For this post I want to take a look at anthologies. One anthology I’ve read recently is Someone Wicked which was edited by Weldon Burge and JM Reinbold and available from Smart Rhino Publications. This book is a collection of 21 tales by the Written Remains Writers Guild that cover such genres as horror, comedy, fantasy and mystery. This is one impressive anthology, every story here is well written and each story is different from the last.
One good story in Someone Wicked is Reckonings by Gail Husch. I loved how the main character describes herself in the beginning and then she gets into all the little things that she does to get vengeance on the people who annoy her. This is a simple story but the way everything is described paints a picture and makes it come to life. The way this one was written made me think this is going be a great anthology and all of the other stories here are just as good.
Reckonings is a quiet, psychological horror story with a touch of humor. To show the diversity in Someone Wicked the next story is The Flenser by Billie Sue Mosiman. This horror story goes more for the gross out effect but still manages to have interesting characters and a good shocking ending. The Flenser is about a man who gets a job cleaning flesh off of skull so they can be sold to medical facilities. I did not know jobs exsisted like this and it was interesting reading about how these people would interact with others and what their idea of fun might be.
One of my favorites in this book is Mirror, Mirror by Chantal Noordeloos. This is a dark fantasy story that looks at the legend of bloody Mary. This story begins in 1852 and is told by a girl named Sophie who along with her mother lives on a plantation. Sophie has a step sister named Marie-Louise who is a bully and likes to make Sophie’s life hard. In addition to bullying, Sophie has a hard life and her mother along with others end up dying under mysterious circumstances. Sophie feels like an outcast and makes friends with some of the slaves. Here Sophie finds out about the cursed mirror in the house. I loved how this story was told with all the details of life in the mid 1800’s and I liked Sophie’s relationship with the slaves. This was one great horror story on a legend that I didn’t know much about.
In addition to the excellent horror stories in this book there is a mystery here called Missing by JM Reinbold, along with some good takes on fairy tales such as Sisters: A Fairy Tale by Liz DeJesus which I would love to see expanded into a novel. I also loved the dramatic Impresario by Maria Masington, this one takes a look at one young person’s descent into drug addiction that I think sadly a lot of people can relate to. This book even has some stories that are just for laughs such as The Semi-Aquatic Blue Baker of Borneo by Justynn Tyme which is a hard story to explain, it just has to be read. This anthology has it all and is a book you shouldn’t pass up. There are also two other anthologies from Smart Rhino that you might enjoy:
Monstrous transplants. Appalling amputations. Bizarre implants. Nightmarish forms of body enhancements. Disturbing, perverse, often gut-wrenching stories–all between the covers of this anthology. Here are 20 tales by some of today’s best horror, suspense, and science fiction writers, including Graham Masterton, John Shirley, Scott Nicholson, Michael Laimo, Lisa Mannetti, L.L. Soares, Armand Rosamilia, Aaron J. French, Christopher Nadeau, Michael Bailey, Adrienne Jones, Charles Colyott, J. Gregory Smith, Michael Louis Calvillo, Jezzy Wolfe, Jonathan Templar, P.I. Barrington, Elliott Capon, Rob M. Miller, and Weldon Burge. The stories are not for those who are faint of heart or squeamish, or who are easily offended by nasty language, bloody violence, and freakish body augmentations. You’ve been warned!
Broken: Stories of Damaged Psyches edited by Weldon Burge
This is a collection of five horror/suspense stories by Weldon Burge, including:
SIZZLE — A philandering doctor meets a hill man who wants the “sizzle” cut out of his brain
ANOTHER HIGHWAY FATALITY — A college girl, driving alone late at night during a heavy storm, is stalked by a car with a missing headlight
WHITE HELL, WISCONSIN — A snow plow driver, plowing back roads in rural Wisconsin during a blizzard, fights for his life against elusive assailants
PERMANENT DETENTION — A stressed-out teenager believes his History teacher is actually one of the living dead
BLUE EYE BURN — A Vietnam veteran is haunted by a terrifying incident involving a young Vietnamese girl