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Mass Market Paperback The Darker Side: Generations of Horror Book

ISBN: 0451458826

ISBN13: 9780451458827

The Darker Side: Generations of Horror

(Book #2 in the Darkside Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Omni magazine praised John Pelan's previous anthology, Darkside, as "powerful." This all-new collection includes stories by: Edo Van Belkom * Simon Clark * Seth Lindberg * Tom Piccirilli * Brian Hodge...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent authors, excellent stories, a few misses but not enough to bring down the collection

What a collection! With authors the likes of Charlee Jacob, John Pelan, Poppy Z. Brite, Tom Piccirilli, Mehitobel Wilson, Tim Lebbon, Richard Laymon, and Brian Keene, how can this anthology miss? I picked this up to read the short stories in-between my novel reads, and wound out unable to put it down until I had smacked my bloody lips over the very last putrid morsel. Table Of Contents: 1. Do You See What I Fear by Edo van Belkom 2. Demon Me by Simon Clark 3. Spirits Of The Flesh by Seth Lindberg 4. The Misfit Child Grows Fat On Despair by Tom Piccirilli 5. Pull by Brian Hodge 6. Mamishka And The Sorcerer by Jessica Amanda Salmonson 7. Pets by James S. Dorr 8. The Lamb by Paul Finch 9. The Mannerly Man by Mehitobel Wilson 10. Just Someone Her Mother Might Know by Michelle Scalise 11. The Ocean by Poppy Z. Brite 12. The Origin by David B. Silva 13. After The Flood by Joel Lane 14. The Night City by Wilum Pugmire and Chad Hensley 15. The Plague Species by Charlee Jacob 16. Ten Bucks Says You Won't by Richard Laymon 17. Armies Of The Night by John Pelan 18. Unspeakable by Lucy Taylor 19. Standing Water by Caitlin R. Kiernan 20. Grave Song by Brian A. Hopkins and Richard Wright 21. Twenty Mile by Ann K. Schwader 22. All The World's A Stage by Brian Keene 23. What God Hath Wrought by Randy D. Ashburn 24. We're All Bozos On This Bus by Peter Crowther 25. The Whirling Man by David Niall Wilson 26. Asian Gothic by Shikhar Dixit 27. Hell Came Down by Tim Lebbon The "standout" stories in this anthology would be 'Do You See What I Fear?', a tale of shadows lurking in the space of a brain left vacant by a tumor removal. 'The Misfit Child Grows Fat On Despair' shows us overweight can have a completely different meaning. 'Pull' reminds us of the languid yet unbreakable attachments to our upbringing. 'The Lamb' takes us into the ancient tombs underneath Rome and one priest's fight against the demon of $ex. 'The Mannerly Man' is one of the stars of this collection, showing the importance of good manners after each citizen is given clearance to kill one person legally. 'The Plague Species', another star, dwells on retribution for sins against both environment and flesh. 'Ten Bucks Says You Won't' brings us into the teenage horror scene of a graveyard at night. 'Armies Of The Night' animates mundane hobbies into deadly foes. 'Unspeakable' makes ordinary words into an insurmountable force. 'Twenty Mile' creeps across the grounds of a ranch, attacking the largest animals to reside there. 'Asian Gothic', a fantastic tale of haunting in northern India, and 'Hell Came Down', the end of the world from a Rainmaker who doesn't make rain, but atrocities. The stories that, while not necessarily bad, but left me feeling clueless and confused, were 'Mamishka And The Sorcerer', 'After The Flood', 'The Night City', 'All The World's A Stage', 'We're All Bozos On This Bus', and 'The Whirling Man'. With most of the stories being very good, and even the minority of

Better than its predecessor.

