A full moon, a ragged raven, the name of Edgar Allan Poe―the cover will pull in teens who love a good scream. Invited “to spin for us Poe-like tales,” twenty-two authors produce short stories connected to Poe’s fiction, poetry, and literary criticism. Some connect obviously, like “Street of the Dead House” (Rue Morgue from the orangutan’s point of view), or “The Orange Cat” and Poe’s black one. Others take a Poe theme in a more contemporary direction, like “Naomi,” the story of a transgender teen whose death is avenged through a “telltale” ringtone; or “133,” which revisits Ligeia’s resurrection motif through the fate of a serial killer revived 133 times to provide closure to the families of each of his victims.
Though its publishing roots are Canadian and aimed at an adult market, the assortment of writers includes names with adolescent appeal: Kelley Armstrong (Age of Legends, Darkest Powers, Blackwell series); Nancy Holder (Wolf Springs Chronicles and Wicked series); Tanith Lee (Dragon Hoard and Claidi Journals). Also included are accomplished adult writers. Margaret Atwood contributes her first story written when she was sixteen, “The Eye of Heaven,” an adaptation of The Telltale Heart. Each author introduces the story by explaining its genesis in Poe’s writings. The book begins with a critical essay on the influence of Poe’s work and concludes with brief biographies of this talented group of writers. Sophisticated teens who like things short and scary will be glad they checked this collection out.―Donna L Phillips.(VOYA Magazine)
This eclectic and delightful collection of original short fiction celebrates Edgar Allan Poe’s far-reaching influence on numerous genres and many well-known and respected writers, from his own contemporaries to modern-day stars. Asked by Kilpatrick and Soles to create “Poe-like tales,” 25 writers, including Margaret Atwood, David Morrell, and the late Tanith Lee, took to the page with obvious gusto, delivering such gems as Robert Lopresti’s “Street of the Dead House,” a heartbreaking exploration of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”; Kelley Armstrong’s waggish “The Orange Cat,” a new twist on its ebony cousin; and Christopher Rice’s “Naomi,” a gruesome update of “The Tell-Tale Heart” that’s all too topical. Kilpatrick and Soles have amassed a cache of worthy tributes to a fundamental member of the horror and weird fiction pantheon. (Oct.)(Publishers Weekly)
2016 Aurora Award nominee