This never happens: I buy an anthology because of a short story that is on a preliminary awards list and that story disappears from the final list of nominees and I still love the anthology and am glad I bought it. But that’s exactly what happened with Nightscript II: An Anthology of Strange and Darksome Tales, edited by C.M. Muller.
I took a chance on it because “Reasons I Hate my Big Sister” by Gwendolyn Kiste was on the long list for the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction. The story is quite good but somehow got eliminated from the final list of nominees. For weeks the anthology was my bedtime reading, and I hopped and skipped all over it, appreciating every single story for the quality of the writing even if the theme or resolution didn’t totally grab me.
- “The Carnival Arrives in Darkness” by Michael Griffin–very unique approach to the subject matter. More sweet than weird.
- “The Inveterate Establishment of Daddano & Co.” by Eric J. Guignard–interesting narrator with a great voice.
- “Nearness” by Ralph Robert Moore–the most intimately horrifying story in the whole anthology.
- “No Abiding Place on Earth” by Matthew M. Bartlett–most frightening creatures and great description.
- “Pause for Laughter” by José Cruz–truly an existential tale of a future. Touching in a weird way, which is hard to fathom, considering it’s told by a machete-wielding clown.
This is an anthology you should not ignore. I liked it so much I’m going to ask Muller if he’ll do a little Q&A here. And I’m going to get Nightscript I soon. Nightscript III will be out in October.
Read more in spanish here: Continue reading
Spanish translation below the English is by Daniela Toulemonde.
China Miéville’s Three Moments of an Explosion was bumped up on my to-read list because one of the stories in the collection, “The Dowager of Bees”, was a finalist for the 2016 Locus Awards. Even though “Dowager” didn’t win (See that list here.) I bought the book because I haven’t read Miéville for some time and I really loved Embassytown, so I thought why not.
Now I remember why I haven’t read any Miéville for a while. I’m really not smart enough to read Miéville without sincere effort. Continue reading
Note: this is the last review of the 2015 World Fantasy Award nominees in the short story category. The other nominees are covered in earlier posts. “Do You Like to Look at Monsters” is published in Ana Kai Tangata: Tales of the Outer the Other the Damned and the Doomed by Fedogan & Bremer, and it is available as an ebook here.
This story by Scott Nicolay made me think about when we turn corners in our thinking. I mean, when do things that actually happened in our lives move from being just another past event in our chronology to being suffused with our inklings of things unsaid? And when does that mix of events and emotions flat out flip into the weird and supernatural?
Narrated by a little boy, the reader is invited into his world where most events of interest are experienced through games and the toys he plays with or the media he sees. I really related to this kid and his array of Viewmaster reels. I think I had a couple of those myself. The boy is fascinated by monsters, a stage I’m sure many of us are familiar with and some of us have never outgrown, but he is also having nightmares and is beginning to have aversions to violence. Continue reading