cover image Fear Itself

Fear Itself

James K. Moran. Lethe, $18 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-1-59021-743-6

The 10 unsettling tales of Moran’s debut collection ably live up to the title, featuring monsters that will haunt nightmares. In “Glimpses Through the Trees,” a creature visible only out of the corner of one’s eye chases a couple as they desperately drive away. Terrifying whispers come from a couple’s baby monitor as they adjust to new parenthood in “Monitored.” Technology again serves as a vehicle for fright in “Burned,” in which an entity murders through digital video. Some of the stories are less immediately scary, including “Carl and Monty’s Prairie Wager,” a voicey take on a classic zombie story, and “Living Under the Conditions,” which presents a not quite apocalyptic scenario in which gravity and time fluctuate wildly. The collection ends on a high note, with the moving ghost story “A Canadian Ghost in London,” which explores love, loss, grief, and letting go. Incorporating cosmic horror, Indigenous legend, and B-movie monsters, there’s something here to please any horror fan. (Dec.)