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review 2017-03-26 23:32
The Last Bell, by Johannes Urzidil
The Last Bell (Pushkin Collection) - David Burnett,Johannes Urzidil

Pushkin Press continues to do sterling work by retranslating and republishing European fiction with Johannes Urzidil’s The Last Bell (translated by David Burnett). The Last Bell includes five stories by a mid-century Czech author who got lost in the shuffle of history. In these stories, Urzidil writes about life in Prague in the late 1930s (before he himself fled Europe) and in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.

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review 2017-03-26 15:42
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden

My favorite stories were:

 

Pop Art

20th Century Ghost

Better Than Home

My Father's Mask

Voluntary Committal

 

My thoughts on this collection cannot possibly make a dent in all of reviews already written about this book. Suffice it to say: I loved it and it gets my highest recommendation!

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review 2017-03-24 18:45
At the Cemetery Gates: Year One by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan
At The Cemetery Gates: Year One - Chad Wehrle,John Brhel,Joseph T. Sullivan

At The Cemetery Gates: Year One is a collection of 14 short stories. Most of them feature cemeteries-if not actually set there, they're at least mentioned.

 

My favorite story of the bunch was An Epistle From the Dead which was a macabre tidbit with a touch of poignancy to it that really brought the story home.

 

Pictures of a Perpetual Subject was also a poignant tale with a haunting outcome that I won't soon forget.

 

The remaining stories were all good, but not outstanding. These are the types of tales to be told around a campfire at night or at a sleepover. In fact, I think they're perfect for those types of scenarios. Seasoned horror fans used to hard-core scares might come away slightly disappointed, but I believe the average horror reader would find these tales satisfying.

 

 

Today, this book is free! Click here: At The Cemetery Gates: Year One

 

Recommended!

 

*Horror After Dark was provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-03-22 10:34
For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only (James Bond, #8) - Ian Fleming

A collection of five short stories that don’t really add much of importance to Bond canon. Still, I guess it’s nice to know where all those movie titles came from.

 

Quick impressions broken down by individual stories:

 

From a View to a Kill: 3* Just a fun little spy story without much substance.

 

For Your Eyes Only: 2* I liked the bit about the birds at the beginning. The rest was boring.

 

Quantum of Solace: 2* In which a casual remark by Bond results in him – and the reader – being subjected to a lengthy, somewhat dull cautionary tale regarding marrying air hostesses.

 

Risico: 2* Colombo is an interesting character, but the story itself is terribly boring and I skimmed most of it.

 

The Hildebrand Rarity: 3* “He rarely killed fish except to eat, but there were exceptions – big moray eels and all the members of the scorpion-fish family. Now he proposed to kill the sting-ray because it looked so extraordinarily evil.” F*** off, Bond. F*** all the way off. As if I didn’t dislike you enough already. Other than that, it was an engaging story, though there wasn’t much in the way of Bondness about it. It could have been just about any sexist, racist Englishman in the starring role.

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review 2017-03-21 21:02
Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, V.3
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 3 - Holly Black,Peter S. Beagle,Stephen Baxter,Stephen King,Hannu Rajaniemi,Jeff VanderMeer,Meghan McCarron,Ted Kosmatka,Rachel Swirsky,Ken Scholes,Richard Bowes,Ted Chiang,Robert Reed,Elizabeth Bear,Kij Johnson,Paolo Bacigalupi,M. Rickert,Margo Lanagan,Maure
 
The depth and breadth of what science fiction and fantasy fiction is changes with every passing year. The two dozen stories chosen for this book by award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan carefully maps this evolution, giving readers a captivating and always-entertaining look at the very best the genre has to offer.
 
Short story anthologies like these are a wonderful way to find new authors that interest you. I should probably limit my intake, since my “to read” list is already over 1600 titles, but being the book lover that I am, I can’t resist having a peek sometimes.

As with all collections, some stories were fun, some were confusing, some were boring for me. But I can think of three in this book that made me think I wanted more from those authors.

The Dust Assassin, by Ian McDonald. Mostly because it is set in Asia and I think entirely too much science fiction & fantasy is set in North America. Plus this was a gripping story and I’d like to read more in this world.

Pride and Prometheus, by John Kessel. I love a good mash-up. This story used both Shelley’s Frankenstein and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to create a little side-adventure that really tickled me. I will definitely be looking for more of Kessel’s work.

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss, by Kij Johnson. Okay, so I have a huge soft spot for animals, plus I love it when an author gets the biology right! Acknowledgement that chimpanzees and gibbons aren’t monkeys, but they’re still in the circus act. The story left me with questions, something that I also love.

If you’re having difficulty choosing your next book, may I suggest an anthology in whatever genre you enjoy? Sure, there may be some duds, but at least one story in the collection will probably send you off on a whole new reading tangent!
 
 
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