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edited by Stephen Jones
Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol. 11
The Mammoth Book of Best New horror series edited by Stephen Jones is for the most part chock full of good scary stories. However, I have come to find that Jones favors British horror authors, and I sometimes come away from some stories thinking "WTF was that?", and not in a good way. Each volume contains a lengthy introduction that goes over the new horror films, books, games and television shows of that year, in this case 2000. After the short stories, we are also presented with a "Necrology" covering all of the important men and women in the horror industry who have passed away in the previous year.
Comments: The old white house draws Laura in. In fact, it is the only thing she seems interested in.
Comments: This was a decent tale (but not really horror IMHO) with an interesting twist at the end.
Comments: I’ve heard many good things about Klein, but I didn’t particularly care for this one. The reader is forced to jump to too many conclusions for this house to be the one which appears in the home improvement magazines.
Comments: Ethan likes to keep cigar boxes full of pictures of ex-girlfriends. He has apparently forgotten how he broke up with some of the ones in his “special” box, and I have my doubts about the safety of Victoria.
Comments: Tim Darbersmere loved (if that’s the word) the woman who rescued him from death after his parents abandoned him in Shanghai during World War II. Would you be willing to do what he does to find your love (?) and have a whole new life to live with her?
Comments: Tom Shone (Thompson) arrives in town too late to find a normal hotel. Instead he finds something out of a nightmare…
Comments: I wasn’t really familiar with the commedia dell'arte before now, so this little harlequinade maybe doesn’t have as much of an impact on me as it would on others. It was decent, but it’s not one I’ll really remember a year from now.
Comments: Mel has an affinity for finding hidden things. This time she decides she likes her latest discovery and makes a deal.
Comments: Anybody who is a Poe fan should read this one. It pokes fun at the numerous misspellings of Edgar Allan Poe’s name throughout the years, substituting Allen for the correct spelling of Allan. There are numerous lines from Poe’s stories and poems sprinkled throughout, adding to the fun if you’ve read Poe’s work.
Comments: I didn’t think this was one of Kiernan’s better stories, but it’s still a pretty decent little ghost story.
Comments: This was an interesting tale about a Muse (a Bettgeist?), and the effect she had on two Jewish writers living in Paris before and during the Second World War.
Comments: This was an excellent story of ghosts and revenge, set in a creepy little Irish town near Cork by the name of Ballyhooly. It was cleverly set up and executed, and I highly recommend it.
Comments: This was another of the stories in this series of books which I wouldn’t really classify as horror. It seemed more like a story about a wimp who has lost his mind and his will to live, but it wasn’t scary or horrifying to me in the least.
Comments: Since I’m not gay, this one probably didn’t hit home as much as it would for some people. The eponymous “burden” refers to someone who has lost many friends from AIDS and who must constantly worry about being infected himself due to lifestyle choices.
Comments: I enjoyed this story of Mr. Carlyle, a “ghost-eater” with a fondness for a Victorian lifestyle.
Comments: This tale about being struck by lightning (and the supernatural results) was very good. I also liked the ending and how it allows you to interpret the story in your own way.
Comments: This was an interesting, short little tale of one person’s ability to affect perception of those around her.
Comments: This one took a little while to get going and come together, but once it did, I enjoyed it very much.
Comments: This was an incredible novella depicting a stranded group’s struggle to survive in a Ruined (with a capital R) world.
Comments: Near the end of his career, a great jazz musician tells a college kid interviewing him about a strange Halloween night many years before.
Comments: Steve Rasnic Tem presents a bunch of super-short short stories
centering on his fictional “Halloween Street”, where all
sorts of horrible things can and do happen to little children. Several
of these were pretty good.
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