David J. Schow, Author Subterranean Press $40 (256p) ISBN 978-1-892284-82-2
Prominent horror writer and screenwriter Schow (Crypt Orchids; The Crow) coined the term ""splatterpunk"" to describe the graphic variety of contemporary horror fiction that he illustrates in this collection of new and previously published stories. Guiding the reader through the minds of forgetful murderers, masochists and vampires who use acid-filled breast implants for self-defense, these tales present a brightly lit world where reality can oftentimes prove more frightening than the grotesque. In ""Entr'acte,"" for example, Schow profiles Paul, an insomniac, who--after receiving an anonymous call warning, ""She's not human, get out now""--spends the evening trying to discover whether or not his wife is an alien. While drifting awake the next morning, Paul can't determine whether his all-too-real experience was a dream or not. By contrast, ""Petition"" pits Bill, a man who possesses the ability to hear the prayers of others, against a sexually abusive horror of a man whose hollow prayers plague Bill and drive him to drug use and eventually murder. For readers who enjoy intelligent, sometimes challenging horror, this spellbinding collection will prove to be a quick, chilling read--though much of the material is shocking. As a bonus, in an intimate afterword Schow ruminates on each story and offers some opinionated remarks on the politics of creating a book. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
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