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Publisher's Summary

Red Room Press is extremely proud to present its fourth annual anthology featuring this year's hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2018 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos.

First up is Vigil by Chad Lutzke. Chad takes us into a neighborhood where a steady stream of decayed corpses are exhumed from a neighbor’s cellar. Extreme olfactory horror at its best.

Deborah Sheldon went under the knife for the inspiration of Hair and Teeth, and the result is a tale of gynecological body horror likely to terrify women and make most men squeamish.

With Rut Season Brain Hodge makes a return to Year’s-best stories in a tale as chilling as it is heart-wrenching, inspired by a thousand-mile drive littered with roadkill and some personal tragedies.

Control by Jeff Parsons introduces us to a meth addict stalking potential victims in Central Park to get money for the next score. 

Annie Neugebauer is back with Cilantro, a Neugebauerian yarn of culinary chaos sure to turn stomachs and cause nightmares. 

Tim Waggoner likewise returns this year with Voices Like Barbwire, an exploratory dig into old wounds and painful memories.

Rebecca Rowland’s Bent wins the Most Cringe-worthy Story honor with her twisted tale of extreme body horror. Her well-drawn characters seem to come off the page but God forbid they do. Their idea of a pretzel party is truly twisted.

Scath Beorh takes Lovecraftian cosmic horror to its next level with Lord of the Mesa.

Sean Patrick Hazlett’s story The Godhead Grimoire possesses dangerous religious overtones and a forbidden bloodthirsty book.

Carnal Bodies by R.E. Hellinger is a shocking story of baroque horror and demonic necrophilia from Two Dead Queers Present: Guillozine. You’ll have to read this one to believe it.

In Crossroads of Opportunity Ed Kurtz and doungjai gam take you on a-deal-with-the-devil-at-the-crossroads trip with a son driving his dead mother to an uncertain destination. Trouble is, his mother is a bit of a backseat driver and she just won’t shut up.

Seras Nikita’s Dad’s Famous Preserves won’t do much for your appetite but it will show you a recipe for disaster when a jungle missionary’s foot infection blossoms into a stomach-churning nightmare.

The Bearded Woman, brought all the way from Rome, Italy, by the inimitable Alessandro Manzetti. His dystopian future tale takes us for a ride in the Bearded Woman’s circus trailer as she and her dwarf husband bring their marriage to a bloody end.

Sara Tantlinger’s The Devil’s Dreamland takes us inside the Murder Castle of the infamous H.H. Holmes with her brilliant narrative poem of macabre beauty.

Frank Oreto’s All God’s Creatures Got Reasons reveals that there are real monsters walking among us, monsters with a savage appetite for young flesh, but they are so skilled at covering their tracks, we never even know they’re there.

The Ugly by J.R. Park introduces us to a couple of sweet little kids who may have a good reason for torturing and eating cats. It’s a way to keep the ugly at bay. Or is it?

Doug Ford’s I Have a Confession takes a coldblooded plunge into sex with a ghost. But what if it’s not a ghost?

In When the Owls Call Lyman Graves takes us “stealth camping” in a Texas park after hours, where a strange and dangerous gathering is taking place. David Lynch might say, “The owls are not what they seem”. But are they?

Jeremy Thompson is back this year with his nefarious pal the Hallowfiend in Bloodletting and Intrigue on All Hallows’ Eve’. With a stylistic nod to Ray Bradbury, Jeremy delivers on our promise that something twisted this way comes.

Capping it all off, Alicia Hilton serves up Monkey See, Monkey Do as a tasty little nightcap (for those with hardcore tastes).

Salud!

Sleep well. If you can.

- Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax

©2019 Red Room Press (P)2019 Red Room Press

What listeners say about Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 4

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Great collection

I’ve become a fan of many talented authors through this series
This felt less gory and more story driven then the previous three books witch should attract a larger horror crowd
The narrator was good but the odd background noise could be distracting
If your looking to get into more hardcore horror I highly recommend this series as a whole
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

8 people found this helpful

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Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 4

I actually liked this. Interesting overall, this is a remarkable collection of horror, suspense short stories. Good writing and narration.

5 people found this helpful

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Simply the worst narration

This is by far, the worst narrated book I have listened, ever. The narrator belongs reading droll books of unimportance as opposed to what should the the best hardcore horror of the year. The lineage of these anthologies was fallen far from the mark.

