Darkest Hours Celebrates its First Birthday

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Unnerving published Mike Thorn’s debut short story collection Darkest Hours exactly one year ago. Critics and authors say:

“Thorn is an exciting new talent in the genre.”
The Horror Bookshelf

“Some sections recall Chuck Palahniuk in their nihilistic ultraviolence, while others have a Barker-esque feel… in their embrace of beauty in carnage.”
Anya Stanley

“These short stories show the author’s incredible range and versatility.”
Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

“Take a dollop of Michael A. Arnzen and Brian Evenson’s quirky styles, and add a pinch of Mark Twain, stir well and let bubble, and you have a sense of Mike Thorn’s stories.”
Bram Stoker Award winner Marge Simon, author of Four Elements and Satan’s Sweethearts

“There are times in Thorn’s prose where I’m reminded not only of some of the best Stephen King from Skeleton Crew or Night Shift, but also of some of the more bizarre stories from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood.”
Biff Bam Pop

“Fast, fun and full of fear, Darkest Hours turns on a dime from a laugh to a scream. Terrifying and sly, Mike Thorn writes with refreshing originality and hides fangs behind a smile.”
John C. Foster, author of Mister White

“Mike Thorn’s debut story collection is not to be missed by those who enjoy an academic intellect with a potent flair for fiction.”
Dustin LaValley, author of A Soundless Dawn

“The stories are clever and witty. The characters are all too real.”
Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews

“Just read the opener, ‘Hair’ and became an instant fan. How can you not delight in a story about a metalhead fixated on long hair who starts obsessively eating it until hair begins to… um, well, buy Darkest Hours now and find out.”
Bram Stoker Award winner Michael Arnzen, author of Grave Markings

“Thorn has certainly made his mark on the genre as a whole, and also on me.”
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer

“A bloody fantastic collection.”
Lydian Faust, author of Forest Underground

“Dark, funny, entertaining, horrifying, clever, this book announces the arrival of a new frustratingly exceptional talent to the dark fiction scene.”
Leo X. Robertson, author of Bonespin Slipspace

Darkest Hours is for readers wishing to take a thrilling walk on the dark side. Mike Thorn has delivered a promising debut with this collection showing off his commitment to stories of nuance, heart, and of course… darkness.”
Daniel Braum, author of The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales

“There is more than enough talent showcased within these pages to suggest that Mike Thorn’s journey has only just begun.”
Grim Reader Reviews

“I compared these stories many times to my favorites from Poe.”
Sunshine Somerville

“Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hours contains the most diverse selection of stories that I’ve ever read from a single author.”
Sci-Fi & Scary

“Thorn has compiled a varied and creative anthology.”
Cellar Door Lit Rants & Reviews

 

 

Limited Time Offer: Get a Signed Copy of Darkest Hours with a Surprise Bonus Spooky Item [SOLD OUT]

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I just happen to currently have some extra copies of Darkest Hours I’m willing to sign and mail out (with one surprise spooky bonus item per shipment). $18 USD + shipping.

Contact me if you’re interested!

“Perfectly paced from the first sentence, these stories grab you by the collar with the urgency of mortal danger. Highly recommended.”
— Bram Stoker Award nominee S.P. Miskowski, author of Strange is the Night

“Thorn presents a collection of horror stories that are not only scary, but also intelligent, thoughtful, and carefully planned confronting the anxieties of modern life.”
— iHorror

“Just read the opener, ‘Hair’ and became an instant fan. How can you not delight in a story about a metalhead fixated on long hair who starts obsessively eating it until hair begins to… um, well, buy Darkest Hours now and find out.”
— Bram Stoker Award winner Michael Arnzen, author of Grave Markings

“When you first encounter Thorn’s writing, a number of qualities impress themselves: the macabre intelligence (brutal really), the chilling wit, the naturalness of the dialogue. Plus there’s the skill and style of the prose. It may all play out like a nightmare, but a terrible logic remains inherent.”
— Robert Dunbar, author of The Pines and Willy

