The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2015 edited by Paula Guran, part 1
The Quiet Room
A man hates his dead wife. She hates him right back. Obvious.
A painter paints his manpain. Then meets a monster, this is imbued with nothing but purple phraseology.
“It was the sound of something trying to get inside the room.”
The Screams Of Dragons
By Kelley Armstrong. This is a ‘Cainsville’ short story. A boy is accused of being a changeling and is abused by his horrible family. This leads to terrible things mostly due to judgmental idiots who do nothing to help. This was good.
“You aren’t one of us. I’ll not have you eat with us.
Body stealing parasites do bad crap. This was not done to judicious effect.
(Little Miss) Queen of Darkness
By Laird Barron. Teenagers indulge in an unholy ritual and years later, the effects become apparent. This was excellent with a good ending.
“Devoid of context, that stuff reads like the Unabomber’s doodles.”
“He smiles and picks up a claw hammer and comes for you.”
“Cowering in a closet when her lover got nosily disembowelled by the Eagle Talon Ripper.”
“Pact with whom?”
The Female Factory
A too long badly done tale of goings on in an Australian prison.
The Still, Cold Air
The prodigal son inherits his parents’ rundown house. This was good and creepy.
The Elvis Room
A scientist accidentally proves the existence of ghosts and his life unravels. Excellent.
“I knew where its dead were.”
The Cats Of River Street (1925)
By Caitlin R. Kiernan. In Innsmouth, something is moving. This was excellent.
“Who knows what might be swimming out there.”
“The monsters the mad and unholy men and women of the Esoteric Order see fit to call forth.”
The Lust Lizard Of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore
From the author of the inept ‘Practical Demonkeeping’, ‘Coyote Blue’, 'A Dirty Job', 'You Suck', 'Bite Me' and ‘Fluke’ comes this 1999 tale about a sea beast’s visit to hippie haven Pine Cove. You don’t care about the resident nutters or the sea beast’s by-catch. This isn’t funny and is dull and full of outdated technology.
Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
This 2003 novel tells of the younger years of Jesus as told by the saviour’s forgotten pal. It is a tale of miracles, stupid angels, author tracts, Romans, Mary of Magdala and ongoing sexism. This was appalling and kind of offensive.
“All affections of modern life were false.”
“I thought you were going to be a village idiot.”
“You can’t have someone like him alive.”