Fearful Symmetries is a horror anthology of twenty short stories. It’s a mixed bag for me, with some stories being gripping and entertaining, and some that leave me with uncertainty as to what just happened.
All of them, though, definitely fit the bill of the weird and wonderful, some quite horrific. According to the summary, Ellen Datlow’s compilation won the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Edited Anthology, and it’s easy to see why.
My favorite stories in this anthology were “The Atlas of Hell,” by Nathan Ballingrud, “Kaiju,” by Gary McMahon (this one wins the plot twist award, in my opinion), “Will the Real Psycho in this Story Please Stand Up?” by Pat Cardigan, “The Window,” by Brian Evenson (in which horrors from another dimension somehow slip over into ours), “Mount Chary Galore,” by Jeffrey Ford, “Power,” by Michael Marshall Smith (perhaps my favorite of all of them), “Bridge of Sighs,” by Kaaron Warren, “The Attic,” by Catherine MacLeod, and “Episode Three: On the Great Plains, in the Snow,” by John Langan.
Some of the others were good to a point, but I must confess, I didn’t quite get the ending. So, as a whole, I really liked it, but didn’t quite feel that it was amazing.
I would recommend it, however, to lovers of horror anthologies.