Darker Masques

Darker Masques - Darrell Schweitzer, Dan Simmons, William F. Nolan, Ed Gorman, Mort Castle, Douglas E. Winter, Gary A. Braunbeck, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Alan Rodgers, Chet Williamson, F. Paul Wilson, Joseph A. Citro, Rex Miller, Rick Hautala, Gahan Wilson, Bruce Boston, Steve Rasnic Tem I love anthologies of short horror fiction like this. Right up my alley.

I never seem to read them in order, though - so I'll just update this review from time to time as I go with my thoughts on each story in the order I read them.

PLEASE DON'T HURT ME - by F. PAUL WILSON
**** Four Stars

A very short little story but a lot of fun, that manages to defy expectations while simultaneously fulfilling them. To say more would spoil the tale. Reminiscent of some Joe R. Lansdale tales.

SPLATTER ME AN ANGEL - by JAMES KISNER
***1/2 Three and a half Stars

I've neve heard of James Kisner before, but I really enjoyed his writing style and unabashed wickedness. This story bordered on bizarro, and reminded me a bit of writings by Chuck Palahniuk. Not the best story ever written, but I enjoyed the ride and sense of giddy wrecklessness it evoked. Will definitely be checking out other works by this author.

DRIFTER - by ED GORMAN
**** Four Stars

Another fantastic story, very short, by a writer I've not read before. A drifter finds his way into a small town on halloween, but the local Sheriff wants him back on the road ASAP. A blond in a red VW Beetle has other plans for him though. Not groundbreaking, but well written and satisfying in its conclusion - no mean feat for a fourteen-page tale. I've already ordered an Ed Gorman collection from Amazon, looking forward to reading more from this writer.