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ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare

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Your nose is to the grindstone, day after day. You spend your work hours overworked and underappreciated, only to return home and deal with bills, landlords, and the ever-oppressive shadow of capitalism consuming you and everything you love. The horrors of capitalism are the horrors we all face every day, and they are confronted head-on in ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Your nose is to the grindstone, day after day. You spend your work hours overworked and underappreciated, only to return home and deal with bills, landlords, and the ever-oppressive shadow of capitalism consuming you and everything you love. The horrors of capitalism are the horrors we all face every day, and they are confronted head-on in ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare. Contained within are nineteen tales of capitalism gone wrong--from designer children to deadly bosses, predatory lenders to plague-ridden laborers--all revealing the dark underbelly of economic oppression from some of horror's best independent and emerging writers from around the globe. In solidarity, there is strength against terror and fear. Let these stories be your guide, because, after all..."What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable." -Karl Marx


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Your nose is to the grindstone, day after day. You spend your work hours overworked and underappreciated, only to return home and deal with bills, landlords, and the ever-oppressive shadow of capitalism consuming you and everything you love. The horrors of capitalism are the horrors we all face every day, and they are confronted head-on in ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Your nose is to the grindstone, day after day. You spend your work hours overworked and underappreciated, only to return home and deal with bills, landlords, and the ever-oppressive shadow of capitalism consuming you and everything you love. The horrors of capitalism are the horrors we all face every day, and they are confronted head-on in ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare. Contained within are nineteen tales of capitalism gone wrong--from designer children to deadly bosses, predatory lenders to plague-ridden laborers--all revealing the dark underbelly of economic oppression from some of horror's best independent and emerging writers from around the globe. In solidarity, there is strength against terror and fear. Let these stories be your guide, because, after all..."What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable." -Karl Marx

37 review for ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare

  1. 5 out of 5

    Briana Morgan

    Review originally posted on Instagram (@brianamorganbooks). I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of PROLESCARYET: TALES OF HORROR AND CLASS WARFARE (out May 1), and I can't wait to share my thoughts on this one. I LOVE when horror provides social commentary in addition to entertainment value. I already anticipated loving this book, but it was even better than I expected. In this collection, you'll find some powerhouse names in modern horror (Hailey Piper, Joanna Koch, Laurel Hightower), as well as Review originally posted on Instagram (@brianamorganbooks). I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of PROLESCARYET: TALES OF HORROR AND CLASS WARFARE (out May 1), and I can't wait to share my thoughts on this one. I LOVE when horror provides social commentary in addition to entertainment value. I already anticipated loving this book, but it was even better than I expected. In this collection, you'll find some powerhouse names in modern horror (Hailey Piper, Joanna Koch, Laurel Hightower), as well as some new favorites (Brennan LaFaro for me!). These stories packed a punch while offering insight into consumerism and capitalist culture. I can't say enough good things about this collection and give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Don't miss out on this one!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justin Lewis

