Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Episode 22: Wilson, Prentiss, Mesling - All-American Horror of the 21st Century

Welcome to another exciting Radio Gothic special, folks. If you're new to the drill, this is where we bring you an episode chock-full of some of the best fiction from a single anthology. The common denominator in these episodes is that the anthology in question invariably sports a story by your woe-inspiring host, Pete Mesling—and that story invariably finds its way into the podcast. We figure it's the least we can do for Poor Pete.

This time out, however, Mesling takes up precious little of your time. His tale is a very short one, which makes room for the heavy lifting of two genre stars: F. Paul Wilson, of The Keep and Repairman Jack fame, and Cemetery Dance author Norman Prentiss. Wilson's "Night Dive," Prentiss's "The Albright Sextuplets," and Mesling's "The Tree Mumblers" are taken from the Mort Castle-edited volume All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 - 2010, and if this episode isn't enough to prompt you to pick up a copy, you might just be beyond help.

To be perfectly honest, Mesling had hoped to expand this episode by an additional story, but a logistical problem got in the way. Still, we'd be remiss if we failed to point out that David Morrell's "They" is one of the most chilling tales of terror to come slithering into print in a good long while. It bears echoes of Ambrose Bierce, but it's thoroughly original. Make sure to read it if you ever get the chance (hint: All-American Horror can be ordered here; and there are many other jewels between its covers, make no mistake).

We don't want to put too many barriers between you and the enjoyment of the narrated stories that await you. Mesling provides some additional information about each of them in his narration. But we don't want to leave you without any biographical information on the included authors. So to that end ...

F. Paul Wilson has published north of forty novels and numerous short stories translated into twenty-four languages. His latest, The Dark at the End, involves his recurring character, Repairman Jack.

Norman Prentiss won the 2009 Stoker Award for Short Fiction. His first book, Invisible Fences, appeared in 2010, with other appearances in Postscripts, Black Static, Best Horror of the Year, Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror and in three editions of the Shivers anthology series.

A hearty thanks to them both for allowing us to feature their stories on The Bare Knuckle Podcast. Do be sure to click through to their websites for more information.

Well now, what are you waiting for? Plug in and tune out. It's time for some scares! We'll be here when you come crawling back for more. Believe it.

UPDATE: You can now read Mesling's "The Tree Mumblers" for free at his None So Deaf blog!