Tag Archives: Pat Cadigan

Eenie, Meenie, Ipsateenie by Pat Cadigan

Overview
Hauntings: Datlow, Ellen: 9781616960889: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Eenie, Meenie, Ipsateenie
Author: Pat Cadigan
In: Hauntings (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror
Dates read: 11th February 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: This was the fourth apartment they’d had since coming to the Midwest, but they’d all been the same.

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Synopsis

Milo didn’t want to be IT. And now he’s haunted by the fact that he’ll forever be “IT”.

Thoughts

This was a bit of a meandering story. And one that you tend to fill the gaps in on… it just makes you feel all that much more uncomfortable when you don’t quite know if you have the complete picture. Which I’m convinced is what Cadigan was going for.

There is something extra haunting about a childhood killing. A childhood ghost. I think that it’s something about that loss of potential. Plus the fact that IT is capitalized throughout this whole story made me think of the Stephen King story IT which involves a creepy clown literally feasting about children’s potential… all in all not something that is overly comfortable. And most certainly helps to file this short story safely in my horror shelf.

I finished this short story and honestly felt goosebumps. It was most definitely not a comfortable tale to read. And I kind of want to read it again and again. It may not have been comfortable… but it was intriguing. And there were so many subtleties throughout that I’m sure I totally missed. But I’m pretty sure Milo turned into a killer of children…

<- HauntingsHunger: A Confession ->

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Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton

Overview
Image result for book cover haunted nights ellen datlow

Title: Haunted Nights
Author: Ellen Datlow, Lisa Morton, Seanan McGuire, Stephen Graham Jones, Jonathan Maberry, Joanna Parypinski, Garth Nix, Kate Jonez, Jeffrey Ford, Kelley Armstrong, S. P. Miskowski, Brian Evenson, Elise Forier Edie, Eric J. Guignard, Paul Kane, Pat Cadigan, John Langan & John R. Little
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections
Dates read: 2nd November – 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Blumhouse
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: “Very good,” said I.

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Synopsis

Halloween is the night the monsters come out to play. Long before its traditions became defined by mass-produced masks, blood-soaked horror films, and carved pumpkins, the murky origins of All Hallows’ Eve lay rooted in dark festivals and black magick, in old fables of diabolical tricksters and murderous pranks, and in tales of cursed souls lost in purgatory, of vengeance and changelings.

From sly modern narratives to haunting traditional stories, from the brutal to the experimental, these sixteen stories brilliantly and terrifyingly explore the many facets, cultures, and traditions of our most provocative holiday.

Thoughts

This selection is super creepy, intense and wonderful. I absolutely adored it. Even if I spent a lot of the time reading it with my feet curled under me feeling incredibly overwhelmed and somewhat horrified. A whole new world was introduced as I read through this. This might be why I’m starting to get into the horror genre though…

A few of the stories in this did make me laugh. But, mostly they were haunting. Not outright scary like a Stephen King novel, but this lingering feeling of overwhelming discomfort due to something in these stories. I can’t even put my finger on the cause of my discomfort… but after reading one of these short stories I was almost always left feeling like I was just slightly haunted… which was interesting.

Although this collection did make me understand America’s obsession with Halloween a little more. I still don’t like the holiday. There is just something about it that doesn’t sit well with me. So whilst this bought a great new light to a holiday I know basically nothing about… I’m still not convinced that it’s one that I want anything to do with.

<- The Folding Man ReviewWith Graveyard Weeds and Wolfsbane Seeds ->

Image source: Amazon

Jack by Pat Cadigan

Overview
Image result for book cover haunted nights ellen datlow

Title: Jack
Author: Pat Cadigan
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Paranormal fantasy, Spirits
Dates read: 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Blumhouse
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: There isn’t even any daytime, only darkness.

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Synopsis

For one night of the year, Jack has the opportunity to escape. It’s her job to stop him. But this is her first night solo. What will happen?

Thoughts

This short story is beautifully dark and impossible to put down. It has a bit of an urban fantasy feel that is reminiscent of a lot of the series that I read. But it also had a great sense of mystery to the story. One that made me wonder what was going to happen. And, since it was in this collection… if there would be a happily ever after in the end.

I’ve heard a few retellings of Jack, the trickster. This might be my favourite so far. There was something a little more down to earth about it. Yet, it had a great sense of modernity to an old story that I love. The modernisation and journey that this takes you on is seriously brilliant.

