Friday, September 30, 2011

The Monster's Corner

We'll see how much reading I get in these next few days. I'm helping man work's exhibitor's booth at Mountain & Plains this weekend. Should be super fun and interesting -- my first official trade show. I'm interested to see if the ABA folks will be talking about next year's World Book Night efforts.

Anywho. Tomorrow's October 1! You know what that means? I'll be amping up the horror reads (because they all seem to come out right about now). I kick started it this week with The Exorcist, which I am happy to say that either age or reading rather than watching made much more appealing than my first go around with the flick.

I also dove into The Monster's Corner, which reminded me just how much I've come to love short stories. Anthologies like this give you a taste of so many different authors and styles. You may love some, you may hate some, and you may say, "Hey. I haven't read him/her before and now I want more!"

The contributors in this one surprised me a bit. Sharyn McCrumb, whose Ballad series is in my TBR list, Dana Stabenow, and Chelsea Cain (who writes about monsters anyway, so I'm not sure why I was surprised) are all well known mystery/suspense authors I didn't expect to see is a horror anthology.

Some might be surprised to see David Liss on the list since he's known for historical mysteries. Fans of these kinds of collections, though, will remember his story "What Maisie Knew" from in last year's The New Dead -- also ed by Christopher Golden. (It and was one of my favorites in that anthology!)

I should mention that while Monster's Corner features "monsters" exclusively, Golden points out that there are no zombies in this book. Instead, Liss's story features an unexpected teen creature that made for a fun and twisted tale. Lauren Groff's fairy tale-like dystopian set story, "Rue," was another of my favorites here.

I admit that I was super excited to see Sarah Pinborough as a contributor -- I love her work and have two of her books in my TBR right now. David Moody and Michael Marshall Smith are two more authors I've read that I was pleased to see took part.

Here's the complete author list (and bonus comments -- I haven't read all of the stories just yet, though):

David Liss
Jonathan Maberry -- always a favorite
Lauren Groff
John McIlveen -- "Succumb" was a highly, highly disturbing introduction to this author for me
Kevin J. Anderson -- I've actually read his X-Files books, so he's not totally new to me, but I was pleasantly surprised by his story
Sharyn McCrumb
David Moody
Kelley Armstrong -- I've come to her work recently and love her
Nate Kenyon -- a new horror great that everyone should read
Dana Stabenow
Chelsea Cain
Tom Piccirilli -- Golden and Piccirilli both contributed to a novella collection called Four Dark Nights, which I read AGES ago.
Sarah Pinborough
Heather Graham -- I think this will be my first short by her
Jeff Strand -- this will be my intro to Strand's work
Tanarive Due -- another one I'm discovering here
Michael Marshall Smith
Gary A. Braunbeck -- another author I love whose backlist titles are in the TBR
Simon R. Green -- I'm actually familiar with Green, but haven't read any of his series yet

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