The Hunger and Other Stories (1957), by Charles Beaumont. Introduction by Dr. Bernice M. Murphy, Valancourt Books, 2013. Cover art by Trent Roach, info: valancourtbooks.com.
"When The Hunger and Other Stories (1957) appeared, it heralded the arrival of Charles Beaumont (1929-1967) as an important and highly original new voice in American fiction. Although he is best known today for his television and film scripts, including several classic episodes of The Twilight Zone, Beaumont is being rediscovered as a master of weird tales, and this, his first published collection, contains some of his best. Ranging in tone from the chilling Gothic horror of ‘Miss Gentilbelle,’ where an insane mother dresses her son up as a girl and slaughters his pets, to deliciously dark humor in tales like ‘Open House’ and ‘The Infernal Bouillabaisse,’ where murderers’ plans go disastrously awry, these seventeen stories demonstrate Beaumont’s remarkable talent and versatility. This new edition of The Hunger and Other Stories, the first in more than fifty years, includes a new introduction by Dr. Bernice M. Murphy, who argues for reconsideration of Beaumont alongside the other greats of the genre, including Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson."