Fearful Symmetries

Ellen Datlow, Author
Edited by Ellen Datlow. ChiZine (Diamond, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-1-77148-193-9
Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-77148-194-6
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Datlow’s “experimental” crowdfunded horror anthology is nicely unthemed, avoiding vampires, werewolves, and zombies while including ghosts, witches, and newly trendy wendigos. The last merges quite nicely with an Arctic setting in Siobhan Carroll’s “Wendigo Nights,” one of the standouts. Other highlights include always reliable, always evolving authors like Pat Cadigan, Caitlín Kiernan, and Michael Marshall Smith, whose “Power” is a rare science-fiction horror tale. Gemma Files’s “A Wish from a Bone” launches the volume with an elegant update to the classic “wrath of ancient gods” plot, and Helen Marshall’s “In the Year of Omens” is perfectly creepy. There are a few misses—Gary McMahon’s “Kaiju” feels incomplete, while Terry Dowling and John Langan both turn in surprisingly subpar tales—but on balance, this is an excellent anthology for horror fans, with a nice range of tones and styles and some intriguing new voices. (May)
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