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999: The Last Book of Supernatural Horror…

999: The Last Book of Supernatural Horror and Suspense (utgåvan 1999)

av Al Sarrantonio (Redaktör)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
541934,303 (3.65)7
A collection of stories on the supernatural. They range from Thomas Disch's story, The Owl and the Pussycat, which is on the marriage of an owl and a cat, to Kim Newman's Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, which is about American zombies in Russia.
Titel:999: The Last Book of Supernatural Horror and Suspense
Författare:Al Sarrantonio (Redaktör)
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (1999), 677 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Taggar:Supernatural, Horror, Anthology


999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense av Al Sarrantonio


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» Se även 7 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 9 (nästa | visa alla)
"Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue," by Kim Newman (1999): 6.25
- As I had to read it in two installments, maybe I missed the big gist, but a decidedly unscary or undisturbing look at zombies outside of the particularly insouciant tone the prose took about halfway through, although I don't know how deliberate that was, and I kinda think it was instead Newman's attempt to signal bureaucratic incompetence and disinterest, even in the face of danger. As is, the piece does deal explicitly with Cold War era tensions and the allure of capital and goods for eastern bloc countries (although the la di da undercuts the satire). Otherwise, the Rasputin stuff left me unmoved and the prose was scattershot and a bit scattered in its attempt to signal momentum and dispassion. Strange narrative structure too.

"The Ruins of Contracouer," by Joyce Carol Oates (1999): 7.25
- Did this need to be 52 pages long? I guess that's the question at play in novella and short-form genre fiction, as, yes, undoubtedly, the additional time made me much more acquainted and sympathetic with the main characters here--naturally, although some of that “success” in this regards likely has something to do with Oates’s skills--although does the actual end--the thing without a face had been impersonating their parents this whole time (but how? Am I not thinking enough? Has to do what with their fathers fall from grace?)--justify this length?

"The Owl and the Pussycat," by Thomas M. Disch (1999): 7.5
- Horror literature is a mood; the 'horror' in the genre name is not an effect upon the reader, but a description of the narrative. Or, at least, that's what I've come to believe, having read, now, a small bit of our sogennante 'horror literature.' That might seem dismissive of the genre, but in fact it's necessary to read the genre with any sort of real appreciation. 'Scaring' readers is, more than the primary 'aims' of most genres -- save romance, of which I know very little -- a difficult goal. I've thus realized that I need to read these without that expectation in mind -- i.e. read this as a story, which seems, again, patronizing, but is actually what I should have been doing the whole time anyway. And, through that lens, this story makes a mild, pleasant impression (that story: in half-twee, half-fairy-tale-ish prose, we hear of the relationship between two stuffed animals [the slowly unwinding course of learning that they're, first, not humans, and then animals, and then stuffed animals, is actually the most impressive thing about the story, especially as we realize that we're getting all of this through the autistic boy's perspective, and that is why the animals' 'personness' is so complete, and treated as real members of the family -- as in the initially disorienting scene where we first realize the boy's father can 'hear' the owl ~ it's the boy]. The problem with my way of 'reading' these stories: they don't completely believe they're just 'stories' either, as in the late, unnecessary, and deflating denouement,. This seemed like a cheap ploy, belatedly thrown-in to more fully conform to some unspoken genre 'expectations'. As if Disch, having finished a 'story,' said, 'well shit, how can I make this even seem scary or upsetting a bit?' So, who knows.

"The Road Virus Heads North," by Stephen King (1999): 8.5
- Interesting; reading S. King, I realize how much more contemporary mainstream literature has roots in Stephen King. The voluminousness, the momentum even when narrating, the internal monologuing, the straight-down-the-lineness of the out-of-left-field metaphorical flourishes, the Proper Nouns and Pop Culture. Strange. King worked for me here in a way he hasn't in anything else I've read (which isn't much), as all those traits listed above fit, whereas previously they just drove me to fits. There's also a tight, fairly impressive logica and circular coherence to the mechanics of the horror plotting that you can see at work while reading the story itself. That being: famous author -- a clear S.K. parallel, in a way that didn't not work, but also didn't not lead me to believe that this was a very easy ploy or way into writing a story from scratch, esp. as the author anecdotes here basically write themselves, coming as they do from life (how to respond to autograph-seekers, how droll and repetitive conference questions are, etc.) -- buys magical painting at yard sale, slowly realizes that it changes and depicts the progression of the murderous demons path to his victims, the author being the inevitable final one.

