Flight or Fright is an anthology with one theme: scary things that can happen while flying. This anthology is edited by the king of horror writing, Stephen King. This seemed like a good book to read in lockdown when international air travel is almost impossible.
There are 16 short stories and one poem in this anthology. There are old stories by Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) and Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) written before air travel even became a thing. There are two new stories written specifically for this anthology. One by Stephen King is a story about air turbulence. The second new story is by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) whose story is about passengers in a plane while a nuclear war starts on earth mid-flight. There are also classic short stories by the likes of Ray Bradbury and Roald Dahl. Dahl draws on his own experience as a fighter pilot in World War II. Some stories tell the reader its content in the title, like “Zombies on a Plane” by Bev Vincent and “Murder in the air” by Peter Tremayne. There are all sorts of terrifying tales in this collection, with topics ranging from monsters, time travel, war, and murder, to falling out of the sky.
This was a satisfying read if you’re looking for something scary. There are stories like “The Fifth Category” by Tom Bissell, which haunts you and gets in your head and stays with you long after the last page is turned.
Flight or Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales edited by Stephen King and Bev Vincent. Cemetery Dance Publications, September 2018.
Reviewer bio: Chang Shih Yen is a writer from Malaysia, seeing through the pandemic in New Zealand. She writes a blog at https://shihyenshoes.wordpress.com/
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