In the anthology
Welcome to the Show
, each story concerns a fictional, haunted San Francisco music venue called The Shantyman. Compiled by Matt Hayward and edited by Doug Murano, the 17 stories feature well-known horror authors writing in a range of horror styles. I had such a blast reading this anthology that I decided to commemorate each story with an image and short caption.
Alan M. Clark sets a deliciously horrific mood involving cannibalism in the story “What Sort of Rube,” and tells how the Shantyman got its name.
Something is not quite right about Clara, the chanteuse at the Shantyman music hall, in Jonathan Janz’ story “Night and Day and In Between.”
It ain’t 60s San Francisco flower power in John Skipp’s story “In the Winter of No Love”—when the band plays, watch out!
Who is the figure in the black mask and trenchcoat stalking the Shantyman music club in Patrick Lacey’s story “Wolf with Diamond Eyes”?
Jason has an unexpected encounter with the past in Bryan Smith’s story “Pilgrimage.”
Harvey has an appointment to interview the singer Hexx in Rachel Autumn Deering’s short story “A Tongue Like Fire.” It will be a show no one will ever forget.
He pressed his dagger-like nail deeper and began to carve a line from her exposed navel to the middle of her chest. From Glenn Rolfe’s “Master of Beyond.”
The strange guitarist at the Shantyman possesses an unusual power that will change Fred’s life forever. From Matt Hayward’s short story “Dark Stage.”
An unholy bargain at age 17, then their demise ten years later. How is Marla connected to these events in Kelli Owen’s story “Open Mic Night”?
The flyer said “Brainpan, one night only” — a chance for Moira and Pete to recapture their past? From Matt Serafini’s story “Beat on the Past.”
Who are the creepy “True Starmen” lined up to get into the Shantyman in Max Booth III’s story?
She would do anything for the attention of the trumpeter on stage at the Shantyman. Anything. From Somer Canon’s story “Just to Be Seen.”
in Jeff Strand’s “Parody,” Zany Chester is sure the world will love him, if only given the opportunity to perform his George Michael parody on stage. But if they don’t…?
Layla and Naz fell in love long distance after meeting on a dating app. But a shock awaits Naz when they finally meet at the Shantyman. Robert Ford’s “Ascending” is one of my favorite stories from this anthology.
Adam Cesare’s short story “The Southern Thing” zaps you with an electric jolt in its surprise climax. Didn’t see that one coming!
In Brian Keene’s “Running Free,” Mike has one foot in the criminal underworld, but now he’s starting to see smoky orbs hovering around people. What does it mean?
It’s 2035, and music is banned because it opens a portal to monstrous worlds. But not is all as it seems In Mary SanGiovanni’s “We Sang in the Dark.”