When the air turns crisp and cool, that's when my mood really shifts to horror fiction. It dates back to junior high when I was introduced to the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and the scary stories of Ray Bradbury.
That's because we always got those teen age book club circulars where you could order books for cheap, and in the fall they always offered collections of horror stories from the pulps, Gooseflesh, The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth and Other Stories and Horror Times Ten.
In all of those there were some great stories including Bradbury's "The October Game," about a man's horrifying revenge against his wife with a slam dunk of a last line; August Derleth's "The Lonely Place," spiritual cousin to Stephen King's It; and of course Lovecraft's wonderfully chilling Innesmouth about a man slowly discovering the dark secrets of a small New England town.
I selected a more modern tale for this October for my iPod, a story from John Saul, who's an occasional read for me. I've enjoyed many of his tales, starting after I read an interview with him in the old "Twilight Zone" magazine which was appropriately featured in an orange-colored October issue way back when.
Midnight Voices, so far at least, is a great autumn tale, set in an eerie New York apartment building that recalls Rosemary's Baby and The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz.
It's read wonderfully by ex-Catwoman Lee Meriwether and offers enough suspense to make me look forward to going to the gym again. That's the goal of my iPod, to keep exercise from getting too tedious.