Ahoy there me mateys! I received this short story collection eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
subterranean: tales of dark fantasy 3 (William Schafer)
Title: subterranean: tales of dark fantasy 3
Editor: William Schafer
Publisher: Subterranean Press
TODAY!! Oops! It is on 7/31/2020! (hardcover)
The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:
- I love dark fantasy;
- It is a Subterranean Press book and they do great work; and
- This collection has 10 stories. I have only read 4 of the authors’ other works but the P. Djèlí Clark story cliched it.
Out of the 10 stories I loved 5 of them, 3 were just okay, and I didn’t like 2. I will try to give ye an idea of the bare bones and thoughts on the stories:
“Orderly Progression of Hearts” (Kat Howard)- This story was written in second person and didn’t work for me at all. Ugh. Apparently me heart turned to stone then other things. Not a good start to this anthology.
“Cherry Street Tango, Sweatbox Waltz” (Caitlín R. Kiernan) – This story is about an assassin’s gig gone wrong and the interrogation is going through. It took a moment to get settled into the style but I started to like it before it abruptly ended. Teaser tale that just wasn’t long enough to be completely satisfying.
“Estate Sale” (Bentley Little) – A woman goes to a neighborhood estate sale only to get confused when she recognizes some of the items being sold. Light and kind of silly but fun.
“Twisted Hazel” (Stephen Gallagher) – I rather enjoyed this ghost story. It is very poignant and had a semisweet ending. I thought the atmosphere was nicely done.
“Death Comes for the Rich Man” (Robert McCammon) – A rich man hires a problem-solver to delay Death so he can speak with his estranged daughter one last time. The hired man has an usual night. I enjoyed this story even though I feel like I have already read a version of this tale before.
“At the Threshold of Your Bedchamber on the Fifth Night” (Sarah Gailey) – This certainly is the best story of the collection so far. A suitor comes to win a challenge – receive the hand of the beautiful princess if they can remain awake for five whole days and nights. And of course there is a twist. Lovely.
“Final Course” (C.J. Tudor) – This was first story that actually felt like dark fantasy. I loved it. It’s the end of the world where darkness and monsters reign. Five old college friends gather at a manor in the country with hopes of survival. Then of course one goes missing. I love this author’s work.
“Lamagica” (Ian R. MacLeod) – I liked the setting of this world and the characters and the quest for the missing brother. I did think that the story was too long and didn’t love the ending. The first half was stronger than the second and I ended up not really liking it overall.
“Razor Pig” (Richard Kadrey) – Creepy dark carnival and a missing daughter. I wasn’t expecting how this worked out but I rather liked it. Gruesome.
“Skin Magic” (P. Djèlí Clark) – A fantastic story but what an abrupt ending! Please make this into a full length novel.
I be very grateful to have a chance to read these stories and am glad I pushed through the beginning. While I didn’t love every story, I do have a few new favourites. Arrrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Subterranean Press!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the book (shortened by me):
Tales of darkness and inexplicable happenings have always been with us—and always will. In its contemporary form, this sort of story is not only alive and well, but flourishing, and it continues to speak to us in a variety of voices. Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 3 is the latest installment in an acclaimed anthology series, and it brings together ten voices—some familiar, some less so—that are at once distinctive, compelling, and irresistible.
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