More horror, this time in short story form. I especially enjoyed “Technicolor” (what a fascinating lecture!) and “The Wide, Carnivorous Sky”. I’m not sure if it’s the genre or just Langan, but it seemed like all of the stories used interesting literary techniques that I haven’t seen much of elsewhere; the writing style is at least as enjoyable as the plot.

Reading a wider variety of stories, albeit from the same author as The Fisherman, helped me form a clearer idea of what I do and don’t like about the horror genre. I think the mystery, suspense, and flexibility – the ability to craft stories that are impossible in reality but still coherent – are fun elements. I don’t enjoy the more gruesome bits, though, and I typically prefer not to read books that might give me nightmares. In this collection, “Mother of Stone” fell into that category: a good story but a tad too disturbing for my liking.

(I haven’t actually had nightmares as a result of these stories, and I also haven’t pinpointed what exactly makes some stories feel like they might give me nightmares and others feel creepy but not to the point of disturbing sleep. I suspect that the more distance there is between my life and the story, whether because the horrific parts feel entirely implausible or simply because I don’t relate to the characters, the less likely I am to lie awake at night.)