Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Charity Anthology Benefitting the Jimmy Fund / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Charity Anthology Benefitting the Jimmy Fund / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Charity Anthology Benefitting the Jimmy Fund / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by P.D. Cacek
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP Anthology (Charity) edited by P. C. Cacek and Laura J. Hickman

An outstanding collation, which benefits the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Institute. You can't go wrong being scared by these exceptional stories.

"Mother and Daughter" by Jack Ketchum: a well-written and intriguing story, but so depressing. Not just supernatural horror can be implacable; psychological horror can be too, as acclaimed author Jack Ketchum demonstrates the chains mind and spirit create. Sometimes one's only escape is the only permanent escape.

"Messages" by Errick A. Nunnally: a story of a man with a mission. It's also a story of an old-fashioned individual, one who admires duty, honor, and compassion, who is determined to uphold these old-fashioned virtues in this crass modern age.

"Sleepless" by Mark Steensland: Insomnia--we've all experienced it, some more than others. Stephen King wrote a horror novel about it. Likely few have experienced it in the intensity, persistence, or sudden determined onset, as has this narrator.

"The Vacant Lot" by Thomas Tessier: Oh my. I am very impressed. Wonderfully subtle, amazingly frightening, all the more so for the subtlety! Feckless protagonist, almost self-driven to it. I can see myself in this plot: unoccupied, alone, impelled to explore, to satisfy questions about the "oddness." Scary

"blood, cold like ice" by Doungai Jam: incredibly unnerving tale. I can read extreme horror day in and day out, face the cosmic horrors of Lovecraft...but domestic violence always unnerves me. This perceptive story proves no exception.

"A Life Unremembered" by G. Daniel Gunn: well-done psychological horror, so very sad. Kind of "the road not taken" story--with a major twist.

"Wired" by Elizabeth Massie: Real horror here, both factual and psychological, man's humanity, and the wheel of karma.

"Blue Stars" by Tony Tremblay: I am all over shivers from this one. That is horror: the backstory, the denouement, and oh my the ending. I want to scream from fright. I remember the shopkeeper in King' s NEEDFUL THINGS and I think, this story takes place in New England too. {Shiver}

"Are You Happy Now, Mother?" By John Buja: Tremendously sad, but also frightening. And that poor boy's mother! Herself a horror.

"Nina" by John L. McIlveen: So-totally-scary! Implacable, inescapable, horror. So glad it was still daylight when I read this.

"Housing the Hobblegobs" by Marianne Halbert: implacably scary! I'm so far from childhood, yet this story still quite scared me.

"Inertia Creeps" by Charles Colyott: this story gives a new level of meaning to implacable horror: you want to run, you want to hide, but you can't, your natural human compassion got you into this, and now something devoid of compassion is tracking you..

"Leave Here Alive" by Bracken McLeod: I think this is the first story I have read by this author. Let me tell you: THIS STORY SCARED THE LIVING BLAZES OUT OF ME!!!! Afraid to sleep now! This is far too plausible!

"Sleep Well" by Angie Shearstone: a delightfully scary illustrated version of hypnagogia, symptoms, possibilities, biological causation.

" The Fine Art of Madness " by Gary Frank: seriously Lovecraftian, from the non-Euclidean geometry to the dream intrusions to affecting an artist to the entity, in service to a monster god--this is finely-orchestrated implacable horror. Love it.

"The Beach" by Cara M. Colyott: and here you thought the only dangers at the beach were sunburn, high tides, drowning, and tsunamis. Think again.

"Angel Tears" by Jill Bauman: heartwrenching but uplifting poem..

"Darkness at the Edge of Town" by James A. Moore: this cogent tale has incredible twists, I caught my breath a couple of times, and a powerful impact.

"Would You, Could You, In the Dark?" By Craig Wolf: Still digesting this story, which repeatedly blew me away. Saddening, disheartening, grieving--one wants to shake sense into the protagonist, shout "Go with what you've got, not what you lost!"--and the overtones are beautifully and terrifyingly Lovecraftian. Bravo!

"Wishing Won't" by Richard Dansky: You may now color me officially TERRIFIED. I'll have nightmares!

"The Phobia Where You're Afraid of Words" by Paul McMahon. Empathy came easy for both characters in this story, which made the content and outcome sadder.

"Nightly Ritual" by William D. Carl: I particularly love winter scary stories; when Nature herself is rendered implacable, and no escape is possible because the world is blanketed with snow and ice. Death is always close at hand, from freezing temperatures, no heat source, black ice, snow drifts. This is a beautiful and ultimately terrifying tale of an overwhelming love that turns to terror--whenever there's a terrible snowstorm.

"White Wings" by Mark Morris: Another winter horror. An unhappily married man has finally reached his limit with his philandering wife. He's going to end the marriage, but she and her lover have a more permanent solution in mind.

"The Other Side" by Paul McNally: short but so.poignant. Sometimes we wonder if the grass really is greener, and sometimes love and grief impels us to find out.

"Truth or Dare?" By Bev Vincent: Truth or Dare US usually a simple, sometimes embarrassing, occasionally humiliating game. Usually it isn't injurious, seldom fatal. But when one of the players has a nasty agenda and the ability to back it up, the consequences can be horrifying. A really scary tale.

""Unexpected Attraction" by Matthew Costello: ahh, poetic justice. It's so satisfying. In this story, which is multiply twisty, it's more like poetic injustice.

"The Ritual Remains" by Jonathan Lee's: a marvelously fabled tale of a Mother and a daughter and a Birthday Ritual.

"The End of All Stories" by Trevor Firetog: Ever wonder why you don't remember the end of a bedtime story? It's not because you fell asleep...

"Duality" by Brian Keene: short, sad, extremely twisty and surprising.

"The Lake Children" by Izzy Lee: omg make it stop I am way way too scared. Oh this story is stuck my mind, I'll wake up terrified and alone.

"The Circus Under the Bed" by T. J. Wooldridge: still really, really afraid to sleep.

"1-2-3 Red Light" by Gregory L. Norris: Evil takes the oddest forms, but it's still implacable.

"The Old Men Know" by Charles L. Grant: Classic. No one does it like the Master.

"The Oldest Fear" by Skikhar Dixit: What do we fear from earliest childhood? (Illustration)

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