Where the Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Vol. 1

Karl Edward Wagner, Author, Stephen Jones, Editor, J. K. Potter, Illustrator, Laird Barron, Afterword by, Peter Straub, Introduction by
Edited by Stephen Jones. Centipede, $45 (360p) ISBN 978-1-933618-97-5
Reviewed on: 02/27/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
One of the best horror writers of the 1970s and ’80s, Wagner (1945–1994) wrote eerie and disturbing stories that acknowledged the genre’s history, but were distinctly modern in their approach and development. This first of two retrospective volumes collects his nine longest—and best—tales, several of them modern horror classics. The award-winning Lovecraft homage “Sticks” and the haunted house tale “In the Pines” are subtle, atmospheric creepers whose horrors emerge naturally from their remote rural settings. “The Fourth Seal” is a perfectly paranoid tale about the dark side of the medical profession. “The River of Night’s Dreaming” and “Beyond Any Measure” both read like transcripts of fever dreams enriched with erotic imagery and taboo-challenging incidents. J.K. Potter’s surreal photographic art, distributed throughout the book, is the perfect complement to Wagner’s unsettling weird tales. (Apr.)