Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fungus of the Heart

Book 60: Fungus of the Heart by Jeremy C. Shipp, isbn 9781935738008, 158 pages, Raw Dog Screaming Press, $24.95

I was lucky enough to get an ARC in pdf form of Jeremy C. Shipp's forthcoming (sometime in November) short story collection of dark fantasy / dark sf / dark fairy tales / horror. Shipp's work is hard to define by just one genre. Most of the collection would probably fit the "dark fantasy" description, and almost all of them have some horror component. And at least two have a very "fairy tales but not of the Disney variety" feel to them.

I posted individual story reviews here. Overall, the collection is very strong. A few stories in particular stand out: the noirish "The Sun Never Sets in the Big City," the supernatural detective with a twist story "The Haunted House," the dialogue-driven "Boy in the Cabinet," and the wistful (and anti-war) "Spider House" are perhaps my four favorites of the collection. I can see the characters from "Haunted House" and "Spider House" both inhabiting full-length novels if not outright series. Special mention to "How To Make A Clown," which I think I would nominate for [info]lethepress 's WILDE STORIES anthology if I had a say. The only story in the collection that really didn't work for me at all was "Agape Walrus," but I know people for whom the very out-there nature of the story will be perfect.

You can pre-order the book directly from the publisher, Raw Dog Screaming. I think it's worth the paperback price at least -- and the collectors among you will probably want the hardcover.

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