About the Book

Fear is so much a part of our lives that instead of running away from it, we’re finding ways to relax with it. Could it be through a true crime obsession that leads to stalking, or a camp song sung with murderous intent? Maybe it’s better suited in an unwieldy email chain, or making crafts with materials dug from the grave. It could even be as simple as petting a kitten—whether it’s truly a kitten remains far from simple.

Recreational Panic features twenty-one short stories, poems, and a guided meditation from Sonora Taylor. Sit back, relax, and feel your heartbeat quicken—it’s time to panic!



Recreational Panic is a new short story collection by Sonora Taylor (author of Without Condition and Little Paranoias). In addition to that, she co – managed Fright Girl Summer with V. Castro, an online festival highlighting and promoting women in horror, focussing mainly on women from marginalised communities, and is also an active member of the Horror Writers Association (source:, – interview with Mackenzie Kiera).

Due out March 5, 2024 and published by Cemetary Gates Media ( It is a collection of twenty - one stories and poems, of which several have been published in magazines and other anthologies.

For anyone coming to Sonora Taylor’s writing for the first time (like me!), this is an excellent introduction to her work.

The thing with short story collections is that it gives the writer nowhere to hide. You have a short space of time to grab the reader, hook them into the story and then send them on their merry way feeling happy and satisfied, and Sonora Taylor manages this with style and aplomb.

Recreational Panic admirably shows a range and diversity in writing styles, swinging from the more traditional beats associated with short stories, to flash fiction (in the case of The Untended Field), to a little bit of poetry and also a decidedly unnerving meditative mantra that squirms in your brain as you read it more.

There are many standouts in the collection. The mercifully short aforementioned The Untended Field, which with its short word count manages to evoke a visceral unease of the fallow field and the secrets that it could hold. Then there’s the sardonic dig at the organised diet culture, with its almost vampiric leader in Eat Your Colours.

Added to these, there is Easy Bake, which is a competitive baking competition that you definitely don’t want to be on. And then there is the fantastic Laughter in the Night, which takes the premise of Smile to a whole new level.

Recreational Panic is a fantastic collection of stories that will keep you up at night, and is definitely recommended as an introduction to Sonora Taylor’s work.

As a final note, there has got to be some mention of that fantastic cover by Luke Spooner/Carrion House.









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