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I received a copy of Frightmares in exchange for a review. I was thrilled to dive into it, as flash fiction is such a wonderful treat, and I do have a solid appreciation for horror.
I gobbled up the first thirty pages or so in minutes, and was eager to go back for more.
Paging through Frightmares was quick, but after a certain point, I started to get the sense that anyone who submitted to the anthology was accepted. Some of the stories just didn't feel as well thought-out as others, or didn't feel like horror to me. Sick, yes. Entertaining, no.
I also felt the bios following each individual story were distracting. In the case of those writers who didn't have as many credits to their names, it began to color my experience of the rest of the collection. I began to wonder why this book hadn't been marketed as a vehicle for new voices. That would have been an acceptable context for me to work from, as a reader.
To be fair, there were a number of shorts that were well thought-out and original. Some even took me back to an earlier time, when The Twilight Zone was the height of weird fiction, and that's the highest compliment I can pay to most "weird" fiction.
I'm sure there is something in this collection for everyone--but I was left wondering why the editor didn't want to create a shorter, tighter, better quality book out of just those *excellent* stories, instead of one long book that became, in my opinion, mediocre.
I really wanted to like Frightmares! I hope that in the future, Dark Moon will work harder to produce tighter collections. I'd give them another chance, if they did.