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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Book Review: This Way to Egress by Lawrence C. Connolly (horror collection)

This book no longer exists, but it is a collection of some of Lawerence C. Connolly's horror stories. He still has one collection Voices: Tales of Horror and the trilogy The Veins Cycle on Amazon. Most of his recent work has been screenwriting and playwriting. Check out his bio below.

This Way to Egress
by Lawrence C. Connolly
January 1, 2010
LAWRENCE C. CONNOLLY (b. 1951) has been writing since the early 1980s, with stories appearing in some of the genre's top magazines and anthologies, among them Cemetery Dance, Twilight Zone, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Year's Best Horror Stories.

This Way to Egress offers eighteen of his best horror, ghost, and mystery stories set in locations as diverse as rural Pennsylvania, central Italy, and Soviet Russia.

Along the way you will encounter worlds of fluid reality where nothing can be trusted, a lacquer box that serves as a holding cell for over 400 persecuted souls, and a young man who makes an alarming discovery about the connection between modern photography and timeless evil.

This collection also features 'Reckoning', an all-new story set in a backwoods church in a deep Pennsylvania valley—a place where a callous killer learns the meaning of fear.

Also new to this collection is the retrospective essay 'Ingress', featuring a look back at Connolly's three decades of writing and publishing ranging from early collections of his work with T. E. D. Klein (Twilight Zone) and Karl Edward Wagner (Year's Best Horror) up to his recent association with filmmakers Charly Cantor (Blood) and David Slade (Thirty Days of Night).

CONTENTS: Ingress; This Way to Egress; Circle of Lias; Painkeeper; Moon and the Devil; Smuggling the Dead; Flames; Lesions; The Break-in Artist; Wired for Fear; Reckoning; Striking Terror; The Soothsayer; Shooting Evil; Hungry Ann; Things; Decanting Oblivion; Buckeye and Spitball; Mrs Halfbooger's Basement; Echoes.

One of the best things about reading a writer’s collection of work is you get to see their growth. Some writers hit a rut and stick to an already successful formula. And some have an imagination that cranks out original material decade after decade. As a writer for Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, and more, Lawrence C Connolly has put together a short story collection second to none.

THIS WAY TO EGRESS has Connolly’s classic stories (predating internet publishing) to Gen Y horrors. And he never repeats a plot in almost 200 pages. There are vampires, the devil, Russian mobs, a timely tale about the haunting of a needy lover, and my favorite—kids who learn a lesson in ‘Mrs. Halfbooger’s Basement.’

This collection is like Creep Show and Tales of the Crypt with its characters, feel, and twists. It’s dark fantasy, sci fi, action, and realistic drama. You’ll get scared, you’ll laugh, but most of all, you’ll need to turn to the next page to find out what else Connolly has for you.    

In fact, the title story ‘This Way to Egress’ was featured in Mick Garris’ movie NIGHTMARE CINEMA. I hope Garris makes sequels because Connolly has a storehouse of excellent writing to offer dark fiction fans. You can find a good many of them in THIS WAY TO EGRESS.

5 Sheep

REVIEWED BY Belle Bivdavo

About the Author:
Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the Veins Cycle novels Veins (2008), Vipers (2010), and Vortex (2014). His collections include Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), which feature his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, Year’s Best Horror, and other top magazines and anthologies of fantasy, horror, and science fiction.

Voices was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award.

His screenplay “This Way to Egress,” co-authored with director David Slade (executive producer of Hannibal and American Gods) and based on Connolly’s original story “Traumatic Descent” (first published in Borderlands 3, reprinted in Voices and This Way to Egress) is featured in the anthology film Nightmare Cinema (2019).

He is also the writer of Mystery Theatre, a podcast produced by Prime Stage, which is currently in its second season.

Current projects include a new adaptation of Frankenstein, tentatively scheduled to debut in late 2021; and The MinuteMen, a superhero franchise that he’s developing with brother Christopher Connolly and producers Jonathan Sanger and M. Jones.

Also a musician, his music can be heard on Bandcamp and Spotify.

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