I’ve always enjoyed Paul Finch’s work, but somehow I missed this collection when it came out a few years ago. And while the afternoon of Christmas Eve may be a tad late for some of you to enjoy these stories, you should keep it in mind for next year.
In a Deep, Dark December contains four short stories and one novella. I took a detailed look at the novella, “The Killing Ground”, a few years ago. You can read the review here. I’m not going to rehash what I said. I did reread the story, and it held up quite well. Instead I’ll discuss the other stories.
I’ve been intending to read Larry Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles for a while now. After having read the short story “Detroit Christmas”, that series just moved up the list.
In this story, Jake Sullivan is hired by an attractive young woman to find her missing husband two days before Christmas 1931. He’s a powerful healer and had served in the War in the same unit as Jake, although as a high ranking Healer, Jake had never met him. Continue reading
Anyway, other than a pair of reviews of Christmas stories, I’m keeping it low key this year. The reviews will be up some time on Christmas afternoon. One will be here, and the other will be a Futures Past and Present.
I hope you all have a peaceful and joyous Christmas filled with family and love.
Merry Christmas! Santa the Barbarian will cleave from pate to navel anyone not being festive today. If you like the image, go to the Diablo Fan Art page. There are a lot of cool images similar to this one.
So raise a flagon of mead, join a dancing girl in a spin about the room, and pardon your enemies. You can crush them and see them driven before you tomorrow.
And have a Merry Christmas.
Krisitne Grayson, ed.
trade paper $15.99
It’s good to read outside your comfort zone from time to time. I’m not really the target audience for this anthology. But I found it a nice, enjoyable collection of ghost stories that are a perfect fit for the season. I meant to have this posted a little earlier, but things have been hectic enough that I didn’t finish the book until last night.
The stories here cross a variety of genres, but at heart they’re all romances. Now there are certain conventions of the romance genre that can’t be violated if the story is to be considered of that genre. Editor Grayson (the romance author persona of Kristine Kathryn Rusch) explains this in her introduction.
The main thing is that the two lovers have to end up with each other. While I like an upbeat ending, I prefer a little more suspense in the outcome of the relationship. I guess you could say I’m not that much of happily ever after kind of guy. I find unrequited love more interesting thematically.
Of course, knowing things won’t work out every time is just as unsatisfying.
Anyway, you aren’t here to read about me. You want to know about the stories. They’re all worth reading. They span a variety of time periods and encompass a number of other genres. All of them involve ghosts in some form, although the ghost isn’t as central to the story in some of the tales as in others. Continue reading
So I was wanting to post something in the spirit of the season. I thought about The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum. Way too long. Then I read a couple of passages. Waaayyyy too much saccharine.
Instead, I chose “Roads”. Back in the 1930s, when Howard, Lovecraft, and Smith were writing many of the tales that would one day make them famous, there was only one person who gave them any competition in popularity in Weird Tales. That person was Seabury Quinn. Today he’s mostly forgotten except by fans of The Unique Magazine and historians of fantasy and the weird tale. If he’s remembered at all, it’s usually for his occult detective, Jules de Grandin.
But Quinn was also a versatile writer who could pen a good tale that wasn’t part of a series. “Roads” made its appearance in the January 1938 issue of Weird Tales. It tells the story of a gladiator in the arena of Herod the Great. Known as Claudius by the Romans, Klaus (you can see right away where this is going) has finished his contract and is wanting to go home to the northern climes he calls home. Continue reading