Joe R. Lansdale

Books: Fantasy | Mystery

Bullets and Fire (2009), Bubba Ho-Tep (2012)


Outsiders: 22 All-New Stories From the Edge (2005), Blood Lite (2008), Hellboy: Oddest Jobs (2008), Down These Strange Streets (2011), Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations (2013), Dangerous Women (2013) 

Bullets and Fire (2009)

I swear I've read a story almost exactly like this before. Details I didn't know, but I knew precisely where it was going.

But part of the following quote was familiar:

Dad told me once, that if people don't care about where they live, the way they act, people they associate with, they get lost in the dark, can't find their way back cause there's no light left.

Not as if I'd read it in context, but as if I'd read it quoted somewhere.

Rather strange, all together.

Published by Gere Donovan Press

Rating: 6/10

Bubba Ho-Tep (2012)

Amusing, and well done, but not particularly my cup of tea.

Published by Gere Donovan Press


Blood Lite (2008) edited by Kevin J. Anderson

This anthology came out in hardback last year, but considering the theme, I was more than content to wait until it came out in paperback. Which it recently did.

As with most anthologies, there are good stories and bad stories, but there weren't too many stories that I hated, though there also weren't too many stories that I adored. So I'd say it all came out in the wash.

There were some stories that I didn't like at all, I thought "Mr. Bear" was particularly awful, and I didn't like "A Good Psycho Is Hard to Find" either. But over all, the stories were pretty good, and the series was worth reading. I would have been annoyed if I'd bought this in hardback, but it's not a bad buy as a paperback.

Rating: 6/10

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs (2008) edited by Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Outsiders: 22 All-New Stories From the Edge (2005) edited by Nancy Holder & Nancy Kilpatrick

Down These Strange Streets (2011) edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin

If you look at the list of authors above, you'll immediately see why I read this series. There are some of my favorite authors here–many of whom write short stories I tend to love. And surprisingly, I loved most of these stories, especially a few by authors I haven't particularly read before.

"The Bleeding Shadow" by Joe R. Lansdale is the second story in the collection. I recently red a straight up Joe R. Lansdale mystery, and although this story was set in the same time period, the mystery definitely has a supernatural element. The private detective is asked by an old flame to find her ne'er do well brother. It even references Robert Johnson in this take of a musician's deal with the devil. I quite liked it.

All in all, I found this to be a fabulous anthology, and I highly recommend almost all the stories I read–even the ones I didn't love were, for the most part, interesting.

Published by Penguin

Rating: 9/10

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations (2013) edited by Paula Guran

weird-detectives-recent-investigationsThis is a collection of short stories previously published elsewhere, so I'd already read several of these stories. But there were several I had not, and several of the ones I'd read before were well worth reading again.

This book has been sitting around for awhile, waiting to be read, primarily because I got it in trade paperback, and it's huge and heavy–just the kind of book I hate reading. Too heavy and too bulky for comfortable reading. But the stories drew me in and didn't let me go. (Though the book itself was why I lacked patience for stories I'd recently read or didn't catch my interest immediately.)

Initially, I was just going to flip through and read stories by authors I love, but then I ended up just reading straight through. Having no patience, if I story didn't immediately grab hold, I didn't finish it, and if I hadn't thoroughly enjoyed it the first time (or had read the story very recently), I didn't give it a second read.

"The Case of the Stalking Shadow" by Joe R. Lansdale was a somewhat odd story. It's a tale of how a young girl found herself on the path to becoming a woman who investigated the supernatural. I quite liked the idea of the laser pointer.

As I said, this contained a lot of stories I'd read previously, but they are for the most part good stories, so if you don't have the original anthologies, this would be well worth getting.

Rating: 8/10

Dangerous Women (2013) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois


There are a lot of different stories here–on purpose.

Dangerous Women was conceived of as a cross-genre anthology, one that would mingle every kind of fiction, so we asked writers from every genre— science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, horror, paranormal romance, men and women alike— to tackle the theme of "dangerous women,"

Thus I was fully expecting there to be a number of stories I wouldn't particularly like, or would even skip. And there were. Unfortunately for me, the dislikes were higher in number than the likes, and there were several dystopias, which I really dislike. And a lot of the women were in the neutral to evil category of dangerous. Which is fine, but all that dark got a bit overwhelming, which is why I took several months for me to finish this anthology.

"Wrestling Jesus" by Joe R. Lansdale starts as a story of a young boy wanted to keep himself from getting beat up, and turns into a story of an old man and the woman he spent his life loving. It was an interesting story.

All in all, there were more stories I disliked than liked, which sometimes happens. As this covers all different genres, you're likely to find at least one story you like, you'll just have to decide if it's worth the price.

Published by Tor Books

Rating: 5.5/10