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Dark Dreams edited by Brandon Massey

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dark Dreams is a collection of 20 horror and suspense short stories by black writers. I originally saw this book over at Thumper’s Corner and it was promptly added to my Amazon wish list where it stayed for the better part of 6 months.

I think it would have been more accurately to call this an anthology of suspense stories, there were only 2 to 3 stories that I would say that fall squarely under the horror genre, but then I suppose it depends on your definition of horror.

This was the first time that I had read anything by any of these authors and there were some stories that were very good. The best, IMHO, is the very last story written by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due called, “Danger Word.” The story is set in a world where most everyone has turned into zombies and how a grandfather struggles to protect his grandson after dispatching the parents. It’s gory but it also touches you emotionally.

“But Beautiful and Terrifying” by Robert Fleming was also a good read, based in Japan post-WWII it follows an Army sargent as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of several GI’s and a Japanese woman. It was written very much in the vein of a lot of Asian horror movies complete with creepy and mysterious asian girl.

“The Track” by L.R. Giles was an unexpected gem, it centers around a town who fall into thrall with the new running track. Very fun read.

Overall, this was a pretty solid anthology, I’ve heard that the 2nd one is even better. But there just wasn’t enough horror in for me. It started w/ a story by Zane, “Resident Evil”, Zane is a prolific erotica author and her story fell flat. It was very formulaic, I already knew where the story was going to go before I read it and it was just boring.

If you can get past the first story, or if you want to, skip it for later, it at least ends on a very high note.

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From → books, horror

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