No ax murderers hunting sexy teens . . . no brutal torture for torture’s sake . . . because Phantom goes beyond the scare: Paul Tremblay and Sean Wallace have collected fourteen stories by today’s most thoughtful writers of horror, each asking the questions beyond what is frightening? This is just the beginning, however, with stories from Steve Rasnic Tem, Lavie Tidhar, F. Brett Cox, Stephen Graham Jones, Steve Berman, Nick Mamatas, Michael Cisco, among other fresh voices in horror. From paranoid gold prospectors to lonely curators, Satan-worshipping Long Island teens, metaphysics-obsessed television reporters, and to Peter and Olivia and their devastating final choices detailed in the last pages of this anthology, the fourteen stories of Phantom present their horrors differently, but they all ask: How does anyone live through this?
“Ghosts, disaffected wives, deserted towns, obsessive journalists and children who never existed haunt the pages of this stunning, elegant and frightful anthology of literary horror assembled by Stoker nominee Tremblay and World Fantasy Award–winning Wallace . There are no chainsaw massacres in these 14 exquisite tales, which range from Steve Berman’s hilarious Kafkaesque “Kinder,” about an infestation of German children, to Stephen Graham Jones’s “The Ones Who Got Away,” a riveting account of a kidnapping gone wrong. The most outstanding piece is Lavie Tidhar’s “Set Down This,” a devastating story of YouTube videos, the Iraq War and the unknown lives on both sides of the conflict…. [A] deliciously creepy book of horrors that prove all the more terrifying for their everyday nature.”
“[T]his slender volume of highbrow horror stories offers superlative craftsmanship without sacrificing the indispensable chills. The assembled authors…have in common twisted imaginations and respect for literary distinction. In Steve Eller’s “The End of Everything,” a killer is astounded and relieved to discover that the post-apocalyptic zombies roaming the streets aren’t the least interested in feasting on him. Two teen-aged kidnappers in Stephen Graham Jones’ “The Ones Who Got Away” get more than they bargained for when they realize their intended victim is the child of a machete-wielding judge…. [The creators] startle the reader with unusual premises and unsettling imagery.”
—Carl Hays, Booklist