cover image Scary Out There

Scary Out There

Edited by Jonathan Maberry. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5070-6

“Being alone, being ignored, not fitting in, peer pressure... man, there are so many kinds of fear out there,” writes editor Maberry in his introduction to this horror anthology, featuring short fiction and verse offerings from more than 20 members of the Horror Writers of America, including Cherie Priest, R.L. Stine, Ilsa J. Bick, and Kendare Blake. Ghost stories and brushes with Death mingle with modern terrors like addictive video games and cyber-stalkers to provide a wide range of unsettling, chilling tales. Some stories are easy to relate to, such as Carrie Ryan’s “What Happens to Girls Who Disappear,” about a girl who just wants to be special, or Zac Brewer’s “Death and Twinkies,” about a boy contemplating suicide on a bridge. Others pump up the adrenaline, like Christopher Golden’s “What Happens When the Heart Just Stops,” set in a dystopian future where nighttime belongs to flying terrors. While most of the stories are solid, several end abruptly or ambiguously, making for a few too many unfulfilling moments. As a whole, though, this collection hits the mark. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Aug.)