Heads,” “Hearts,” “Limbs,” and “Viscera” while featuring both established authors like Jac Jemc and Stephen Graham Jones and lesser known voices such as Rachel Heng [whose “Fingers” was among the volumes’ best] this anthology is an evil delight. Verdict: A better entry into the world of horror as it stands today would be hard to find. The short, but never sweet, tales surprise and delight as they unsettle and terrify. Readers will seek out more titles by the authors they discover here, or if it the format that they connect with, a similar volume, TINY CRIMES: VERY SHORT TALES OF MYSTERY AND MURDER.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Louderback

    A mixed lot of short, short stories, some exquisitely crafted, some a little sloppy, and some just fine, all divided into four clever sections: Heads, Hearts, Limbs, and Viscera. It’s a great little book to keep on your night-stand for some quick bedtime reading — Ben Loory, Stephen Graham Jones, Iván Parra Garcia, and Bennett Sims offer the standout chillers in the collection.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    There were only a few stories that I really liked, maybe 2 or 3. Most of them ended just as they were getting interesting. I guess flash fiction isn't for me. There were only a few stories that I really liked, maybe 2 or 3. Most of them ended just as they were getting interesting. I guess flash fiction isn't for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Finny

    ''The winter became subcutaneous.'' A really disappointing little anthology. Cliché after cliché after cliché, a total absence of creativity, and a focus on concept over narrative—which leaves the majority of stories feeling half-formed, since they just end when the social/political argument has been made. Essentially a showcase of the very worse trends in modern horror literature (specifically, the trend toward 'literary' horror), through the words of writers who are apparently considered some of ''The winter became subcutaneous.'' A really disappointing little anthology. Cliché after cliché after cliché, a total absence of creativity, and a focus on concept over narrative—which leaves the majority of stories feeling half-formed, since they just end when the social/political argument has been made. Essentially a showcase of the very worse trends in modern horror literature (specifically, the trend toward 'literary' horror), through the words of writers who are apparently considered some of the genre's brightest young voices. Of the 42 stories in Tiny Nightmares, only 7 of them stand out as particularly good: 1. We've Been Enough Places to Know by Corey Farrenkopf - Hurt by intrusive and awkward political preaching, but saved by still being a fun little piece of weird fic. 2. Harold by Selena Gambrell Anderson - Probably the best story in the collection; like a Neil Gaiman story by way of Borges. Not really horror so much as fantasy, but very good nonetheless. 3. Fingers by Rachel Heng - A classic little weird tale. Doesn't reinvent the wheel, and you know where it's going as soon as it starts, but it's satisfying to watch it all unfurl. Kind of Junji Ito-esque. 4. We Came Here For Fun by Alana Mohamed - The only story in the collection that succeeds at horror. Genuinely disturbing; gaslighting as a horror concept. Very good. 5. The Barrow Wight by Josh Cook - The other best story in the collection. Well written, well plotted, and with a vein of black comedy. Feels like the first chapter of a fun novel. 6. Pincer and Tongue by Stephen Graham Jones - Messily written, but wonderfully creative. The ending is absolutely nuts in all the right ways. 7. The Mask, The Ride, The Bag by Chase Burke - A really strong story. Of the many stories that use apps/social-media as their hook, this is the only one that really nails it—probably because it's essentially a timeless gothic horror story that could be transposed onto a taxi driver in the 80s or a coachman in the 1700s and still work perfectly. The villain is fantastic. The remaining 35 stories are either serviceably written but completely devoid of creativity, or (more often) conceptually interesting but ruined by poor writing, lazy plotting, and/or political posturing. It's a shame. The book is such a beautifully put together package—from a graphic design and build quality perspective, it's easily one of the nicest paperbacks I own—but the stories inside just don't do justice to the lovely little book they're contained within. Should it ever happen, I will happily pick up Tiny Nightmares Volume 2. I just hope, next time, they focus less on conceptual stories and 'literary' horror, and more on good, well written, fully formed little horror stories.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steph Arizpe Strobel

    Unconventional but still effectively horrifying. These stories utilize some very fearful elements of the modern world, including poverty, racism, environmental decline, and a rule of under 1500 words to send a quick chill down your spine. Also, I love the jacket design and the illustrations, they were very similar to the illustrations done by Dianne Ruz in Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? 4.5 stars rounded up! favorite stories: - Human Milk for Human Babies by Lindsay King-Miller - Candyboii by Sam J. Unconventional but still effectively horrifying. These stories utilize some very fearful elements of the modern world, including poverty, racism, environmental decline, and a rule of under 1500 words to send a quick chill down your spine. Also, I love the jacket design and the illustrations, they were very similar to the illustrations done by Dianne Ruz in Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? 4.5 stars rounded up! favorite stories: - Human Milk for Human Babies by Lindsay King-Miller - Candyboii by Sam J. Miller - Instruments of the Ancestors by Troy L. Wiggins - #Mothermayhem by Jei D. Marcade - Veins, Like a System by Eshani Surha - Caravan by Pedro Iniguez - The Mask, The Ride, The Bag by Chase Burke - Fingers by Rachel Heng

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mersadys

    1.5/5 only a few really good stories, a handful with either interesting concepts badly written or well written with shallow ideas, and the rest were boring silly garbage. the cover is what sells this book so to whoever designed it you did a great job. love the soft-rubbery material too - contrasting with smooth glossed paper. Textures! Colors!

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