John Pelan (ed.), The Darker Side: Generations of Horror (Roc, 2002)Pelan's second collection of "the new breed" of horror writers connects on most levels where the original failed. There's still a smattering of bad mixed in, but this time, most of the results are good.I should get the bad out of the way first. I haven't yet tired of calling Edo van Belkom this generation's Saul Wernick, and he gives me another opportunity with the anthology's opening story. The usual van Belkom; simple, unscary, likely to be as obscure in twenty years as Saul Wernick is now. David Niall Wilson and Shikhar Dixit both come extremely close to having written great pieces of fiction (I'd be hard-pressed to call either a horror tale, but both have an appealing gothic quality to them), but fall somewhat short in the delivery. In both cases, continuity is the problem. Both authors paint a very lovely picture, but fail to connect enough dots to let us know what the picture is. But enough of that. So many of these authors deserve such praise. Pelan rectifies the overlooking he did in the original anthology, including such names as Poppy Z. Brite, Cait Kiernan (whose story here is one of the most understated and effective she's written), Mehitobel Wilson, Charlee Jacob, Brian Keene, and the wonderful Jess Salmonson (who's been writing longer than most of these authors have been alive, thus lending some credence to the title this time), all of whom turn in good, and some great, stuff. (Charlee Jacob, in particular, rocks the house. As usual.) Returning are two of the finest authors from the original, Lucy Taylor and Brian Hodge. Taylor's story is luscious, erotic, and painful (nothing new from Taylor, but pulled off excellently here). Hodge's story, like the previous anthology's "Skinwriters," though, is the story for which you want to buy this book, and the story for which you will treasure it. Hodge's story is told in a memoir style, and you will spend the vast majority of the time wondering what this story is doing in a horror anthology. (As Hodge's novels have turned to mystery, it's not an unreasonable thing to wonder.) At the end of the story, he pulls it off, but it's so deadpan and understated you're STILL left with the idea that this is a memoir, perhaps penned by Dennis Lehane or Dash Hammett or one of the other tough-guy mystery writers. It's concise, wonderful, and probably the best stuff I've seen from Hodge since Deathgrip, well over a decade ago.Better than its predecessor The Dark Side. Check this one out first. *** ½

An Intriguing Stew of Stories

I recognized the editor of this horror anthology, John Pelan, from his various associations with goremeister Edward Lee. I have never read any of his stories, however, until I cracked the cover of "The Darker Side," a gruesomely fascinating collection of stories from some of the best writers in horror working today. "The Darker Side" assembles a list of fresh stories from Edo Van Belkom, Simon Clark, Tom Piccirilli, Mehitobel Wilson, Charlee Jacob, Lucy Taylor, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Poppy Z. Brite, Tim Lebbon, and a host of other authors. Overall, there are twenty-seven meaty stories to sink your teeth into, and many of them are winners in every way. Sometimes, I think that horror anthologies are the best way to go for new horror fans that don't know many of the authors in the field. Heck, I read a ton of horror books and I am STILL discovering excellent writers in this genre. Anyway, this collection offers a smorgasbord of horror stories sure to entertain and sicken a reader.THE BEST:Maybe it's just me, but I think Charlee Jacob is one of the best writers in the business. Her novels are cathedrals of poetic language wrapped around unbelievable sequences of gory violence. The story Jacob contributed here, "The Plague Species," will stand out in my memory for some time to come. Residents of a Greek island are shocked to discover a shocking loss of various body parts. It turns out that an invasion launched by residents of this island against the neighboring island of Timnah resulted in a horrific curse with gory implications. The language is pristine and the conclusion surprising.Mehitobel Wilson wrote "The Mannerly Man" to show us a world where political correctness has run amok. In this tale, people can kill anyone who offends them, for any reason, but can only do so once. A person who goes beyond their one freebie faces automatic execution at the hands of the police. The problem with this system is that a person never knows who has killed someone and who hasn't. It's amusing in the extreme to see how people bow and scrape at the slightest thought of stepping on another person's toes. In fact, even going outside presents a whole host of dangers.Shikhar Dixit's "Asian Gothic" deserves special mention if for no other reason than for writing a tale that takes place in India. Something is seriously wrong with Suraj Mahal, a house in the town of Patna. This haunted house possesses the ability to wreak bloody havoc on its residents by causing the narrator's family members to commit suicide. There's more to it than that, of course, but I like the idea of unconventional horror stories that go outside the western world.THE WORST:David Niall Wilson's story about a painter, "The Whirling Man," bored me to tears with its descriptions of an artist and his encounters with a model. This guy creates some type of painting about colors squirting out of a woman's heart or some such thing. I read this a while ago and forgot about it the minute I finished it. "The Whir

