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Christmas and Other Horrors

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Member Reviews

Fans of horror and holidays will discover a handful of tales in this collection that leave a lasting impression on the reader. This anthology of seasonal horror stories proved to be a perfectly assembled collection of stories that each are enjoyable. I didn't find a bad one in the bunch. Each contributor infused their own unique flair into the mix, resulting in a diverse array of chilling tales with a holiday flavor. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a scary Christmastime read.

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This was an extremely interesting anthology of seasonal horror stories. Each author brought something special to the table. I think any horror fan will find at least a couple stories in this collection that will stick with them!

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I don’t ever expect to love every story in a multi-author collection, but it really bugs me when a huge percentage of the included stories essentially ignore the purported theme of the collection.

Most collections have at least a few stories where this happens, but this book had a huge swathe of them. It’s disappointing how many of the included authors here seemed to have just written whatever story they felt like writing and then thrown in a paragraph that says something like “and by the way this all happened at Christmas,” as though that satisfies the requirements. I really wish the editor here had required her authors to follow the theme, because this isn’t really much of a Christmas themed horror collection at all.

It also just isn’t the greatest collection of stories in general. There’s really only one true five star read in here (The Lord of Misrule).

Others worth a read are: The One He Takes, His Castle, and Gravé of Small Birds. The rest range from really disappointing to average, and you can probably skip them.

It’s a shame for the better stories included and even for those that did at least follow the theme, but there’s just not enough here to make it worth it, especially when there are so many holiday collections out there that truly are as advertised.

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Thank you Netgalley, author, and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-arc. I look forward to reading more.

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Like many short story collections, I found this a bit hit or miss. Some were very atmospheric and creepy, exactly what you might want from a Christmas themed horror collection. While some were downright ridiculous or silly. Which, I guess, you might also expect from a Christmas themed horror collection.

All in, though, it was a fun read, offering a strong alternative to the Christmas themed romance novels which seem to have come in vogue recently. If you like horror and short stories and need to cut through the Christmas year, this collection is for you!

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Actual rating 4.5/5 stars. A thrilling and horrifying anthology from some already beloved authors and many more added to my list to check out. The perfect Christmas anthology!

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Christmas and Other Horrors Review!! 🌨️

Thanks so much and Netgalley for this gifted E-read, in exchange for an honest review! Christmas and Other Horrors is out now!

Christmas and Other Horrors was a 3.5 ⭐️ for me!! There are a few stories that are really going to stick with me, otherwise I really don’t remember most of the others. This was a fun one to read around Christmas time and it was very snowy and cozy. I’ve come to realize that short stories are not really my cup of tea.

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I only read a handful of these stories from authors who I've previously enjoyed. It was a pleasant enough read around the winter holidays and I'm glad it exists in the world.

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It feels a bit late to be reviewing a Christmas book in January, but this is a heads up for horror fans to pick this one up ready for next year!

This is a collection of Christmas/winter solstice themed horror stories by different authors. Some I'd heard of and some I hadn't. Some of them were quite creepy and scary. Some of them were weird and interesting. And some of them didn't really work for me at all. There's not many that I remember well even just a few weeks after reading it, although there are 2 that have stuck in my head.

It's nice just to be able to have something dark and Christmassy to read. Usually Christmas books are romance which I rarely read so it was exciting to have a Christmas themed horror book! Hopefully this will pave the way for lots more dar Christmas books!

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Oh my beloved winter horror short stories! They really are my favorite winter reads and this was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I loved the Shirley Jackson inspired short story anthology that Ellen Datlow put together a couple of years ago, so when I saw this new collection inspired by the winter solstice I was thrilled.

This book was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped. I don’t read much when I travel but on my recent trip I found myself eager to return to my hotel every evening to indulge in these creepy tales. Written by many of today’s best horror writers, these stories immersed me in the dark side of winter. Inspired by holiday legends from around the world, winter itself and the solstice these tales are perfect for long dark nights.

