Neil Baker’s Short Sharp Shocks anthologies have proven to be a great deal of fun. Neil has a flair for an inventive premise — and, as it turns out, a real eye for writing talent. The first, Amok!, focused on the modern boogeyman, and Stomping Grounds! featured monsters causing large-scale mayhem and misery. But I think Ill-considered Expeditions is his best idea yet. Here’s Neil, from his introduction:
The faithful reader (and I know there’s at least one of you) will be well aware that my anthology themes are a frightening echo of my childhood influences, and Ill-considered Expeditions is no exception. As a child of the 60s and 70s, my visual diet included Johnny Weissmuller’s brutal Tarzan films and Ron Ely’s slightly more child-friendly TV series. I delighted in the exploits of hapless colonials hacking their way through unforgiving jungles, catching spears in the gut and falling into all manner of native traps that invariably involved impalement, boiling or splitting in half. I must admit that my most favorite moments were when the team of intelligent mountain gorillas that usually showed up along the trial hurled rocks down onto the porters, forcing the intrepid explorers to not only reconsider their decision to forge on, but to carry their own luggage.
With modern day discoveries such as the giant crystal caverns of Chihuahua, or the primeval, subterranean caves found in Vietnam, our collective imaginations are running rampant; who knows what manner of beast or secret society lurks in the uncharted shadows? What treasures await the bold? More to the point, what horrible booby-traps and grisly fates await them?
Ill-considered Expeditions (Short Sharp Shocks, Volume 3) contains 16 all-new stories from Josh Reynolds, James Dorr, Steve Foreman, Ahmed A. Khan, and others. It was published by April Moon Books on August 28, 2015. It is 228 pages, priced at $15.99 in trade paper and $3.49 for the digital version. The cover is by Neil Baker. Order directly from April Moon Books.