Sunday, August 10, 2014
Fear the Reaper, edited by Joe Mynhardt
(eBook; 2013: horror anthology)
Good mainstream horror anthology, worth owning.
1.) "Stumps" - Jeff Strand: Darkly funny story about a man who seeks immortality and finds it.
2.) "Death Squared" - Rena Mason: Two boys' friendship is tested when they visit a death site and encounter something more than ghosts. The scenes will be familiar to those well-versed in ghost works, but the writing is fun and solid.
3.) "The Death Catcher" - Robert S. Wilson: Especially well-written and real-world plausible (within the context of this work) tale about a man whose ability to resurrect the dying brings heartache as well as relief.
4.) "Cedo Looked Like People" - E.C. McMullen Jr.: A boy's strange next door night- and day-divided neighbors make for equally strange - and later disturbing - friendships. This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time.
5.) "The Tubes" - Jeremy C. Shipp: This is one of my favorite works in this anthology. In a not-quite-bizarro science fictional world, death's dominion is political. Like the preceding story, this one is memorable.
6.) "A Life in Five Objects" - Ross Warren: An interview involving the titular five objects takes a surprising turn. Good read, entertaining.
7.) "The Last Resort" - Sam Stone: Solid, plot-twisty piece about a man (Charlie), dying of cancer, whose eyes are opened to certain untimely revelations.
8.) "Der Engel der Liebe" - Dean M Drinkel: This story reads like a mid-Sixties to early Seventies Hammer film, with its ritualistic murder, sadism and blasphemous-religious elements. It's predictable, aside from a Hammer-esque tale-expansive twist at the end, but this well-written work is all about enjoying the ride not the destination.
9.) "The Final Peace" - Gary Fry: A man, mourning his recently deceased wife and fearful for their offspring, goes to the fair with his too-curious-for-his-comfort children. Well-written tale, with an effective, grief-realistic tone and a finish that made me smile.
10.) "Do No Harm" - Joe C. McKinney: Provocative, memorable work about a doctor (Turner) who's forced to help a group of creatures - who prey on mankind - conquer a disease that's held them in check. One of my favorite stories in this collection.