Dystopia: Collected Stories

Gauntlet Press $50 (402p) ISBN 978-1-887368-24-7
Short, sharp shocks abound in this collection of more than 50 sparely crafted tales of horror and fantasy. Matheson, whose credits include screenwriting (Tales from the Crypt, etc.) as well as a novel (Created By), develops his themes with a scenarist's economy, slashing atmosphere to a bare minimum and boiling plots down to sinewy skeletons. Some stories, like the evocative fever dream ""Hell"" and the paranoiac's nightmare ""Wyom...,"" are diverting mood pieces. Most are miniature masterpieces of compression and tension, notably ""Mobius,"" a tale about a serial killer that carefully misdirects the reader to its hidden tripwire ending, and the haiku-like ""Vampire,"" which distills the personality of a psychic parasite from its stream of one-sentence sensory images. The stories make the most of their predominantly Los Angeles setting, which Matheson portrays as ""one big ghastly appetite, rendered in inhuman industrial grays and gunshot reds"" and populates with soulless, emotionally deadened zombies nurtured on its ""glitz-gloom."" The entries frequently show their roots in ideas from television, music and comic books, and Matheson's punky prose and talent for the perfectly timed twist ending give them an edginess and vitality that invigorates their telling. (Dec.) FYI: This volume includes, along with many newer stories, the entire contents of Matheson's previous collection, Scars and Other Distinguishing Trademarks (1987).
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.