Thursday, December 27, 2018

Books read in 2018: No. 62 -- Crazy Town

edited by Jason M. Waltz

Started: Dec. 25
Finished: Dec. 27

Notes: I've had a few stories published by this editor over the years through his publishing house Rogue Blades Entertainment, so when I found out he had a new collection available, I had to give it a go, especially since it's supposed to be dark noir with a supernatural bent. Unfortunately I don't have a story in this one because I've been focusing on writing novels of late, but maybe I'll turn onto shorts again in the coming year once I've finished with the latest trilogy.

Mini review: Some might argue noir fiction and speculative fiction are an antithesis to one another, that it's practically impossible to combine the cynicism of noir with the attitudes of the speculative, but I must say this collection proves such notions wrong. Here you will find a solid mix of nearly all types of speculative fiction, from fantasy to dark fantasy to science fiction, a super hero tale, and perhaps a touch of horror here and there. All of that with noir sensibilities, and it works. As is usually the case with most anthologies, some stories are better than others, but I didn't find any out-and-out stinkers here, and a few stood out. My personal favorites were "Out of the Light" by Douglas Smith, "Fortune Teller" by David M. Donachie, and "The Lake" by Joel Thomas Blackstock Jr., with "All Monsters: A Gold Coast City Brief" by Matt Abraham coming in darn close as a favorite, though it's still an excellent tale. This collection was a bit of a stretch compared to Rogue Blades Entertainment's earlier publications, but I believe it not only works in and of itself, but it also shows a publishing house willing to grow and to try new things.

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