Title: Delta Sly Honey Author: Lucius Shepard In: Hauntings (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one) My Bookshelves:Ghosts, Horror Dates read: 16th April 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: Tachyon Year: 2013 5th sentence, 74th page: But it stains you alla same.
They’re in a warzone and constantly battling for a future. But there may be someone haunting their world.
This short story was a bit of a skim read for me. It wasn’t the kind of story that I’d necessarily return to and be obsessed with, but it was enjoyable all the same. Just an easy and fun read altogether.
The confusion and multiple deaths in this story definitely have a haunting feeling to them. But it was about war, so that kind of lent itself further to this storyline. I mean, war is seriously confusing and terrifying. So why wouldn’t a story about it be seriously confusing?
There is a lot of death in this tale. Mostly I just felt confused and trying to count the number of deaths in this tale. Which kind of works when it’s a story all about hauntings…
In this thrilling collection of original stories, some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill, and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s “Curses”, Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’s “Fairy Gifts”, a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead”, the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot”, a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.
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This is a seriously diverse collection of urban fantasy short stories. Not to mention fun and engaging. Probably moving right to the top of my list if I’m being honest. Normally my purview of urban fantasy is kind of small. But the breadth and width of these stories and the style in which they’re written… just wow.
I loved the fact that most of these short stories were standalones. I used to really enjoy finding new series through short stories and novellas. But, I have so many now that sometimes just reading a standalone without having to hunt out more of that world (I’m obsessive, I do this EVERY time) was kind of nice. I got a great taste of the imaginations and storytelling talents of a variety of authors, without actually feeling the need to buy more, more, more. Honestly, there is nothing worse than finding myself a new series to obsess over and then realising that I have a whole slew of new books to buy…
Although this is an urban fantasy collection, it does have a darker twist to it than usual. Every single one of these stories is a little bit dark, a lot bit fun and most don’t have a happy ending. Which, I tend to love, because I get a bit over all the happily ever afters… but it’s definitely something to keep in mind as you rip through the stories.
Title: The Skinny Girl Author: Lucius Shepard In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Death, Urban fantasy Dates read: 17th December 2019 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Year: 2011 5th sentence, 74th page: No, it’s rather that he has yet to reach the point where life tips over into death, where the need for what she offers (be it surcease or something more graspable) outweighs everything else.
When a photographer of the dead meets the skinny girl, he must finally face up to his obsession with death. But is she the real thing, or just a mimic? Only time will tell
I have a bit of a fascination with death and the macabre. However, I wouldn’t call it an obsession. I don’t hunt it out and I only truly appreciate it when the information is… well, there. But there are some people who have this obsession, and then there’s the character in this short story who just goes beyond what I would call an obsession to a whole new, fascinating realm. Also slightly disturbed, but the writing is so good that I choose to find it fascinating.
There is a bit of a Latin American theme threaded through this story. Specifically with the use of The Skinny Girl – I can’t remember what the other name for this death deity is. It was a nice departure from the normal mythos which I came across in my reading. Mostly they tend to briefly mention Latin America and then gloss over to the next cultural interest. It was nice to stay a little more (but not completely) immersed in one.
Although this story is about death, one’s obsession with it and their ultimate surrendering to the long night, I actually found this kind of poetic and sweet. Maybe because that’s a bit of my view of death anyway, it’s not necessarily a dark and horrible thing. Having said that, as romantic as I found this (in an abstract way), it is still a kind of dark story. One that I look forwards to reading again.