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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to previous high quality installments, June 28, 2006
This review is from: Masques V (Hardcover)
Jerry Williamson's Masques is back, and fans of the series will be glad to hear that the series is as strong as ever, with Volume V serving up twenty-nine stories that run the gamut from good to great, all providing a satisfying reading experience. Editor Williamson has provided a winning mix of new and established authors, artfully arranging the tales for maximum impact.

Standout stories include:

"Recall" by Ray Garton, wherein a businessman is forced to reassess his values; "A Thousand Words" by Judi Rohrig, a tale of a photographer who suffers to perfect her art; "How Sweet It Was" by Thomas M. Monteleone, a story which focuses on the power of childhood memories and on insidious influence of television on young minds; and "Waters Dark and Deep" by Tim Waggoner, a claustrophobic tale in which the heroine realizes that although "pressure makes diamonds," it can also utterly crush things as well.

Sadly, this is the last Masques to be edited by the late Jerry Williamson, who indicated in his introduction that this would have been his last volume at any rate. Hopefully, someone as protective and knowledgeable of the field as Williamson (maybe co-editor Gary Braunbeck, whom Williamson certainly held in high esteem) will pick up the torch that Williamson so ably held aloft these past decades, carrying this important and memorable anthology series into a bright future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Legendary Anthology Series, July 21, 2006
J. L. Comeau (Fairfax, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Masques V (Hardcover)
This is the fifth volume of the legendary MASQUES anthologies and, sadly, it will be the last MASQUES volume to be edited by the late Jerry Williamson, who fell ill after editing the majority of the contents and died shortly thereafter. Gary Braunbeck has picked up the torch and completed the editing of this stunning anthology, which contains stories from the most skilled darkscribes working today. There are twenty-eight never-before-published stories and one tale published only once previously by Playboy in this hefty antho, and there's not a clinker in the bunch. The range and tone of these stories are breathtaking, cutting a wide swath through the dark landscape of terror. You'll find a disturbing tale from my literary idol, Richard Matheson, that will bring to mind his decades earlier Twilight Zone contributions. His story, "Haircut", describes an old-fashioned barbershop on a day when something very strange occurs. Poppy Z. Brite turns in a beautifully wrought thriller, "Wandering the Borderland", in which the arcane secrets of death are revealed. There are chilling ghost stories by Christopher Conlan and the late, great Ray Russell, and a truly grisly tale of violence and retribution from Joe Nassise. Tomb faves Tom Monteleone and Judi Rohrig both turn in superb stories that will have you looking over your shoulder for days! Even the late J. N. Williamson wrote a short piece for this volume, and I'm very glad he did. There are so many good stories included herein that you will just have to read them all for yourself. There will be two editions available when this volume is published later this summer, the Numbered Edition and the Lettered Edition, both of which are going to sell out prior to publication, mark my words. The Lettered Edition includes a second alternate version of Ray Bradbury's story with hand written note explaining the origin of the tale, and Clive Barker has provided frontispiece artwork. Mr. Williamson signed both the Numbered and Lettered editions prior to his passing, and there will be no more signatures from him, I'm sorry to say. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of horror history. Don't let it get away from you!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the year's best horror anthologies, July 31, 2006
This review is from: Masques V (Hardcover)
This is one of the year's best horror anthologies with twenty eight new chilling horror thrillers and one reprint from 1985 Playboy magazine ("The Black Wench" by Ray Russell). Each of these well written tales will grip the reader as few short story collections do. The compilation runs the gamut from strange happenings in normal environs to ghost stories to the grisly and finally visits to death in the arcane, tombs, and a few other creepy locales. A who's who of dark side authors like Tom Piccirilli, Richard Matheson, Poppy Z. Brite, Christopher Conlan, Joe Nassise, and the editors, etc. contribute top tales. There are no losers in the first MASQUES V to be published in almost fifteen years. Horror genre readers will agree that MASQUE V is a fitting tribute to editor J. N. Williamson who passed away before the compilation was printed.

Harriet Klausner
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Masques V
Masques V by Gary A. Braunbeck (Hardcover - May 30, 2006)
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