QUALIA NOUS is “infinitely worthwhile”

Amazon has posted its first review of QUALIA NOUS, the sci-fi/horror anthology edited by Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Michael Bailey, and it’s a doozy. Five-stars from C. Vale for the latest Written Backwards publication:

QUALIA NOUS, featuring Stephen King's "The Jaunt".

QUALIA NOUS, featuring Stephen King’s “The Jaunt”.

This book is a beauty. I take it everywhere I go in case I have a few minutes to sneak in just one more page, which has led to my meeting a variety of folks. They stop me, often with necks craned to one side because they’re too impatient to wait for the answer, and ask, “What is that you’re reading?” I gladly stop and show them the cover and the definitions of the title words and explain that while it’s technically a horror anthology, it’s also so much more than that description allows.

I tell them that Michael Bailey seems only able to put together intriguing, thought-provoking, high-quality literary anthologies that hover just above genre descriptions. They walk away as impressed with the heavy-hitters listed on the TOC as they were by the cover art.

During my first read through, I was excited to see a story early on by Lori Michelle. I had purchased BLEED a few months ago and knew her to be a capable editor and effective writer (I also send healing thoughts to her family regularly since reading her story). “Shades of Naught” flattened me. She seemed to take an underdeveloped, wisp of a thought/fear that I had in the back of my head and develop it into a well thought out and fascinating story. Beautifully done.

Christian A. Larsen’s “Cataldo’s Copy” was another unsettling, off-kilter, and graphic work in the same vein as his “724” and LOSING TOUCH – both of which I have come to love. It’s the type of quiet, creeping horror that he does masterfully. And, hopefully this won’t ruin his reputation, but I found it to be one of the sweetest, most life-affirming stories that I’ve read in a while.

Then came “The Neighborhood Has a Barbecue” by Max Booth III…like Lori Michelle, I had come to know Max Booth III as a capable editor first with his SO IT GOES tribute to Kurt Vonnegut. Now I find him turning the human v. machine paradigm on its head and myself enjoying the building anticipation that led to an unpredictable ending.

When I last left off with Pat R. Steiner, he had me disturbed, saddened and horrified. In other words, I had read his “The Shoe Tree” in CHIRAL MAD. The same qualities popped up in his “Kilroy Wasn’t There” but were encased in a very different style, showing off his versatility…

Read the rest of the review here, and if you haven’t read QUALIA NOUS for yourself yet, here’s what your missing–selections from thirty writers, including one very conspicuous household name, right there to lead it off:

Click here to order QUALIA NOUS, the latest anthology from Michael Bailey … and when you’re done, be sure to leave your own review.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

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