Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Blood Lite" edited by Kevin J. Anderson

You have to watch out for the back of the book, dear readers. This one actually starts out with a warning. No kidding! "Warning: This anthology contains works of fiction that are gruesome, disturbing, horrifying, and drop dead hilarious!" Sigh. But I have read and do enjoy some of the authors that contributed, so I figured why not. To say they are "drop dead hilarious" is only right on a few counts. Some are a bit humorous, and others? Well, I'm not entirely sure why they've been included. Oh well. Most anthologies are uneven at best, so I shouldn't really be surprised.

We start off with a pretty good little number, "The Ungrateful Dead" by Kelley Armstrong. Necromancer Jamie Vegas is plagued by ghosts, and boy does she have her hands full in this story. Seems that she is going to be haunted by the spirit of a late-teen guy if she doesn't do what he says. He just won't take "no" for an answer.

There are the usual suspects here: F. Paul Wilson, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Jim Butcher. Most of those stories are pretty good, but reading the Butcher entry was weird, as the action takes place before the last book in the Dresden series. Sort of like working backwards. The Harris story is pretty darn good, too, but I thought the Wilson tale was a bit flat. Could be because he was writing with another author, J. A. Konrath; could just be I didn't care for it. Whatever.

Before you think I'm going to totally dis this work, there is a little jewel in here that totally made the book worthwhile. And I do mean little, as in super-short - the story runs all of three, count 'em, three pages. "Old School" by Mark Onspaugh was exactly what the "warning" promised - drop-dead hilarious. And I love an author that can do a fabulous story in only those three little pages; not a word is wasted, you get a good feel for the characters, and you'll love the twist. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!!!

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