The Midnight Collection, Volume Three!


The Midnight Collection rides for again!  Just in time for xmas, you can read a winter-themed collection of short stories, poems, etc..  My man Joseph Kelly has published this compilation of dark fiction that I’ve previously mentioned.  You have a few options on how to read it – and one is completely gratis. I’ll explain that later.

frosty hell

This third installment of The Midnight Collection is themed “Bitter Cold.”  The collection is basically produced without profit at this point.  I’m just pimping it because I’m a contributor, and I’d love to hear what you think of my writing.  Although I am really curious what reviewers, casual or serious, will think of all the stories.

This is truly an unusual collection. Despite the uniting theme, it’s as diverse as the members of our secret cabal of writers. There’s poetry, comedy, a sprinkle of queer representation, and dark fiction ranging from traditional ’80s style horror to fantasy to sci-fi.  Overall this volume leans toward themes of social isolation and dark moods, as befits the season.  Some of the writers are more conventional, some rather unusual.  A little tour of the table of contents:

A GIFT FOR MANNY – Kelsey Nie
A new author for this collection, and what a character.  I did not see where this is going, indeed, still not completely sure what I beheld on the way there.  A brisk read with a bent sense of humor.

VARIOUS POEMS – Saoirse Aimhirghin
Returning from Vol. 2: Dark Harvest, this author serves up a passel of icy poems, interspersed throughout the book.

THE FROST ON TOMBSTONES – Kate Bledsoe
The most christmas’d out story in the collection, replete with a big pile of gifts, unethical medicine, and monsters.  Something for the whole family, from a returning author.  The spooky elements were gratifying.

SOUL EATER – Dominique Palma
She’s back from Dark Harvest, again bringing that international flavor, in a story that ranges across the Atlantic Ocean and history as well.  This is the author’s second story for us to include poetry, which is interesting.

KISS OF THE ANCESTORS, WATCHING TREES, THE ICE BOX – Joseph Kelly
My lovin’ man has entries of his own, besides pulling rather extreme labor as the editor of these little beasts.  Watching Trees is a short but immersive creep show, Kiss of the Ancestors is a dark fantasy tale that might trigger those of you who have suffered religious abuse.  The Ice Box is exceptionally well-written, spot-on for the theme of bitter cold, and emotionally brutal.

SLAY RIDE – Emily Socia
In Vol. 2: Dark Harvest, this author brought us a creep show of her own.  This time around, she’s written a narrative poem in that classic genre of christmas horror, each verse a haiku.

A CHRISTMAS NINJA – Christopher Scott Shelton
A poem about a christmas-themed ninja, this thing is my inner 16-yr-old’s fault.  And reflecting on the experience, I’m fucking pissed I didn’t work in a reference to Michael Dudikoff.

THE NEAR-EPIC OF INDOMINUS CAESAR – Brett Elijah Shelton
Back-to-back poems by Sheltons!  This one mounds archaic language to obscure its true narrative to the last verse.  True dad humor.

UP ON THE ROOFTOPS – B.A. Kerchner
Another returning author, Kerchner keeps the family horror and slimy monstrosity, but this time adds seasonal humor, influenced perhaps by the Fallout universe.  Enjoy.

RITES OF MILK – Damian Golfinopoulos
Before the first volume of The Midnight Collection came out, I personally invited this guy from our secret writing cabal to submit something.  His ideas were wild, influenced by stuff like Cronenberg and Burroughs.  And yet the stories he produced in the first two volumes seemed more buttoned-down, serious, even sad?  This is more like what I was originally expecting.  Good and greasy.

THE IMMOLATION OF THE THORNBLOODS, I BOUGHT THE TICKET – Caesar Train Magenta
In my pencil moustache-having persona, I wrap the collection in my Rod Serling way with I Bought the Ticket.  But earlier in the book I have a proper entry, my first gothic BDSM soap opera.  Will it be my last?  Probably, but it was an interesting experience.

HINTERKAIFECK, A WINTER’S FRIENDSHIP FAIR – Saoirse Aimhirghin
Hinterkaifeck is a true crime essay, A Winter’s Friendship Fair is horror short about cutesy white people facing mysterious peril.

STEALING CHILL – Bébé Mélange
Didn’t like Diana’s job interviews in Supply Chain Banditos and The Pumpkin Spice?  Neither did the employers, so she’s back for another interview.  This might be my best yet, breaking out of the “my mom’s ex-boyfriends” mold to tell us more about her family.  The lore deepens.

TRAPPED IN STONE – Rachel Friend
Aside from a few random F-bombs, this little spook story has a lot of child-like whimsy.  A self-satisfied librarian is snowed in, which seems like a dream come true for her.  Until books start to get mildly damaged.  That shit is uncalled for.

DANCING SKIES – Annie K. Su
The last proper entry of this volume brings back the big heart.  Set in a fictionalized Arctic land, this has a grim premise, but an interesting path.

a cool boy

“Chill Boy” – Joseph Kelly, 2022

HOW DO I READ THE MIDNIGHT COLLECTION?

The way that results in the most direct support for future volumes is through Ko-fi.  For a minimum three dollar donation, you can download the e-book in formats that work with most e-readers.  Due to holiday jackanapery, the printed version is not currently available, but may be soon.  And lastly, as promised, you can just read it for free at the Collection’s website.

There are a few original works of art by the authors and editor (nice!) but most of the illustrations are lovingly curated from public domain resources.  Some version of some of most of the illustrations are available on the website, more in the e-book, but yes, the best way to appreciate them is a hard copy… whenever we make that happen.

I’d love to see reviews, either of the whole package or individual stories.  For lowest effort you can drop some general thoughts in the comments below this article.  You can also leave comments on the individual stories at the Midnight Collection’s site.  Thanks!

Note:  I’m given to understand some non-USA people can’t use a card to purchase it through ko-fi, but if somebody specifically requests to make it available through Amazon, we’ll look into it.

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