I am not a good flier. I flew to FL for spring break a few months after 9/11, and there were armed guardsman all over our tiny airport. Ever since then, I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach starting the night before we leave that doesn’t abate until after we land. Yes, I know it’s safer than driving. Yes, I know that there is an infinitesimal chance of something going wrong. No, I don’t care. I’m not unhappy in the least that I haven’t been on a plane in over 3 years.
Needless to say, these stories appealed to all my flying insecurities. This is absolutely one of the best anthologies I have read in awhile. I was stoked to see Matheson’s “Nightmare at 20,00 Feet” in the table of contents. I don’t think a book about the horrors of flying would be complete without it. While I don’t recall reading anything by E.C. Tubb before, I thought that “Lucifer!” was a great tale about both time travel and the horror of flying. “Zombies on a Plane” by Bev Vincent is a rather cautionary ta
le about the desperate fight for survival and running away from your problems. And even though “Murder in the Air” was more mystery than horror (although having to solve a mysterious death in the air is a horror in itself), it was quite clever.
Coincidentally, my last flight was to see King in Toronto, so perhaps there is some bias, but I really enjoyed his new one. “The Turbulence Expert” has a truly unique premise – imagine if there was someone on the plane to help keep the flight safe that wasn’t an Air Marshal…
I finally had the opportunity to go to a Joe Hill reading a few months ago, and I had heard an abridged version of “You Are Released.” A terrifying story of what if, made more terrifying because it occurs to the passengers while en route across the country. It definitely did nothing for my flying insecurities!
This is a truly unique collection that touches the many horrors of air travel. A wonderful collection of great authors and remarkable stories.