Here comes the first anthology from the well respected magazine Midnight Street.
The book, featuring thirteen stories ( some originals, some reprints) is dedicated to the late Joel Lane, a fine dark fiction writer, whose story “The Spoils”, included therein, although admittedly not one of his best, is a good example of that author’s pessimistic view of the world and of human relationships.
The line-up of contributors is indeed impressive: Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, Paul Finch, Nina Allan,Allen Ashley, Simon Clark, Ralph Robert Moore,Rosanne Rabinowitz Elliot Smith.
Yet, most of the stories, much to my dismay, are not up to the usual standard of those big names.
Some tales are just ordinary ,others downright disappointing, at least to me, considering that a few of the above contributors are among my favorite horror writers. Maybe it’s my fault because I was expecting too much ? Perhaps. On the other hand I’m still able to recognize a great piece of fiction when I read it. Here are three examples from this same anthology.
” I Hear His Footsteps Drawing Near” by the British duo Maynard & Sims is an excellent, masterfully crafted, insightful story where a man’s suicide unexpectedly discloses dark secrets from the past.
Gary Couzens provides ” After the Party”, a splendid, cynic noir set in the Hollywood crowd in the ‘ 50s
“Dead Man’s Handle” by veteran Stephen Gallager, a master of horror genre,is a terric, spooky story taking place in an amusement park and featuring a miniature train for kids.
Those three stories alone are worth the price of the book. Get it and look forward ( like me) to the next Midnight Street anthology.