Chelsa Quinn Yarbro

Books: Fantasy | Horror


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

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.

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.

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) edited by Darrell Schweitzer

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.

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


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.

Published by Prime Books

Rating: 7/10

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.

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, all in all, the stories that were good were very good, and well worth the price of the anthology.

Rating: 8/10