HOLY CRAP IT’S SO FREAKING GOOD. In case you weren’t aware, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son (and, *cough* the King son who struck out under his OWN name to seek his fortune). I’m a huge Stephen King fangirl, and I’ve long said that even though King’s long-form fiction is so good, he’s undoubtedly the master of short stories. When I read Joe Hill’s collection of short stories, “20th Century Ghosts,” there were a few good ones — but I walked away saying “sorry, your dad’s still the king of this genre.”
I MAY HAVE CHANGED MY MIND. THESE NOVELLAS ARE UNBELIEVABLY GOOD.
“Snapshot,” about a camera that takes pictures of your memories, was a good intro to the collection and “Rain” — terrorists have seeded the clouds with minerals, creating crystalline rain that spears who/whatever it touches — was a mouth-hanging open outro (complete with an eerily-recognizable president…), but “Aloft” was so creepily intriguing (a skydiver lands ON a cloud…which obviously isn’t quite an actual cloud) and “Loaded.” Oh my effing geez, ”Loaded” BLEW MY GODDAMN MIND. This novella doesn’t need to venture into the supernatural to be obscenely thrilling and horrifying: it’s just your everyday average unhinged shooter. This went beyond mouth-hanging-open: this was gasping, hands clapped over hanging-open mouth, edge of my seat, instantly saw the movie scene in my mind’s eye, had to immediately go tell someone — ANYONE — how. damn. good it was. Joe Hill, call me. <3