Horror Book Review: Burnt Fur: An Anthology of Horror (Edited by Ken MacGregor)
Sit. Roll over. Who’s a Good Boy?
There are no good boys in in this anthology, only twisted, deviant, and burnt encounters with pets, people in costume, animals who behave like humans, and creatures who blur the line between the three. Violent pigs, killer ducks, horny bees, a naughty rabbit, and many more fill these pages with tale after tail of hair-raising horror.
Don your Fursuit, slip into your Fursona, and ride the dark wave of horror that is Burnt Fur. You may never go back to wearing your normal skin again.
That there is the synopsis of Burnt Fur: An Anthology of Horror and it makes it sound far tamer then it actually is. Edited by Ken MacGregor and published by Blood Bound Books, what we have here is a collection of some of the most twisted shorts from some of the most twisted minds.
Although it doesn’t begin in such a startling fashion with The Moon in Her Eyes by Sarah Hans. Here we get a story of an elderly shape-shifter who finds her ‘lone wolf’ mentality tested when she comes across a young girl who suffers daily abuse at the hands of her father. An unlikely bond grows between the pair leading to a bloody finale.
The graphic stomach churning and sexual violence arrives with Joseph Sale’s Mallard’s Maze which will have you looking at ducks in a different light going forward.
Whereas those two stories were good reads, Theodore Deadrat’s Salvation is an outstanding horror tale. It’s also one of the shortest but tells its story in gripping style. To say to much about it would spoil the tension that drips from every page. It is one simply well worth reading.
N. Rose’s The Hamford Pigs is a lot more straight-forward but also the most violent story so far. Descriptive horrors dished out to a person who may or may not actually deserve it.
Talking about descriptive horror, The Willingness of Prey by Paul Allih has arguably the most stomach churning event in all of the stories.
Here we meet a couple of ‘furries’ who dream of being consumed like a real animal trapped by its prey. How far will they go to experience it though? Have the vomit bags ready for this one.
6 Dicks by Rachel Lee Weist is one of the least interesting stories. Seemingly looking to shock rather then tell a gripping tale, the graphic male-based violence will make some people squirm though.
It’s another miss with The Others by C.N. Saunders even if it briefly chills. Here, a man meets a woman for a date and discovers she can see ‘others’. In her case, life-sized animals that just go about their day as we do.
It’s a story that seems like it’s heading to a nasty finish but instead just ends abruptly and disappointingly. Although it is nice to have a less brutal and violent story.
Leave it up to Elliot Arthur Cross and Rue K. Poe to make up for that though. The former with Randell Rabbit and the latter with A Concubine for the Hive. Two of the most sexually violent stories in the collection. Both sickening and fascinating in two different ways.
After those two stories, you might think nothing else could shock in the remainder of the collection and you’d be right to some degree. Thurston Howl’s Five Nights With Teddy instead describes pain in such a way that you’ll find your body itching. A well paced story where you can visualise the finale and would probably rather not.
Matt Scott then gleefully throws out Oh Piggy, My Piggy where if you own pigs, you’ll be keeping the jars of peanut butter away from them!
It’s almost a relief to have something less sexually abusive in the form of Ware the Deep by Stephanie Park. Although it still isn’t coy about it. The hunter becoming the hunted in the most surprising and imaginative of ways.
The penultimate story is a mix of fantasy and horror, where being dropped in an already occurring event confuses. The Molt of a Diminishing Light fails to capture the imagination even if Michelle F Goddard is very skilled in creating imagery.
Finally it is James L. Steele’s The Victims to end the anthology. A story that is slow off the mark but develops into a fascinating tale of good vs evil and the horrors that demonic forces can dish out on the animal kingdom.
Burnt Fur: An Anthology of Horror is easily one of my favourite modern horror anthologies. There isn’t a bad story amongst the bunch with some just lacking the extra spark to really get the horror juices flowing.
What it does have though is a sickening level of descriptive violence, sexual horror and shocking moments. If this sounds like your kind of thing then make sure you check it out!
Burnt Fur: An Anthology of Horror (Edited by Ken MacGregor)
The Final Score - 8/10