2 people found this helpful

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Not horror

Although I did enjoy this book I don't consider it horror, more like something that goes bump in the night. Lots of sexual activity but again not hardcore.
I received this free for an honest review from the author or narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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Hardcore Mediocrity

The Year's Best Hardcore Horror series has never been more than hit and miss, and this volume is no exception. Most of the stories here are amateurish and dull, "hardcore" only in their eagerness to wallow in the kind of gross-out body horror that was already passe by the splatterpunk heyday of the early 90s. There are a few decent entries here, but on audio they're unfortunately undermined by the horrible narration. Every story is read in the same glib monotone, which like a broken clock works well for glib, monotonous stories (of which there are more than a few in this collection), but completely robs the more serious tales of any impact. The reader also mispronounces numerous words and place names, which jars you right out of the story.

The fact that the editors signed off on this narration suggests one of two possibilities: either they were too lazy and indifferent to bother finding a competent reader for their collection, or they genuinely thought the narration was awesome. I'm not sure which is worse.

I'll be honest: as a horror fan, and a lover of short horror fiction in particular, I will grab just about any horror story anthology I see on Audible. I've read the previous volumes in this series, and I'll probably read any future volumes. I'm the sucker in that old Woody Allen joke about how "the food here is terrible, and such small portions." But make no mistake, this is a generally terrible, lazily assembled series that in no way represents the "best hardcore horror" of any given year. If you're like me, you'll still give this a listen, but be aware of what you're getting.

2 people found this helpful

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More a stenographer than a story teller

Looking at Faulkner's Audible portfolio, I can't fathom why he was picked to read fiction. He clearly doesn't know how. In my 15 years subscribing to Audible, I've returned only 2 books - both for terrible readers like this. Under-professional editing also steps on the story's final sentence by reading the "author's note" as if it were the next sentence in the same paragraph, depriving the author of any dramatic finish.

1 person found this helpful

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Eclectic Extreme Horror Anthology

This collection of extreme horror ranging from subtle to beating you over the head and from psychological horror to more straight forward examples is a solid entry. There's not really any stories who stand out as they're pretty level without any who bring the whole experience down. The only real negative might be that not all the stories are that extreme, but I enjoyed the morning scale instead of going to 11 and staying there.

I received the review code for this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Definitely not hardcore horror

None of the stories in this collection, in my opinion, would be considered horror, let alone hard core horror. There are a few odd stories but not anything that will keep you up at night or even bother you for a moment after you are finished listening to them. None of the stories in this collection caused me any unease or anxiety. If you are a sincerely a horror lover looking for an amazing horror collection, I would advise you to not purchase this book because you will be let down. The stories were what I consider very juvenile and simplistic horror. In addition to the stories not being what I expected, in my opinion, a better narrator could have been selected. After a while of listening the narrators voice became a droning to me and it made it difficult to continue listening. A narrator who can inflect the tone of fear or unease at crucial points in a story are key to setting a scene for me and the narrator in this book, to me, seems to never change his tone, regardless of the situation. True horror lovers looking for a scare or even a great collection of chilling stories, this is not the book for you.

1 person found this helpful

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Year's Best Hardcore Horror 4

This is an interesting collection of short stories. I would not call them all horror, nor would I consider them to be hardcore. None of the stories pulled me in or had me scared of the dark. If you are young or new to horror these stories may be up your alley, but a hardened horror fan will more than likely find these stories as repetitive and similar to many others already out there. I was not fond of narrator D. Paul Faulkner’s cadence and many times it took me out of a story.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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mixed bag

mostly good but some real losers as well...I feel like the ones with extensive backstories about writing workshops and blah blah are the worst. the winners have very few notes and don't need it! Overall still getting more in this collection!

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  • Lee
  • 03-02-20

Boring

Just pedestrian, A monotone dialogue makes things worse. Avoid. If this is the best the editors can offer it is time to call if a day.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 10-21-19

Abandoned 1/3 Through

I really didn't enjoy this, which is a shame as I love horror and I love short stories.
I abandoned listening to this about 1/3 through. I did not enjoy the narrator at all and that may have been part of the problem I had with this book, his voice was a little nasally and it was really starting to grind on me. The stories that I did listen to were alright, but certainly nothing that I would class as 'hardcore horror', more 'mild'.
Sorry, I tried but this wasn't for me.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request via Audioboom and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adilah Y.
  • 06-25-20

Stories were ok, narration was meh

There were some good stories in the book, but there was definitely some misses as well. That's cool.....BUT what i do find a bit annoying is the narration. He reads at inconsistent speeds, doesn't pause enough, and- lord have mercy- mispronounces things! He doesnt do it often, but the few times he did made my anus clench from all the cringing.

Definitely not the strongest book in the series... but i love the series, so I'm committed to listening to them all :)