*I received a free DRC of this book, with thanks to the author, Flame Tree Press and Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future is whimsical and dreadful, verdant and sinister. Readers of “quiet horror” or “slow-burn horror” will enjoy this collection.
“Without a doubt, Christi Nogle is one of my favorite new voices in horror. Her fiction is by turns devastating, horrifying, and beyond beautiful. With her collection, The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future, she’s created something truly remarkable, the kind of horror that’s filled with grit and heart. Don’t miss this book; it’s sure to be one of the very best collections of 2023.”- Gwendolyn Kiste, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens and Reluctant Immortals.
The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future collects Christi Nogle’s finest psychological and supernatural horror stories. Their rural and small-town characters confront difficult pasts and look toward promising but often terrifying futures. The pieces range in genre from psychological horror through science fiction and ghost stories, but they all share fundamental qualities: feminist themes, an emphasis on voice, a focus on characters’ psychologies and a sense of the gothic in contemporary life. Stories here may recall Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Shirley Jackson’s “The Renegade,” or Kelly Link’s “Stone Animals.”
There are seventeen stories in this collection, and each contain a kind of insidious, subtle horror – dreamlike in its distorted intensity.
Yes, there are zombies and werewolves and other horror tropes within these pages, but they are presented in ways I haven’t come across before. There is no shock horror here, no gore or overt psychological terror. Instead this is a horror of the real world, the familiar, made somehow imperceptibly wrong, word by word, line by line, so that it creeps up on you and takes you by surprise.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that some of these images – the least gory, apparently innocuous images of mirrored houses, tiny grandmas and sleeping pups – are definitely going to stay with me for a while and I expect to see some of them recurring in future dreams… and nightmares!
The writing feels literary in tone and style and the ideas are complex and nuanced, needing time to digest and ponder what the writer is presenting, what exactly you are reading. Nothing is fully explained or neatly tied with a bow. These are almost vignettes – glimpses into a twisted version of our own reality – enough to unsettle without fully understanding.
This isn’t horror for those looking to be thrilled with shocks and scares, viscera and violence. This is the subtly surreal and vaguely disturbing, aimed at those who appreciate a refined, dignified step through the darker mirror.
I never see you at night.Christi Nogle, ‘You Will Make Me Strong Again’ in The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future
At night, I make up my own nest. It’s built of clothes and sand and scrub, just like yours. I think I won’t sleep – every night I think that – but sleep comes hard and quick. I wake to another warm morning, sand and spit on the side of my face.
I never see you at night until I do.
Purchase Link: The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future on Amazon
About the author
Christi Nogle’s debut novel, Beulah, is out now from Cemetery Gates Media and her collection The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future is coming in early 2023 from Flame Tree Press.
Her short stories have appeared in over fifty publications including PseudoPod, Vastarien, and Dark Matter Magazine along with anthologies such as C.M Muller’s Nightscript and Flame Tree’s American Gothic.
Christi is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and Codex Writers’ Group. She lives in Boise, Idaho with her partner Jim and their gorgeous dogs.
Follow her at christinogle.com or on Twitter @christinogle
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!
One thought on “Blog Tour: The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future – Christi Nogle”
Thanks for the blog tour support x