cover image Night Visions Nine

Night Visions Nine

Rick Hautala, Thomas Tessier, James Kisner. Dark Harvest, $20.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-913165-63-8

In his introduction to this ninth volume in the series, F. Paul Wilson observes that ``horror fiction became fast food'' as publishers too eagerly attempted to satisfy readers' growing demand, and some of the 13 stories in this competent, slightly uneven collection seem rushed and generic. Tessier's sole entry, ``The Dreams of Dr. Ladybank,'' features an insane psychotherapist who controls the thoughts of his unwitting patients, programming them to eliminate his foes, only to discover his ego is his worst enemy. The fire-and-brimstone preacher in Kisner's ``Born Again'' envisions an apocalypse that ushers in an eternity of cannibalism and regeneration. Humans aren't the only homicidal species, as the young couple in Hautala's ``The Birch Whistle'' discovers after they learn too late that the dead monkey they found really belongs to a species that feeds on humans. While some of these tales produce truly chilling effects, the collection overall is facile. (Oct.)