Tag Archives: Kim Newman

Death’s Excellent Vacation edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Death’s Excellent Vacation
Author: Charlaine Harris, Sarah Smith, Jeaniene Frost, Daniel Stashower, A. Lee Martinez, Jeff Abott, L.A. Banks, Katie MacAlister, Christopher Golden, Lilith Saintcrow, Chris Grabenstein, Sharan Newman & Toni L.P. Kelner
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 4th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Still, appearances were deceiving.

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Synopsis

An all-new anthology of vampire stories edited and with an introduction by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved this collection. I normally love anything to do with paranormal fantasy anyway. But this is a particularly good one. After all, it’s all paranormal fantasy and urban fantasy stories that feature vacations.

It’s coming to that kind of year that I wish I got vacation time in y job. That I wish I could just take some time off and do whatever it is that people do on vacation. Which meant that it was really lovely to read a collection of short stories that feature vacations. All of which made me a little more thankful that I haven’t been going on vacation.

This is a collection that has a little bit of romance, a lot of humour, and generally anything that could possibly go wrong when you have vacation time does. It had me smiling and laughing throughout. I will most definitely be reading this one again.

<- Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement ParkTwo Blondes ->

Image source: Amazon

The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Monstrous
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jeffrey Ford, Peter Straub, Dale Bailey, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gemma Files, Livia Llewellyn, Adam-Troy Castro, Kim Newman, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Carole Johnstone, Brian Hodge, Stephen Graham Jones, Adam L. G. Nevill, Sofia Samatar, Terry Dowling, Glen Hirshberg, A.C. Wise, Steve Rasnic Tem, Christopher Fowler & John Langan
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 3rd June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “I supppose I do,” I reply.

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Synopsis

Horror’s most acclaimed editor reveals twenty riveting tales of the Other gone wrong. Monsters who suffer from heartbreak, betrayal, ungrateful kids, and unpaid overtime. Creatures of darkness that struggle to adapt to modern living. Ordinary folks who find themselves inexplicably transformed. 88 But if you dare, come a bit closer and discover the most terrifying of beings – those who are living under your own skin and peering out from behind your eyes.

Thoughts

This collection is brilliant. It is dark, creepy and intense. It is fun. It gave me goose bumps. And it is filled with monsters who come in ALL shapes and sizes. And I mean ALL. A wonderful, fantastic and seriously enjoyable collection filled with the things that go bump in the night. The things that you really hope aren’t hiding under your bed.

Although this anthology sits in my horror shelf, it isn’t really all that scary. Sure, there are multiple moments of discomfort throughout. But they’re that, you have to think a little too much, or consider the many moments of confusion throughout this story that you really don’t necessarily want to think too much about. And, honestly, it’s not the things that jump out and yell BOO that make me love horror. It’s that underlying discomfort that makes you look at your own life that I am quickly becoming obsessed with.

I absolutely adored this collection. It was filled with some familiar names and new ones. Each and every story made me stop and really think about what the storyline was saying. And even now, when I have still finished the whole collection… I am still thinking about some of the stories that I read.

<- Run, Rabbit, RunA Natural History of Autumn ->

Image source: Amazon

The Chill Clutch of the Unseen by Kim Newman

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Chill Clutch of the Unseen
Author: Kim Newman
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror
Dates read: 5th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: It occurred to him that she might have inherited the job of station-master – station-mistress? – while he was paying attention to what might be coming into town as opposed to what was happening right here.

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

Synopsis

He’s been doing this job for years. Protecting his town from the things that go bump in the night. But, now, he’s found the last monster… and he’s getting old.

Thoughts

This short story starts right in the action. Or at least, right in the waiting for the action and the creepy imagery of an old man just waiting… waiting to kill something. It’s all written from his kind of intense point of view and you just sit there in awe throughout the entire story. Anything that you expect to happen… it quickly doesn’t quite happen the way that you expect it to.

My favourite part of this story is honestly the ending. It rounds out the old man’s life and finishes up his purpose in the world. But, it also hints that whilst his cycle is over, the overall cycle is still continuing. That there is more going on in the world than we would expect and you just sit there contemplating what could be hidden just beneath the surface…

The appearance of the incredibly insane Invisible Man in this story nicely rounded everything out for me. There is something fascinating and entertaining about the story of that man… so I seriously enjoyed reading about him. And his demise. After all, you can’t have a good monster book without the monsters dying at the end…

<- The TotalsDown Among the Dead Men ->

Image source: Amazon