cover image The Mammoth Book of Terror

The Mammoth Book of Terror

. Running Press Book Publishers, $10.95 (648pp) ISBN 978-0-88184-622-5

Terror fans surely will devour this ample collection from masters of the genre. Beginning with Clive Barker's novella ``The Last Illusion,'' the tale of a magician's deal with the devil and its consequences, and ending with the unspeakably gory ``Pig's Dinner'' by Graham Masterton, the volume will surprise and horrify hardcore devotees and newcomers alike. The one exception may be Stephen Laws's ``Junk,'' the story of a junk dealer who refuses to deliver the goods to an ungodly stet cap/pk Stranger. Alert readers will predict the conclusion almost from the start. Lisa Tuttle's ``The Horse Lord'' is a wonderful, traditional, spooky story with a supernatural theme that will keep readers guessing until the last paragraph. But terror's always better when the bad guys get what they deserve, as in ``Out of Copyright,'' a piece by Ramsey Campbell that should scare writers into keeping their copyrights current. The science fiction field also is well represented by ``The Late Shift,'' by Dennis Etchison, a tale that compels us to give cashiers a second glance. Jones is a British horror writer. (Mar.)