Nearly drowning in delight.

5 04 2010

I’m on a lucky streak, it seems, since the books that have wandered across my path of late have all had something in them that have spoken to me on a gut level, and seem to have been written just for me.

* Paul Tremblay kindly gave me a copy of PHANTOM when I met him and John Langan at Boskone 47 in February. I’ve been dipping in and out of it ever since; the stories “Kinder” by Steve Berman and “A Stain on the Stone” by Nick Mamatas jumped out at me first for name recognition. “Kinder” made me giggle fiendishly in righteous happiness, and “A Stain on the Stone” punched me in my Long-Island-born-and-reared guts, as it was probably supposed to do. Then I went back to the beginning and read “The Cabinet Child” by Steve Tem, and whoa Nellie, I was right back to the days when I first discovered Manly Wade Wellman. I can’t wait to go back to reading the collection from cover to cover.

* At our local used bookstore, Annie’s Book Stop, I recently found two new-to-me titles from authors among my old favorites. THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons spoke to the same domestic gothic part of me that spurs my annual re-read of Peter Straub’s GHOST STORY. And somehow Christopher Golden managed to get into my head and view the eight-year-old me-that-was who started writing an epic fantasy called THE REALM OF THE RAINBOW when he created Thomas Randall and gave us the book STRANGEWOOD. I now have to wonder what has happened to Eiderdown the talking cat, to Krimson Fleetfoot, and to the Gremlins in *my* decades-long absence from the world I thought *I* had created. [shudder]

* Last but not least, I got a lovely box of new and recent urban fantasy titles this week from a colleague at Simon and Schuster. Last night I started reading EMBERS by Laura Bickle and was charmed by her description of a creature who could double as everyone’s pet, including my own deceased cat, and was intrigued by the level of detail she put into her protagonist’s crime investigation. These two seemingly disparate elements create a balance in this book that I think is utterly necessary for good storytelling.


I’m sure I’m probably due for some clunkers after such a feast of goodness. But for now I’m gleefully fed with dark fiction.





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