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Ghouljaw and Other Stories, by Clint Smith, is a short story collection about tiny awful things that take place in cramped places, both within and without our heads.

The short story collection features a number of horror stories that deal with alien invasions, irregular births and supernaturally-induced tiny tragedies in the daily lives of the characters. The author’s style is sufficiently gloomy and his writing style matches his pacing perfectly, building up suspense while avoiding the unnecessary filler that has become a staple of the genre. Jared Boggess’ cover art helps cement that idea in the mind of the reader, with a very apt minimalist design.

Ghouljaw and Other Stories’ main failing, in my opinion, was that despite their great presentation, the themes in the stories were repeated perhaps, a bit too often. While these are horror stories that deal with small tragedies, their protagonists appear to be roughly the same people: lost men and women, trudging through life before they are struck down by something particularly awful. This, coupled with the cryptic, abrupt endings to some of the stories, gave me a case of narrative whiplash in the middle of what I would otherwise call a very well-made horror anthology.

Ghouljaw and Other Stories is published by Hippocampus Press 

 

Ghouljaw and Other Stories, by Clint Smith
Plot
Style
Character Development
Pacing
Cover
Length
Positives
  • Visceral, well-paced horror
  • Interesting approach
  • Good value
Negatives
  • Cryptic, abrupt endings to a number of the stories
  • The gloomy leitmotiff does not suit all readers.
4.3Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Konstantine

Konstantine is a writer by choice. His short stories have been published in Haikaosru's Battle Royale-Slam Book, the AE Canadian SF Review and the Savage Beasts anthology by Grey Matter Press. People tell him he's got a writing problem, but he's recently managed to have one of his stories published in Japanese so he guesses he's still got it under control. He's got a Patreon Account, where he writes SF flash fiction and dreams to one day isolating himself in a little house in the mountains, where he will live off the land and order groceries from Amazon, like his glorious ancestors.

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