13: A Collection of Horror & Weird Fiction
By Michael Boatman
13 is a collection of horror stories reflecting various elements of the American Dream. But here, the Dream has been twisted beyond easy recognition. These tales of Americana gone hideously and sometimes hysterically wrong feature a dark parade of misunderstood monsters, homicidal heroes, invading aliens, media-friendly fiends, rogue presidents… and even an occasional zombie. Like the funhouse mirrors in a carnival for crackheads, these stories reflect (and distort) the diversity of ills faced by a spinning roulette wheel of alternate Americas. Here you’ll find Americas that might have been or, perhaps, one that lurks, giggling and debauched, just over the next horizon.
The inhabitants of these other Americas tell jokes that cut. One or two of them might carry a cream pie in one hand and a switchblade concealed down the backs of their pants. Their Home Sweet Horrors occupy strange colonies; realms that lie both within and outside traditional genre identifications, spanning the literary range from weird western, urban fantasy, comic crime, science- fiction and subtle political commentary (with cannibals.) There’s even a Christmas story, a tale of childhood survival featuring the last person you might reasonably expect to meet during the zombie apocalypse.
In our reality, ever since the founding of the original thirteen colonies, the American Dream remains strong, of course; a clarion call to action for friends and enemies alike. Therefore, many of the stories in 13 can be enjoyed strictly for laughs. But in a nation fraught with environmental catastrophes, global conflicts, economic, religious and racial unrest, when the real monsters finally show up to check out the neighborhood… who’s to say the joke’s not on us?
Stories included in this collection:
Hadley Shimmerhorn: American Icon
Manny Miracle Is Alive and Well and Dying in the 29th Dimension!
A Father’s Work
Our Kind of People
Jimmy Sticks and the Outlaw Critter of Doom
Across the Black Plains
Christmastime in Zombietown
Survivor: Monster Island 2025
The Last American President