Tag Archives: Mike Resnick

Dead Man’s Hand edited by John Joseph Adams

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Dead Man’s Hand
Author: John Joseph Adams, Joe R. Lansdale, Ben H. Winters, David Farland, Mike Resnick, Seanan McGuire, Charles Yu, Alan Dean Foster, Beth Revis, Alastair Reynolds, Hugh Howey, Rajan Khanna, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Bear, Tad Williams, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Tobias S. Buckell, Jeffrey Ford, Ken Liu, Laura Anne Gilman, Walter Jon Williams, Fred Van Lente & Christie Yant
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Short story collections, Weird western
Dates read: 4th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: “Am I interrupting?” she asked.

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Synopsis

HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD!

From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.

Here are twenty-three original tales – stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic – produced specifically for this volume by many of today’s finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card’s first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van Lente, writer of Cowboys & Aliens.

Thoughts

What a fantastic collection. And a great new genre to add to my ever-expanding knowledge of / collection of books. Before reading Dead Man’s Hand and Westward Weird, I had never heard of Weird westerns. And now it’s a genre that I’m seriously keen to find more of. There is just something amazingly fun and awesome about this collection. Very, very enjoyable.

The gunslingers and card players throughout this anthology took me on an absolutely joyous ride. One that I was kind of disappointed finished so quickly. The idea of the wild west has always intrigued me, making this the first time that I was completely able to thrown myself into this fascination.

This anthology didn’t quite get five stars because I didn’t fall head over heels for each and every story. Having said that, I would most definitely read this again. Even those stories which weren’t quite as holy crap amazing as the others.

<- Dead Man’s HandThe Red-Headed Dead ->

Image source: Amazon

The Hell-Bound Stagecoach by Mike Resnick

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: The Hell-Bound Stagecoach
Author: Mike Resnick
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Weird Westerns, Westerns
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: She indicated her basket.

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Synopsis

Ben and Miss Alicia are travelling to the end of the line. Along the way, they pick up the Wichita Kid and another mysterious traveller. But when they realise that they don’t want to ride to the end of the line… things get a little… hell-bound.

Thoughts

I had a good giggle at this short story. Which makes sense, because I have frequently found myself giggling a little at Resnick’s writing. There is this incredibly satirical, dry sense to his writing that manages to fit perfectly into the genres he is writing in, whilst simultaneously highlighting some of the more ridiculous aspects of them.

At the beginning of this story, I didn’t really think much about the fact that Ben and Abigail were travelling in the same coach together. To the end of the line. It didn’t really seem like anything drastically surreal or monumental. Until the second man, the Witchita Kid got into the coach. Then I began to realise that maybe things weren’t quite what they seem in this story line… that’s when the smiling and giggling really and truly began…

The characters in this may be “bad”, but they were also completely delightful. They made you want them to win the final altercation. Even if it really wasn’t something that could be considered “for the best”. I love stories in which the “bad guys” are the ones you’re gunning for… pun and everything intended.

<- Hellfire on the High FrontierStingers and Strangers ->

Image source: Amazon

The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic edited by Mike Ashley

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic
Author: Mike Ashley, Steve Rasnic Tem, Richard A. Lupoff, Doug Hornig, Tom Holt, Tim Pratt, Diana Wynne Jones, John Morressy, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Kurland, Michael Moorcock, Robert Weinberg, Darrell Schweitzer, Ralph Adams Cram, Ursula K. Le Guin, A.C. Benson, Lawrence Schimel, Mike Resnick, Esther M. Friesner, Tim Lebbon, David Sandner, Marion Zimmer Bradley, James Bibby, Louise Cooper & Peter Crowther
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 7th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “I heard all you field hockey chicks are lesbians,” Curly said, still smiling.

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Synopsis

23 spellbinding tales of sorcery, wizardry and witchcraft.

From Gandalf to Harry Potter, sorcerers and wizards have always enthralled us. It is their power, above all, that we covet – the ultimate wish fulfilment of being able to do whatever we want – to fly, or make ourselves invisible, or to conjure something from nothing.

Here, from some of the most outstanding writers of fantasy, is a wonderfully varied collection of stories which explores the tensions and dilemmas in dealing with magic, from a child’s first struggle to control magical powers to epic clashes between the forces of good and evil.

