First off, let me say that there are quite a few typo errors in the version that I read. However, they in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this most excellent collection of stories in the horror genre, collected by Al Sarrantonio. This is at least the third book that I have read that was edited by Mr. Sarrantonio, and I must say that I like his choices.
This is a rather hefty book, weighing in at almost 700 pages (666 for the ebook and more than that for the paperback), and includes a very large number of stories by authors that are both instantly recognizable, and some, not so much, or at least I had not heard of them before. The chilling finale of the book is a novelette by William Peter Blatty (famed author of The Exorcist), called “Elsewhere.” I think it wise that Al chose to save it for last, because it might be the best story in the collection.
Among my other favorites were “The Ruins of Contracoeur,” by Joyce Carol Oates, “The Road Virus Heads North,” by Stephen King (one of my all time favorite King shorts), “Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story,” by Neil Gaiman, “An Exaltation of Termagants,” by Eric Van Lustbader, “Itinerary,” by Tim Powers, “Catfish Gal Blues,” by Nancy A. Collins, “The Grave,” By P.D. Cacek, “The Shadow, the Darkness,” by Thomas Ligotti, “Rio Grande Gothic,” by David Morell, “The Ropy Thing,” by Al Sarrantonio, “The Book of Irrational Numbers,” by Michael Marshall Smith, and “Mad Dog Summer,” by Joe R. Lansdale. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the rest of the stories. These are just the ones that really stood out.
I would recommend this book for any fan of the genre. It is, as I said earlier, a most excellent representation of the variety of the horror genre, and introduced me to some excellent authors.
Incidentally, is it a coincidence that the ebook version of 999 had exactly 666 pages?