Publication date 11th Jan 2014
From the dust cover: “Growing Concerns is the very ﬁrst collection of its kind. In pop-culture, movies like “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” are quite well-known, but few tales in ﬁction have tapped into the latent fear of our botanical neighbors. With less than ten plant-themed stories well-known enough to be found in English (in the history of printing and web-archiving), Growing Concerns breaks new ground in the horror genre by collecting, for the ﬁrst time ever, eighteen tales devoted to exploring the subject!”
Author list: Alex Hurst (Author), Donna A. Leahey (Author) , Robert J. Santa (Author) , Ken Goldman (Author) , Ethan Nahté (Author) , C J Andrew (Author) , Jennifer Clark (Author) , Jocelyn Adams (Author) , Ryan M. Cady (Author) , Jeffrey Mays (Author) , Barry Rosenberg (Author) , Renee’ La Viness (Author) , James S. Dorr (Author) , DG Sutter (Author) , Luke Murphy (Author) , Roy C Booth (Author) , Alex Kohagen (Author) , Melissa S. Osburn (Author) , N J Magas (Author) , Darren Todd (Author).
My Ebook review: this is an ambitious project that combines several interesting aspects, including the compilation of so many short stories in one volume, and the exploration of how flora can be central in horror. I guess my first surprise was a lack of mention of ‘The Day of the Triffids’, John Wyndham’s post apocalyptic novel about terrible plants. Anyway, that said, I do agree that the subject is underexplored and well worth looking at. For too long plants have taken the back seat whilst the humans or animals do the dirty work!
I will not even try to review each and every short story but will attempt to give my overall impression. This collection is well presented and neatly executed. Many of the stories were page turners and fast paced being often tense and appropriately horrifying.
As one would expect with so many short stories, they are not all exactly focused entirely on plant based horror but each uses our ‘botanical neighbors’ in one form or another in a broad range of plots.
Did I enjoy it: yes, with the caveat that at least one story made me more than a little uncomfortable which surprised me, so I suppose that is also a positive thing.