Rob Ottone asked me if I’d put a few lines together to stick at the beginning of his collection of short fiction, Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares, before its release earlier in the year. Having revisited a couple of the tales therein, I’m convinced that what I said back then still holds true.
The title novella, Her Infernal Name, was a particular highlight for me. However, it’s one of those stories for which just about any summation would ruin the twists, turns, surprises, and dread-inducing shocks. All I’ll say is that it’s the perfect horror retelling of the whole modern-day social media influencer thing, intelligently commentating on the phenomenon in the most bloodcurdling way possible. Also, one part reminded me a little of of Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession, which is never, ever, ever, ever a bad thing.
There’s not much more I can say besides what I already wrote in my intro to the book. The true strength of the collection – as my summary indicates – is the sheer wealth of topics he tackles. This lends itself to the readability of the volume, and serves as a worthy workout for his writing chops and imagination.
Rob’s a horror scribe to keep an eye on. Start with Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares – you won’t be disappointed.
Read the full thing I put together for him below:
Infertility, gluttony, technological obsession, fear for the future: topics disparate yet with hidden thematic links. In Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares, Rob Ottone pulls at the thread of terror that runs through these themes and allows the stories within to unravel in the reader’s mind, leaving a resounding sense of horror unlike any other.
From fear of an economy unable to support the future, to the lengths one may go to in order to survive, Rob’s writing flows with an efficiency of prose and rhythm sublimely suited to the tales awaiting you.
Embark upon Her Infernal Name, the opening novella; get lost in Kelly, Watch the Stars, and The Sugar Bowl; then crash back to reality after the closing The Final Goodbye and Miscellaneous Ephemera. From a support group for supernatural beings hosted by a Brooklyn Rabbi, to an exploration of the intersection between technology and obsession, Rob’s stories run the gamut of primeval dread, to contemporary anxiety-fed horror.
Enter the mind of Rob Ottone, and allow the terrors therein to plague, haunt, and change you.