cover image Garden of Eldritch Delights

Garden of Eldritch Delights

Lucy A. Snyder. Raw Dog Screaming, $14.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-947879-08-9

Snyder (Spellbent) confronts disconcerting truths with variable success in this collection of 12 horror stories featuring monsters dark, strange, and simply inhuman. In “The Yellow Death,” a survivor of the apocalypse discovers that neither love nor family can be trusted once civilization falls and vampires rise. In “A Noble Endeavor,” an enslaved woman is forced to aid a racist scientist in harvesting the power to rewrite history—and rewrites it for the betterment of herself, her people, and all humankind. In “Blossoms Blackened like Black Stars,” a soldier in an interplanetary war allows herself to be transformed into something more than human to protect the planet she loves and may never see again. “Fraeternal” intrigues and unsettles in describing how far a woman will go to save the world from her increasingly despotic twin, given the power to travel through time. Some stories are less successful: “Santa Muerte” is rich with culture and imagination but hamstrung by overused tropes. This collection will not suit every reader, but those who love the poignant and bizarre—at which Snyder excels—won’t be disappointed. (Nov.)