"An Exaltation of Termagants," by Eric van Lustbader (1999): 5.5
- Just droll garbage. And even worse, treacly at that -- in a horror anthology! God. Nothing especially worth of note, even, in it's ineptitutde. It's of a piece with those many anthology pieces I've already read: completely inessential, and, what's worse, seemingly forced. There are plenty of works in the world that have no bearing on anything outside of that weird alchemy of publishers' prerogatives and a human's weird mindspace -- but those at least are not contrived on the authors end; they at least seem like the author's at least into the drivel they're putting down. Here, with the anthology, I sense some word odometer on each page. The piece: writer dude struggling with alcoholism is transported into three magical scenarios, each with a Hot Female Guide and a scaaaarry beast chasing him. Eventually he learns that the beast is his alcoholism [god kill me] and the Guides his long-forgotten mentally ill sister, who actually has been magic (!) this whole time and just wants to tell him that she loves him so much one last/first time before she dies. He comes back and stops drinking and is presumably an amazing person thereafter who writes great awesome books thereafter, each, i'm sure, equally filled with horn-dogging over every female character ["she rode the horse with a tomboy flair just the way he liked"] and insane jive-talking characters like Tazzman (?!) who holds up the bar and kills them both (!?!) and that dreadful colloquial just-a-dude writing style so rampant in this type of genre stuff ["let me tell you about what happened a week ago. Whew doggy, that was crazy. Yo might not believe it, not even a smidgen" ~ and the wonderful Tom and Jerry analogy (reminds me of that S. King style chock-a-block full of boomer culture references)] and it'll have that Bad Genre Writer Classic Trope, ie the protagonist is a miserable piece of shit who everyone in the story hates and they're obviously writing themselves and nonetheless completely blind to it all along.

"Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story," Neil Gaiman (1999): 6.75
- A nasty little tale, and quite deliberately so, although that ugliness reads less as a conscious story element than as a crude, easy-to-produce means to an end—namely, finishing a story on deadline. See, it’s quite easy to sling together some brutal shit and call it aggro transgressiveness than it is to craft something thoughtfully dark. In other words, it’s my usual Original, Themed Anthology complaint—and this is, counter-intuitively, almost worse when the theme is not concrete (Victorian Ghost Stories) but amorphous (“extreme” sf, or exploring our “darker impulses”). Mix Bond with the 100 Days of Salo, and finish it up five hours later. Hurt people hurt people, you know?

"Growing Things," T.E.D. Klein: 7.25
- Short pieces often rely on premonition of the fear to come, and here we half succeed, although that fear, in the process of its transposition into a Money Pit tale of the Bürgertum, is here one of falling down the social ladder rather than off a plane of existence.
  Ebenmaessiger | Oct 6, 2019 |
I had a really tough time getting through this book. I thought it might have been just the fact that I was only reading it at work that might have been slowing me down, but even when I read at home, i realized that all of the stories seemed very similar. Only one or two of them really had me creeped out, the rest just had me thinking "Okay, what's so scary about that?"
Maybe it's due to the fact that I don't read much horror or suspense, but I wanted to at least try and branch out a little. Now I've reaffirmed that it's not really my type of reading material and I'm ok with that. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
EXCELLENT collection. There were a few 'meh' stories and a few poorly written stories but overall this is one of the most excellent collections of short horror and suspense that I've come across.

I tried to say something about each story, but I lost the thread towards the end (studying for the bar exam, what can you do?)

The last story by William Peter Blatty is quite good. I also thoroughly enjoyed 'The Theater' so much that I picked up a novel by that author.

Definitely worth keeping around.

( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Copy of my Launchpad review from 2001:
This anthology aims to demonstrate that horror and suspense are legitimate forms of literature. As an avid supporter of this concept I am not really qualified to judge this objectively, so I will leave the artistic debate to others.
As to the short stories (an occasional novella) contained within, I would suggest everyone open the book at random; the tale you find will certainly make you feel the touch of the unknown.
Alternatively, if someone recommended an author to you, then (if they are active) they are probably in here. Some of the greatest names in modern chillers show their mastery of the snapshot: brief, sharp, and permanent. ( )
  Tyrshundr | Feb 6, 2014 |
Has SK's "The Road Virus Heads North"
  PBlock | Jun 2, 2013 |
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» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Al Sarrantonioprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Campbell, RamseyBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Gaiman, NeilBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Hautala, RickBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
King, StephenBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Klein, T. E. D.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Lee, EdwardBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Little, BentleyBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Morrell, DavidBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Powers, TimBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Sarrantonio, AlBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Wilson, F. PaulBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Blatty, William PeterBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Bryant, EdwardBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Cacek, P. D.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Collins, Nancy A.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Disch, Thomas M.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gorman, EdBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lansdale, Joe R.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ligotti, ThomasBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
McKiernan, Dennis L.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Monteleone, Thomas F.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Newman, KimBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Oates, Joyce CarolBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Schneider, PeterBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Smith, Michael MarshallBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Spruill, StevenBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Van Lustbader, EricBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Williamson, ChetBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wolfe, GeneBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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For The Editors: Harlan Ellison, Kirby McCauley: Lewis and Clark of no less daunting territories
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What you now hold in your lap (yes, I know it's heavy) is a feast.
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Neither Harlan Ellison or Kirby McCauley was an editor on this book. They were thanked for their pioneering work on the earlier landmark anthologies Dangerous Visions and Dark Forces.
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

A collection of stories on the supernatural. They range from Thomas Disch's story, The Owl and the Pussycat, which is on the marriage of an owl and a cat, to Kim Newman's Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, which is about American zombies in Russia.

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