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29 September 2013

softcover, published Whortleberry PressSeptember 2013.  16 stories.                     reviewed by Steve Johnson.

Another interesting anthology from Whortleberry. I grabbed this the day after it arrived and read it yesterday, writing this review while Glen took her turn at reading it. This bunch of stories adds up the same way as an increasing number of Whortleberry anthologies, in that while I may not particularly like a story, it isn’t because it isn’t well-written, but for personal reasons…and I wonder where they find so many good writers, because Ghod knows there are too many lousy ones out there, many of them getting into print with badly written or even unreadable books as well as short work. And at times when I run across this sort of thing, I also wonder why the heck the publisher was wasting mnoney on something like that when far better authors have problems finding a buyer.

Amongst the stories I liked best in Strange Lucky Halloween were: Worthless by Warren Bull, which is a clever story of retribution in the most appropriate medium, I chuckled long and loud after this one. Lyn McConchie’s Wolf in the Fold is a cleverly written tale in which the way retribution was carried out is a neat mix of old-fashioned and very modern. Night Music by Wayne Scheer is something different in hauntings and all the better for that, it’s good to see a haunting that isn’t bog-standard. Dianne Arrelle’s The Cutout is  a very nicely done story of obsession and horror. While  A Butterfly Beginning by Sandi Reed-Chan is a future history tale that’s sweet, gentle, and optimistic, an ideal story on which to end the anthology.

I thought that a couple of the tales were a bit bland, others rather standard in theme, but I couldn’t honestly say that any were badly done or had obvious faults and that says a lot about the editors’ ability to select work. I continue to watch eagerly for Whortleberry anthologies and I am only sorry to hear that because the owner has medical issues arriving about that time, this year’s last in line, the Christmas anthology, has been cancelled. I hope that once she’s back on her feet we can expect the 2014 anthologies to begin appearing again on schedule and of their usual quality. Because it would be a great pity were it otherwise.

 

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for your gracious review!

    So glad you enjoyed Strange Lucky Halloween! I did, too. We have been so fortunate in finding wonderful authors, it has been a privilege to publish them. I’m hoping to carry the Whortleberry Press flag into the future in 2014.

    Your kind encouragement helps.

    — Jean Goldstrom

    Comment by Jean Goldstrom — 30 September 2013 @ 09:53

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