Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Candidate # 38

(February 2011)

Multi-contributor anthologies are always a tricky proposition.
Given that there are X number of stories by X number of contributors, there’ll always be a variance in the quality of the collected tales.
There’s also the distinct possibility that, for whatever reason, some stories may work for some of the audience, while others may not, and that’s perhaps more to do with the subjectivity of art than the actual pieces themselves.

The horror anthology Little Deaths is a rarity in that all three stories are excellent, without a real weak link in the lot.
Still, as much as Sean Hogan’s “House and Home” (which kicks off the anthology) is a well-made little bit of sex and grue, it’s still overshadowed by the truly mondo bizarro “Mutant Tool” by Andrew Parkinson, and Simon Rumley’s “Bitch,” where the power and dominance games played in a very atypical sexual relationship reaches a dangerous tipping point.

As made readily apparent by its title (which it shares with an anthology edited by Ellen Datlow), Little Deaths is a showcase for erotic horror, and what’s on display in the contributions of Parkinson and Rumley is rather disturbing and unsettling and not for the squeamish nor prudish.
You’ve been suitably warned…

(Little Deaths OS courtesy of shocktillyoudrop.com.)

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