As with all anthologies some were better than others, but there really wasn’t a weak one in the bunch. Among my favorites were Christopher Golden’s The Importance of a Tidy Home, His Castle by Alma Katsu ( I’d never heard of the Mari Lwyd), Return to Bear Creek Lodge by Tananarive Due, and The Lord of Misrule by M. Rickert. But honestly, they are all outstanding- there is even one set during a Festivus celebration. Adding to my enjoyment of the collection, was that at the end of each story the author briefly explains what their inspiration was. I love finding out how writers think. So, if you are looking for a great holiday/winter read that is the antithesis of all things cozy and sweet and captures the dark and terrifying side of this time of year definitely pick this one up. It’s perfection!

Thank you to @netgalley and @titanbooks for and arc of this incredible collection.

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From page one, my Reading Rut was obliterated. I was hooked immediately! Despite loving each story, I couldn’t wait to get to the next.

As a horror reader, I’m always looking for stories to scare me. Not just make me a little uneasy but ACTUALLY scare me. Let me tell you, the authors delivered just that!

Being a Winter Solstice Anthology, I loved the variety of themes, settings, and traditions throughout the stories. Not knowing where in the world the authors would send me next just added to the excitement.

To top it all off, many of these stories were “kid friendly”. Well, if you have a horror loving 10 year old anyway.

As most kids her age, she has the attention span of a gnat. Keeping her attention while reading is an Olympic sport. When she asked me to read to her, she hung on my every word. That just added to my love of the book as a whole.

Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for allowing me to read and review Christmas and Other Horrors! I’m excited to grab a physical copy and wind it into our holiday season again this year!

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I had so much fun reading this. Just a really incredible selection of writers and stories here. Some of them really genuinely scared me. I especially really loved reading this around the Christmas holidays. A unique way to get into the spirit of the holiday!

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A wonderful winter solstice! This is a great collection of horror stories written by bestselling authors, perfect to curl up with next to the fire places. Stephen Graham Jones was the stand out for me. Will definitely be revisiting this next year.

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Thank you to @netgalley and @titanbooks for the digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Christmas and Other Horrors is an anthology that taps into the sinister side of winter celebrations across the world. Ellen Datlow curates a mix of tales from renowned authors like Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, Cassandra Khaw, Josh Malerman, Garth Nix and more.

Some stories shine brighter than others, but overall the collection delivers a satisfyingly spooky journey through the darker side of seasonal traditions. This is perfect for those craving an escape from the usual holiday cheer type tales. I planned to read this before Christmas and fell a little behind on my plans. However, I think this can be enjoyed any time of year and will be revisiting some of my favorites when the season rolls around again!

Listing stories that were stand outs for me:
🖤 The Importance of a Tidy Home by Christopher Golden
🖤 His Castle by Alma Katsu
🖤 Last Drinks at Bondi Beach by Garth Nix
🖤 Our Recent Unpleasantness by Stephen Graham Jones
🖤 Löyly Sow-na by Josh Malerman
🖤 Cold by Cassandra Khaw
🖤 Gravé of Small Birds by Karon Warren
🖤 The Lord of Misrule by M. Rickety
🖤 After Words by John Langan

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A must-read for horror fans!

An utterly wonderful Christmas and winter read with brilliantly terrifying stories from the top names in horror. I will reread this next winter for sure! And I am not a big re-reader.

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Multiple of these stories confused me and were really hard to get into. I’m not sure what it was, especially since they are all written by different authors, but some of the stories just seemed so disorganized. There were also some good ones but not enough for me to give the whole collection a higher rating.

* The Importance Of A Tidy Home by Christopher Golden - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* The One He Takes by Benjamin Percy - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
* His Castle by Alma Katsu - ⭐️⭐️
* The Mawkin Field by Terry Dowling - ⭐️
* The Blessing Of The Waters by Nick Mamatas - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* Dry And Ready by Glen Hirshberg - ⭐️
* Last Drinks At Bondi Beach by Garth Nix - ⭐️
* Return To Bear Creek Lodge by Tananarive Due - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* The Ghost Of Christmases Past by Richard Kadrey - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* Our Recent Unpleasantness by Stephen Graham Jones - ⭐️⭐️
* All The Pretty People by Nadia Bulkin - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
* Löyly Sow-na by Josh Malerman - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
* Cold by Cassandra Khaw - ⭐️⭐️
* Gravé Of Small Birds by Kaaron Warren - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* The Visitation by Jeffrey Ford - ⭐️⭐️
* The Lord Of Misrule by M. Rickert - ⭐️⭐️
* No Light, No Light by Gemma Files - ⭐️
* After Words by John Langan - ⭐️

Thank you to NetGalley, all of the authors, the editor and Titan Books for this ARC ebook. Christmas and Other Horrors was published October 24, 2023.

