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After Shocks: An Anthology of So-Cal Horror Hardcover – July 19, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
"Does a region of immigrants and transplants have a distinct set of dreams and desires?" asks the editor of this "Anthology of So-Cal Horror." Though he poses the question rhetorically, readers may find his story selections too geographically generic. It's not for lack of the 12 contributors inflecting their tales with California settings and situations. Lisa Morton's "El Cazador" and Stephen Woodworth's "Street Runes" both decode dark truths encrypted in the tags of Los Angeles graffiti artists. In Dana Vander Els's "A Flock of Drunk Witches," a runaway Valley Girl type is menaced by a stalker. But little beneath the surface of these stories is specific to their locale, and like Nancy Holder's "The Heart in Darkness" and Robert Guffey's "The Infant Kiss," both of which feature protagonists haunted by discarnate manifestations of cancer, they could just as effectively be set in another urban or suburban milieu. The few stories that conjure a unique spirit for Southern California are gems, including Christa Faust's "Bodywork," which finds a bizarre intersection between California car culture and the cosmetic makeover industry, and James van Pelt's "Parallel Highways," about a Flying Dutchman of the freeway. Brian Hodge's "Driving the Last Spike" is the book's best, a melancholy dirge for a disillusioned couple who find that the West Coast's sunny exteriors are like a mortician's makeup on "a place where dreams come to die." Though all well written, the stories fit the anthology's theme so loosely as to suggest that their horror is more a universal idiom than a regional dialect.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The 12 stories in this original anthology share a knowledge of the landscape of fear. A young woman encounters a new kind of auto show in Christa Faust's macabre "Bodywork," while Nancy Holder relates a run-in with the world of shadows in "The Heart of Darkness." Set in Southern California and featuring contributions by Brian Hodge, Lisa Morton, James Van Pelt and other dark fantasy authors, this volume will mostly appeal to regional horror fans.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.