31 HORROR STORIES — “A Toy for Juliette” (1967)

Look, please PLEASE don’t list the other Robert Bloch’s I should’ve listed here. “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper”, “Sweets to the Sweet”, etc. The man’s a master. I picked the one I liked the best. There are others — probably better, probably worse. You should read everything. Anyone who can crank out PSYCHO, and still love those godawful puns the way he did was working on an exotic plane of thought.

But a story like “Toy”, which combines science fiction, fantasy, magic realism and, in the end, bloody honking horror, deserves a spot at the top. As does Bloch.