Post by dem bones on Sept 22, 2016 17:34:28 GMT
Charles L. Grant - Shadows 9
(Berkley, May 1988)Charles L. Grant - Introduction
Stephen Gallagher - The Jigsaw Girl
Christopher Browne - The Lesson
Leanne Frahm - On The Turn
Nancy Holder - Moving Night
Kim Antieau - Sanctuary
Sheri Lee Morton - Now You See Me
Leslie Alan Horvitz - The Fishing Village Of Roebush
Galad Elflandsson - Icarus
Nina Kiriki Hoffman - Ants
Ardath Mayhar - Nor Disregard The Humblest Voice
Janet Fox - The Skins You Love To Touch
Craig Shaw Gardiner - Walk Home Alone
T. L. Parkinson - The Father Figure
Joseph Payne Brennan - An Ordinary Brick House
Lou Fisher - Overnight
Galad Elflandsson - The Last Time I Saw Harris
Peter Tremayne - Tavesher
Steve Rasnic Tem - Bloodwolf
Blurb:Come, journey into the darkest regions of the soul ...
Walk softly past an ordinary brick house — where extraordinary evil seeks a mutilating vengeance... and refuses to die.
Turn left at the quaint country shop — where a brutally inhuman craftsman fashions a hideous collection of all-too-human artifacts.
Check into the dreaded Deadfall Hotel — where the strange clientele are even deadlier than the sharp-toothed creatures that roam the halls ...
You have reached your final destination .... and Death is the only escape!Stephen Gallagher - The Jigsaw Girl
: The narrator, married with daughters, is a frustrated comic book artist who makes ends meet by grinding out insipid designs for greeting cards, romantic novels, & Co. He is haunted by an incident in childhood when he selfishly neglected to call on a lonely eight-year old girl who'd invited him over to see her Christmas present, a jigsaw. Sneaking home past her house, he watched shamefaced over the garden fence as she completed the puzzle and burst into tears at what she saw.
All these years on, finding a replica of the jigsaw puzzle with the dreary family scene depicted on its box has grown into an obsession, until he eventually locates his treasure in a Brighton junk-shop. The completed puzzle acts as an oracle, depicting a scene from the future of he or she who successfully slots the thirty interlocking pieces into place. Perhaps it is better that, in this instance, our man fails to grasp the terrible significance of the revelation.
A great way to start an anthology, and this next is a little surprising until you remember CLG was partial to a bit of GNS every once in a while.Nina Kiriki Hoffman - Ants
: Selina's home is invaded by a tide of voracious ants, leaving invalid husband, Harold, and brain-damaged daughter, Pony, especially vulnerable. Their domestic life has been a purgatory ever since the accident - Selina doesn't like to think about the accident. She was behind the wheel, and ....well, let's not go there.
Selina douses the insects in Raid, but undeterred, they march on upstairs to get at the easy pickings. Even so, it is strange that they should ignore her presence altogether.
Like something from 'When insects attack/ Nature is revolting' catalogue, although in this instance the real story takes place beneath the surface noise.
"There is something about the house, something intangible, which unaccountably depresses me ...."Joseph Payne Brennan - An Ordinary Brick House
.... on Maple Street, Arborvale. The tragedy of Mrs Ruth Kestelline, who has lived as a recluse since she was mauled by a hyena on the same ill-fated hunting expedition to Kenya that cost her a husband his life (the millionaire sports enthusiast and big game hunter was killed outright in a shooting 'accident').
When Mrs Kestelline dies, her guilt-ridden ghost haunts the gloomy brick building, lifting her veil to flash an obscenely disfigured face at anyone who dares snoop around the property. As the narrator learns to his cost, the spectral hyena is even less of a laughing matter.
Post by dem bones on Sept 23, 2016 9:37:11 GMT
Christopher Browne - The Lesson: When Professor Werner Van Doreen Sternn, the world famous Viennese piano tutor, arrives in Brooklyn, Chubs' mom decides it's time her son enrolled for lessons. Come the day of his first lesson, the poor bastard is dragged kicking and screaming to the Sternn's apartment to be barked at, repeatedly assaulted and brutalised by the MAD MUSICOLOGIST. Hey, quit bawling, Chubs, it's all part of the learning process! However, even the kid's parents draw the line when they're introduced to the Prof's star pupil.
Christopher Browne is the son of Dik Browne, creator of Hägar the Horrible. Christopher took over the strip following the death of his father.
Janet Fox - The Skins You Love To Touch: Ginger has been dragged along on an antique hunt in the countryside by her overbearing mother-in-law, Madge. They stop at the ramshackle premises of Sharkey, a mutant hill-billy who specialises in unique, somewhat disconcerting items of household furniture. Take this gorgeous chair for example , each armrest intricately carved in the shape of a human face, the upholstery covered in the darkest beige leather. "I can tell it's so comfortable, it's almost obscene" trills Madge.
All is well until Sharkey is called away to the 'phone, and Madge chances a pry in his workshop.
"Quiet horror" on the noisy side. The pay off packs a wallop.
Post by dem bones on Sept 23, 2016 16:14:19 GMT
Peter Tremayne - Tavesher: Texan surveyor Kurt Wolfe travels to the South of Ireland to explore the disused copper mine at Cnoc Na Bhrón ("the Hill of Sorrow") in the Derrysaggart Mountains. The caverns prove treacherous to navigate, Wolfe loses his footing and plunges headlong down a shaft. Bloody and unconscious, he's dragged to a nearby house by Dr. Phelim O'Neill, who just happened to be in the vicinity. Dr. O'Brien confides that he was killed in a car crash in 1929 and has remained as one of many phantoms of the mountains ever since. Mr. Wolfe finds his 'joke' in poor taste.
Sometimes we are the last person to take on board the bad news.
Sheri Lee Morton - Now You See Me: Amy's home is infested with ghosts and monsters. Outside on the streets, same story, it is just that adults don't see them. Mom insists her daughter visit an optician (Dracula in the waiting room, preying mantis in his surgery) who duly prescribes glasses. Four-eyed Amy is released from her fears! The 'vampire' was only a hat-stand, the ghosts, sundry items of clothing. Keep telling yourself that, little girl, and you'll be all right!
Post by dem bones on Sept 26, 2016 11:02:46 GMT
Ardath Mayhar - Nor Disregard The Humblest Voice: Mice have been welcome in the Marsh family home since way back in Grandma's day. When a junkie burglar rapes and bludgeons Aunt Rose, the loyal rodents swiftly avenge her death.
Cross a Marsh at your peril.
Nancy Holder - Moving Night: "Ya shoulda gotten an abortion, Barb! ya shoulda gotten rid of him!"
"I know, Jack, I know I'm sorry"
Peter's parents ignore the eight-year-old's desperate cries that he's constantly under attack from toys, bedroom furniture, inanimate objects in general, and the skellington who lives in his mattress. Then again, Peter is a pet-torturing psycho who is going to kill them both very shortly, so can't really blame them for disliking the wee shite.
Pretty damn effective, but not sure this would have been my selection from #9 for The Best Of Shadows.