Sean Wallace, Editor, Paul Tremblay, Editor . Prime $19.95 (185p) ISBN 978-0-8095-7266-3

It may or may not be frumious, but this original anthology from Tremblay (City Pier: Above & Below ) and Wallace (Jabberwocky 2 ) positively revels in the “strange, dark, and unpredictable.” Nearly all the 13 stories have both feet firmly in the avant-garde. Several tilt toward black-humored horror, and even the authors’ bios run to the bizarre. Talking animals and strange landscapes abound, from the taiga and bears (but no lion) in Alan DeNiro’s surreal opening tale “Taiga, Taiga, Burning Bright” to the genetic hybrids in Karen Heuler’s “Down on the Farm,” which concludes the volume by evoking both Poe and Orwell. Dogs in particular are well represented, figuring in Heuler’s story as well as Ursula Pflug’s “Border Crossing” and Bogdan Tiganov’s “The Children.” An iguana and a soda can trade quips in Seth Ellis’s “The Sidewinders,” and “Scar Stories” by Vylar Kaftan personifies a cat, a punchbowl and the party where they’re present. This corner of the genre is very much an acquired taste, but for those who dig that funky groove, this anthology more than delivers what it promises. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/26/2007
Release date: 12/01/2007
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