In That Endlessness, Our End

Gemma Files. Grimscribe, $20 trade paper (342p) ISBN 978-0-578-75976-0
This electrifying collection of 15 horror shorts from Files (Spectral Evidence) seeks out the hidden pockets of terror in everyday life. In “Bulb,” a woman encounters an eldritch creature in the wiring of her condo, while in “Always after Three” a couple are tormented by strange music and smells emanating from a neighboring apartment. A group of writers summon an otherworldly entity while doing a writing exercise in “Venio.” “The Puppet Motel,” one of the standouts, follows a woman as she grows increasingly troubled by the unsettling atmosphere of an Airbnb she runs. And in “Sleep Hygiene,” perhaps the collection’s grimmest entry, a woman haunted by nightmares consults a sleep therapist who has suspicious motives. Files maintains a sense of dread throughout with taut, unflinching prose sprinkled with touches of gore. Files’s monsters peer out from the periphery of reality, creating a sense of lurking horror and existential dread. This atmospheric collection will have even the most seasoned horror readers considering sleeping with the lights on. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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