There’s creepy horror and quiet horror, silly fantasy and dark fantasy. There’s poetry — most of which didn’t do it for me but no harm. Paul di Filippo’s “Femaville 29” uses the aftermath of fictional tsunami that leaves hundreds of thousands of people homeless and helpless to create a wonderful tale of children coping in ways far different than usual. There are ghosts and sometimes maybe there are ghosts. There are stories that are clear fantasy, clear horror and some that are a combination of both.
Of course there are familiar names like Gene Wolfe and Joyce Carol Oates, Delia Sherman and M. Rickert, but there are many new names too — new at least to me. The editors worked hard to create a very representative volume of the field as it exists. Writers from several countries are represented, all points of view, lots of information about where to find these and more are offered. They’ve done a really great job with this anthology.
Shechter also has a single story that is far and away her favorite of the collection, but we’ll leave that for the full review.