It Calls From The Sky
To celebrate the launch of It Calls From the Sky (published by Eerie River Publishing), I thought it would be fun to write a blog post about my first reading of this fabulous anthology.
As a general comment from the outset, I thought this was a brilliant read. Eerie River Publishing did a great job selecting stories that are creative and diverse, with no two like each other. It was an absolute privilege to be included.
1. Ascension - R. L. Meza
Some nefarious voice is telling them all to climb...and they're listening.
This was a fantastic opener. Chilling and suspenseful, this story had me on the edge of my seat as the tension climbed along with the characters. Brilliant, bloody horror.
2. Heads in the Clouds - Matthew Brady
A young boy wants to enter a kite festival to win some money for his sister and himself. Atmospheric from the beginning, Cody's story only becomes creepier and, ultimately, more horrifying. I became so invested in these characters, which only made the story hit harder. An absolutely fantastic story.
3. Tenure - V. A. Vazquez
An academic helps his colleague with a violent paranormal encounter - from the other end of the phone.
Vazquez expertly crafts the tension in this story by keeping the protagonist (and the reader) away from the action. It is another clever, excellent story.
4. Thlush-A-Lum - Rebecca Gomez Farrell
A sensitive young girl hears a thlush-a-lum...
This is one of the shorter stories, so I'm reluctant to give too much away. However, its length serves it perfectly, and its impact on me was strong. Unpredictable and creepy, it is very well-written.
5. Follow You Into The Dark - Christopher Bond
A young couple investigate something that fell from the sky and reap the consequences. I read this at night and regretted it. A character driven story (and the characters are so, so likeable!), I almost wanted to skip this one because I didn't want anything to happen to them! I'm glad I continued reading though, because this was a fantastic and well-crafted story.
6. The Forgotten Prince - Elizabeth Nettleton
A young woman finds a boy tangled in the bushes, and soon discovers there is more to him than meets the eye.
I don't want to brag, but this is my Mum's favourite story.
Fun fact: I originally named it "Poika" (meaning boy or son) as a bit of a nod to Finland and the gods that inspired this story. However, my confidence in my (and Google's) Finnish wasn't too high, so I changed the title to avoid being potentially told down the line that I'd actually named it something nonsensical.
7. Flying Home - Joel R. Hunt
Emma is trapped with a malevolent stranger in perhaps the worst possible place: a plane.
This story is absolutely terrifying. It is exceptional. I'm not sure I took a breath the entire time I was reading.
8. Hate Sky - Jay Sandlin
A disgruntled former mayor seeks to right all the wrongs he feels have been done to him.
This story was a change of pace, as we followed a character that became more unlikeable with each sentence. This is another story that is difficult to comment on without giving away spoilers, so I'll merely say it's a gruesome story that frightens in more way than one. Superb.
9. Thorn in My Side - Chris Hewitt
Something sinister has torn apart the ISS, and they're coming for Earth.
Tense and full of action, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. While it works perfectly as a standalone story, it also sets itself up nicely to become a longer piece of work. If Hewitt decides to do so, I'll be the first to buy it.
Bonus points for being set in my homeland (Australia, not outer space).
10. Storm Clouds - Sarah Jane Justice
What do you do when rain can destroy you? Or, perhaps a better question, where do you go?
Short and tense, this story is a snapshot of a town's terrifying reality. It's a horrifying concept, and well-executed by Justice. A fantastic read.
11. Flash - C. A. McDonald
An exhausted cop sees a flash in the sky and a totaled car by the side of the road.
This story hooks you in with a likeable main character, then ramps up the suspense until you can't look away from the page. It is an excellent piece that had me on the edge of my seat.
12. The Day The Angels Fell - McKenzie Richardson
Mysterious figures, rain, ticking...unrelenting ticking...
I'm a sucker for a cool title, and this has a really cool title. And more importantly, the story lives up to it. Richardson guides us through this fateful day, giving and taking tension with expert precision. I could say more, but I'd hate to spoil anything, so I'll leave it there for you to enjoy.
13. On A Wing And A Prayer - Tim Mendees
Set in the 1940s, a pilot falls from the sky, glowing orange and frozen in a block of ice.
I'm a big fan of Tim Mendees' work, so was particularly looking forward to this one. And it is, as usual, a winner. With lots of action and suspense, this is a fantastic short piece.
14. The Traveler - G. Allen Wilbanks
This story is another change of pace in that we're given the point of view of a creature from the sky that falls to earth and consumes and consumes and consumes...
I found this piece really creative, and unlike others I've read before. It was a brilliant move to put us inside the creature's mind. I enjoyed this story a lot.
15. Flickering - G. A. Alexander
Fly Night Media has received a new video submission that Alice is sure is fake. She just can't really work out how they did it.
This is a fantastic story. It's full of tension, suspense and strong characters. And it is really, really scary.
16. Raindance - Kimberly Rei
I loved Kimberly Rei's story in It Calls From The Forest Volume 2, so I was really looking forward to reading this one. She has a beautiful writing style.
In this story, we're introduced to a woman experiencing abuse at the hands of her politician husband. It's another tale in the anthology where the horror isn't limited to what's in the sky (although that comes too. Oh, that comes...) Rei once again demonstrates her exceptional writing and storytelling.
17. Godspore - Mac Sorondo
Four tribesmen go to hunt an infant god of evil. If that sounds like it might be easy, you're in for a ride.
This story is full of action and sharp writing, and is another I don't wish to spoil by saying too much. Suffice to say, it is another thoroughly enjoyable read.
18. Faithless - M. A. Hoyler
A father ignores his daughter's claims that there's something in the woods (he clearly hadn't read either volume of It Calls From The Forest).
With excellent world-building, a terrifying creature from the sky, and well-written, likeable characters, Hoyler made this story impossible to put down.
19. Three Balloons - Chris Lilienthal
Ted finds 3 funeral balloons drifting down from the sky and soon wishes he hadn't.
Creepy and suspenseful, the only thing that kept me from wishing he hadn't found those damn balloons either was the story that came from his misfortune. Fantastic work by Lilienthal.
20. Beloved Of The Storm - Elizabeth Davis
Fear, fanaticism and deadly storms aren't a good combination. I find this story hard to summarise without spoiling things, but it kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end (and the ending is top tier).
21. Keep One In The Chamber - T. M. Brown
This story begins with a bang, and we are soon thrust into a world where sickening creatures abound and cruelty is kindness.
Atmospheric, tense, and seething with desperation, there's only objective here: escape. This is a really, really brilliant story.
22. The Winged Plague - Eric Labrie Giles
Winged beasts in the sky, unending rain, and toxic mist. This is a tale of a father and son's desperate attempt at survival. Giles kept me hooked on every word.
22. Rainfall - Marie McWilliams
"Why didn't I just say no?"
This story begins with a brother and sister, and the threat of rain. That threat only becomes more sinister as the story progresses. It is chilling, and an excellent final note to a brilliant anthology.
If you enjoy horror, you will certainly find stories within It Calls From the Sky that will chill you to the bone. I am honoured to have been included, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
You can grab a copy here: https://books2read.com/TheSky
Stay safe and happy reading,