Tag Archives: literary horror

Dreaming Darkly with Charles L. Grant for Short Story Month

May Is Short Story Month.  Week Two.  Let’s Dream Darkly with Charles L. Grant

Tuesday’s Tale of Quiet Horror    May 8, 2018    READING FICTION BLOG

When All the Children Call My Name by Charles L. Grant  (1981)



Because May is Short Story Month, I am featuring more short fiction for these weeks ahead. Here is one of my favorite authors for “quiet horror” stories. What is quiet horror? In this subgenre are stories that have a strong sense of the mysterious that stimulate the intellect and catches the emotion. No violence. Nothing offensive.  But lots of tension in the plot action and characterization. Most quiet horror is atmospheric with descriptive prose and setting, sometimes just a little bit poetic.  It brings on feelings of suspension and cold dread. It expands the imagination. It opens up the philosophic.  In literature and art there is the ‘negative space’ and quiet horror is fully there. Many readers prefer to call this subgenre literary horror. Center stage in these stories are the characters and their rising fear of the supernatural, discarnate spirits, evil powers, and sinister murderers.

Charles L. Grant is well-known as the king of quiet horror. Grant is highly skilled at deep suspense and making a reader turn the page with expectation.  In a Dark Dream is Grant’s award-winning novel (Bram Stoker Award for Fiction) that inspired me to write my own quiet horror novel about dreams of darkness in Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural (winner of an Eric Hoffer Book Award). The metaphysical action of dreaming is fertile ground for creative writing and scary novels.


Here is one of Grant’s short stories

When All the Children Call My Name. Read it at Nightmare Magazine and

    …  scream quietly:





Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories,  suspense, crime, sci-fi, and ‘quiet horror.’ Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”


 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Mt. Greylock, Night Sea Journey, psychological horror, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, tales of terror

Literary Horror: Windeye by Brian Evenson

Have you read Brian Evenson, A Contemporary Literary Horror Author?

Praise from Peter Straub:

“Whenever I try to describe the resonant and disturbing literature that Horror, whether acknowledged or not, lately has found itself capable of producing, I find myself alluding to Brian Evenson, along with Graham Joyce and a few others: of these splendid younger writers, Evenson places himself furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice—narrative at the far edge of narrative possibility—where he can speak clearly and plainly of loss, violence, and pain. THE OPEN CURTAIN is, very simply, a stunning book.”

Tales of Terror will return to regular posts on Tuesday, January 7 with an exciting Lovecraft short, but for this New Year’s Day of 2014, I thought I’d divert from classic 20th-century authors and recommend a modern horror author.  I’ve only just recently discovered Brian Evenson with his short story collection “Windeye.”

Evenson’s works are classified not only as literary horror but also as popular fiction, literary minimalism, science fiction, and fiction with touches of violence and humor. He’s written ten books of fiction, won numerous awards including American Library Association Award for Horror in 2009 and a finalist for an Edgar Award to say nothing of the O.Henry prizes and fellowships.

I won’t bore you any further with all his fine credentials because his work stands up magnificently anyway; I will just say this … when I read the short stories in Windeye, I found myself mesmerized by the writing, the storytelling, and of course the compelling lyrical style and faultless prose. Suspense? Oh yes, there’s plenty to keep your eyes on the page and wanting more.

Here’s a basic question that Evenson’s short stories ask: How would you function in an unreal world? In The Other Ear, for example, how would you handle a transplanted ear on the side of your head if the ear began to reveal a voice of its own? Or in his mysterious Windeye (short story title same as book title) about a house that has a secret window. A window that can be seen only on the outside of the attic. The window is called “windeye.” It makes one wonder if wind can look into a house. Hmmmm. Yeah, Evenson is no ordinary writer.

If you are looking to discover an author that’ll bring you into the depths of the darkly imagined, Brian Evanson will escort you in great style. I found his collections of short stories at my local library, but this is certainly an author I will want to have on my shelf.

Here are the opening lines of Windeye

‘They lived, when he was growing up, in a simple house, an old bungalow with a converted attic and sides covered in cedar shake. In the back, where an oak thrust its branches over the roof, the shake was light brown, almost honey. In the front, where the sun struck it full,  it had weathered to a pale gray, like a dirty bone.’

‘ … like a dirty bone.’  Do you feel something from that image of a dirty bone? Curious for more?

You can read Windeye free where it was originally published at  Pen America



Windeye at Amazon.com

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

GoodKindles.net      The Gothic Wanderer

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed




From Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa

“The divine art is the story.”



Filed under fiction, horror, literary horror, literature, paranormal, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural