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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-13 08:41
Inside the “Outsiders” — An Anthology with stories by Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Joe Landsale, & Poppy Brite
Outsiders: 22 All-New Stories From the Edge - Brian Hodge,Neil Gaiman,Tanith Lee,Bentley Little,Lea Silhol,Michael Marano,Jack Ketchum,Freda Warrington,Elizabeth Massie,Brett Alexander Savory,Melanie Tem,Yvonne Navarro,Steve Rasnic Tem,David J. Schow,Katherine Ramsland,Elizabeth Engstrom,Thomas S. Ro

 

 

Below, I mention how I liked each story and include a favorite quote:

 

The Empty Chambers by Neil Gaiman

A poem. Very creepy but I’d rather have read a Gaiman story.

 

The Company You Keep by Steve Resnic Tem

Walking among us are the members of a secret company. I don’t know what I took away from this story if anything.

 

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Scarabesque: The Girl Who Broke Dracula by Tanith Lee

This was actually an excerpt from one of Tanith Lee’s novels. It was also the first time I read anything by her. I liked the imagery that her words created. For instance:

 

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Under the Needle by Lea Silhol

You’d appreciate this story more if you focused on how it was written rather than the plot. I did and I ended up liking it!

 

Expanding Your Capabilities Using Frame/Shift(TM) Mode by David J. Schow

A literally visceral story about a man who discovers his remote can do much more than change channels!

 

Cat and the Cold Prince by Freda Warrington

A story that brings to mind dictatorships and restrictive regimes, such as the Prohibition in the Cromwell era. Oh, and a girl falls in love with a tiger!

 

Faces in Revolving Souls by Caitlin R. Kiernan

This one was about a splinter group of people who left their human status behind by choice fighting for their rights.

 

Lighten Up by Jack Ketchum

Smoking is banned. Smokers decided to retaliate.

 

Pit Boy by Elizabeth Massie

The beginning of the story is set up to deceive the reader. The end is one of the saddest endings I have ever read!

 

The Country of the Blind by Melanie Tem

A blind girl will accept you into her family but she needs a sacrifice first.

 

Ruby Tuesday by Kathe Koja

A hidden cult in the midst of the society and a boy with a dying mother looking for a place to fit in.

 

Running Beneath the Skin by Brett Alexander Savory

Can you even said to be alive, if your insides have been replaced with metal? No, this isn’t about Wolverine!

 

Grim Peeper by Katherine Ramsland

There’s necrophilia and there are grim peepers. Read this story, if you love being grossed out.

 

Craving by Yvonne Navarro

This story is based on a certain type of “outsiders” who like to watch accidents.

 

Violent Angel by Thomas S. Roche

A planned hit where the hitman isn’t on the complete plan.

 

…And the Damage Done by Michael Marano

Beautiful imagery is one of the characteristics of this story. The other is heartbreak!

 

Pop Star in the Ugly Bar by Bentley Little

Simply gross but a fitting addition to this collection. A wannabe pop star ends up in a gore-hardcore bar. She doesn’t make it out.

 

Miss Singularity by John Shirley

A teenager’s depression comes out to play!

 

The Working Slob’s Prayer by Poppy Z. Brite

The going ons in a restaurant with some very interesting characters thrown in!

 

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If I Should Wake Before I Die by Brian Hodge

Expectant mothers miscarry all around the world. No one knows why until we reach the end of the story…*shudder*

 

Honing Sebastian by Elizabeth Engstrom

A sad story about the dreams of those below being crushed by the powers that be. This line from the story says it all:

 

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Another favorite quote:

 

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The Shadows, Kith and Kin by Joe R. Landsale

A broken man tired of being put down by the whole world makes friends…with shadows…who talk to him…

 

My Favourites

Lighten Up by Jack Ketchum

Pit Boy by Elizabeth Massie

Miss Singularity by John Shirley

The Working Slob’s Prayer by Poppy Z. Brite

 

Have you read this anthology? Which ones are your favorites?

 

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Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on September 13, 2017.

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review 2016-10-11 17:50
Review Heart-Beast by Tanith Lee
Heart-Beast - Tanith Lee

 

So, I actually started reading this, I think, three years ago, for my October TBR, and went into a really bad reading slump, so put it down. But the book left an incredible impression on me, and I've been looking for an excuse to pick it up again.

 

Tantih Lee justifies the existence of purple prose. She wallows in Gothic Victorian excess, and turns it into a lush sort of poetry. The book itself feels as if it could be put right beside Frankenstein and Dracula, the tone perfectly in step, the atmosphere rich if slightly more forthright than it was in the nineteenth century. It's a perfect companion to Shelley and Stoker, weaving werewolf lore seamlessly into the time period, bountiful with knowledge and appreciation with Gothic literature.

