Year's End: 14 Tales of Holiday Horror edited by J. Alan Hartman

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The countdown has begun, but the only thing striking at midnight will be terror...

New Year's Eve isn't all champagne and confetti. For some, it's filled with regrets, the changing of the day dragging them kicking and screaming into a year for which they aren't prepared. This year, some people will be screaming, but they may not make it to the New Year at all.

Join 14 horror authors as they reveal the dark side of our end-of-year celebrations. This anthology of a holiday gone horrifyingly wrong contains stories by James S. Dorr, Richard Godwin, Nicky Peacock, John Stewart Wynne, Steve Shrott, Leah Givens, George Seaton, Kathryn Ohnaka, Jeremy K. Tyler, Betsy Miller, Byron Barton, Steve Bartholomew, Ali Maloney and Foxglove Lee.


I must admit, I’ve always approached New Year’s Eve with a bit of trepidation. Where other people gathered together for raucous parties and proceeded to get blitzed into a drunken stupor, I couldn’t help but sit home and wonder where in the hell the previous year went and what I could have done differently.

Watching the ball drop in Times Square seems so exciting for all of the people who are gathered there, but for me there was something ominous about it at the same time. Watching the glittering orb sink to the bottom of its tower made me a little bit edgy. What if something went wrong when it hit bottom? What if it wasn’t timed properly? What if there was no point in making New Year’s resolutions because there was a chance that there wouldn’t be a New Year?

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a pretty maudlin kind of guy at times. Still, I figured I couldn’t possibly be the only person in the world that found New Year’s Eve a little creepy and maybe not as joyous as everyone else did. Maybe there were others out there who felt a bit like I did.

Fortunately, I was right. They’re called “horror authors.” I proposed the idea of Year’s End, a short story anthology dedicated to New Year’s Eve gone horribly wrong, and wonderful horror authors showed up with champagne, streamers and a bit of terror to usher in the end of 2012.

The tales to follow are a bit more psychological in horror than gory, something for which I’ve always had a preference in the stories I read. What’s particularly exciting for me with this anthology is that not only do I have the opportunity to work with many current Untreed Reads authors, I also became exposed to the works of writers brand new to me. It’s a chance to ring out the old and ring in the new with familiar faces and new faces alike.

So do your best to keep your clock from reaching midnight. Stay sober in case there’s something evil approaching in those final hours of the year. Don’t make any resolutions, as there may not be a New Year in which to keep them. Who knows? Maybe I was right all along trying to hide from the ball drop.

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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