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Books for Review should be sent to: Don D'Ammassa, 323 Dodge Street,  East Providence, RI 02914

Last Update 10/15/17

Inferno by Angeline Hawkes, Elder Signs, 2017, $14.95, ISBN 978-1934501818

This collection of short stories has a rather unusual structure. The angel Obadiah is taking a tour of Hell and interviewing a couple dozen of its occupants, and their stories are the individual tales within this frame. Obviously each story involves some form of sin, some worse than others, but there are traditional supernatural devices as well including a vampire and a werewolf. The stories are sprinkled through history and quite varied in tone and subject matter, although almost all of them are necessarily quite short. Their effect is more cumulative than individual, although paradoxically I thought the framing material was unnecessary and sometimes distracting. 10/15/17

The Corona Book of Horror Stories edited by Lewis Williams, Corona, 2017, 8.99, ISBN 978-0993247262 

This is a collection of sixteen original short horror stories, almost entirely by British authors, none of whose names were remotely familiar to me. Judging by the biographies in the back, they are predominantly new to writing or work in other fields normally. It's a true unthemed collection in that there is no common element, nor even a similarity of style and approach. Some of the stories are more properly psychological suspense and contain no supernatural or fantastic content. There is a slight tendency toward the more restrained, intellectual school of horror, although there are also stories that are quite overt. One is arguably science fiction. Several of them are very short and some of these rely on a surprise ending. I did not like them all, but I enjoyed at least three quarters of the book, and that's a win. 10/10/17

The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of Mrs. Oliphant Vol 3, Leonaur, 2014 

This final volume contains one short story and a longish novel. The novel, The Wizard's Son, is about a spoiled young man who inherits a title and an estate, after which he discovers that his family and the father he never knew are connected to rumors of dark magic and witchcraft. He is tempted to use supernatural devices himself, but ultimately takes a more enlightened path after various rather dull interludes. Very long and very boring.  The short is a vignette that hints about a miracle.10/7/17

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