Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies is Langan’s fourth collection of stories, and his second book to be published by the wonderful Word Horde. It contains twenty-two stories spanning all varieties of horror, showing us that Langan is a master of writing all things terrifying.
Children of the Fang touches on many aspects of horror, drawing inspirations from a wide selection of authors modern and old: King, Straub, Barron, Jones, Ligotti, Aickman, Chambers, Lovecraft, and so on.
However, it’d take an entirely separate post to cover all the influences of each story, so I’ll only give a few examples: “Hyphea”, “Zombies in Marysville”, and “Muse” are very King-like; “Children of the Fang”, “With Max Berry in the Nearear Precinct”, and “Into the Dark, Fearlessly” are quite Lovecraftian; Chambers with “Tragoidia”; and “The Horn of the World’s Ending” has Robert Howard written all over it.
Langan takes all that’s amazing from these authors and others, and creates his own unique stories with rich story telling, excellent prose, and strangely alluring worlds.
With the sheer amount of stories in this book, there’s really too much to say without rambling. And, honestly, I can’t choose just one story to call my favorite, because I enjoyed them all thoroughly. Though, I’d like to note the story, “The Communion of Saints” has an engrossing plot that I wish Langan would expand on, perhaps a full novel or a series of stories. Honestly, I could easily imagine it being made into a TV series, too.
To put it bluntly: Children of the Fang is a John Langan collection and if you enjoyed his past work or are a fan of any flavor of horror, you should buy this book or request it at your local library. It’s not something you want to miss.
*Book Spotlights are not reviews, but appreciative posts of works I enjoy greatly and that I want to speak at length about.