Horror Without Victims – An Editor’s Commentary & Rationale

Only real books can be left on chairs. Front cover by Tony Lovell.

Only real books can be left on chairs.
Front cover by Tony Lovell.

Written as part of the rationale explained in similar ‘self’-commentaries of The WEIRDMONGER Book,  CERN ZOO, NULL IMMORALIST and THE HORROR ANTHOLOGY OF HORROR ANTHOLOGIES.

I shall be trying to unravel emerging leitmoifs in HORROR WITHOUT VICTIMS and its eventual gestalt whether or not intended by the authors or the editor (me) – and this process pretentiously owes something to that of Film Director Running Commentaries often available on DVDs.

Please see HERE for links to all my ‘gestalt real-time reviews’ of which this commentary is a variation.

The book can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com and myself.

The editor’s post-publication commentary and rationale will appear in the ‘comment’ stream below as and when each of the 25 stories is re-read:


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9 responses to “Horror Without Victims – An Editor’s Commentary & Rationale

  1. hwved2 hwved3 hwved4


    Embrace the Fall of Night – John Howard
    “– perhaps this is because the reader as ‘voyeur’ is not in fact only that, but is a voyager as well. The reader is involved; the reader can know – and be known.”
    This is an immaculately crafted reverie upon the nature of fiction and poetry, of its reading, of its writing (as shown paradoxically by the writing of this poetic-fiction reverie itself), then the backstory music, climate and other real-life circumstances of those activities — a reverie that conjures up the soul of life and death whereby we learn more forcibly than ever before the nature of ‘Victimhood’ as well as of fiction and poetry…
    “Oh – the horror, the horror!

  2. The Horror – Gary McMahon
    “It’s the Horror, just the Horror.”
    A tantalising tale of Hilary – in a family life crisis – being drawn on a ‘black pilgrimage’ to a Lakeland isolated cabin by means of a dream, a pilgrimage to which, I sense, you all may similarly be drawn, especially if you are readers of this book wherein its possibility is divulged. This visit to the cabin involves, following the first story, a second reverie, a mutual reverie – rather than a confrontation – with Horror, but that was before you learn about the protagonist’s burglary from Horror… And this makes me wonder if Horror itself was the victim, but that’s my reverie stemming from this ingenious work.

  3. Clouds – Eric Ian Steele
    “He had scared himself with his crazy imagination. He hadn’t looked at clouds like that since he was a child.”
    Following the previous story’s mid-life crisis, here is another, as routine-work ravaged Evan faces a horrifically accretive onset of erasure, brilliantly conveyed. But it is a situation potentially providing a tabula rasa more fulfilling than fullness… It reminds me of failing to notice things in life as one grows beyond childhood and I once used to watch clouds, imaginging them, as I did, in a race they had with each other and still have … towards their eventual death or mine? I rarely noticed them in later years…until reading this inspiring story.

  4. The Carpet Seller’s Recommendation – Alistair Rennie
    “No! You know how I like to hear their pain, how I like to hear them plead for mercy.”
    Another ingenious story that tellingly travels – during an exotic voyage and possible voyeurage – along paths of glimpsed hope as well as of downright despair. Anything else I say about this story would be a spoiler other than saying that “revelries” is only one letter different from ‘reveries’!

  5. The Waiting Room – Aliya Whiteley
    “A lot of people change their minds once they see someone go through the red door. They pack up and go back to their old lives instead. Everyone’s free to leave, any time they want.”
    Based on my track record, some readers would be forgiven in believing that I originally thought this Waiting Room – although the goal of a dream-induced pilgrimage just like the dream of McMahon’s Cabin and with an enticing yet fearful red door as an exit or an entrance to what? – was somehow a symbol of a room of contestants in the Big Brother House. Seriously. But then I thought: Housemates are not allowed to do jigsaws in there. This must be something else. And it is. It’s a superbly adumbrated Way Station ostensibly between the Cabin and the following Red House … And sometimes Way Stations are more significant than where they lead to or lead from. The more I do read this story, the more it gives me – both as a part and a whole. A sense, too, of one’s self as a physical part and whole. Another Horror hopefully transcended.
    “I watched his hands remove the lid of the box, place it to one side, sort through the pieces, dig out straight edges, start to make a pile.”

  6. And this commentary will now continue HERE

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