The Horror Zine Review

That Which Grows Wild

A Collection from Eric J. Guignard

Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Harper Day Books (July 17, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781949491005
ISBN-13: 978-1949491005


That Which Grows Wild

by Eric J. Guignard

Review by Jeani Rector

A book containing short stories by various authors is called an anthology. A book containing short stories by a single author is called a collection.

Eric J. Guignard received a good reputation the old-fashioned way: he earned it. An accomplished writer in his own right, he has also produced popular, award-winning anthologies. One of the most notable of these anthologies is Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations, which took first place at the Bram Stoker Awards for Best Anthology in 2012.

But let’s go back to his own creations. I published one of Guignard’s works before titled “Germ Warfare,” and it was one of the most talked-about short stories I have ever published. My readers loved it.

Now he has unleashed a new collection of his own tales titled That Which Grows Wild. When Guignard offered it to The Horror Zine for review, I wanted to review this one personally. That is how excited I am about this new book.

I will say upfront that this collection exceeded my already high expectations. Trust me, as the editor of The Horror Zine, I see lots and lots of short stories submitted to me every month, so I have developed a discerning taste for horror fiction. In other words, I know what I am talking about. And I am telling you That Which Grows Wild (Harper Day Books) is a must-read for any horror fan.

Since I cannot discuss every single story (there are sixteen), I will talk about my favorites.

I was taken in with the very first story, “A Case Study in Natural Selection and how it Applies to Love.” Written from a teenage boy’s point of view, he secretly loves his friend’s girlfriend. What sets this apart is that they all live in a world where human spontaneous combustion has become a normal part of the human race! This story is sheer genius in its inventiveness.

“Footprints Fading in the Desert” is a beautifully descriptive story. A Cessna 172 aircraft crashes in the desert. As the lone survivor, Lisa hopes for a rescue that probably will not come. Then she sees the footprints on the ground, impossible in such a transient and loose medium as sand. As she follows the prints, Guignard brings you into her head and you are one with Lisa’s trauma. Trauma turns out to not be limited to only Lisa, however. What she finds will tear at your heart. This is one of my favorites in the collection because of the emotions it brought out of me.

“Last Night…” is a scary one. What would happen if the world stopped turning? Guignard personalizes this with wolves that evolve into creature-beasts as the world gets colder. And the beasts are coming for the hero of the story. This is a short but very effective tale.

“Certain Sights of an Afflicted Woman” is absolutely my favorite out of this collection. It is a deliciously gruesome account of a plague. Margie is the last survivor after her sister dies. She sees things she wishes she didn’t. Lots of writers have written about plagues and apocalypses, but Guignard manages to give it a fresh voice.

I have always been a fan of unusual monsters. “A Quaint Ol’ Bigfoot Tale” is a folksy yarn where hunters search the woods for the Sasquatch of legend. Meanwhile, Grandpa has proof that the monster did indeed exist inside the box he carries. Guignard is able to effectively pull this one off.

Just because I have only highlighted five of the stories out of the sixteen does not mean that the other eleven aren’t any good. All of the stories in this book are consistently exciting, making it difficult to choose. You don’t find that level of quality in many collections, but you do in this one.

I highly recommend That Which Grows Wild and remember, I am a discerning reader.











You can buy the book HERE

About the Author

Eric J. Guignard

eric guignard

Eric J. Guignard is a writer and editor of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles, where he also owns and runs the small press, Dark Moon Books. He’s won the Bram Stoker Award, been a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award, and a multi-nominee of the Pushcart Prize. Outside the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, he’s a technical writer and college professor. Check out his latest work, a debut collection, THAT WHICH GROWS WILD (Cemetery Dance, 2018). For more, visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.

About the Reviewer

Jeani Rector

Jeani Rector

While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead.  She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters.  It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?

Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Dark River Press, Macabre Cadaver, Blood Moon Rising, Hellfire Crossroads, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, and others. 

that which grows wild