Masques III: All-New Works of Horror and the Supernatural

J. N. Williamson, Other St. Martin's Press $17.95 (317p) ISBN 978-0-312-02948-7
The third volume in this series is generally fun, but characteristically erratic with 28 stories and five poems running the gamut from excellent to ridiculous. Adobe James's ``The Spelling Bee'' deceptively begins as an ironically observed account of a mundane contest, until the author drops the other shoe in a cymbal-crashing climax as unexpected as it is effective. Wayne Allen Sallee's ``Third Rail'' is an understated short-short of urban violence. And Dan Simmon's ``Shave and a Haircut, Two Bites'' ingeniously updates the barber's historical role as bloodletter. On the other hand, Graham Masterton's ``Ever, Ever After'' fails to convince, and R. Patrick Gates's ``Long Lips'' is tasteless and dull (while Jeannette M. Hopper's ``Sunday Breakfast'' is tasteless but clever and well-written). Also well worth reading are contributions by Ed Gorman, Melissa Mia Hall and Douglas Winter, D. W. Taylor, Rex Miller, Steve Rasnic Tem and Ray Bradbury (a poem). (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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