Pelan does it again!

It's a well-known "fact" that anthologies sell poorly. It's even more widely known "fact" that readers won't buy an anthology that doesn't feature a name (think King, Koontz or Rice) author. No doubt this "logic" has kept many a decent anthology from even getting out of the planning stages. It's fortunate then that The Darker Side avoided this sad fate. John Pelan has assembled a diverse, winning collection of stories from veterans and newcomers alike, an anthology that should appeal to a broad audience. And the book doesn't suffer at all from the lack of 600 pound gorillas among the ranks of it contributors. Although there are several outright misfires (entries from Tom Piccirrilli, Charlie Jacob, Wilum Pugmire/Chad Hensley and Shikhar Dixit were will leave you scratching your head) and a couple of near misses (old dependables Richard Laymon and David B. Silva seem to be merely going through the motions), there's plenty here to merit your attention. The anthology is book ended by two excellent stories, opening strongly with Edo Van Belkom's "Do You See What I Fear?" a tale in the tradition of The Twilight Zone, and closing with Tim Lebbon's "Hell Came Down," the story of a mage on the trail of an apprentice whose magic threaten to bring about apocalypse. Other standouts include Brian Hodge's "Pull," a story that says you don't need to go home again, because home is always a part of you, James Dorr's "Pets," guaranteed to make you call an exterminator immediately after you finish, Mehitobel Wilson's tragicomedy of manners "The Mannerly Man," Lucy Taylor's "Unspeakable," about the long term effects of sexual abuse, and Pelan's own "Armies of the Night," a tale of obsession which recalls aspects of Stephen King's short story, "Battleground". As good as, if not better than its predecessor, the well received Darkside, The Darker Side will likely generate its share of nominees for both the Stokers and International Horror Guild awards for short fiction, if not its own nomination for best anthology. Not every story will appeal to every reader, owing to the wide range of styles and subject matter, but most readers will find something to suit their tastes.


I won't bore you with what I did or didn't like, that couldn't mean less to anybody. Let me just take a minute and tell you what this is and isn't.This isn't Gramma Walton's favorite ghost stories. This is what it says it is-Horror.Adult writers dealing with adult themes in an adult way. If you want pretty little metaphors dressed for Halloween in rubber masks, bed sheets and plastic fangs, take a walk this ain't for you. This is Horror, the Dark(er) side of life. No sugar coating it doesn't come wrapped in a colorful candy shell. It isn't junk food for your brain or the "Friends Halloween Special". It is the ugly, nasty side of life we all know is out there, but don't always let into our hearts and minds. This is life on the hard side 101.Read the newspapers, watch the TV news, this isn't Disneyland we live in. The world is all too often a mean and unpleasant place.These are the people who know that and want to tell you all about it. They know it, they think about it, they write about it and they want to come into your home, invade your place of comfort and scare the [pants off] of you..Will it disturb you? Of course, that's the point, that's what they do. Scare you, shake you up, make you think.You can't hide from the Dark Side it's a part of life, but you can enjoy it x 27. Take home a slice, roll it around the brain a bit and get a taste for the real deal. If real life horror with the gloves off is your thing? I think you'll like it. Read it. Enjoy it. And when you come back wanting more, don't worry, the world will still be dark and these people will still be writing. 'Cause that's what they do.
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