2012 has been a good year for short story collections. I've been able to fully indulge my passion for reading short story collections and anthologies."It's Dark Inside" by Karen Heard has been one of my favourites. The genre is horror - not of the gross-out kind, but certainly creepy. The stories are atmospheric, disquieting, unsettling. In most stories, the main characters are isolated in some way, either because no one else is nearby to help, or because they are strangers in an alien culture, or because they are in situations they don't comprehend. This makes the characters vulnerable, and the stories scary. Reading the stories, I often wondered what was going on here, because so little information was given. I knew the main character was in a strange situation, but I didn't know what kind of strange. In the hands of a less skillful writer, this would have led to confusion and put the reader off. However, Karen Heard handles the gradual revelations so masterfully, that I was intrigued without being confused, and keen to read on to get to the bottom of the mystery.My favourites are "The Lighthouse" because of its unusual location and intense atmosphere, and "The Promise" because of its unsettling premise. Several weeks after reading the book, I still find the memory of "The Premise" unsettling.