Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales

John Horner Jacobs. JournalStone, $16.95 trade paper (237p) ISBN 978-1-950305-39-1
This collection of 10 weird fiction tales from Jacobs, two of which are original to this volume, bristles with energy and style. “The Children of Yig,” a work of cosmic horror, sees an otherworldly scourge blindside a horde of Viking berserkers. In the title novella, a southern gothic extravaganza, Jacobs traces the aftermath of his 2011 novel Southern Gods through the lives of its younger characters as they struggle to evade an infernal menace in rural Arkansas in the 1950s and ’60s. Several stories skillfully splice horror with science fiction, notably “Verrata,” in which the narrator’s Virtual Reality implant becomes infected, inducing ghostly visions, and “Single, Singularity,” which features a horrifyingly sentient Artificial Intelligence. Jacobs demonstrates masterful control of his eclectic themes and frequently propels them into unexpected and pleasingly original territory. This marvelously eerie collection offers plenty to keep genre fans hooked. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/20/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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