    For the most part, the majority of us are the working class. We have to go to work to earn money to live. We do this every day- rinse, repeat until we retire or die. Along that way we are treated unfairly, taken advantage of, made to worry about that next paycheck. One doesn't really need to add an element of horror to make these situations dire or raise the stakes, but in ProleSCARYet, that's exactly what happens in these 19 tales of economic oppression, in one way or another. Chances are you'll For the most part, the majority of us are the working class. We have to go to work to earn money to live. We do this every day- rinse, repeat until we retire or die. Along that way we are treated unfairly, taken advantage of, made to worry about that next paycheck. One doesn't really need to add an element of horror to make these situations dire or raise the stakes, but in ProleSCARYet, that's exactly what happens in these 19 tales of economic oppression, in one way or another. Chances are you'll relate to the emotions of some of these characters; I know I did. Sure, maybe (hopefully) you haven't had these EXACT situations happen, but I've been treated and seen others treated the way a number of these characters have which makes a lot of this relatable in some fashion. I'm not sure that I'll always be able to do this, but I wrote a note for each story. I tried not to spoil anything and put "*" next to my favorites. That said, not a bad story in the lot: Variables - Clark Boyd: Pizza gets delivered to the rich flouting the rules during a pandemic. Means something different reading this in 2021 than it will later. Reminded me of THE RED MASK OF DEATH. That Ye Shall Transgress - Hailey Piper: Left home when they can’t afford to accompany their friends to Europe, the unnamed protagonist finds a channel online that will take them places. Disorienting in a good way. Salen’s Found - Corey Farrenkopf: Hal and his girlfriend are down on their luck when they starting getting pamphlets for a cult and wonder if that’s their way out. Couple goals! Beelzebub (Gas Station 1) - Nathaniel Lee Greeks: Night shift worker gets an offer he won’t soon forget. The description of the “customer’s” voice was very effective. Bearing Gifts - Ilene Goldman: Debt consolidation can be rough. I liked this story, but I’m not sure I understand the "rules". That’ll make sense after you read it. Sweet Meats: A Grisly Tale of Hansel and Gretel - Tim Kane: VERY different take on the story of Hansel and Gretel. I’m not totally sure how this fit the theme? Maybe the children were supposed to represent big business? That’s not a spoiler, but I’m curious if I’m right or not. Snap - Brennan LaFaro: A story about being disposable to your workplace. This one was kind of a bummer because part of it is probably true for a lot of businesses. Good story, sad truth. Eating Into Your Free Time - Derek Des Anges: Flashbacks of working retail with this one, though this story is set in a chain coffee shop. This one made me a little angry, but I think it was supposed to. * Suffer the Children - Laurel Hightower: An empty office delivers a message and more. Loved this story! On Probation - Donald McCarthy: A story about misplaced loyalty. This one made me mad. Turn-Around - Ty Zink: Turn-around is definitely a thing in large companies, especially when they can fire employees for anything and not give them a reason. Angry again. I’m noticing a trend. * Return Policy - Dustin Walker: Love this story. Science makes it possible to keep loved ones alive, but is it too good to be true? And at what cost? * Empty - Noah Lemelson: I really enjoyed this story. I’ve worked for companies that expected you to make the customer happy at ANY cost. Falling Apart - Tom Nicholson: Satirical take on working yourself to pieces. Sad but darkly funny. Blur - David Stevens: This story goes to some unexpected places. I’m not 100% sure I followed all of it, but still liked it a lot. *The Price of Motherhood - Tiffany Michelle Brown: Cool story about a woman who decides to “have” a child, no matter the cost. Alabaster Cities - Joanna Michal Hoyt: An entity seems to be taking over a town in this unusual tale. Really enjoyed this one. Peaveman’s Lament - Joanna Koch: I’ll admit, I had to read this one twice and I’m still sure I’m missing something. Beautifully written, but might have gone over my head a bit. CORPOS! - M. Lopes da Silva: A story about a monster of building. I liked how the "building" itself was described; I could see it very clearly in my head. After I got about 50% of the way in, I realized that I was starting to get angry. My empathy kicked in hard for a lot of these characters; lots of us have been these characters in similar (probably less supernatural) circumstances. There's a lot of injustice and hopelessness in these stories and all the credit goes to the authors for making me feel something. That doesn't always happen when reading horror and, in a anthology where we don't spend much time with each set of characters, I find it especially impressive. 4 out of 5 stars *I was provided an ebook ARC by the editor for review

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christi Nogle

    An enjoyable anthology themed on labor issues and anti-capitalism. Some of the most memorable stories to me were "Sweet Meats: A Grisly Tale of Hansel and Gretel" by Tim Kane, "That Ye Shall Transgress" by Hailey Piper, The Price of Motherhood Tiffany Michelle Brown, "Alabaster Cities" by Joanna Michal Hoyt, "CORPOS!" by M. Lopes da Silva, "Falling Apart" by Tom Nicholson, "Variables" by Clark Boyd, and "Salen’s Found" by Corey Farrenkopf. An enjoyable anthology themed on labor issues and anti-capitalism. Some of the most memorable stories to me were "Sweet Meats: A Grisly Tale of Hansel and Gretel" by Tim Kane, "That Ye Shall Transgress" by Hailey Piper, The Price of Motherhood Tiffany Michelle Brown, "Alabaster Cities" by Joanna Michal Hoyt, "CORPOS!" by M. Lopes da Silva, "Falling Apart" by Tom Nicholson, "Variables" by Clark Boyd, and "Salen’s Found" by Corey Farrenkopf.

