cover image Expiration Date

Expiration Date

Edited by Nancy Kilpatrick. Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy (, $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-77053-062-1

A horror anthology focusing on endings is almost by definition going to be filled with depressing stories, but these are still well worth reading. The recent death of contributor Melanie Tem adds inadvertent poignancy to “Night Market,” her collaboration with Steve Rasnic Tem, which links the compassionate euthanization of animals with a depressed veterinarian’s own near-death experiences. Numerous stories have been told from the vampire-hunter’s point of view, but Kelley Armstrong presents the vampire’s perspective on the hunters in “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” Ryan McFadden explores crushing survivor guilt in “Death Drives a Cordoba.” A deal with the devil in J.M. Frey’s “The Twenty-Seven Club” serves as a reminder that one can rarely choose the manner of one’s death. Of course, one way to select the way you die is suicide, which Morgan Dambergs’s “Sooner” explores. When humor does enter these tales, it is often bleak and dark, as befits the subject matter. These stories work best in small doses, but they offer a variety of compelling visions of deaths and other endings. (May)