cover image Masques V

Masques V

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Gauntlet, $50 (476pp) ISBN 978-1-887368-85-8

When Williamson (Frights of Fancy ) died in 2005, he left behind a treat for horror fans, the fifth volume of his beloved Masques anthology series, a gathering of 28 original tales and one reprint that run the gamut from scary to humorous. Among the standouts are Thomas Sullivan's homage to drive-in passion, "Phantom of the Rainbow"; Barry Hoffman's indictment of teachers' retirement plans, "Disappearing Act"; Richard Christian Matheson's brutally succinct "Making Cabinets"; Tim Waggoner's poignantly psychological "Waters Dark and Deep"; and Thomas Monteleone's brilliantly odd TV fantasy, "How Sweet It Was." Other contributors include Poppy Z. Brite, Judi Rohrig, Ray Bradbury, Jack Ketchum and P.D. Cacek. Not every selection is a winner, but the good far outweighs the bad, making this a fitting coda to Williamson's long career. (Oct.)