The Long Way Home
If it’s true that horror fiction is as a genre seems to comprise an increasingly small slice of the publishing marketplace, what’s a fan to do? Well, for one thing, order a copy of Richard Chizmar’s new collection, “The Long Way Home.” Chizmar, the founder and publisher of Cemetery Dance, which might be thought of as the Paris Review of horror periodicals, is also an accomplished and creative writer whose flowing and easy-going style is the perfect delivery system for some truly dark ideas. The thing is, for all the genuinely eerie characters and stories herein, there are beautifully emotive underpinnings of melancholy, loneliness, wit and humanity. “Roses and Raindrops,” “The Witch,” “Mischief” and “Silent Night” are among my favorite stories in the book, and two essays, one on Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine and one reflecting on the legacy of Stephen King, are both pretty wonderful.