Quick Shivers About Bugs edited by James Leach and Janice Leach
Cosmonomic Multimedia (March 2016)
80 pages, $15.00 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage
Quick Shivers About Bugs is a horror anthology based on articles published at Daily Nightmare. Each piece focuses on bugs in one way or another, though that term is taken as broadly as possible. Most of the pieces are short, one-hundred-word stories or poems, but there are a few longer non-fiction pieces interspersed between the short pieces to give some balance to the anthology. Overall, it’s an entertaining collection.
The first thing that stands out about Quick Shivers About Bugs is the formatting. A lot of time and effort went into this book and its slick presentation. The pages are mostly full-colored illustrations working with the text and titles of the pieces. The art chosen serves to heighten the pieces and only occasionally distracts the reader. Overall, it’s a nice production that will appeal to the reader.
Most of the pieces are clever, and use the one hundred word format well. Some are based on shock value or similar tactics, and a few teeter into cliché language and tired horror standards, but many of them are fresh enough for readers to enjoy.
Furthermore, the longer non-fiction pieces add depth to the anthology by providing a rich perspective on the idea of bugs. Most of these are focused on bugs in cinema, whether it be the horror movies of the 1950s or modern films that work within the bug genre. Others deal with man’s relationship to bugs, particularly maggots and other carrion eaters, exploring why we fear bugs and why they’re staples of horror.
Overall, Quick Shivers About Bugs is a fun, entertaining read. The pieces are short enough that, if a reader is disinterested or upset, they can easily flip to the next one without feeling cheated. There are plenty of pieces in this book to appeal to every type of horror reader, and while there are a few duds and clichés, the bulk of the book is very well done. Add to that a really shiny production, and readers will thoroughly enjoy this book.