  4. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Sullivan

    Within horror fiction we often find characters plagued by impossible choices, trapped in hellish circumstances, and exploited by the forces of evil. Sound familiar? If you’re part of the working class those unfortunate situations probably don’t sound like fiction at all. Have you had to weigh putting off medical treatment against paying bills you already have? Stuck in a soul-sucking job? Do you think your boss is in league with the Devil? Yes friend, there are many horrors of capitalism, and th Within horror fiction we often find characters plagued by impossible choices, trapped in hellish circumstances, and exploited by the forces of evil. Sound familiar? If you’re part of the working class those unfortunate situations probably don’t sound like fiction at all. Have you had to weigh putting off medical treatment against paying bills you already have? Stuck in a soul-sucking job? Do you think your boss is in league with the Devil? Yes friend, there are many horrors of capitalism, and that’s exactly what you will find within the anthology ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare. These 19 stories blend genuine experiences and fiction to explore feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, and the inability to escape our station in life through inventive and disturbing ways. Some tales expose the absurdity of capitalism, while others lean into horrific savagery of the class system. You’ll find familiar, terrific authors such as Hailey Piper and Laurel Hightower, as well as writers that might be new to you. The following are just a handful of my personal favourites in the collection. In “Salen’s Found” by Corey Farrenkopf a landscaper is faced with subjecting himself to anaphylaxis from poison ivy or losing his job by refusing the boss’s orders. Feeling there must be more to life, he contemplates joining a local religious commune, but sometimes it’s better the devil you know. The author did an amazing job of infusing this story with a tangible sense of desperation. And speaking of the devil, “Beelzebub (Gas Station 1)” by Nathaniel Lee takes the title of ‘Lord of the Flies’ in a literal direction. What begins as a comical take on working the dreaded nightshift at a gas station soon takes a turn to terror when a menacing figure approaches the clerk with a buzzing suitcase. I had an idea of where this tale was going, but the details and writing style were so good I reread it a few times. Ever feel like your job will be the death of you? At Frozen Yoggie’s House of Yogurt if your death means keeping the customer happy, then so be it. At least that’s what store manager Jane expects of her employees in “Empty” by Noah Lemelson. When a customer requests an item needed from the storage room, staff suit up and load M16 riffles to face the infestation lurking in the dark backroom. This was a fun and scary story, and I loved the satirical undertones. But workers aren’t the only people to be exploited in capitalism, as displayed in “The Price of Motherhood” by Tiffany Michelle Brown which looks at the role consumers play instead. Depressed over her ex-husband’s new family, Leslie turns to the company Lyfelike to make her dream of motherhood come true. In this story the character is both the victim of consumerism and part of the problem as her need for wish fulfilment overrides her emotional and financial responsibilities. Leslie isn’t exactly a sympathetic character, but she’s relatable and understandable, which makes the story even more impactful. Throughout the collection there were a few stories that didn’t quite resonate with me, but overall, it’s a strong anthology. Whether you’re looking to commiserate with characters stuck working for the man, or need to vent your frustrations on inequalities, and want some chills along the way, ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare is a unique take on capitalist horrors you won’t soon forget. And the talented editors behind this project (Ian A. Bain, Anthony Engebretson, J.R. Handfield, Eric Raglin, and Marcus Woodman) are putting the money where their mouth is as all profits of the book will be directed to “Labor Rights” an organization working to improve the rights of workers around the world. *Review first appeared on Kendall Reviews*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received a paperback ARC of ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare, an anthology, with cover art by Lynne Hansen, interior design, typesetting and layout by Sam Richard, published by Rad Flash Press, for review consideration. It is edited by Ian Bain, Anthony Engebretson, J. R. Handfield, Eric Raglin, and Marcus Woodman; they brought this all together working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What follows is my honest review, freely given. I rated this anthology 4 stars. I want to I received a paperback ARC of ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare, an anthology, with cover art by Lynne Hansen, interior design, typesetting and layout by Sam Richard, published by Rad Flash Press, for review consideration. It is edited by Ian Bain, Anthony Engebretson, J. R. Handfield, Eric Raglin, and Marcus Woodman; they brought this all together working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What follows is my honest review, freely given. I rated this anthology 4 stars. I want to note that the profits from these tales of capitalistic horror will be directed to Labor Rights, “an organization in solidarity with workers around the world fighting for better pay, better work conditions, and a better quality of life.” - quoted from introduction so I wouldn’t get it wrong. I think that is something special. VARIABLES – Clark Boyd I was revved up after reading this one. Thought this whole anthology was going to be filled with stories where we stuck it to the capitalist scum (wrong, I was wrong), because of this beautiful opening story. Top 6. THAT YE SHALL TRANSGRESS – Hailey Piper I keep thinking of the nice guy ranters, you know the ones; nice guys are always chosen last, put upon, etc. Thematically adjacent is the best way to describe this story with no spoilers. All lies those ranters. SALEN’S FOUND – Corey Farrenkopf The meme about not liking your coffee too dark and your looking down at a cup that’s saying lets murder someone, but then you add some cream and it says I hate everyone, and you say perfect. That’s this story. It’s the perfect blend of darkness and dry humor. BEELZEBUB (GAS STATION 1) – Nathaniel Lee I have worked night shift at a truck stop off a lonely highway exit; I can attest to the oddness of customers one would encounter. This guy was smart, your mind does go into a lull; who knows what you may discuss to pass the hours. The strangest I remember is the naked guy who we would see appear from nowhere, giving us plenty of time to lock the doors. GREEKS BEARING GIFTS – Ilene Goldman I just love that this read like a modern fairy tale. Reminds me of the warning, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. SWEET MEATS: A GRISLY TALE OF HANSEL AND GRETEL – Tim Kane This did feel a little out of place theme wise, but I love it so much. I choose to think (probably correctly) I am missing the connection. Top 6. SNAP – Brennan LaFaro A nasty little tale. I can think of a few times I wish I had the power to snap some issues away. EATING INTO YOUR FREE TIME – Derek Des Anges I wanted to see what would happen after, when the meeting was over. This was a interesting fade to black type of story, but I’m not sure if the story would hold up if it had to continue past where it stopped abruptly; hence me interest in seeing it continue. SUFFER THE CHILDREN – Laurel Hightower it’s getting to where if I read someone saying “I am mother”, I know you have messed up royally and deserve whatever is coming to you. So I can’t help but side with mother on this one, and think, good, as the door closes on Tony. ON PROBATION – Donald McCarthy I don’t know if this story depresses me or not, so I don’t know if I enjoy it or not. Several readings and I still can not answer this question. It’s a well written story, but my reaction to it, I can’t name it. TURN AROUND – Ty Zink Short and to the point. Can’t really go into detail without fear of spoilers. Creepy little story. RETURN POLICY – Dustin Walker I couldn’t help but think of Repo the Genetic Opera (love it), but this is if the company went beyond evil. I just could not imagine in my darkest moment ever agreeing to something like this, but who am I to judge? Top 6. EMPTY – Noah Lemelson If you’re not laughing, you’re crying. I can see a ‘Karen’ acting like this, I know the service industry already has to have this mentality, so yeah. It’s funny, we’re laughing. Top 6 FALLING APART – Tom Nicholson It’s the oddest little story I have read in a long time. It reminds me a bit of the Far Side cartoons when they hit a bit too close to home. BLUR – David Stevens I’ve found myself fonder of moths in stories than butterflies; even if I do not understand the whole of the story they are in, as is here. I find myself reading this over again and again, different passages taking point each time; I wonder what that means to my overall understanding, or lack thereof. Top 6. THE PRICE OF MOTHERHOOD – Tiffany Michelle Brown Blood, pain, and tears. Universal currency. Love this story so much. Top 6. ALABASTER CITIES – Joanna Michal Hoyt Smaller cities would be easier to notice first, that’s what I keep thinking about with this story. But I’m not sure that would hold up now, a messy town being safe. It messes with me though, the thought of this perfect little town, and it’s predatory; the buildings. PEAVEMAN’S LAMENT – Joanna Koch I’ll be honest and admit I did not understand all of this, but it was written beautifully. I especially thought the second half to be moving. CORPOS! – M. Lopes da Silva This felt in vein of Bentley Little and Clive Barker. I thought it a good choice as the closure of the anthology.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Karasek

