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From the Borderlands: Stories of Terror and Madness

(Book #5 in the Borderlands Series)

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Book Overview

The editors of the acclaimed Borderlands anthology series deliver a new collection of 25 all-original tales of terror by today's acclaimed masters, including Bentley Little, John Farris, and Tom... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

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Stephen King has done it again. I find myself anxiously awaiting his next masterpiece.

Best Anthology I've Read In Years

Anthologies are a strange breed of book. They can be more anticipated than any single author novel, can hold the potential of worlds in their covers, but the fulfillment of that potential is so rare as to slide it into the realm of pipe dreams. I've sung this song before, I know. If you get two, maybe three memorable reads out of an anthology, it ranks in the upper percentile; that is the Wilson rule of anthologies, and for the most part, it's a safe bet. Now, stepping with Sherman and Mr. Peabody into my way-back machine ( yes, I'm old ) I make my way to the year 1988. In 1988 I was just starting out as a writer, cutting my teeth as a small press editor, and reading everything in the genre of horror and speculative fiction that I could get my hands on. I was a member of a small group who met at least once a year - a group I believed would comprise the voices of the next generation of the genre - Stephen Mark Rainey, Brian Hodge, Elizabeth Massie ( whose home we met at ) - Yvonne Navarro, Wayne Allen Sallee, and a few others. One place we all came together was the convention NECON. If you are interested in writing, reading, discussing or learning about horror, this is a convention that should be part of your schedule. My life has kept me away for several years, but if I could choose one convention in any given year to attend, it would be NECON without hesitation. Anyway, in 1987, the year before the fateful aforementioned year, I attended NECON. One of my friends ( another member of that young lions group ) who also attended was Jeff Osier. Many of you will remember Jeff for his collection Driftglider, and his contributions to the magazine Deathrealm. In any case, in 1987, I was walking along a parking lot with Jeff and several others, when a short man with long hair and headphones appeared around a corner, walking the other way. He was very intent on whatever he was listening to, and, being new to things, I had no idea who he was. The man saw us, stopped, and greeted Jeff, pulling him aside. I thought little of this, at the time, because, as I said, I had no idea who this person was. That person, as it turns out, was Thomas F. Monteleone, author, editor, publisher - though at the time the publishing part of his career was still before him - alien abductee in the minds of the mindless, and all-around talented guy. He had stopped Jeff to inform him that his story, "Oh What a Swell Guy I Am," had been accepted to Borderlands ( then without the I in front of it, being the only Borderlands there was ). This was an incredibly big deal. The anthology paid well, was very much anticipated, and Jeff was the first of us to break the barrier. As it turned out, Beth Massie also broke through that same year with her story "Stephen," which won the Bram Stoker Award for Professional Excellence. All of that is beside the point, however, and I'll reserve it for later days and other times. The point is this. The last time I read an antho

A Series Like No Other

The full title of the book is From The Borderlands: Stories Of Terror And Madness. But in truth, that title is misleading, for it is neither terror nor madness that make a story a Borderlands story. Even the title of the original version, Borderlands 5: An Anthology Of Imaginative Fiction, hints only at the imaginative aspect of what makes a Borderlands story. To me, the thing that truly makes a story a Borderlands story is a pulling back of the edges of our perceptions of what is real and what is safe. A Borderlands story takes you to boundaries you never knew existed, then pulls back the curtain and lets you glimpse what lies beyond. Sometimes it can leave you with a sense of wonder, more often with a sense of unsettling dread. But it never leaves you the same as you were before you started. My personal favorites in this anthology, in which I consider myself fortunate to be included, are: "Rami Temporalis" by Gary Braunbeck. Ever think you have "one of those faces"? Maybe you do. But Braunbeck's concept of why this might be so is supremely unique and leaves one awed by the sheer scale of the idea. "All Hands" by John Platt. If you're like most people, you take your hands for granted. You shouldn't. You really shouldn't. "The Food Processor" by Michael Canfield. Who says all fables must be set in a non-technological past with magic and talking animals? This could've been written by Aesop... if the ancient Greeks had had industrial food processors. "Answering The Call" by Brian Freeman. Think your job is bad? The worst ones are the ones we never see. Freeman will show you one you'll wish you didn't even know existed. "Smooth Operator" by Dominick Cancilla. Think that losing your wallet means having to worry about identity theft? There are worse things, things you never imagine. Cancilla shows you the absolute worst. This one still has me checking for my wallet. "A Thing" by Barbara Malenky. There are pains and suffering of people's lives so great we block them out. But sometimes there are things for those pains and suffering. Malenky takes us deep inside one person's suffering... and then shows us a thing. "The Planting" by Bentley Little. If you know Little, you know he's going to take you to one of those boundaries I spoke of, open the door, and then shove you through. This story is no exception. "Magic Numbers" by Gene O'Neill. Lots of people obsess over numbers, letting their compulsions and superstitions determine their actions. But like the old Indian said, "Sometimes the magic works..." "Head Music" by Lon Prater. We think we're human, but sometimes we discover connections to things that aren't. And some of us don't turn away. "One Of Those Weeks" by Bev Klein. There are rhythms, circles and patterns in life we don't know about. And are probably better off not knowing about. Reminded me a lot of T.E.D Klein's "Ladder", another classic Borderlands story that has stayed with me over the years. "Stationary Bike" by