My favourite part of this story though is knowing that there is a trick coming. But not being sure what it is or when it’s going to appear. And when it does… it takes you by surprise. And then you wonder who will come out on top. A good little adventure to go on.

 <- The Turn ReviewLost in the Dark Review ->

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Alien Sex edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for alien sex book cover

Title: Alien Sex
Author: Ellen Datlow, Leigh Kennedy, Rick Wilber, Harlan Ellison, Scott Baker, Larry Niven, K.W. Jeter, Philip Jose Farmer, Lisa Tuttle, Bruce McAllister, Edward Bryant, Pat Cadigan, Geoff Ryman, Connie Willis, Richard Christian Matheson, Lewis Shiner, Roberta Lannes, James Tiptree, Jr., Michaela Roessner & Pat Murphy
In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Science fiction, Short story collections
Dates read: 27th August – 29th December 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: ROC
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: The front row of pews was reserved for the faculty.

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Synopsis

In these 19 evocative pieces of short fiction, best-selling and award-winning writers tackle such intriguing issues as sex by telepathy, the pick-up scene on other planets, and making love with Superman. Thought-provoking, often shocking, always entertaining, Alien Sex daringly explores those barriers between men and women that can make them seem so “alien” to one another. Probing the current and future state, shape, and complex problems of the human male/female relationship, this fantastic collection will make you think about sex in a whole new way.

Thoughts

This is the single most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever read. Like wow uncomfortable. And not in bits and pieces. But pretty much every single story in this was uncomfortable. Not that that’s bad. But it’s very hard to read a book quickly when you know that things aren’t going to be, well, pleasant. Which makes it incredibly WOW to read. I suggest this to everyone who loves their science fiction.

This collection seriously makes you think about the world around you and how we perceive it. More importantly, it repeatedly makes you question sex, our approaches to sexuality and even how we deal with the opposite gender. And sometimes even questions of gender. By using these insane, far out storylines, it makes you seriously consider this aspect of our lives.

Sex is really weird. I don’t know that anyone can argue that it isn’t. Using science fiction and aliens just helps to highlight that fact. And kind of act as enlightenment for a number of my own practices and beliefs. Definitely an interesting collection…

<- The Marker ReviewHer Furry Face ->
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Naked City edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
naked-city

Title: Naked City
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jim Butcher, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Kushner, Christopher Fowler, Patricia Briggs, Pat Cadigan, Peter S. Beagle, Naomi Novik, Matthew Kressel, Kit Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Nathan Ballingrud, Melissa Marr, John Crowley, Holly Black, Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard, Caitlin R. Kiernan & Elizabeth Bear
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 28th June – 26th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Out in Brooklyn in a couple of spots you can walk down a street and almost think it’s a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

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Synopsis

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.

Featuring original stories from twenty authors, this dark, captivating, fabulous, and fantastical collection is not to be missed!

Thoughts

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.

<- CorpsemouthCurses ->

Image source: Patricia Briggs

Roadside Rescue by Pat Cadigan

Overview
Image result for alien sex book cover

Title: Roadside Rescue
Author: Pat Cadigan
In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Lust
Dates read: 16th November 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: ROC
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: We scared it, he thought, horrified.

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Synopsis

Broken down by the side of the road, a strange being decides to help him. But what he is asked for in return is a little… uncomfortable…

Thoughts

At first I thought this story wasn’t such a ridiculously uncomfortable tale… especially considering that it’s in the Alien Sex collection. And then, when I stopped reading and actually thought about it… I kind of realised that it’s probably one of the more uncomfortable stories that I’ve read so far. Because it’s subtle. And you don’t quite realise how sick it is until you finish it and move onto something… dare I say it, more “normal”.

Having said that, it’s probably one of my favourite Alien Sex short stories so far. It highlights that we all have our very different and unique sexual proclivities. That we all have the things that we find super exciting, and if you find a willing (and I stress willing here) partner, then it’s totally fine. This short story didn’t really have a willing partner. But then, he was only mildly violated (I never thought that I’d write that sentence in such a blasé manner).

All in all, I enjoyed this story. But I also finished it and sat there seriously questioning my responses to it. And wondering if there are parts of my own sex life that would make people sit there and go “huh”? (I’ll never know, because it’s not something I tend to discuss in intricate detail… but still).

 <- Dancing Chickens ReviewOmnisexual Review ->
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Picking Up the Pieces by Pat Cadigan

Overview
naked-city

Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author: Pat Cadigan
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: FamilyHistorical fiction
Dates read: 5th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Working my way through the crowd, I began hearing snatches of English.