    I didn't love all of these stories, but some of them I loved so much, I'd give them an eight out of five, so I think it easily averages out to at least five stars. Highlights: Salen's Found - Down-on-his-luck two-job-juggling Hal just has to keep it up until his girlfriend finishes college, then he can back to school. But things keep getting worse and he keeps getting pamphlets for some community/cult. A favorite sentence, "If creepy came with health insurance, he wouldn't complain" (45). Return Po I didn't love all of these stories, but some of them I loved so much, I'd give them an eight out of five, so I think it easily averages out to at least five stars. Highlights: Salen's Found - Down-on-his-luck two-job-juggling Hal just has to keep it up until his girlfriend finishes college, then he can back to school. But things keep getting worse and he keeps getting pamphlets for some community/cult. A favorite sentence, "If creepy came with health insurance, he wouldn't complain" (45). Return Policy - You know those newborn dolls? Imagine those except with full-blown AI designed for grieving parents. Now imagine what happens when technology goes what it always eventually does. Empty - Just your basic day in the life of a yogurt store clerk. Dissatisfied customers, wailing children, and having to brave the things living in the cooler to restock. A favorite line, "No one outside of my professors would ever read my thesis, but there was a woman waiting outside who still wanted some frozen yogurt" (150). Falling Apart - This one's surprisingly self-explanatory. The narrator is quite literally falling apart while trying desperately to keep working. A favorite section, "Losing all those fingers allowed me to be creative with how I got them from my bike, across brick-patterned driveways littered with range rovers and onto people's porches... I made sure to include these skills in any cover letter attached to my resume" (158). Alabaster Cities - If I had to pick a favorite from the entire anthology, this one's a strong contestant. Farm fields are paved over to create a mall and there's something weird going on with the bank, or at least Ed thinks so. CORPOS! - I pride myself in turning my nose up at allegories, but this is how it's done! Workers build a giant (building) so that they have jobs and paychecks. They want to keep getting pay checks. The giant wants more. This is really beautiful writing, too beautiful for me to highlight any one section, so you'll just have to read the whole thing yourself. And there's plenty more where that came from!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aina

