Saturday, March 24, 2012

1979

Shadows 2: edited by Charles L. Grant (1979; this edition 1984) containing the following stories:

 

Saturday's Shadow by William F. Nolan
Night Visions by Jack Dann
The Spring by Manly Wade Wellman
Valentine by Janet Fox
Mackintosh Willy by Ramsey Campbell
Dragon Sunday by Ruth Berman
The White King's Dream by Elizabeth A. Lynn
The Chair by Alan Dean Foster and Jane Cozart
Clocks by Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini
Holly, Don't Tell by Juleen Brantingham
The Old Man's Will by Lee Wells
The Closing Off of Old Doors by Peter D. Pautz
Dead End by Richard Christian Matheson
Seasons of Belief by Michael Bishop
Petey by T. E. D. Klein

The late Charles L. Grant was both a talented writer and one of the four or five finest anthologists the horror genre has had. His original anthology series -- Shadows -- was a high point for horror short fiction in the late 1970's and early 1980's, sometimes reading more like a 'Best of' than anything else. Most stories in Shadows are contemporary in setting, as the mandate seemed to focus thereon, but beyond that, anything seemed to go.

There isn't a clunker in the bunch in Shadows 2. Moreover, there are at least two all-timers that appeared here for the first time: Ramsey Campbell's unnerving tale of childhood horror, "Mackintosh Willy", and T.E.D. Klein's "Petey," a novella about a house-warming party that plays enjoyably as both social satire and a Lovecraft-infused horror of suggestion and accumulation of detail. Entries by Michael Bishop and William F. Nolan are also excellent, and the whole anthology is well worth the read. Highly recommended.

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