Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror edited by Aric Sundquist is a collection of twelve short tales that will make you extra grateful for the comforts and safety of home that surround you while you read through these terrifying worlds.
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the editor in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror edited by Aric Sundquist
The organization of the tales within the collection itself was perfect. I loved that the introduction was pleasant and lighthearted and then first tale has a bit of morbid humor mixed with the darkness and terror to ease us into things. But take a breath there! After that, it’s just full blown terror.
Each story in Negative Space was absolutely horrific! I mean, just thinking about being in a survival situation is scary enough, but then add in the extra layers that appear here within these stories it just bonkers!
Per usual, here are my notes about each story included in this section:
Welcome to Survival Horror by Aric Sundquist
I love when forwards get personal! This one, written by Aric, gives readers a fun glimpse into his childhood, some history about the genre, then leaves us with this:
For the rest of you… here’s your one bullet. Let’s make a run for it. Welcome to survival horror.
Luminescence by Scotty Milder – Five Stars
In a world where the ocean is no longer safe, two men sit on a beach, watching a boat drift in. They’re expecting the worst, and sure enough, things start to go poorly for the people on the boat as the cuttlefish begin to attack.
I love water related horror so much! This story had such an awesome blend of violence and terror combined with the humor and lightheartedness of making the best of a bad situation. I loved how the two storylines jumped around so we got bits and pieces of what was going on and couple slowly work it all together.
The Collectors by Michelle Tang – Five Stars
When a woman wakes up with no memory of what happens of where she is, the scene is already tense. But just wait to see what’s actually going on here…
This story is terrifying! I kept having to tell myself to breathe while reading. The descriptions of these creatures is horrific. And being stuck alone, in the dark with these things? No thank you.
Puzzled Pieces, Lock-In Places by Amelia Gorman – Five Stars
A woman is offered a job where she will stay isolated in a cabin on an island in the middle of a lake in order to keep watch on a property. Unafraid of being alone, she is thrilled for the rest and relaxation. But as the snow falls and the wind picks up, she’s about to learn she’s not alone on the island.
This one started off so lighthearted! It sounded like a nice set up, but of course it was too good to be true. Once the action starts, it’s a sprint to the end!
It’s Inside by S. R. Miller – Five Stars
When a woman goes into an abandoned mine to try to figure out what happened to her brother, she finds his body along with a message that if she finds him, it’s probably too late…
I love tales set in mines! It’s already so claustrophobia inducing, but then add in the stress of these creatures?! Yikes!
Curiosity’s Child by Jude Reid – Four Stars
When a woman travels to visit a friend, there’s an accident. Luckily she walks away. As she goes deeper into the space station, she sees the robots carrying out various tasks. When she sees the trash compactors at work, she realizes that something is very wrong here.
This tale is so unsettling! I was so nervous at every turn, expecting the worst. Sometimes that was the case, sometimes it wasn’t. I could never have guessed with this one!
Rhapsody In Flesh Minor by Maggie Slater – Four Stars
Locked in a small room of a space station, this individual is being watched by a creature outside the walls. They need to get to another pod soon, but can they do it without the beast hearing?
This one was quick and so suspenseful!
Sacs by J. C. Martínez – Four Stars
Fleeing from one bad situation, this family runs right into the open doors of a haunted house. And of course, they’re about to learn why it’s rumored to be haunted.
This tale was very unsettling. Picturing the corpse they found gave me goosebumps. These poor people!
Black Tongue by Richard Beauchamp – Three Stars
Sent out to eliminate whoever or whatever was responsible for kidnapping local residents, this man only finds violence and terror out in the woods where he works to simply survive the cold. But then when he begins to find the remains, he knows that he and his dog are not alone out there.
Is there anything more chill-inducing than a horror tale set in the woods during the winter? As if the fear of freezing to death or getting snowed in to starve wasn’t bad enough, once the creatures come out, things really get out of hand.
The Whale Hunts by P. L. McMillan – Three Stars
A crew of inmates have been sent out on a boat to hunt at night. They’re hunting a whale that they believe is responsible for ruining part of the sea. They believe they are prepared to take the creature down, but will they succeed?
This story paints such a vivid picture! Just imagining the black waters lining up with the regular ocean was a stark contrast. Then add in the creature? Yikes!
Six Weeks by M. J. Mars – Five Stars
When a cryptid obsessed young woman says she doesn’t like what she’s seeing reported, she’s brushed aside. Soon after, our main character learns that he should have believed her. The area is taken over by strange creatures that are hunting them. When all his friends are killed, one young man has to find a way to deter the creatures so he can survive.
I loved this one so much! As the creatures were sensitive to sound it had a bit of a A Quiet Place/Bird Box vibe to it, but with other elements that made it unique. I was so nervous throughout and kept hoping for the best!
Midnight, Off Arkansas River Trail by Eric J. Guignard – Five Stars
When three men driving in the middle of no where suddenly hit and old woman, they realize no one is around to witness the accident and immediately try to cover it up. But this woman isn’t down for the count just yet…
Oh my goodness! This one starts with such a stomach turning event! While this one jumps back and forth between the accident and the current situation, it was such a suspenseful and stressful read! Of course I loved it!
The Artist and the Muse by Jay Wilburn – Four Stars
PHEW this one will paint quite the picture in readers minds!
My Final Thoughts on Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror
This is a must read for horror fans! These stories are all so unique, action-packed, and absolutely chilling. Go pick this one up today!
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Thanks for reading!