Wednesday, September 30, 2015

recent read; Masters of Darkness II

Masters of Darkness II edited by Dennis Etchison

I decided to get an early jump on my Halloween reading this year. I'd found this book used for a song a few months ago. The lineup in the table-of-contents sold me on it.

It's a solid roster of horror stories. (follow the link to read the t-o-c.) They run the gamut from ghosts to monsters to human monsters. A couple weren't to my liking, but that is a matter of personal taste.

My personal favorites came at the end.

George R. R. Martin's "The Monkey Treatment" tale relates the tale of a hapless man committed to a dangerous diet. It is both humorous and horrific.

Richard McKenna's "Casey Agonistes" concerns veterans of the Yangtze Patrol. This story is set years later in the TB wing of a VA hospital. Death is coming for them but they make the most of it. There is a genuine feel of veteran camaraderie here, and it has poignant moments. (McKenna himself was a veteran of the Yangtze Patrol and he wrote The Sand Pebbles.)

I also like this anthology because each story has author notes, as well as the usual author publishing biographies. I enjoy reading "behind the scenes" notes for stories.

There are two other volumes. Honestly, I already have too many horror anthologies, so I'm not hopping on eBay just yet. But if I see either of the other two volumes in my used book store travels, you can bet I will be snatching them.


  1. I don't have this one, and after seeing the ToC, that needs to change. I know I bought the first one sometime in the 80s or early 90s, and I think I have the third.

  2. I have one in this series. might be 3. I'll have to have a look. I do like author notes and notes on stories myself