“‘Mini McDonagh Manor’ by Mike Thorn was pristine and showed why I love Mike’s writing so much. Following a woman who needs to confront things from the past, Mike does a really great job of encasing an entire ‘haunted house’ book in a dozen or so pages. Well done.”
These writers have continued pursuing their love of short fiction, publishing everything from experimental flash pieces to chilling horror tales.
“Exhumation started off creepy, progressed to f***ed up and stayed firmly in that position until the very end.”
Marna Larsen is an insightful commentator on all things horror esoterica, so I was thrilled when she reviewed Darkest Hours. On the story “Fear and Grace,” she writes:
“… a reminder about a certain kind of predatory magnetism that simultaneously makes someone charismatic to the masses and also a horrifying monster one on one.”
Destiny of Howling Libraries reviews Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation and welcomes me as her blog’s first ever interviewee.
“This is an excellent double shot of Thorn’s brand of creeping, slow burn horror, continuing from 2017’s short story collection Darkest Hours.
You might know Thorn through his film criticism in the MUBI Notebook or Vague Visages, among others. His fiction has appeared in Dark Moon Digest and Tales to Terrify. His style is somewhere between the weirder short works of Stephen King and the more down to earth works of Clive Barker. I found Darkest Hours to be a surprisingly fun read where I often didn’t know where I was going or why, but when I got there I felt fully satisfied with the journey.”
Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation is another excellent, high-quality addition to Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks! imprint, and also a further demonstration that Mr Thorn is a skilled and deeply imaginative Horror writer able to range across sub-genres at will. Dreams of Lake Drukka is a fantastic short story that really digs into the nature of parental loss, delayed grief and then mixing in elements of supernatural horror; and Exhumation is a fast-paced and gory tale of supernatural dues owed.
Once again, I find myself with a few spare copies of Darkest Hours that I’m willing to sign and mail out ($18 USD + shipping).
“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.”
“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