999Al Sarrantonio, Editor
HarperCollins
2001

27 short stories by several notable authors in the fields of horror, suspence, fantasy and sci-fi, including Stephen King, William Peter Blatty, Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, David Morrell, Joyce Carol Oates, Ramsey Campbell, and others…

Apparently, the concept for this collection had for its catalyst a desire to further the genre of horror fiction. Whether this helped or not is up for debate, but tell you the truth, that’s not really a big point. What matters is whether or not the stories are of good quality for those into the oft forgotten genre of horror fantasy.

I would say yes. Yes it is.

In this collection, Al Sarrantonio (also an accomplished writer in the horror genre, as he also contributed a story within) includes previously unpublished work from some of my personal favorites in the genre. And the spectrum of horror fantasy is pretty wide as well, pretty much something for everyone- ghost stories, vampires, zombies (the lead story is quite interesting, to say the very least), haunted houses, dark mythology, and general weird and wacky stuff. The stories are very well written, and in such bite-sized portions they’re quite satisfying. Really, about the only story that I didn’t get was the one by Joyce Carol Oates, where the ending just left me wondering what the heck happened. Otherwise, really good collection, and not a bad way to introduce someone wanting to get into horror fiction to some of the better writers of this widely varied and colorful genre…

Advertisements