logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: short-stories-collection
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-27 12:25
Man's World
Wolfshead - Robert Bloch,Robert E. Howard

This my first stab at Howard, of Conan fame, and I don't know how to rate it, or if I'll ever read something by him again.

 

In favor it has the fact that it has no compunctions about pulling in elements from any source, and mimic any style to flavor and serve the current story. Makes for diverse settings and background mythos, always an entertaining plus.

 

The downside: It is so heavily male. I'd call it misogyny (and it is), but women so seldom make even a peep appearance in this volume, and affect the stories none at all, it goes past contempt or hate to total disregard territory (I went into minute detail here, so scant they are). It is a man's world he writes, and what makes it worth it are guns, swords and fighting monsters so you can tell a tale *eye-roll* White man's world. Blond white man's world... yeah, you get the drift.

 

So, the run of the stories:

 

- The Black Stone: Cthultuish account, with a nice dash of bookish love for ancient tomes. The name Xuthltan comes up.

The flogged dancer, and the sacrificed girl.


- Valley of the Worm: Norse myth flavored epic (Aesirs). Big on white and man.

Some mention of women being fierce too. None named, one appeared a second without lines.

- Wolfshead: Swashbuckling European nobles in Africa, and a werewolf. Reminded me of Quartermain's adventures.

One pretty virgin, one flirtatious twit (who might be the best female character of the whole book, for what it is).

- Fire of Asshurbanipal: Hunting for treasure in the dessert turns Lovecraftian. Another mention of Xuthltan.

None appear.

- House of Arabu: More blond male. If nothing else, the pretty pictures it painted in my mind and the hour reading on Sumerian mythology it spurred may make it worth it. Aesirs' world. Fits the demon square.

One assassin courtesan (that sounds like it could be sooo cool, but no), one backstabbing, abused slave girl, one demoness, geee, we are overflowing.

- Horror from the Mound: Vampires in the old west.

Again, not even mentioned.

 

Since it's an anthology that runs the gamut, this one could fit Vampires, Demons, Supernatural, Monsters, Classic Horror, likely a couple more if you squint, and my pick:

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-22 04:20
Excellent theme collection
El santuario y otros cuentos - H.P. Lovecraft

Two encompassing themes to this collection: primarily, the evil of solitude, or how solitude equates with or drives one to madness; then boundaries, blurring and pushing them (of reality, knowledge, perception, life and death, even geography)

Celephaïs: Gorgeous in spite of the cold reality. From Kuranes dreams to mine... yeah, that's not disturbing at all.

From Beyond: The type of story one expects when one hears "Lovecraft". And it's freaking good.

Hypnos: *blink* Erh... OK. Like this wasn't disturbing, a final twist. I would have said it bore serious homo-erotic tones, but then... Begs for a second read. Or a tenth.

The Temple: That's what I call a bit of Karma for a stubborn nationalist.
Note: for some reason (and what I mean is lazy translation), it's titled as Santuario (sanctuary) in my Spanish copy instead of the closer Templo.

The Tree: Did not take the expected turn. And sent me on a wiki-walk that ended landing me on the seven wonders. Pretty imagery.

 

Actually, the whole collection, for all the horror elements, is powerful on beautiful and vivid imagery. The kind that plays as a magic-movie on your mind, fills you with wonder as you read and stays with you.

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-21 05:49
Weaker than predecessors
Just After Sunset: Stories - Stephen King

A weaker read for me than his other short-story collections on the whole. N. is spectacular, though.

 

Willa: OK, sentimental ghost story

The Gingerbread Girl: Good thriller

Harvey's Dream: Now we are talking. For extra kick, which one?

Rest Stop: Awesomesauce!

Stationary Bike: If not writing, then images. And addictions. I love how he has his "go to" obsessive mind-itches that he always comes back to write about.

The things they left behind: I liked bits and pieces *shrug* I tend to avoid lit on the topic

Graduation Afternoon: Vignette building for that last snapshot. Meh

N. : This one was freaky scary. Likely because we all are little OCD. Best one in the book.

The Cat from Hell: Liked this one, and that gruesome end!

