Congratulations to Kealan Patrick Burke for Thirty Miles South of Dry Country appearing on the final ballot for the 2012 Bram Stoker Awards.
For a horror novella, this was spot on. The voice of Warwick Tanner, the story's plot & pacing, and characterizations in general were all polished, phrasing professionally turned, subtly horrifying, and thoroughly entertaining.
At heart, the story is about aging, loneliness, and loss. The creepy aspect feeds on vulnerability, yet, in a way, redeems it. Sad, creepy, and finally, one can't help but think a certain amount of satisfaction is swirled in with the sinister results. If you like your horror without glistening gore--if you like the sinister to creep up behind you, and block the exit--then I would expect you'll love this tale.