Book Review: Dread: A Head Full of Bad Dreams – Anthology


If you consider yourself a discerning reader of horror fiction but have yet to sample the dark delights of Grey Matter Press then you are in for a treat. There won’t be a better way to familiarise yourself with this exceptional publisher than by picking up a copy of ‘Dread: A Head Full of Bad Dreams’ – a best of anthology that had its contents chosen by the fans.
Having read many of the anthologies that have been birthed by Grey Matter Press I was delighted to see that some of my story choices have been included in this tome of dark fiction. I held off on reading this for a little while as I had read a large majority of the stories already, but as soon as I dug into Ray Garton’s tale the nightmares came racing back and before I knew it I had read the whole anthology front to back. This should give you some indication as to the kind of book this is; it is high quality dark fiction. Read on…
Things kick off in terrific fashion with ‘Housesitting’ by Ray Garton – a story that will leave you questioning just how well you really know your neighbours, before John F.D. Taff’s tale ‘Angie’ leads you one way then goes another as a couple wander the streets ridden with the living dead. William Meikle’s short tale is classic Meikle; it’s pulpy, Lovecraftian, and a superbly dark science-fiction tale. The next few stories I am particularly fond of having chosen them to be included by me and others with similarly excellent tastes. Rose Blackthorn’s tale set after the apocalypse tells of a small group of survivors, trying desperately to stay alive, whilst being plagued by wraiths. It is a haunting and creepy tale, one that really stood out for me from the ‘Equilibrium Overturned’ anthology.
Bracken MacLeod’s ‘Pure Blood and Evergreen’ from the excellent ‘Ominous Realities’ anthology is another great story as is ‘The Last Elf’ by T. Fox Dunham…and I haven’t even told you how good the short story by John C. Foster is yet!
I am going to leave it here as I could wax lyrical about these guys all day. I will simply say that this collection should be filed under essential reading. Grey Matter Press are one of the leading lights within the dark fiction genre and if you are not on board yet then you need to sort it out 😉

Pick up a copy of Dread from Grey Matter Press.

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