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Incredibly fun, exciting and chilling read every story in this collection is so unique I couldn’t put it down. It really put me in the cold, creepy winter mood with a twist of terror for the holidays. Can’t recommend enough!

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The perfect festive read for a chilly winter evening - especially for someone who loves horrors like me!

The fact this is a short story collection made me enjoy it even more. You could dip in & out throughout the month. Each writer’s style & voice was so unique and varied. Of course there were some stories I preferred - as with all story collections, but still were all a great read.

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The anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow have always been, to me, an essential read, but when I saw the theme of her latest book – Christmas and Other Horrors: An Anthology of Solstice Horror – for the first time I felt a slight waver of enthusiasm. This was due to my (admittedly flawed) assumption that the contributions would likely be a collection of variations on a similar theme – stories set around the Westernised version or Christmas, or folk horror tales featuring Krampus. I’m pleased to say that my expectations were proved hopelessly wrong – I should have had better faith in Ms Datlow’s skill as an editor – because the stories in Christmas and Other Horrors do not fall into a traditional style and, as such, deliver a superb breath of scope in terms of tone and theme. There are even a couple of tales from Australian writers so even the wintry elements are mixed up with the summer feel of how those in the Southern Hemisphere experience it. To a reader from the UK this adds a surreal aspect to the story.

As with any anthology, what I find as a favourite will not necessarily match up with your choices, yet as an overall book of short stories, the breadth and scope is huge. There was only one or two that I didn’t really enjoy. The contributors do a fine job of illustrating the darker aspects of the winter solstice, picking up on the tradition of ghost stories told over a flickering fire, something that goes back as far as humans have existed. After each story is a short piece by the respective author, giving an illuminating insight into their own experiences and memories of Christmas, and what it means to them.

Return to Bear Creek Lodge by Tananarive Due is wonderful familial tale of (in the author’s own words) “intergenerational trauma”, a loose sequel to her previously-published story Incident at Bear Creek Lodge. Richard Kadrey’s The Ghost of Christmases Past offers a sinister alternative to child-eater Krampus in Gryla, an Icelandic witch whose supernatural counterparts have terrorised Laura since she was ten years old. The Visitation by Jeffrey Ford is a brief story, but none the more disturbing by its brevity, about the Angels of Accord who call at a house for assistance over the Christmas period, almost as a moral test.
Australian Terry Dowling’s twist on the theme is refreshing and sinister, in The Mawkin Field, as our narrator comes across a refrigerator standing in a field in the middle of a backwater New South Wales town. This was one I was still thinking about weeks later. The always reliable John Langan’s After Words is a rather erotic tale of black magic and sex, told via a series of dialogues between a post-coital couple.
Kaaron Warren’s Grave of Small Birds is one of the longer tales, about a gathering on an island for the Twelve Feast days of Christmas, a celebration of food and wine, but where ancient traditions still hold fast. Our Recent Unpleasantness by Stephen Graham Jones is a surreal tale in which a voyeuristic dog-walker sees something unsettling through one of his neighbours’ windows. Benjamin Percy’s heartbreaking yet unsettling The One He Takes is vividly told, featuring a grieving couple in snowy Minnesota who wake one morning to a Christmas miracle. But their joy is short-lived as they hear the approach of something dark and sinister…

Christmas and Other Horrors is yet another of Ellen Datlow’s original anthologies that mark her out as one of the best editors working today. The fact that she has had such a remarkable career over such a long time period is testament to her skill and hard work, and this latest collection of short stories comes highly recommended.

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Christmas and Other Horrors: An Anthology of Solstice Horror was a horrifying, dark and gory read for winter solstice. With horror greats like Alma Katsu and Josh Malerman, this anthology is sure to bring the terror into the holiday season. From one terrifying tale to the next, there is something for everyone that delights in spooky season year round.

I have posted this review on Goodreads


And Amazon

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