“These short stories show the author’s incredible range and versatility.”
Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

“Fast, fun and full of fear, Darkest Hours turns on a dime from a laugh to a scream. Terrifying and sly, Mike Thorn writes with refreshing originality and hides fangs behind a smile.”
— John C. Foster, author of Mister White

“Mike Thorn’s debut story collection is not to be missed by those who enjoy an academic intellect with a potent flair for fiction.”
— Dustin LaValley, author of A Soundless Dawn

“Take a dollop of Michael A. Arnzen and Brian Evenson’s quirky styles, and add a pinch of Mark Twain, stir well and let bubble, and you have a sense of Mike Thorn’s stories.”
— Bram Stoker Award winner Marge Simon, author of Four Elements and Satan’s Sweethearts

“One of the best and most rewarding feelings as a horror fan is reading a new author’s work and being blown away by their talent and the awe of discovering something cool. That is the exact feeling I got when I first sat down to crack open Mike Thorn’s debut story collection, Darkest Hours.”
— The Horror Bookshelf

“I think Mike Thorn is an author to watch. I think he’s going to do great things in the world of horror and dark fiction, and I for one, will be there to watch it. Will you?”
— Char’s Horror Corner

Darkest Hours is for readers wishing to take a thrilling walk on the dark side. Mike Thorn has delivered a promising debut with this collection showing off his commitment to stories of nuance, heart, and of course… darkness.”
— Daniel Braum, author of The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales

Darkest Hours is a varied and hugely enjoyable gathering of dark fiction. There is more than enough talent showcased within these pages to suggest that Mike Thorn’s journey has only just begun.”
— Grim Reader Reviews

Darkest Hours is horror for horror people. For the ‘confirmed ghost story and horror film addict,’ if you will. But it’s also for people with strong emotions and a desire for philosophical thought.”
— One Critical Bitch

“There are times in Thorn’s prose where I’m reminded not only of some of the best Stephen King from Skeleton Crew or Night Shift, but also of some of the more bizarre stories from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood.”
— Biff Bam Pop

“The stories are clever and witty. The characters are all too real.”
— Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews

“Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hours contains the most diverse selection of stories that I’ve ever read from a single author.”
— Sci-Fi & Scary

New Review of Darkest Hours in Cellar Door Book Reviews

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“I found often drawn to certain sentences that Thorn crafted. They were clever and I liked his use of language. Some of my favorites included:

‘My scholastic cock outsizes everyone else’s’

‘Herbert asked the bartenders breasts’

‘Work like you want to work’

‘Everything else, the chaos that came between the cradle and the grave, was unpredictable’

It is clear from Thorn’s writing that he has spent some time in academia, as several of his stories star accomplished or struggling academic professors. It is obviously a familiar environment Thorn likes to capture. Whether the academic was a mouse mass murderer or an out-of-work biologist, Thorn highlights their struggles and peculiarities.”

Read the full review.

Eli Roth Replaces Trademark Irreverence with Quiet Reverence for The House with a Clock in Its Walls

“At first glance, it’s difficult to situate The House with a Clock in Its Walls within director Eli Roth’s filmography. Following a politically reckless triptych that studied the implications of mass socialization through online platforms (The Green Inferno [2013], Knock Knock [2015] and Death Wish [2018]), this tonally scattershot kiddie Gothic seems almost to surface from nowhere. In some sense, it’s worthwhile to view the film completely on its own terms; but when dislocated from the rest of Roth’s ouevre, it offers little foundation for serious critical engagement. The film is flatly and almost numbingly pleasant. It’s over-designed but not to the point of genuine exuberance; occasionally amusing but never that funny; periodically stirring but by no means truly creepy; and unlike every one of its filmmaker’s preceding films, it moves through its entire runtime without ever straying near the territory of bad taste.”

Read the full review in Vague Visages.

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