Tag Archives: Kim Lakin-Smith

The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women edited by Marie O’Regan

Overview
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Title: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women
Author: Marie O’Regan, Kim Lakin-Smith, Sarah Pinborough, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman, Sarah Langan, Elizabeth Massie, Alex Bell, Alison Littlewood, Nina Allan, Lisa Tuttle, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, Mary Cholmondeley, Marion Arnott, Lilith Saintcrow, Nancy Kilpatrick, Muriel Gray, Cynthia Asquith, Amelia B. Edwards, Elizabeth Gaskell, Gail Z. Martin, Edith Wharton & Gaie Sebold
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 29th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: She was a sickly child, prone to unaccountable fits and agues, and her parents were convinced on more than one night that she would not live to see the dawn.

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Synopsis

25 chilling short stories by outstanding female writers

Women have always written exceptional stories of horror and the supernatural. This anthology aims to showcase the very best of these, from Amelia B. Edwards’s ‘The Phantom Coach’, published in 1864, through past luminaries such as Edith Wharton and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, to modern talents including Muriel Gray, Sarah Pinborough and Lilith Saintcrow.

From tales of ghostly children to visitations by departed loved ones, and from heart-rending stories to the profoundly unsettling depiction of extreme malevolence, what each of these stories has in common is the effect of a slight chilling of the skin, a feeling of something not quite present, but nevertheless there.

If anything, this showcase anthology proves that sometimes the female of the species can also be the most terrifying…

Thoughts

This is a fantastic collection. One which I thoroughly enjoyed but learnt fairly quickly that I shouldn’t be reading this late at night… after all, some of these ghost stories are actually kind of scary. And reading them late at night with the wind blowing through the house while you’re home alone… not the best decision making of my life. To be fair, it’s also not the worst…. But that’s a whole other story.

I love that all of these ghost stories are written by women. I definitely believe that we need a collection of women-only writers more often. Or at least, I need to buy more to put on my shelves… although not all of these stories had strong women as the voice, they still felt more relatable than many of the stories that I read by men. I suppose shared experience and all that nonsense.

As a kid, I was never into ghost stories or tales of things that go bump in the night. Although I’ve gotten more into the genre over the past few years, it’s still sometimes not the most powerful driver for me. This collection though is swaying me more and more towards those horror stories.

<- The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories 2Field of the Dead ->

Image source: Goodreads

Field of the Dead by Kim Lakin-Smith

Overview
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Title: Field of the Dead
Author: Kim Lakin-Smith
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror, Humour, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 30th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Once, mind, and then no more will be said on it.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

The church is being haunted in a world that doesn’t like to acknowledge the presence of ghosts. This is not only a battle of wills and power… but one of faith.

Thoughts

I absolutely adored the combination of the Church, the supernatural and faith in this ghostly short story. It’s a good beginning to a collection of ghost stories, just enough creepiness, without being overwhelmingly scary. I think I need to ease into the truly terrifying things-that-go-bump-in-the-night stories. It’s been a little while since I tried to read any…

This story was seriously layered in its symbolism, themes and moments. It was one of those that will leave you contemplating the story long after you’ve turned that final page. The plethora of characters, character histories and faiths had me rereading multiple passages. It was just so beautifully constructed.

This is one of those great stories that completely pulled me in, but I can’t actually remember completely what the storyline was even about. There was just something… whispy and ethereal about the story. Which most definitely suits the ghost story theme. I look forward to rereading this in the future and picking up more nuances that I previously missed.

<- The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by WomenCollect Call ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk edited by Sean Wallace

Overview
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Title: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk
Author: Sean Wallace, Jay Lake, Shannon Page, Carrie Vaughn, Anatoly Belilovsky, E. Catherine Tobler, Jeremiah Tolbert, Brian Trent, Rachel Nussbaum, Trent Hergenrader, Gwynne Garfinkle, Genevieve Valentine, Joseph Ng, A.C. Wise, Kim Lakin-Smith, Nick Mamatas, Costi Gurgu, Tony Pi, Cirilo S. Lemos, Erin M. Hartshorn, Dan Rabarts, Mark Robert Philips, Catherine Schaff-Stump & Laurie Tom
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dieselpunk, Science fiction, Short story collections
Dates read: 18th March 2019 – 25th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: The gremlins will be inside everything given long enough and they just want out.

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Synopsis

21 tales of anarchic diesel mayhem. 88 From multiple Hugo Award-winning editor Sean Wallace, a new, cutting-edge anthology of twenty-one vibrant stories that explore the possibilities of history, while sweeping readers into high-powered, hydrocarbon-fuelled adventures that merge elements of noir, pulp, and the past with the technology of today… and sometimes a dash of the occult.

Journey into an era when engines were huge, fuel was plentiful and cheap, and steel and chrome overlaid the grit and grease of powerful machines!

Includes stories by Erin Hartshorn, Trent Hergenrader, Tony Pi, Catherine Schaff-Stump, E. Catherine Tobler, Jeremiah Tolbert, Laurie Tom, Genevieve Valentine, A. C. Wise and many more.

Thoughts

I’ve recently started to thoroughly enjoy steampunk. But this was my first excursion into Dieselpunk. And what an excellent introduction this proved to be! I was enthralled, mystified and totally sunk into some of the stories in this collection. And although it might not be my favourite collection of short stories… it certainly ranks up there.

I found this collection a lot darker than steampunk collections. There is just something about Dieselpunk that is a little more critical, and a little less optimistic than steampunk. Or at least, that’s how I’m finding it. Not that that was a bad thing, but this was certainly a darker collection than the steampunk collections and novels that have been filling my shelves lately.

As much as I loved these short stories, I did take a long time to read this collection. Mostly because I had to be in a pretty specific mindset to actually read them. There is something a little less approachable and more intense about this genre that I both loved and also found a little hard to factor into my daily reading schedules.

<- The Mammoth Book of Dickensian WhodunnitsRolling Steel: A Pre-Apocalyptic Love Story ->

Image source: Running Press

Black Sunday by Kim Lakin-Smith

Overview
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Title: Black Sunday
Author: Kim Lakin-Smith
In: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dieselpunk
Dates read: 7th February 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: This is about one of ’em Negresses and her pantry of potions in Jos Splitz’s workshop!

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

They just want to make a living for themselves. But it’s Black Sunday, and everything is about to go very, very wrong.

Thoughts

This is a really tragic short story. It is worrying and sad. And all about how peoples’ jealous and corruption can twist and corrupt something good. How jealousy can become a horrible curse which brings down a family of good people. Although I do enjoy how the ending makes those people who caused the harm actually feel guilty at the end of it all.

This did feel a little like a love story, a romance in which two people in the middle of nowhere found each other. It didn’t quite read like that though. There are a few moments where it was good. But mostly, it was just really sad and tragic. No happily ever after for this couple…

The mining theme and machinery in this story created a perfect backdrop for the tale. There is something so beautifully intriguing and rustic about it. Something that I didn’t want to stop picturing in my mind’s eye as the story unfolded. It was just beautiful.

<- The Double BlindWe Never Sleep ->

Image source: Running Press