It’s not often that I see a ton of great free content on Google Play Books. Normally, you’ll put out $14.99 for an audiobook and upwards of $6.99 for an eBook. When things are free, they’re usually just classic novels. Classics are great and all, but you become pretty tired of seeing the same stuff over and over again while browsing. That’s why when I ran into this great collection of scary stories by Nightfire on Google Play, you were all the first ones I thought to share it with. You can pick up this nearly 11-hour horror story anthology and start listening to it right now to get yourself in the Halloween mood (CA, USA only). If you do, I wouldn’t recommend letting your little ones listen…this isn’t exactly ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’. From what I’ve heard so far in my very short teaser, it was pretty dark, so you’ll have to keep that in mind. You can listen to the ‘Come Join Us by the Fire Season 2’ anthology as one file or you can choose to get a copy of each individual story if you like to see the cover art in your library as much as I do. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!
Now, I don’t like gore or gruesome content, but I do very much like psychological thrillers. Understanding the value and reason behind the story and what it can teach us about how people tick is why I listen to horror. However, having not listened to everything here, I don’t want to recommend a specific story for fear of taking value away from the others. Nightfire, a new imprint joining Tor, Forge, Tor Teen, Starscape, and Tor.com as a part of Tom Doherty Associates – all known for being pretty darned good – was created as an exclusive project in conjunction with Google Play Books. The included authors were chosen to reflect the diversity of horror stories – from seasoned to newbies with potential and from various different horror subgenres.
Theresa DeLucci, editor of Come Join Us by the Fire and Senior Associate Director of Marketing at Nightfire says, “We wanted this long list of stories to showcase the scope of modern horror, from the cosmic and Lovecraftian, the beloved undead tropes of zombies, ghosts, and slashers, to the more uncanny and internal terrors of isolation, lost love, aging, and one of the briefest, most distressing alien abduction stories you’ll ever hear (‘No Matter Which Way We Turned’ by 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Brian Evenson.)”Tor.com
There are 35 short stories in total and the best part about the collaboration between Nightfire and Google is that they have created custom commands for Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers. This means that you can ask for any of the stories on the list by voice and call them up to play via the Google Play Books app. To try it out, you can say things like “Hey Google, read me ‘Midnight caller by Stephen Graham Jones” or “Hey Google, read me ‘These Deathless Bones by Casandra Khaw’ after you add them to your library. Another benefit of grabbing each story separately is that you can use this voice feature whereas if you get the full 11-hour audiobook instead, it won’t be able to splice out the stories as separate voice commands when you ask for them.