books

Chelsa Quinn Yarbro

Books:

Anthologies: The Repentant (2003), Dracula in London (2004), Better Off Undead (2008), Vampires: The Recent Undead (2010), Full Moon City (2010)

 

Anthologies

 

The Repentant (2003) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Brian Thomsen

I love short stories, so I tend to pick up anthologies when I come across them–assuming they look even remotely interesting. The Repentant looked particularly interesting, since it had several authors I particularly like: Tanya Huff, P.N. Elrod, and especially Nina Kiriki Hoffman. And the theme was also one that interested me: supernatural creatures.

The Salem Trial by Jody Lynn Nye
Lycanthrope Summer by Jeff Grubb
The Den Mother by Edo Van Belkom
Brothers in the Flesh by Fiona Patton
Heat by Jean Rabe
She Dwelleth in the Cold of the Moon by James Lowder
Scleratus by Tanya Huff
Slaughter by P.N. Elrod
A Hollywood Tradition by Brian M. Thomsen
The Devil You Know  by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Intercession  by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
The Recall of Cthulhu by Tom Dupree
Redeemed by Allen C. Kupfer

Dracula in London (2004) edited by P.N Elrod

I give up. After six months I’m about three-quarters of the way through, and haven’t enjoyed one single story I’ve read.

I generally like P.N. Elrod’s stories, and I’ve read several other anthologies she has edited, all of which I’ve enjoyed, but these stories? No. Yuck.

To Each His Own Kind - Tanya Huff
Box Number Fifty – Fred Saberhagen
Wolf And Hound – Nigel Bennett & P.N. Elrod
The Dark Downstairs – Roxanne Longstreet Conrad
Dear Mr Bernard Shaw – Judith Proctor
The Three Boxes – Elaine Bergstrom
Good Help – K.B. Bogen
Places For Act Two – Bradley H. Sinor
Beast – Amy L. Gruss & Catt Kingsgrave Ernstein
A Most Electrifying Evening – Julie Barrett
An Essay On Containment – Gene Deweese
Berserker – Nancy Kilpatrick
Curtain Call – Gary A.  Braunbeck
Renfield Or Dining At The Bughouse – Bill Zaget
Everything To Order – Jody Lynn Nye
Longterm Investment – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

One possibility is that these are all based on Dracula (as is obvious from the title) and so they may lean more towards horror that I generally dislike. But these stories weren’t really that horrific–they didn’t leave me with that vague sense of nausea that horror often gives me. Instead, I just didn’t find them interesting.

So as my gift to myself at the end of the year, I’m going to stop trying to read this anthology and move on to something else.

Published by Ace

The Secret History Of Vampires (2007)

"Under St. Peter's" by Harry Turtledove
"Two Hunters in Manhattan" by Mike Resnick
"Smoke and Mirrors" by P. D. Cacek
"Garbo Quits" by Ron Goulart
"Blood of Dreams" by Sarah A. Hoyt
"A Princess of Spain" by Carrie Vaughn
"Harpy" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
"Honored Be Her Name" by John Gregory Betancourt and Darrell Schweitzer
"Ill-Met in Ilium" by Gregory Frost
"The Temptation of Saint Anthony" by Brian Stableford
"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Ian Watson
"Green Wallpaper" by Tanith Lee
"Sepulchres of the Undead" by Keith Taylor

Published by DAW

 

Better Off Undead (2008) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Daniel M. Hoyt

Anthologies edited by Martin H. Greenberg are usually ones I can pick up knowing that I’ll like the majority of stories within.

This volume? Not so much. There were a handful of stories I thought were good, but for the most part? Meh.

