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Tales of the Shadowmen 7: Femmes Fatales Paperback – November 27, 2010
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Tales of the Shadowmen v7 is the latest volume of this ecectic anthology series from Black Coat Press. It makes use of a concept of Philip Jose Farmer that has various fictional characters set in the same 'universe', thus able to met and interact.
What can be daunting is that this series uses characters of popular literary culture (mainly written, but sometimes film and tv), and not 'high brow' characters. And the characters are taken from American, British, French, and other countries, so often if you're not familiar with those characters, it can be confusing. OR, it could lead you to start reading the original stories of these characters, which BCP does (such as Fantomas, Nyctalop, the Black Coats, Belphegor, Judex, and many more).
The stories in this collection are:
Matt Haley: My Femmes Fatales (portfolio)
Xavier Mauméjean: My Femmes Fatales (foreword)
Roberto Lionel Barreiro: Secrets starring Jean Valjean, Zorro.
Matthew Baugh: What Rough Beast starring Hugo Danner, Judex, Sâr Dubnotal.
Thom Brannan: What Doesn't Die starring Dr. Omega, The Bride of Frankenstein.
Matthew Dennion: Faces of Fear starring Judex, Freddy Krueger.
Win Scott Eckert: Nadine's Invitation starring Lady Blakeney, The Black Coats.
Emmanuel Gorlier: Fiat Lux! starring The Nyctalope, The Invaders.
Micah Harris: Slouching Towards Camulodunum starring Becky Sharp, Sâr Dubnotal.
Travis Hiltz: The Robots of Metropolis starring Dr. Omega, Rotwang.
Paul Hugli: Death to the Heretic! starring Bruce Wayne, Indiana Jones, The Nyctalope.
Rick Lai: Will There Be Sunlight? starring John Sunlight, The Black Coats.Read more ›
The Tales of the Shadowmen is a series of collections of new pulp stories written by people who are intimately familiar with pulp in all its forms, including literature, television and films. This makes for some interesting mixes, including Bruce Wayne and Indiana Jones, The Scarecrow and Freddie Krueger, and Phantom Of The Opera and Re-Animator.
The big problem I had with it was that there is a huge amount of pop culture knowledge required to appreciate all the stories. You're bound to miss something in the mix. For me, that can take away enjoyment. I also wonder why this volume in the series is subtitled Femme Fatales when there aren't really any femme fatales in the stories. There are one or two, but mostly not.
If you know your pulp stuff or if you're looking for a couple stories that are unabashed, crazy fun, this is the book for you.