Clearly, I enjoy horror/dark fiction anthologies. Behold my partial collection (above), arranged on a freshly swept floor!
During this blog series, I will review ONE personal favorite story from each anthology (without spoilers)!
Why don’t I dish on the bad stuff instead? Good question! Yes, I’ve read my share of less-than-stellar stuff: stories populated by insulting stereotypes, eye-rollable twists, plot holes large enough to swallow a whale. It would be easy to fill my blog with negative critiques. However, I’d much rather help people find great reads! This series will focus on the positive by celebrating phenomenal writers and editors.
That said, today I’m going to discuss one of my favorite recent anthologies, Hauntings (2013, edited by Ellen Datlow). The cover has a bird person on it. Does it get better than that? I thoroughly enjoyed this collection, which contains works from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As the title suggests, a haunting atmosphere thematically links the 24 dark fantasy/horror stories, yet they’re a refreshingly diverse group, offering different literary structures, voices, and fiends. I highly, highly, highly recommend this anthology to any fan of weird, beautifully written dark fiction. Ellen Datlow yet again shines!
It was difficult to choose a favorite story from Hauntings. Too difficult! So, in review #1, I will break the rules (already X-X) and discuss a piece that made me think more than the others.
“Two Houses” by Kelly Link
It’s weird. It’s unsettling. It masterfully fuses two genres, science fiction and fantasy. It’s a mystery that encourages readers to question everything with each new revelation.
From the moment our characters wake from a long sleep, terror builds slowly, culminating in a philosophically unsettling end. Here, a crew of four must contend with haunts in the isolation and alien danger of deep space.
Oh, and there’s a wonderfully creepy ship AI named Maureen.
This pick may not be for everyone, but I loved it. Check it out, if you can! Amazon link here: http://www.amazon.com/Hauntings-Ellen-Datlow/dp/1616960884