books

Daniel M. Hoyt

Books: Fantasy

Anthologies

Better Off Undead (2008), Between the Dark and the Daylight: And 27 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year (2009)

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”–the first story in the book–was one I did like. It reminded me of Liz Williams‘ Detective Inspector Chen stories, not just because it was Chinese in flavor, but the underworld was in many ways like Liz Williams’ hell.

Alan Dean Foster’s story “Ah, Yehz” was one that I particularly liked. Lots of the stories in this anthology had twists at the end, but for the most part that was the whole of the story–working up to the punchline in the end. But “Ah, Yehz” was interesting in and of itself, and for the brevity of the story, had some nice world building. Archie is caught stealing from a fountain in the cemetery by one of the ghosts. While trying to escape he meets an unusual fellow who is willing to help him.

Irene Radford’s “Museum Hauntings” was another story that was well done from start to finish. I liked the main characters, and the focus wasn’t on the twist at the end, but upon the development of the two characters. Cute and fun.

As always, I liked the story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, “My Tears Have Been My Meat.” Sometimes dead isn’t always dead, and your friends and enemies are hard to tell.

I loved the idea of Jay Lake’s Unrapture in his story “Two All Beef Patties.” I’m generally not fond of zombies, but for a zombie story, this was quite good.

And… that was about it. Like I said, most of the stories were meh, and some I actually disliked, but if you come across any of the above in another anthology, I highly recommend them.

Published by DAW

Rating: 5/10

Between the Dark and the Daylight: And 27 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year (2009) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Daniel M. Hoyt

I generally love mystery anthologies, but I had a hard time with this one.

First and foremost, the collection is full of unreliable narrators. I have absolutely nothing against unreliable narrators, and usually enjoy them, however, when you read story after story where the narrator is actually the killer, it quickly becomes unsurprising, and I wasn’t interested in reading all the various justifications the murderers and criminals gave for their actions.

That said, there were some stories I enjoyed, but overall, I just wanted to finish the anthology so I could move onto something else.

Published by Tyrus Books

Rating: 6/10