Thoughts

It took me a little while to seriously get into this collection. But, once I did… I was completely hooked. I quite obviously love fantasy from the books that fill my shelves. But, as I’ve gotten older, I have found that I am drawn again and again to fantasy of a darker bent. Although not all of these short stories suited that desire, they just weren’t that dark… this collection was still seriously brilliant.

The stories in this collection just completely run the gamut. There are some serious, dark and twisted stories. Some that are fun and light. And a few that make you question the state of the world as we know it. All the stories were enjoyable in one way or another, although maybe not as memorable as some of the other short stories that I’ve read.

This is a great little collection. One that is interesting and fun. There was a lot surrounding ideas of chaos throughout, which makes it one of those collections that I’ll probably want to read again. There always seems to be this sense of confusion and intricacy about chaos stories that just makes me want to read them again and again.

<- The Mammoth Book of CthulhuTen Things I Know About the Wizard ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Disillusioned by Lawrence Schimel & Mike Resnick

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: Disillusioned
Author: Lawrence Schimel & Mike Resnick
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic
Dates read: 5th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1995
5th sentence, 74th page: Vivian sighed, wishing she were elsewhere, but she displayed no outward sign of her boredom, laughing along with the other assembled members of the Thirteen Families.

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Synopsis

The world is run by those with powerful magic. Members of the Thirteen Families. But, when do the illusions end and reality begin? When does it become something much, much more?

Thoughts

This is a great story that reminds us – even when we get everything that we want, it might not be what we actually need. Vivian manages to rise to the top of her society, she uses all of her cunning and intelligence. Yet, once she’s there… there is nothing. No feeling of excitement no feeling of accomplishment. Just. Total. Disillusionment.

I found this short story quite a poignant reminder – sometimes the thing that you are working towards (power, prestige) isn’t necessarily what you need to be happy. Sometimes it is just empty and meaningless. Especially if you have a split moment in which you realise that it is all just an illusion. A figment of reality that is constructed by others.

This story is a little bit funny, a little bit dark and definitely one that will draw you in from the very beginning. It is intriguing and engaging. And not one that I am likely to forget anytime soon.

<- The Closed WindowIn the Realm of Dragons ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Blood Lite edited by Kevin J. Anderson

Overview
Blood Lite

Title: Blood Lite
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Joe R. Lansdale, Lucien Soulban, Christopher Welch, Matt Venne, Don D’Amassa, Mark Onspaugh, J.A. Konrath, Paul Wilson, Charlaine Harris, Steven Savile, Will Ludwigsen, Janet Berliner, Eric James Stone, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Mike Resnick, D.L. Snell, Nancy Holder, Nancy Kilpatrick, Jeff Strand, Sharyn McCrumb & Jim Butcher
In: Blood Lite (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Horror, Short story collections
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes, especially if I’ve been drinking, and I’m hungry, I revert to my basic nature.

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Synopsis

The Horror Writers Association Presents Blood Lite…a collection of entertaining tales that puts the fun back into dark fiction, with ironic twists and tongue-in-cheek wit to temper the jagged edge.

Charlaine Harris reveals the dark side of going green, when a quartet of die-hard environmentalists hosts a fundraiser with a gory twist in An Evening with Al Gore…

In an all-new Dresden Files story from Jim Butcher, when it comes to tracking deadly paranormal doings, there’s no such thing as a Harry’s Day Off for the Chicago P.D.’s wizard detective, Harry Dresden…

Sherrilyn Kenyon turns a cubicle-dwelling MBA with no life into a demon-fighting seraph with one hell of an afterlife in Where Angels Fear to Tread. NOTE: This story has been re-released in the Dark Bites anthology.

Celebrity necromancer Jaime Vegas is headlining a sold-out séance tour, but behind the scenes, a disgruntled ghost has a bone to pick, in Kelley Armstrong’s The Ungrateful Dead.

So let the blood flow and laughter reign – because when it comes to facing our deepest, darkest fears, a little humor goes a long way!

Thoughts

I’m kind of on the fence about this collection. Some of the stories in this were brilliant. Some downright weird. But all were enjoyable. Just not memorable. This is the kind of collection you read for a good, light laugh and something that isn’t going to make you think and linger in your mind’s eye after you’ve finished the story.

