After Midnight by A. Martin
After Midnight is a collection of short stories by author A. Martin, focusing on themes of horror and science fiction. Previously published through a variety of websites and fiction-writing contests, the collection is a complete compilation of Martin’s short story work spanning several years. The story’s plots include something for every kind of horror fan: a couple struggle through a twisted experience when they spontaneously agree to compete on a televised game show; a man who takes suspicious pills he purchased from an infomercial in hopes of communicating with his dog; an office worker who is pursued by mysterious text messages and emails during a power outage; and a young woman who finds herself surrounded by portraits of the recently dead and the excitable artist responsible for them. The scares are diverse and plentiful in this collection.
One of the most impressive aspects of Martin’s writing, and of course, one of the most important aspects of the horror genre, is how speedily each story grabs the reader’s attention and throws him or her off balance. The first sentence or two is always enough to inspire that unsettling but pressing desire to figure out what’s going on, what has happened to these characters, or what frights are about to befall them. Similarly, the tales seem to end at the perfect moment, either just after the reader has made the necessary shocking discovery, or just as the protagonists have realized that they’re doomed. Martin’s collection leaves the reader chilled and wanting more, eagerly turning the page for the next creepy experience.