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Synopsis

The youngest daughter, Quinn, has always been a little different. But in 1989, when there are happenings afoot, she might just realise that she’s not so special after all…

Thoughts

The use of the Berlin Wall coming down in this story took me somewhat by surprise. Probably mostly because I didn’t actually know in what year it came down and so couldn’t make an educated guess on what life-altering moment was about to occur… I need to brush up on my history badly.

I’ve now read a few Pat Cadigan short stories and I always find them surprisingly fun. And just plain surprising… they never quite fit into the storyline and themes of the rest of the collections I find them in. But yet, their tenuous connections work so well that I’m surprised I never thought of it myself. Picking Up the Pieces is exactly the kind of story which does that for me. It’s got the great trickster vibe to it, but in a completely contemporary and family driven set up. After all, we will all do anything for our family, even when they’re kind of difficult and definitely an avenue for chaos.

I too have a little sister that just seemed to be golden. She is just so unbelievably good. Alright, she’s not like Quinn in this story because she’s not over the top. Or a little too easily distracted. But I would still totally fly to Germany to try and help get her out of trouble… even if it was of her own making…

 <- Fairy Gifts ReviewUnderbridge Review ->
Image source: Patricia Briggs

Black Feathers edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for black feathers ellen datlow book cover

Title: Black Feathers
Author: Ellen Datlow, Sandra Kasturi, Nicholas Royle, Seanan McGuire, Paul Tremblay, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Bowes, Alison Littlewood, Jeffrey Ford, Mike O’Driscoll, Usman T. Malik, Stephen Graham Jones, A.C. Wise, M. John Harrison, Pat Cadigan, Livia Llewellyn & Priya Sharma
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 23rd January – 27th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: A sudden croaking cry, and she turns to see the great blue heron flying overhead.

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Synopsis

A dazzling anthology of avian-themed fiction guaranteed to frighten and delight, edited by one of the most acclaimed horror anthologists in the genre.

Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul. But there’s certainly a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds, destroy other birds’ eggs, and even have been known to kill small animals. And who isn’t frightened by birds who eat the dead – vultures awaiting their next meal as the life-blood flows from the dying.

In each of these stories, you will encounter the dark resonance between the human and avian. You will see in yourself the savagery of a predator, the shrewd stalking of a hunter, and you will be lured by birds that speak human language, that make beautiful music, that cypher numbers, and seem to have a moral center. You will wade into this feathered nightmare, and brave the horror of death, trading your safety and sanity for that which we all seek – the promise of flight.

Thoughts

This is my first collection of horror stories. Actually, it’s really my first ever horror novel. So reading this has been a very interesting journey. One that I was surprised to enjoy so much. And, although I didn’t really read any of these stories late at night, I also didn’t get any horrifying nightmares from the tales either. Unlike some of the crime, mystery and thriller novels that I’ve read.

Birds have always fascinated me. And I’ve been wanting to get a parrot for a little while. This collection definitely cured me of that desire. Actually, it cured me of really wanting anything much to do with birds for a little while if I’m being honest. This story not only used the symbolism and activities of birds as a catalyst for the tales of horror, but also pulled them out of your worst nightmares.

Pick this book up if you want a great introduction to the horror genre. And if you have a bit of a fascination with the avian community…

 <- The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven ReviewO Terrible Bird Review ->
Image source: Amazon

A Little Bird Told Me by Pat Cadigan

Overview
Image result for black feathers ellen datlow book cover

Title: A Little Bird Told Me
Author: Pat Cadigan
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Death, Horror
Dates read: 22nd April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: “There’s no actual paper-“

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Synopsis

She’s a pen-pusher for the Reapers and Death. But when the birds decide to get involved, things start to get a little confusing.

Thoughts

I have a bit of an obsession with stories about death. Especially ones which personify the collectors of souls which are ready to pass on. There is just something about them that sits so… right with me. Which meant that from the beginning of this story, I was finding it thoroughly enjoyable. If not a little bit odd – after all, I normally tend towards the urban and paranormal fantasy retellings of death, not the horror ones…

Birds have never seemed especially creepy. After all, they’re kind of intriguing, have an intelligence all of their own and can do the cutest, most engaging things. That is until I read this story. Which kind of has a bird uprising against the current system of death. And one that I think could be of both benefit and horror to the masses. It certainly left me feeling a little confused and not at all comfortable with the birds that like to hang out in my front yard…

 <- Isobel Avens Returns to Stepney in the Spring ReviewThe Acid Test Review ->
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