Edited by Kasey Lansdale
Cover Artist: Timothy Truman
Review by Mario Guslandi
Subterranean Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596065055
Date: 31 July 2013 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Monsters have been the backbone of a great deal of horror fiction for a long time. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, bogeymen and so on are classic features of dark literature in any language. Thus, apparently, everything has been already said and modern writers can simply offer clever variations on the monster theme.
The present anthology, edited by Kasey Lansdale, an artist now trying to follow his father Joe's footsteps in the field of literature, proves how wrong you are if you think that there's no room for further monsters ready to disturb our peace and our night sleep.
The volume assembles twelve brand new stories aimed to disturb and unsettle by creating or re-creating inhuman creatures of a nightmarish character.
"Blue Amber" by David J. Schow is a grim tale depicting two cops dealing with weird, alien monsters, while "Dollís Eyes" by Tim Bryant is a dark, disquieting story of botanical horror ( plants can be monsters too, it seems).
Charlaine Harris contributes "The Glitter of the Crowns", a very enjoyable black comedy featuring werewolves in disguise and determined young wolf-hunters. Chet Williamson provides "Detritus", the upsetting portrait of a college professor with a writer's block, going paranoid about other people's body leftovers.
In Bradley Denton's surrealistic "Blood Moccasins" an odd family illness turns out to be a useful way of getting rid of undesirable persons while in Al Sarrantonio's implausible yet captivating "Orange Lake", a phantom lake brings about horrible deaths.
My favourite pieces are "Click-Clack the Rattlebag" by Neil Gaiman, a very short but quite scary piece where childhood monsters wake up, and "Monster" by Anne Perry, a slightly Aickmanesque tale of psychic vampirism told in an elegant, enticing fashion.
An entertaining volume apt to please confirmed horror fans.