Flight or Fright, edited by Stephen King and Bev Vincent

Nine stars

There is a certain majestic nature to being far above the clouds, crossing the country or an ocean while receiving small bags of snacks and watered-down drinks. Air travel has long been the go-to means of getting from one place to another, especially with the ongoing technological advancements for the general public. However, Stephen King and Bev Vincent seek to dispel this bucolic myth with their collection of short stories about flying, all of which explore levels of fear or evil when it comes to being in the air. The collection of seventeen pieces keeps the reader enthralled, with stories from many authors who penned their works at different times during the progress of flight over the past century. From stories about cargo trips back from Jonestown, to ever-elusive gremlins on the wing, through to pieces about a nuclear war commencing during the middle of a continental flight and even the joys of having an airplane before a crime scene during an in-flight murder, King and Vincent seek to spook the reader just a little as they learn about the many ways in which flight could be anything but safe. With wonderfully gripping pieces, some as short as a single paragraph, the editors offer a jam-packed adventure that would put any security scanning line to shame when it comes to horrific experiences. A great anthology that will keep many a reader wanting to plant their feet on terra firms for the foreseeable future. Highly recommended for those who enjoy short stories that differ greatly from one another and those who are not put off by some of the predictable disasters that could await any airline passenger.

Having long been a fan of Stephen King—and an avid flier—I was eager to get my hands on this piece to see the sorts of authors and stories that were gathered to create this nightmarish collection. Not only are the pieces entirely unique from one another, but they span the entirety of the flight experience. Some authors penned their stories not long after the Wright Brothers made their brief sojourn into the air while others tackle topics of a Cold War era or even when travel was as sleek as could be imagined. This great cross-section of writing enriches the collection even more, though there is a theme of fear within each piece. As the editors offer a brief synopsis of the piece to come, the reader is able to place it into context and can—should they wish—notice the chronological and technological progresses made in air travel. As the reader is introduced to scores of characters in a variety of settings, they can relate to as many as they like while endeavouring not to scare themselves with vivid imaginings of what could go wrong. The choice of stories was wonderful, as was the varied lengths of the pieces on offer. However, perhaps I should not have read this days before I would board a plane. Now then, which button was actually used to bring down the plane and not summon assistance for additional pretzels?

Kudos, Messrs. King and Vincent, for this captivating collection. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope you’ll continue to collaborate again soon.

This book fulfils Topic #1:Collecting Words in the Equinox #6 Reading Challenge.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons