muy importante when it comes to horror paperback covers, perhaps the most essential icon of all. Karl Edward Wagner was primarily known as an editor of Year's Best Horror Stories for years, as well as for his Conan-esque character Kane. He died in 1994 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, apparently after years of wild drugs and drinking, but his stories display a real sensitivity and maturity. The dancing phantom woman in the skull's eye on In a Lonely Place appears in "In the Pines," and "Sticks," originally published in 1974, is an effective predecessor to The Blair Witch Project.
Why Not You and I? display a knowledge of the world of horror fandom and some attendant dangers of real-life love (hence the kissing skulls). The latter tale, about the horrifying fate of a Tom Selleck-style action TV star, was my first introduction to Wagner when I read it in the rollicking splatterpunky collection Silver Scream (1988), edited by David J. Schow. It took me a couple years to track down affordable used copies of these old paperbacks; they're well-worn but comfortably well-loved.
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