Ambrose Bierce
AMBROSE BIERCE (1842-?1914)
BIOGRAPHY
Although a harsh critic of many of the conventions of his day - stating his disaproval of 'human institutions in general, including all forms of government, most laws and customs, and all contemporary literature' - Ambrose Bierce was perhaps most deeply affected by his belief in the waste and futility of war.
Bierce was born in a log cabin in Ohio. His family, though strongly religious, provided him with no formal education and he left home in his teens for a military academy in Kentucky. At the outbreak of civil war, he enlisted in the Union Army in which he served with distinction - rising quickly from private to major. At the end of the war, Bierce settled in San Francisco where he began contributing articles to a number of journals. He married in 1971 before heading off to England where he completed three collections of stories. Returning to San Francisco, he worked for several papers, most notably William Randolph Hearst's 'San Francisco Examiner' where his cynical but popular columns earned him a reputation as the 'literary dictator of the Pacific Coast'. It was also during this period that he completed the two short story collections 'Tales of Soldiers and Civilians' and 'Can Such Things Be'. In 1896 he was set to work on another of Hearst's papers in Washington and the entire capital reportedly 'ran for cover'. But his divorce in 1904 and the deaths of his two sons from suicide and acute alcoholism took their toll. In 1913, at the age of 71, Bierce settled his affairs and headed off to Mexico - the scene of a bloody civil war; he was said to have exclaimed: 'To be a Gringo in Mexico - ah, that is euthanasia'. The exact circumstances of his death remain unknown.
STORIES
BY DATE
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What do an horrific dream and the name 'Catharine Larue' have to do with a man found dead in the hills around the Nappa Valley?
- Length: 15 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Crime, Fiction, Horror
4 Stars
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A hunter stumbles upon a run-down little house and decides to spend the night - but finds himself plagued by disquieting thoughts and dreams.
- Length: 8 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Horror
4 Stars
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The fact that Henry Armstrong was buried did not seem to him to prove that he was dead ...
- Length: 2 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Horror, Humor
4 Stars
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A brilliant scientist who believes that machines can think creates something dangerous in his workshop.
- Length: 9 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Sci-Fi
5 Stars
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At night, in the autumn of 1861, a brave but sensitive Federal officer sits alone in the heart of a forest in western Virginia.
- Length: 8 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Horror
4 Stars
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One half of a pair of absolutely identical twins tells of the strange, supernatural bond between him and his brother.
- Length: 7 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Sci-Fi
4 Stars
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A man uncovers the dark secret of a mysterious valley owned by a xenophobic drunkard.
- Length: 11 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Horror
5 Stars
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A compilation of the facts and testimonies of witnesses following the return of a dedicated shop keeper from the dead.
- Length: 6 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
4 Stars
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Every night Staley Fleming wakes and sees in his room, intently watching him, a big black Newfoundland dog.
- Length: 3 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Horror
4 Stars
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Late one night, a mysterious man witnesses the strangely silent movement of a large army.
- Length: 6 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
4 Stars
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In the town of Blackburg - home of raining frogs, crimson snow and Hettie Parlow's ghost - a young tramp stands on a street corner in the rain.
- Length: 4 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
3 Stars
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Holed up in an isolated mountain shanty, the emaciated Mr. Hiram Beeson receives a visit from a dark stranger.
- Length: 8 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Horror
5 Stars
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A man sets sail from Liverpool to New York on 'The Morrow' where he becomes attracted to a strange young woman.
- Length: 5 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Sci-fi
4 Stars
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John Mortonson was dead. His body rested in a fine mahogany coffin fitted with a plate of glass ...
- Length: 2 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Humor
4 Stars
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At night, while travelling down a dark ravine road, a man bumps into the unsettling Dr Dorrimore.
- Length: 7 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Sci-Fi
4 Stars
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