Patton Oswalt has edited a gift box collection of 13 scary stories that you can purchase just in time for Halloween, and if you want to read great horror, we suggest you do just that.
Oswalt, a noted horror and dystopian fiction aficionado (you should read his memoir Zombie Spaceship Wasteland) collected authors new and established, including highlights from George R. R. Martin and Richard Matheson (I Am Legend).
“These are some of my favorite stories of gut-bucket horror, or subtle terror, and sometimes uncomfortable combinations of both,” explained Oswalt in a release. “I wanted each of these selections to be a concentrated sip of shimmering unease.”
The collection is presented in a gift-worthy clamshell box. Here’s the description from Canadian publisher Hingston & Olsen:
“Each handmade box features a matte-black finish, an iridescent colour-shifting foil stamp on top, and a magnetized lid. The booklets have debossed design details and are bound with brass staples.”
The box is important, though, because you’re not just getting typeset print versions of the stories. They explain that, “There might be another surprise or two in there, too.” Each of the 13 bound stories has a range of “hidden design features,” clues, and ciphers.
Hingston & Olsen is the same that released the Short Story Advent Calendar last year (which Oswalt shared on social media a few times while enjoying the whiskey advent calendar).
There’s a lot of Patton Oswalt media to enjoy right now. Oswalt’s Netflix standup special Annihilation debuted last week. It was a powerful performance. Oswalt essentially spent the first 30 minutes doing the comedic equivalent of stretching-taking artful shots at Trump, white supremacy, and doing some crowd work.
Half way through the hour, on the dot, he launched into a bold, rich and heartbreaking monologue about coping with the death of his late wife, Michelle Eileen McNamara. McNamara was a noted true crime writer, who dedicated most of her career to investigating forgotten cold cases.
Oswalt ended up having a role in seeing to the completion of McNamara’s final book. He wrote the afterword for her I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, published posthumously earlier this year.
Feel free to add it to your reading list.
As for The Ghost Box, it will cost you about $40 CAD or $31 in US currency, plus shipping of about $12. You still have time to order it before Halloween, though given Oswalt’s literary qualifications, these will be enjoyable reads beyond a holiday tie-in.
Get it here.