cover image Hauntings


Edited by Ellen Datlow. Tachyon (IPG, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-61696-088-9

This anthology of 24 previously published dark fantasy and horror stories, edited by the ever-adept Datlow (Blood and Other Cravings), explores a variety of situations in which people encounter literal or figurative specters from beyond. Some feature the ghosts of lovers or spouses wronged, while others give readers a powerful lens through which to view the evil people can do here on Earth, as in the gut-wrenching “Cargo” by E. Michael Lewis. The theme is interpreted quite loosely and in varied ways, though many of the stories—such as the atmospheric opener, Pat Cadigan’s “Eenie, Meenie, Ipsateenie,” and Adam L.G. Nevill’s tense “Where Angels Come In”—hinge on anxieties relating to children in peril. Even so, the collection flows smoothly, capturing the pleasantly shivery dread of a round of ghost stories told by a fire, with only a few hiccups or sour notes (the most sour being Richard Bowes’s deeply unpleasant “Transfigured Night”). Solid entries by Neil Gaiman, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Joyce Carol Oates capture the mood perfectly and will thrill fans of the eerie. (May)