    4.5 stars rounded up! The nightmares of capitalism clash with the mundanity of everyday living in this collection of nineteen horror stories. ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare attempts to tackle the various ways people deal with jobs that barely value them as workers, much less as human beings. I found these stories relatable and well-balanced in mixing scares with social commentary. Vengeance plays a role in many of the stories, like in Variables by Clark Boyd, a pizza delivery bri 4.5 stars rounded up! The nightmares of capitalism clash with the mundanity of everyday living in this collection of nineteen horror stories. ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare attempts to tackle the various ways people deal with jobs that barely value them as workers, much less as human beings. I found these stories relatable and well-balanced in mixing scares with social commentary. Vengeance plays a role in many of the stories, like in Variables by Clark Boyd, a pizza delivery brings something extra to a houseful of people, and Suffer The Children by Laurel Hightower which focuses on a CEO whose decisions come back to haunt him. Another recurring theme is the characters having to make hard choices, like in Beelzebub (Gas Station 1) by Nathaniel Lee Greeks where a night shift worker at a gas station gets a tempting offer, and Empty by Noah Lemelson - a suspenseful, action-packed account of the extent retail workers have to go to please customers. I also liked the otherworldly elements that appear here, like in Alabaster Cities by Joanna Michal Hoyt that looks at the strange, claustrophobic changes taking place in a small town, and Corpos! by M. Lopes da Silva which takes the idea of a monstrous workplace and makes it literal. A brilliantly written collection that brings up intriguing ideas about capitalism, poverty, revenge, and justice. Profits from this collection will go to Labor Rights! Thank you to Cursed Morsels Podcast for a review copy. book blog | twitter | instagram

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noah Lemelson

  9. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ece Öztürk

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Tichy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brennan LaFaro

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ty Zink

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sonora Taylor

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Woodman

  17. 4 out of 5

    Scott Moses

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Guarino

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shane Hawk

  21. 5 out of 5

    Red Lagoe

  22. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roxie Voorhees

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leona

  25. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hail Hydra! ~Dave Anderson~

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Maddux

  29. 4 out of 5

    JonBob

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elle

  31. 4 out of 5

    Mjhancock

  32. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ian Bain

  34. 4 out of 5

    Frank Herrera

  35. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Huntington

  36. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Franklin

  37. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

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