Although this hasn’t been my favourite collection of short stories that I’ve digested in recent times, it also wasn’t one that I ever considered stopping. I know that a collection or novel is truly horrible when I just can’t seem to pick it up and get through it. Yet I didn’t feel that way with this. I just didn’t want to completely bury my nose in these stories either. The best description I can think of for this series is easy. Easy reading. Easy to forget. But easy to spend some humorous time with.

 <- The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour ReviewThe Ungrateful Dead Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

A Fantastic Holiday Season edited by Kevin J. Anderson and Keith J. Olexa

Overview
A Fantastic Holiday Season

Title: A Fantastic Holiday Season
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Keith J. Olexa, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Brad R. Torgersen, Mercedes Lackey, Quincy J. Allen, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Ken Scholes, Heather Graham, Sam Knight, Mike Resnick, David Boop, Eric James Stone & Patricia Briggs
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasShort story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 16th November 2018 – 29th January 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: World Fire Press
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Of course it wasn’t possible that Jimmy had actually ridden in a hyperspace sleigh back to Ceres, when the journey from Ceres to Mars, and vice versa, ordinarily took weeks.

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Synopsis

‘Tis the Season-for 14 more magical, macabre and merry tales to make your Holidays … Fantastic! Gingerbread houses, caroling carolers, brightly trimmed trees, big family dinners, pristine snowfalls … the familiar pleasures of the season. But what better pleasure is there than a good holiday story? So open this winter solstice sampler and indulge in funny festive fantasies, nightmares before Christmas, and stunning space-age celebrations … these stories will warms hearts and minds like a blazing Yule log. Fantastic Holiday Stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Mercedes Lackey, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Eric James Stone, Nina Kiriki Hoffman., Quincy J Allen, Ken Scholes, Sam Knight, David Boop, Heather Graham, Brad R. Torgersen, Patricia Briggs

Thoughts

I bought this collection because the very last story is a short story in the Mercedes Thompson series that I don’t yet have. And I started reading this last year to try and get me into the Christmas spirit. And it worked. Beautifully. Fantastically. I’m actually sad that it’s over, even if I finished it after the Holiday Season…

The stories in this collection run the gambit from cutsie little fantasy tales to convoluted and entertaining science fiction tales. They fit into series and stand by themselves. And it’s this range that I truly love. After all, the reason why I tend to read so many short story collections at once is that they get a bit same-same with their tales. The fact that these are far more varied made this collection a little more difficult to put down, and a lot more fun to read than usual.

 <- Unappreciated Gifts ReviewNaughty & Nice Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Christmas Eve at Harvey Wallbanger’s by Mike Resnick

Overview
A Fantastic Holiday Season

Title: Christmas Eve at Harvey Wallbanger’s
Author: Mike Resnick
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Comedy, Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: World Fire Press
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Then it’d be Off, Dancer!

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Synopsis

It might take a bet on the names of Saint Nick’s reindeers to finally get what is owed to him… but this debt collector and his motley crew will definitely do it.

Thoughts

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.

The fact that this story had not only a satirical spin, but also one that featured trying to name Santa’s reindeer made it incredibly fun. Especially when the names that were reported to be correct were kind of random. Yet, connected. It just worked beautifully. I need to find out if there is a greater series or something to sink my teeth into…

 <- Yes, Virginia2097c, There is a Santa Claus ReviewThe Atmosphere for Miracles Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

A Very Special Girl by Mike Resnick

Overview
Blood Lite

Title: A Very Special Girl
Author: Mike Resnick
In: Blood Lite (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Horror, Urban fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He also is an occasional employee that I use when some goniff does not wish to honor his marker, and indeed he has just returned from Longshot Lamont’s, where I had sent him to collect the three large that Longshot Lamont bet on Auntie’s Panties to com ein first, and indeed the filly does come in first by seven lengths, but she comes in first in the eighth race after she goes to the post in the seventh race thirty minutes earlier.

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Synopsis

When a zombie debt collector decides to give his boss’ money away to his new beau, you know that things are about to go a little pear shaped. When his new girl is a little more twisted than expected… well, that’s a whole new story.

