The Red Phone Box: darkly magical, indeed

In this ambitious anthology, there are many Londons. And many possibly realities. And other places. Humans who transform into cats (or vice versa). An Egyptian god with the head of a lion and the passion of a satyr. Blood-sealed mystic circles. All are under threat, from deities ancient and awful and some wonderfully modern, in…

Maybe I should just shoot you in the face

This is a short, snappy and sometimes savage collection of neo-noir, although not all of the seven stories truly fall into that category. Some lean more towards the mysterious than the genre’s typically bleak and brutal tales of despair and moral destruction. For instance, ‘Once Upon A Time In The Woods’ mixes urban crime with…

Exiles: An Outsider Anthology

This collection of 26 stories is a little different to the average anthology. It weaves between fact and fiction, exploring those remote and lonely places on the periphery of human society. Each of the contributions is a substantial piece of writing – not one of them feels like a filler – and the combined effect…

Justice, Inc: savvy, somewhat savage short stabs

This caustic collection of ten satirical stories certainly sticks the knife into some of the less appealing characteristics of modern-day American (and European) social behaviour. Author Dale Bridges deftly employs the time-honoured device of isolating a single theme or talking point, and exaggerating it to extremes in a near-future alternate reality. He’s created a collection…

New Orleans Noir: not waving but drowning

The Akashic Noir series of crime anthologies always offer intelligent entertainment. Sometimes the theme, be it a city or country or a specific situation can be a little drowned out by the individual narratives. I’ve read some Akashic collections where you might not be able to identify the theme if it weren’t obviously splattered all…