Apparently ‘In the Library of the Damned, hidden away amongst that vast depository of ancient wisdom,there exists a certain bookcase where the most decadent, the most blasphemous of tomes sit upon a dusty shelf.
And amongst those titles – that should never be named – there is one volume that is the most terrible, the most hideous of them all. That book is the Lexicon of Fear.’
Well so much for Horrorology‘s introduction, but what’s inside this blasphemous tome?
Twelve tales from some of Horror’s top writers collected by the esteemed Mr Stephen Jones, to be precise, including Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Muriel Gray and Hothouse pal Kim Newman. What’s more there is a really gruesome collection of demons daubed on the cover along with a nice bunch of ink drawings on each title page by Clive Barker so you are certainly getting a pretty little bundle for your £25.
Horrrorology kicks off with Accursed by Robert Shearman and if clowns freak you out it’s the story for you, with three dead ones on the first page, what’s that I hear it’s not enough dead clowns? read on for some quality chills. The pace keeps up with a brief typically demonic Clive Barker tale before Michael Marshall Smith’s motorbike trip to the beyond in Afterlife. There are some creepy goings in at the morgue in Pat Cadigan’s Chilling and in Muriel Grey’s Forgotten an arrogant young actor learns that you don’t diss a lowly waitress, because she might just do more than spit in your soup. In Guignol Kim Newman introduces us to his latest project The Angels of Music who are basically the Charlie’s Angels of the dark side of 19th century Paris, while Ramsey Campbell contributes a disastrous weekend away in Nightmare, and Reggie Oliver delivers a new kind of photographic capture in Possessions.
As in any anthology some stories are more fun than others, but there are happily no clunkers so I give Horrology a 555/666.
Horrorology is out now from our friends at Jo Fletcher Books price £25