Repeat freebie from last February: The Monster Within Idea
by R. Thomas Riley. Originally published by Apex in 2009.
The monsters lurk in everyone: monsters of greed, of guilt, of the pleasure found in pain, of the pain found when pleasure dies. Carefully disguised, the monsters can sit down beside you or take up residence within you at the slightest twist of fate. Will you try to stop them? Will you want to?
This collection of 18 stories from R. Thomas Riley deftly explores the monsters born of the human mind. “Attrition” offers a future prison system that frees only those who repent sincerely—but what can an inmate do if he finds that sincerity is not really the key? “Twin Thieves” and “Tautology” throw a devilish spin on relationships gone wrong, while “The Lesser Evil” twists the abuses of race and power into a gritty, noirish nightmare of the choices a man must make to protect a lesser man and a greater good. In “Touching God,” a young man’s past catches up to him when worlds bleed into each other and the past crosses into present, bringing back the abuse he once escaped and the brother who wasn’t so lucky.
Sacrifice, selfishness, and the worst of good intentions: all combine in The Monster Within Idea. From vampires and aliens to hit women and Wild Bill Hickock, Riley gives a subtle psychological turn to dark science fiction and horror. Let the monsters walk the paths of your mind. The idea is already within.