Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World

Edited by Charlatan Bardot and Eric J. Guignard, illus. by Steve Lines and James Gabb. Dark Moon, $19.95 trade paper (452p) ISBN 978-1-949491-48-7
Evoking the structure and sentiment of The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases from Jeff Vandermeer and Mark Roberts, this high-concept anthology was clearly put together with a lot of heart, but bites off more than it can chew. Purported to be a collaboration with paranormal investigator Charlatan Bardot, the book seeks to document haunted structures beyond the typical haunted house, but does a disservice to its many excellent stories with its messy packaging and convoluted conceit. It’s a who’s-who of supernatural fiction, with brilliant pieces from Eugen Bacon (“A Taste of Unguja”), Clara Madrigano (“Into the River”), Lisa Morton (“The Gulch”), H. Pueyo (“Juan Clemente’s Well”), Eugenia Triantafyllou (“Fish Tale”), Tlotlo Tsamaase (“The Biophilic-Designed Haunting”), and Kaaron Warren (“Warp and Weft”), among others. Tales are grouped by continent and divided into featured stories and tiny tales, the latter of which comprise one-page flash fiction pieces. Unfortunately, the maps between the stories disrupt the flow and the “travel guide notes” from Bardot that serve as introductions grow annoying. Still, there’s enough talent on display here to make this worth a look. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/13/2021
Release date: 12/31/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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