Friday, March 13, 2015

Short Fiction Friday: The Doll Collection edited by Ellen Datlow

For today's Short Fiction Friday post, I have another anthology for you. And it is quite the perfect collection for a Friday the 13th read, in my opinion!

From dolls as vessels (for spirits, emotions, and other) and figurative dolls of another sort to poppets that can help heal and word dolls to watch out for,  Ellen Datlow has collected an anthology of truly creeptastic tales. For anyone with even minor pediophobia this set of stories is likely to leave you cowering in the corner and looking at even the most innocent of kewpies with suspicion.

Here's the full Table of Contents:

Skin and Bone by Tim Lebbon
Heroes and Villains by Stephen Gallagher
The Doll-Master by Joyce Carol Oates
Gaze by Gemma Files
In Case of Zebras by Pat Cadigan
There Is No Place For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold by Seanan McGuire
Goodness and Kindness by Carrie Vaughn
Daniel's Theory About Dolls by Stephen Graham Jones
After and Back Before by Miranda Siemienowicz
Doctor Faustus by Mary Robinette Kowal
Doll Court by Richard Bowes
Visit Lovely Cornwall on the Western Railway Line by Genevieve Valentine
Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey
Miss Sibyl-Cassandra by Lucy Sussex
The Permanent Collection by Veronica Schanoes
Homemade Monsters by John Langan
Word Doll by Jeffrey Ford

So unless we're talking the obviously meant to be creepy doll from Annabelle (did you know the REAL Annabelle was a Raggedy Ann doll?) dolls don't generally give me the heebie jeebies. But some of the dolls in this collection sure do! A few of my personal favorites: Jeffrey Ford's "Word Doll," which combines folklore and middle American farming (Ford is a character within the story as well), "Miss Sibyl-Cassandra" by Lucy Sussex was infinitely fun, and Richard Kadrey's "Ambitious Boys Like You" was, as Datlow promised in her O&F Podcast, particularly nasty!

If you're a fan of anthologies, Datlow is probably a name you'll recognize. She's made a career out of culling shorts to create the annual Best Horror of the Year anthologies as well as numerous collections like this one. Anton Strout featured her on the Once and Future Podcast a couple of weeks ago, giving readers like me a chance to hear more about what she does and her process for putting together an anthology. I highly recommend checking that out here.

As another little bonus for your reading pleasure, Huffington Post did a fun piece here with some of the contributors to The Doll Collection chiming on their own favorite creepy literary dolls.

1 comment:

Kay said...

It's that doll head on the cover. Think I would have to read this one on the Kindle where I couldn't see the cover. Dolls themselves don't creep me out, but those doll heads do. LOL