I think that this story in some way relates to the characters in A Very Special Girl. And I enjoyed it just as much. It has the comedy and horror aspect that I’m beginning to associate with Resnick’s short stories. They’re funny and take some very typical aspects of fantasy and twist and turn them into something satirical and entertaining.
I really, really like Asil. And I really, really like Christmas. So a story that features both… I’m most likely going to enjoy that. And when it is written in the drily humorous tones of Patricia Briggs… yeah. I really couldn’t put this down. I wandered around the house (and walked into a few doorways) for about ten minutes while I just completely devoured this story.
I’ve noticed that over the past few years, my Christmas spirit just hasn’t been all that… Christmassy. And I know that part of it is the fact that I’m getting older and so not as deliriously excitable about Christmas presents (plus, no one ever gets me books anymore)… yet, I think that the other part of it is the fact that Christmas is so commercial. There is this overwhelming idea that you have to have certain feelings, buy certain things and do things in a very specific way.
Christmas time is a time for love, family and laughter. Unless you are a slightly amorous ghost who is separated from the love of his life. Then it’s just a time of frustration and loss of love. And a potential way to ruin everyone else’s Christmas with your sense of loneliness.
Family is always messy. It is always difficult. And it is always filled with crazy amounts of love (sometimes with extra helpings of the crazy). So an anthology of Christmas stories just wouldn’t be complete without a tale featuring a not-quite-functioning family. A set up. And a potential zombie apocalypse gone mad.
I love the setting of Christmas against a zombie apocalypse (or at least, that’s what the setting seemed to be to me)…
Although there was a slight paranormal spin to this Christmas tale, what I loved the most about it was the loneliness. Which seems a little weird in a Christmas tale. A story that seeps loneliness from its pores as it sweeps you through the beautiful and picturesque streets of Paris. The deserted streets, the Christmas lights, and most importantly, the mysterious train stations.
It took me a little while to get into this story – actually, I basically skim read the entire tale. Not because it was bad, but it just wasn’t my style. And it didn’t feel as Christmasy as I was expecting. Yes, it is based around Christmas, and has some of the hallmarks of a Christmas-time story, but it wasn’t filled with the intensity of the spirit like many of the other stories in this collection.
I first heard of Krampus a few years ago when an Austrian friend came to stay with me. She showed me YouTube footage of the celebration, and damn is it terrifying! Although, I can understand why some parents would want to tell their children the legend of Krampus – a lump of coal isn’t enough of a deterrent to stop them from being absolute terrors…
I loved the science fiction spin of this short story. I’ve read / seen / heard a lot of short stories that feature a child not believing in Santa, finding out he’s real and learning a strong life lesson. This,however, managed to give a great science fiction spin to a fairly traditional tale. It also worked as a way to remind us of the old adage that “home is where the heart is”.