A rant about books, horror, and the weird. I sometimes take on my love/hate relationship with goodreads and Amazon.
This anthology was a Down Syndrome charity effort, as was Chiral Mad its predecessor. These charity things can be somewhat dodgy in that there is a lot of "emerging talent" in the new stories and many of the A-list talents supply reruns. This collection however exceeded my expectations and actually got better as the book went on.
Fortunately for me I had only previously read one of the retreads, but there were only four out of 28 stories.
Advertised as psychological horror I would characterize this as plain contemporary horror, contemporary weird, a pretty wide array of stories, from the grim to the just bizarre. There are even a few ghosts thrown in but these too are of a decidedly modern ilk. There are no happy endings. I only thought two stories (out of 28) were weak, in being somewhat naive in plot and execution. Everything else was three or four star material, a few I would call five star. The book starts off with a bang and you never really get a letdown stretch.
My copy is a print on demand trade paperback and it has a few issues, an above average number of typos, missing words, etc. The usual reliance on machine proofreading errors. Not horrible, just noticeable. Somewhere along the line the ink jet printer got a little thirsty and left a number of pages with fuzzy gray instead of black letters. The entire font and layout left the book looking like something you printed out on you laser printer. Still, I'm a content kind of guy with this sort of thing so I didn't take down the rating for this kind of thing.
The cover art is fabulous but it still comes out looking like a textbook when you put it on the shelf.
After all this, I loved it.