[Eidtor's Note: Angry Robot is celebrating their 5th birthday this week! Here's Angry Robot horror author Kaaron Warren wishing them a happy birthday in her unique way...]

The 5 Most Horrendous Real People You May Not Have Heard Of

by Kaaron Warren

Stevie Searle from Slights, serial killer, bad neighbour, worse friend, is a figment of my imagination. But even my twisted imagination can’t match reality.

In honour of Angry Robot’s fifth birthday, here are five of the most horrendous real people you may not have heard of.

  1. Humphrey Gilbert (1539-1583) went into Ireland and spread propaganda about himself, terrifying people into surrender with such acts as lining the path to his tent with the heads of the enemy.
  2. Tamerlane (1336-1405) was another beheader. He destroyed the city of Smyrna and floated the heads of his victims out to sea. Each one on a candlelit dish.
  3. Crassus (c. 115-53 BCE). The Appian Way. 10,000 men crucified, lining the road. I tried to estimate how long this took; months. Day after day, week after week, men showed up and nailed soldiers to a cross. Crassus never relented; he kept them at it until all 10,000 were nailed up.
  4. Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) had so many nobles killed in Novgorod, drowned in the River Volkhov, that his soldiers could walk on the bodies like a bridge.
  5. Leopold II (1835-1909) This utterly horrendous man, in his quest to own The Democratic Republic of the Congo was the cause of 10 million deaths. Half the population of the DRC.

And people ask me why I write horror.

Happy Birthday, Angry Robot. May you never be beheaded.

GIVEAWAY: Win a Copy of SLIGHTS by Kaaron Warren!

To celebrate Angry Robot’s 5th birthday, SF Signal has 5 copies of Kaaron Warren’s first Angry Robot novel Slights to give away to 5 lucky SF Signal readers!

Here’s what the book is about:

STEVIE IS A KILLER.

But she brings her victims back to life to demand of them: “WHAT DO YOU SEE?P”

Now she’s about to find out for herself…

After an accident in which her mother dies, Stevie has a near-death experience, and finds herself in a room full of people – everyone she’s ever annoyed. They clutch at her, scratch and tear at her. But she finds herself drawn back to this place, again and again, determined to unlock its secrets. Which means she has to die, again and again. And Stevie starts to wonder whether other people see the same room… when they die.

The most disturbing novel of 2010… read it if you dare.

File Under: Horror [ Real-life Terror | Damaged Lives | Family Secrets | Beyond Death ]

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:

  1. Send an email to contest at sfsignal dot com. (That’s us).
  2. In the subject line, enter “Slights
  3. Choose a book format:
    • If you want an eBook copy, specify your preferred format: mobi or epub.
    • If you live in the US or UK and prefer a physical copy, please provide a mailing address in the email so the books can be sent as soon as possible. (The winning address is used only to mail the prize. All other address info will be purged once the giveaway ends.)
  4. The giveaway will end 5 days from now, on Saturday, July 5th, 2014 (9:00 PM U.S. Central time). The winners will be selected at random, notified, and announced shortly thereafter.

Good luck!

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