This particular episode features my short story "Browsers" which is a "haunted" bookstore tale inspired by a real-world encounter I had with a bizarre little corner bookstore upon one of my first visits to Hamilton. "Browsers" was first published in Challenging Destiny #5 in 1999 and was reprinted in my book One Hand Screaming in 2004.
Here's the opening bit from the story....
STEPPING INTO a used book shop is sometimes like stepping into
another dimension. Where else but a used book store can one find
such an eclectic selection of minds and experiences stored in dusty
tomes, just waiting to be browsed through by anyone who happens
Occasionally a used book shop can be a painful experience,
offering up nothing more than the latest trashy paperbacks and adult
But sometimes . . .
Sometimes a used book store can provide, to the avid browser, a
mystical experience. Sometimes, walking through that door, you are
overwhelmed with a sense of awe, a sense that something powerful is
being housed within the very walls.
I discovered such a wondrous shop years ago on the corner of
two streets whose names I cannot remember in one of those pseudocities
on the south western edge of the Golden Horseshoe.
If this whets your appetite for the tale, you can read even further into the tale online.
But why not just make it easy on yourself and download to or listen to the full audio version of the story?
And here are some of the reviews of "Browsers" that have appeared over the years.
"Anyone who reads much short fiction in the small press fantasy and science fiction magazines knows that the style and form of the old Twilight Zone is still very much alive among writers. 'Browsers' by Mark Leslie, is a good example. A low-key horror story, it uses the time honored method of introducing a character in an ordinary situation, in this case a customer in a used bookstore, and slowly trapping that character in a form of hell. Readers who have enjoyed the experience of losing themselves among the stacks of books in an old musty store will identiy with, and appreciate, this story." -- Greg L. Johnson, Tangent Online
". . . a worthy effect and a good read." -- Jim Bennett, NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW
"Originality is decidedly rare in horror. Invention is even more rare in horror fiction, thus a sigh of relief at Leslie's 'Browsers'" -- Mick Halpin, http://criticalmick.com