An appropriately titled collection of thirteen stories from a prolific author toiling in the fields of horror, “Baker’s Dozen” depicts the many and various intersections of the ordinary, mundane, existence we call “consensus reality” with an abundance of unseen universes and dimensions and probabilities. In Author Troy McCombs’ perception, most if not all of these unseen multiverses are evil, corrupt, or hungry for consumption of humanity. Take for example, the poor trio in “Beneath the Soil,” three widely disparate individuals who fear to go outdoors-because outdoors contains grass, soil, or sand-all of which could be ultimately-and immediately fatal. Perhaps what is worst for these individuals is not that their encounters are poetic justice, but rather that they have done naught to deserve encountering other dimensions of malicious intent.
This story collection is billed as “Lovecraftian” and this reviewer will definitely testify to that. As is clear from Mr. McComb’s novels as well as these stories, the author is never afraid to look the nightmarish in the eye, and name it. Be prepared for a collection preferably consumed only in the daytime-if you read at night, leave all the lights on-and don’t read alone. And don’t let your feet touch the floor.