Thoughts

What happens when your not-so-smart muscle gives away the money he was supposed to be collecting for you? Well, in this comedy of errors, you find out one way to deal with it. And meet a very unique couple that is just feeling the first blossoms of love…

Throughout this entire short story things just steadily kept getting worse and worse. More and more incorrect and confusing… and I loved how it just steadily went downhill. Although this isn’t the most memorable of stories, the fact atht it is just a calamity of errors and poor judgement completely bespelled me. And even though I probably won’t be reading it again anytime soon, I certainly enjoyed my time in this world.

 <- Where Angels Fear to Tread ReviewLove Seat Solitaire Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Making the Cut by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Making the Cut
Author: Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn
In: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: I promise not to immerse any of you in water.

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Synopsis

A new job as a manicurist with some interesting clients…

Thoughts

I read a lot of fantasy and supernatural stories. There is always something enjoyable about seeing the reflection of the known in the unknown. But, one thing I’ve never really thought of is how these supernatural ghouls and creatures manage to keep themselves looking good on their nightly prowls.

The setting and the idea of a hair salon for the supernatural ghouls was entertaining enough. But, starting a new job as a manicurist at such a place…? FAR more entertaining. And the power of such a unique kind of woman? Just fun.

Yet, that isn’t the only fun thing about this short story… there is also the zombie that really wants to feel pain. And is being stabbed by old women. Who happen to be his fans… did I mention that this story was fun and entertaining? If not a little off kilter?

 <- Typecast Review Acknowledgements Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste edited by Kevin J. Anderson

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Butcher, Joel Sutherland, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, E.S. Magill, Eric James Stone, Jeff Strand, Mark Onspaugh, Mike Baron, JG Faherty, Stephen Dorato, Jeff Ryan, Mike Resnick, Lezli Robyn, Will Ludwigsen, Heather Graham, Daniel Pyle, Nina Kiriki  Hoffman, L.A. Banks, John Alfred Taylor, David Sakmyster, Norman Prentiss, Don D’Amassa, Adrien Ludens, Chris Abbey, D.L. Snell, Ken Lillie-Paetz, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Morton, Brad C. Hodson, Lucien Soulban
In: Blood Lite III (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, HorrorShort story collections
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: As he sped thankfully along the country highway, Randall was so consumed with the desire to get to Golden Links Golf and Country Club as quickly as possible that he didn’t take note of the birds and the bees, he didn’t smell the intoxicating aroma of roses floating on the summer breeze and he didn’t see the bloodied man at the scene of the accident with a six-foot length of steel pipe protruding from his chest and a vacant look in his eyes, chewing on the neck of a panicked paramedic.

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Synopsis

The third book in the hilarious and horrifying national bestselling anthology series from the Horror Writers Association–a frightfest of sidesplitting stories from such “New York Times” bestselling authors as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, L.A. Banks, Kelley Armstrong, and many more! Horror fiction explores the dark side of human nature, often pushing the limits of violence, graphic gore, and extreme emotions. But with the popularity of shows and movies, such as “The Walking Dead,” “True Blood,” “Twilight,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” audiences have demonstrated their love for the genre–especially accompanied with a dose of humor to tone down the terror.

“Blood Lite III: Aftertaste” continues to put the fun back into dark fiction, featuring a wide range of humorous and highly entertaining horror-filled tales. Edited by Horror Writers Association founding member and award-winning author Kevin J. Anderson, the stories vary in tone from wry to downright laugh-out-loud funny. Featuring such well-known horror writers as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Golden, and many others, this collection of tales is perfect for anyone who enjoys being entertained as much as they love a good scare.

Thoughts

I bought this book because it had two short stories from series that I’m reading. And then I figured that since it was an ebook, it was a good one to read before bed, instead of keeping my partner awake with the bedside lamp on. I’m still not sure of how I feel about this collection. It was certainly an easy read, but maybe not one that I will pick up again in a heart beat.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the variety of tones and feelings that you can find throughout. Some stories are downright funny. And some completely terrifying. There are ads, tales and scripts. Every different style and story takes you on a completely different and unexpected journey. And it has certainly given me a lot of new authors to find out more about… if I had enough time to chase down every single one that is.

Although I won’t be rereading Blood Lite III anytime soon, I will certainly be getting the other two Blood Lite collections to expand my knowledge and enjoyment of the authors who like to write about things that go bump in the night.

 <- The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour Review Lucifer’s Daughter Review ->
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