Another exciting discovery for me in 2014 was Ray Cluley.
I read his story “Bones of Crow” in Ellen Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 6 and was immediately taken with it. I have long been intrigued by birds – from Poe’s “The Raven” to Hitchcock’s The Birds to a very intense scene in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run that has long haunted me. Birds have played a major role in a couple of my own stories as well.
Now, you can add Cluley’s story to my own personal list of bird stories that are scary and disturbing. The final encounter between bird and woman is not one to be forgotten.
Shortly after reading the story, I purchased Black Static #41 and was happy to see another story by this author. “The Hutch” is a very different sort of story than “Bones of Crow,” though there are some similarities – a focus on relationships between parent and child, a “normal” modern setting, etc. “The Hutch” is somewhat subtler and if not as viscerally shocking just as haunting.
I’m pleased to have discovered this author and will be seeking out and reading more of his work.