cover image There Comes a Midnight Hour

There Comes a Midnight Hour

Gary A. Braunbeck. Raw Dog Screaming, $17.95 trade paper (226p) ISBN 978-1-947879-24-9

Bram Stoker Award winner Braunbeck (Rose of Sharon) brings together an uneven but enjoyable collection of 15 short works of dark fantasy. The similarities in tone and narrators cause many of these pieces to blur together, though there are a few hard-hitting gems. Notable stories include “AND STILL YOU WONDER WHY OUR FIRST IMPULSE IS TO KILL YOU,” an “alphabetized faux-manifesto” that delivers a highly original examination of the monstrous; “One Night Only,” an atmospheric and suspenseful tale about the plight of artists after an event called the Great Resurrection; “Down in Darkest Dixie Where the Dead Don’t Dance,” a novelette about a New Orleans detective contending with the city’s ghosts; and “Consumers,” a memorable weird fiction piece set in a “New and Shiny Big Box Store” where a young boy is abandoned by his mother. Less successful are “We Now Pause for Station Identification,” a crass and uninspired zombie story centered on a radio station host, and the overly expositional “Paper Cuts.” This is best suited for Braunbeck’s die-hard fans. (Mar.)