 

If I were to simplify, I'd call it Wuthering Heights with a werewolf, which is shockingly accurate. Subtext abounds, about marriage and sex, about traditional gender roles in the Victorian world. And the last hundred pages in particular descend into an almost feverish hypnagogic state.

 

And that was why it lost a star, too, because through all of this lushness of prose, through scenes of sex and viscera, the novel itself is kind of cold, and the characters most definitely are, to the point that it's difficult to guess what any one of them is really thinking, or why they do what they do. It's a fantastic novel to appreciate for its artistry, but, despite the passion it's meant to exhibit, an unemotional one. Beautiful and cold, just like the Worth household at the very end.

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text 2016-09-27 22:00
Started reading this
Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful - Delia Sherman,Andre Norton,Neil Gaiman,Leah Bobet,Nancy Holder,Tanith Lee,Cory Skerry,Silvia Moreno-Garcia,T.A. Pratt,Linda Robertson,Paula Guran,Elizabeth Bear,Margo Lanagan,Ellen Klages,Cynthia Ward,Kelly Link,Richard Parks,Leslie What,Theodora Goss,Mer

Loved the first story, enjoying the second. 

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review 2016-08-03 22:18
Red Unicorn (Unicorn, #3) by Tanith Lee
Red Unicorn - Tanith Lee

And with Red Unicorn concludes this trilogy. To sum up my feelings on this trilogy, I liked it. It was pretty good. I do recommend this series. However, I did have some problems with this last book. That problem being the plot.

 

The entire plot of this book is centered around Tanaquil being depressed because she couldn't be with a man... that upsets me because it's sending the messaged that if you can't be with a man then you have no meaning in life. That you might as well curl up into a little ball and cry yourself to sleep. And seeing how strong and intelligent Tanaquil was in the first book reduced to a whiny, selfish, "Why doesn't anyone love me?" character in this book really left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not saying she shouldn't have someone. I am okay with her finding a boyfriend and them being in love. The problem I have was with how crippled she became once she couldn't have Honj, who was her sister's lover in the first place! (All this is not spoilers seeing as how this all happened in book two.) So not only is she belittling herself for some guy, she is also stealing her sister's lover from her. And Honj is not even that great of a person anyway! He is a harsh, cold, little jerk! He got his kicks by making Tanaquil feel like dirt by saying demeaning comments about who she is and what she does as a sorceress. I just don't see the appeal to him as a character, let along a potential lover. What in the hell does Tanaquil see in him?

 

It just really upsets me when I see a strong and capable person throw away all her morals for some asshole who doesn't even care about her. Not in the way a person should care for another anyway.

 

All that being said, the magic and concepts to this book is quite fascinating. I love the different worlds and unicorns. How they are all distinct and well-thought out. I am in love with this world and its magic. 

 

Not so much the plot and the characters... except the peeve. I really love the peeve. X3

 

Anyway, that's enough ranting for now. If you like the idea of traveling to distant worlds with their own rules and the unicorns taking different forms, then I think you might like this trilogy. If, however, the way the "romance" sounds doesn't appeal to you, then you should probably just read the first book since that one focuses more on the magic. 

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review 2016-08-03 04:45
Gold Unicorn (Unicorn, #2) by Tanith Lee
Gold Unicorn - Tanith Lee,Mark Zug

After having read Black Unicorn, and how much I enjoyed it, I had to get my hands on the next installment in the trilogy. Gold Unicorn carries a much darker tone than its predecessor, however, that does not mean it was less enjoyable.

 

I love how dark the world and the characters became. I enjoyed seeing the behemoth that was the Gold Unicorn. In fact, this book introduced a new concept that a unicorn could be! But that's all I will say about that. I went in not knowing that concept and I feel like it's best if everyone else did, too. It was something I have never read before about unicorns and it was a refreshing idea to read about.

 

My one complaint about this book was how taken Tanaquil was with Honj. I did not see the appeal to Honj. To me, he was rather patronizing and someone who enjoyed belittling others. But, for some reason, Tanaquil, a smart and capable woman with her own strengths, was infatuated with him... and it made no sense to me. I would have enjoyed the story just fine if that aspect was not added in. But oh well.

 

It was still a fascinating story to read about and the "other worlds" are just as incredible to explore. If you like magic, adventure, and unicorns that are powerful creatures that can strike fear into those who gaze upon it, then I highly recommend you pick up this series! 

 

I only have one more left to read! I'm excited to see how all of this will conclude.

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