In my quest to acquaint myself with modern works of horror, fantasy and SF, this book caught my attention. In Joshi's forward he says that Thomas' writing is grounded in a firm grasp of the classics of the genre whilst having his own unique and modern voice. I have to say that Joshi's analysis is spot on, that's exactly what I thought after finishing it.
He draws from influences such as Edgar Allan Poe, Algernon Blackwood and Robert Aickman but he writes in a modern style and most of his stories are set in present day America. He has quite a range, from outright horror ("The Weird Old Hole" and "Graveside Friday Night"), to satirical humour ("Damn the wheelright" and "Dappled Ass"). Sometimes his stories feature ghosts ("Sonic Days Before Shadow Damsel" and "Ariadne's Hair") or spiritual possession ("The Returns of Johnny Mapleseed" and "An Alternate History of Annette"). There's science fiction ("The Road to Schwärmerei", "The Christmas Clones"), vampires ("Towbear to Hell" and "A Vampire Heart") and, perhaps most scary of all, simply man's inhumnity to man ("McEveety Among the Leisure Elect" and "Tendrils in Formaldehyde").
I've only mentioned about half the stories in this collection so you can see there's quite a lot in here. Jonathan Thomas is a talented writer and it's great to find another author of modern horror that is to my liking. I look forward to his next collection (which is apparently in the making).