A Grain of Salt - Sarah A. Hoyt
The Poet Gnawreate and the Taxman - Dave Freer
The Infernal Revenus Service - Laura Resnick
Mummy Knows Best - Esther M. Friesner
Genius Loci - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Ah, Yehz - Alan Dean Foster
Gamma Ray versus Death - Carrie Vaughn
Museum Hauntings - Irene Radford
My Teras Have Been My Meat - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Perfect Man - Fran LaPlaca
Two All Beef Patties - Jay Lake
That Saturday - Devon Monk
Walking Fossil - Robert A. Hoyt
Night Shifted - Kate Paulk
Twelve Stepping in the Dark - Rebecca Lickiss
Gobble, Gobble, One of Us - Charles Edgar Quinn
Bump in the Night - Amanda S. Green
Separation Anxiety - S.M. Stirling

Vampires: The Recent Undead (2011) edited by Paula Guran

Vampires-The-Recent-Undead“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black
“This Is Now” by Michael Marshall Smith
“Sisters” by Charles de Lint
“The Screaming” by J.A. Konrath
“Zen and the Art of Vampirism” by Kelley Armstrong
“La Vampiresse” by Tanith Lee
“Dead Man Stalking” by Rachel Caine
“The Ghost of Leadville” by Jeanne C. Stein
“Waste Land” by Stephen Dedman
“Gentleman of the Old School” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
“No Matter Where You Go” by Tanya Huff
“Outfangthief” by Conrad Williams
“Dancing with the Star” by Susan Sizemore
“A Trick of the Dark” by Tina Rath
“When Gretchen was Human” by Mary Turzillo
“Conquistador de la Noche” by Carrie Vaughn
“Endless Night” by Barbara Roden
“Dahlia Underground” by Charlaine Harris
“The Belated Burial” by Caitlin R. Kiernan
“Twilight States” by Albert Cowdrey
“To the Moment” by Nisi Shawl
“Castle in the Desert: Anno Dracula 1977? by Kim Newman
“Vampires in the Lemon Grove” by Karen Russell
“Vampires Anonymous” by Nancy Kilpatrick
“The Wide, Carnivorous Sky” by John Langan

It has taken me an almost embarrassingly long time to finish this. How long you ask? I purchased it a couple months after it was published–that long ago.

The problem is I hit a point where I wasn’t interested in a story, and instead of just skipping to the next story, I put the whole thing down. I know, rookie mistake. (But you’ll see I made it several times, so I decided to just finish off these anthologies, and if I didn’t like a story? SKIP.)

...

“Gentleman of the Old School” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

“Everyone’s looking for a new angle on the case, and the Center was a good place to start. That led me to the Count, and I only found out about the Count through the Donations Administrator’s secretary, and that was over a very expensive lunch.” She frowned. “I was told that the Count only visited the facilities twice: shortly after construction began and just before it was opened: The Vancouver Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Blood Disorders. Ms. Saunders said the Count’s donation covered more than seventy percent of the cost of building and equipping the facility, and that he provides an annual grant for on-going research. That’s got to be a lot of money. I was wondering if the Count would care to confirm the amount? Or discuss the body found on the roof of the Center two days ago?”

...

So, it was an uneven anthology for me, but there were some very good stories that are well-worth the price of the anthology.
Rating: 7/10

Published by Prime Books

Full Moon City (2010) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Darrell Schweitzer

I love anthologies. Though I have to admit that with the way paranormal romance has taken off, the ratio of wheat to chaff has been unfavorable for me. However, Carrie Vaughn and Peter S. Beagle were pretty compelling reasons to get this anthology.

The Truth about Werewolves - Lisa Tuttle
Innocent - Gene Wolfe
Kitty Learns the Ropes - Carrie Vaughn
No Children, No Pets - Escher M. Freisner
Sea Warg - Tanith Lee
Country Mothers' Sons - Holly Phillips
A Most Unusual Greyhound - Mike Resnick
The Bitch - P.D. Cacek
The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue - Holly Black
Weredog of Bucharest - Ian Watson
I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf - Ron Goulart
Kvetchula's Daughter - Darrell Schweitzer
And Bob's Your Uncle - Chelsa Quinn Yarbro
The Bank Job - Gregory Frost
La Lune T'Attend - Peter S. Beagle

...

I’ve read several short stories by Chelsa Quinn Yarbro, but not read any of her books, primarily because they’re typically classified as horror. But the story “And Bob’s Your Uncle” may have been dark, but I didn’t find it scary or horrifying (except perhaps in the way Jake was treated by his mother), and I did find it good, as was Gregory Frost’s “The Bank Job” (even if you’re never quite sure what kind of creature he is.)

...

Although there were several stories I didn’t particularly like, but all in all, the stories that were good were very good, and well worth the price of the anthology.
Rating: 8/10