For your nightmares...

I'm not one to judge the "Borderlands" series. After all, as stated in the introduction by editors Elizabeth and Thomas Monteleone, when the last "Borderlands" collection was published I was getting my kicks by reading "Goosebumps." That being said, I AM able to judge this collection: and I say it's one hell of a read! The great thing about this collection is its uniqueness and diversity. Gone are the vampire/werewolf/ghost stories; in place are tales, some supernatural, some horror (and a couple that aren't), about the tricks the human mind can play. Some of these tricks stay within the mind itself; some of them manifest in the physical world, in the way we interpret our surroundings. These stories are psychological horror stories; in my opinion, the best kind. Diversity. There are some big name people in here: Stephen King takes a horrific look at exercise in his novella "Stationary Bike;" in "Father Bob and Bobby," Whitley Strieber tells of a priest who is having a horrific controntation with his reality. You'll never read a bedtime story again after looking through John Farris's "Story Time with the Bluefield Stranger." David J. Schow's "The Thing too Hideous to Describe" is a comedic, yet tragic, look at the life of our world's hidden monsters. Bentley Little's "The Planting" is just as macabre, outrageous, and hideously enjoyable as the author's novels; while Tom Piccirilli's "Around it Still the Sumac Grows" details a man returning to his old high school, and reliving the horrors he once experienced. There are some new names, however. Lon Prater's "Head Music," a poetic story about a man who becomes kin with a strange sea creature, is the author's first professional sale. Adam Fusco's story is a terrifying glimpse into the future of scientific research, while John Mertz's "Prisoner 392" is a great mixture of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Silence of the Lambs." A man faces the alternative realities he's created for himself in Bill Gauthier's tale; Bev Vincent weaves a tale of irony and tragedy; a man confronts his past and his daughter in John McIlveen's "Infliction"; and a woman has the perfect family--three real beautiful daughters, and her favorite, the imaginary one--in L. Lynn Young's story. You think listing those names you don't know was a waste of time. I tell you: those are some highlites of this collection, and future stars of the literary world. "From the Borderlands" is a great, unique, thought-provoking, and at times downright terrifying collection of short stories by some of dark fiction's superstars, and others who are bound to become one. This is one you must add to your fiction collection.

Outstanding Fiction!

The Borderlands tradition continues with incredible fiction from the best writers working today! Holly Newstein's "Faith Will Make You Free" is a stirring look at war and the horrors it can unleash - she writes with the type of skill many veteran writers haven't yet been able to muster. Gary Braunbeck's "Rami Temporalis" shows the ingenuity and smooth prose he's become known for along with a fantastically original idea. Jon F. Merz's "Prisoner 392" is an unsettling and masterfully written look at how evil begets itself. "Answering the Call" by Brian Freeman will make you think twice about doing the same. And every other story in this tome is simply amazing. Elizabeth and Thomas Monteleone don't include writers in this anthology unless they are at the top of their game and this book is evidence of their commitment to excellence. Grab yourself a copy of this and settle down for a nice bit of reading. Editors at the publishing houses of New York City should use this book as a guide to harvesting the brightest talents working anywhere in the field today - get these people more contracts!!!!!
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