Flight Or Fright is a glorious collection of 17 airborne-themed short stories from a selection of authors who are gleefully intent on making sure that you never want to fly again. Edited by Stephen King and Bev Vincent, Flight Or Fright includes tales from authors such as Roald Dahl, Joe Hill, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury and even the mighty Stephen King himself.
Each of the tales revolve around planes and/or air travel – and every fear which they conjure and expound. Usually any collection of short stories has a few which fail to hit the mark, but Flight Or Fright takes-off from E. Michael Lewis’ spine-tingling Cargo and it doesn’t let you disembark until James Dickey’s hypnotic Falling finally brings you back to earth (with a mighty thud).
If you’re going to play favourites with these stories, then it’s probably going to be Richard Matheson’s Nightmare At 20, 000 Feet, a stone-cold classic which was adapted into an episode of The Twilight Zone starring William Shatner and again by George Miller for Twilight Zone: The Movie. Other standouts include Joe Hill’s You Are Released, E.C. Tubb’s Lucifer! and Stephen King’s own, The Turbulence Expert.
The beauty of Flight Or Fright is the sheer craftsmanship of the tales. These are a masterclass in tension and fear, the perfect thing to read when you’re firmly on the ground – but you might want to leave this addictive page-turner behind if you’re about to take to the air for your holidays.