The New York Times at special bargain rates: Liked the idea. Sweet and sad.

Mute: I found this one funny in a bewildering way.

Ayana: People passing it on. A lovely concept. 

A very tight place: It was good. And gross (so very gross). And good.

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-08-19 21:09
Great take on the Cycle
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

It was gloriously awesome. How much of the merit goes to Gaiman and how much always belonged to the myth compendium has little bearing in my enjoyment.

The stories are tall tales indeed: huge, fun, magical, gruesome. The characters are as great as flawed: Odin lies, cheats, seduces and steals; Thor is a block-head to which every problem is a nail (hah); and Loki is the charming psychopath. All this is more or less merit of the Edda.

The book is a fast read, very approachable, very engaging, and the order of presentation and building makes it easy to follow the names and elements. The text is cheeky, and has many little asides that had me in stitches, turning wistful and lyrical as we come to the bittersweet end. All this, plus some nuances to the dialogues that made them hilarious (or creepy, or bittersweet), was Gaiman I reckon.

It is a book I want to buy. I want to re-read it, whole and by pieces. Have it as a reference. Read from to my children. Also, as an object, it is a beauty. Full stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-30 16:12
And the cover is so pretty...
Realms: The First Year of Clarkesworld Magazine - Jeff VanderMeer,Sean Wallace,Elizabeth Bear,Caitlín R. Kiernan

... which is not a word I would use for what's inside.

 

This is not to be read in one sitting. For the most part, the tales in this collection are  upsetting, full of triggers, dark, squicky or all of the above, with some beauty thrown in for flavor. I found about half of the stories very interesting, immersible, though provoking; half I did not quite get; about a quarter were absolutely disgusting; maybe a tenth were just mind-blowing awesome. And almost none could be ascribed to just one or two of those categories.

I'm not totally sure of my rating, I don't know that I really liked experiencing these in a couple of days. But the independent shock value of each piece is really something.

- A light in Troy: Gutting. Specially because it's left there. But maybe for the same, a bit hopeful.

- 304 Adolf Hitler Strasse: Sickening. Take-that to slash too. Recursive. My brain hurts a bit.

- The Moby Clitoris of his beloved: first, WTF is that title (same as above, actually). It was... ick

- Lydia's Body: Well, that was uncomfortable *grimace* You can see it going wrong, and then it turns a 180 and goes worse.

- Urchins, While Swimming: It's Valente. Beautiful and bittersweet.

- The Other Amazon: Meta. A readers' wet dream.

- Orm the Beautiful: Jewels, dragons. No possible loss. But damn was it beautifully bittersweet.

- Automatic: grim

- Chewing Up the Innocent: The agony of the (creepy) artist and mid-life crisis. Little good can come out of it. And it is still oddly hopeful.

- Attar of Roses: Creepy like the smell of wilting flowers at cemeteries

- Clockmakers Requiem: I did not understand that one at all, but I liked the strange world it painted.

- Something in the Mermaid Way: AH! God!

- The Third Bear: That was pointlessly cruel.

- The First Female President: Well, talk about cruelty.

- There's no Light Between Floors: Sad and claustrophobic. Those that forget history and all that.

- Qubit Conflicts: I don't know that much about programing for this, but it IS heavily ironic.

- The Oracle Spoke: That's a terrifying concept.

- Moon Over Yodok: It doesn't say it, but, Oh, my God. She's the rabbit, and she made him her soup. So sad.

- I'll gnaw your bones, the Manticore said: Loved it, for the questions it raises, and for the departure from the all around dark cast.

- Transtexting Pose: Wait, what? Also, squick.

- The Taste of Wheat: Mystical, but ew!

- The Beacon: "Ant's life" and Armageddon and drastic changes in social mores. Awesome-sauce.

- The Ape's Wife: Nightmarish collection of might have beens and excellent exploration. Bonus point for putting me to search for "The thunder, perfect mind"

- Lost Soul: I admit I though it would go deeper. Still:

Are you surprised?” Bela said. “You ought not to be. Did you not know that every woman has a soul that belongs to her alone?

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?