Glitter & Mayhem
edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas, & Michael Damian Thomas
(short stories, paranormal, urban fantasy)
This is an interesting anthology compilation. Like you would expect from a compilation (especially one with different authors, instead of many short stories written by the same author) each one had a different feel to it, and a different style of writing. Some were awesome, and some were completely not my style. Your mileage may vary, however; I just read an Amazon review where the reviewer liked some stories I thought were just okay, and said the only “bad” story in the bunch was the one which is my favorite.
But for ease of review, I’m going to go through the table of contents and give you my thoughts on the stories that way.
Sister Twelve: Confessions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak ~ Very amusing take on the classic “12 Dancing Princesses” story. That’s one of my favorite fairy tales, and this version of the story was an enjoyable read and a good way to start the antho.
Apex Jump by David J. Schwartz ~ Fun story. I enjoyed it, though I was quite content with leaving the story where it finished. It didn’t leave me wanting more.
With Her Hundred Miles to Hell by Kat Howard ~ I have a love-hate relationship with this one. I really enjoyed it, and it seems like the author had a great understanding of what was going on. However, I didn’t quite get what was going on. (Based on other reviews, this was not my issue alone.) I enjoyed what I understood of it, but I wanted to know more.
Star Dancer by Jennifer Pelland ~ I enjoyed this, but not as much as many of the others. Very MIB feel at times, but at other times it had an “it’s edgy because drugs! and sex!” feel (which made it seem anything but edgy).
Of Selkies, Disco Balls, and Anna Plane bu Cat Rambo ~ I enjoyed this one a lot. It makes me wonder if there is a world behind this story where I can read more about either these characters or ones like them.
Sooner Than Gold by Cory Skerry ~ One of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES in this antho. I love it. I want more. Sadly, I don’t think there is more… I think the author has mostly done other short stories, and while I will be picking up those magazines as well, it looks like there aren’t any full-length novels set in this world. If you know of any full-length novels by Cory Skerry, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP.
Subterraneans by William Shunn & Laura Chavoen ~ This one was weird. Enjoyable, but weird. Once through was fine for me, though. I don’t need more from this setting.
The Minotaur Girls by Tansy Rayner Roberts ~ I enjoyed this one, though I almost felt that a short story was the wrong setting for it. I mean, it worked, but it felt like there was a lot more there and it might have been better suited as a novella. On the other hand, there were mythology references that I only get now that I’m reviewing it, so maybe I should re-read it for a better understanding of it.
Unable to Reach You by Alan DeNiro ~ This one was really weird and hard to understand. And I wanted to scream at the main character for being dumb at least a couple of times.
Such & Such Said to So & So by Maria Dahvana Headley ~ I loved the premise of this one. The drinks are written in a very clever way. (No spoilers.) I’m not 100% sure I actually understood this story, but that’s okay. It was written well enough that I could enjoy it without being sure I “got it”.
Revels in the Land of Ice by Tim Pratt ~ Lots of things for me to love about this one. It’s set in my general vicinity, for one, so I recognize a lot of the landmarks. Plus, it’s story with faeries in it, and I love that. I’m planning to look for more from this author.
Bess, the Landlord’s Daughter, Goes for Drinks with the Green Girl by Sofia Samatar ~ I enjoyed reading this story and trying to figure out where it was going before it got there. But I would have enjoyed it better if I could have read the material it was referencing before I read this. (Bess is from The Highwayman, which I know kinda well but hadn’t read in ages. However, I’m not sure if the Green Girl references Ophelia from Hamlet or someone else or no one in particular.)
Blood and Sequins by Diana Rowland ~ I love the portrayal of cosplay here, though it does seem there’s some sex-as-plot-point instead of being at all believable to me. (To be fair, the narrator doesn’t believe it at first, either.) I am curious about the world behind this story, though, and may look for more.
Two-Minute Warning by Vylar Kaftan ~ This is another story that I feel was not really suited to the short story format. It left a lot of the world unexplained, and I felt that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could (should?) have because I didn’t understand the basics about what was happening.
Inside Hides the Monster by Damien Walters Grintalis ~ I remember the way this one started, and I found it interesting at the beginning. But I don’t remember how it ends.
Bad Dream Girl by Seanan McGuire ~ This is the reason I bought this antho in the first place, and it was one of my favorite stories. Then again, I have already started the InCryptid series, and so I knew what I was getting into. I think even without that knowledge I would have enjoyed the story, but there’s no way to be sure. I did appreciate the Roller Derby 101 that was a part of this story, too, though I wish I’d had that before reading Apex Jump.
A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar ~ I really liked this one. Even with the paranormal aspect, it seemed like a very human story. It felt more real with better developed characters than many of the stories in this antho.
Just Another Future Song by Daryl Gregory ~ I felt that this one was dangling obscure clues just out of reach the whole time until the very end where it let the reader grab one. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if I didn’t feel like it was deliberately keeping me in the dark.
The Electric Spanking of the War Babies by Maurice Broaddus & Kyle S. Johnson ~ I did not like this one. I think it was writing style, but I did not enjoy reading it. YMMV, though; it’s big into the disco lingo, and is very trippy.
All That Fairy Tale Crap by Rachel Swirsky ~ I appreciate what this story was trying to do, but I didn’t care for it. I have read so many fairy tale re-tellings that I loved that I have gotten picky, I guess. Part of why I didn’t enjoy it, though, was the continual breaking of the fourth wall. I’m very picky about that writing style, and this story didn’t do it for me.
So that’s all the stories and my brief thoughts on each! Have you read this antho, or any of the stories within? I’d be curious about your opinions of them, if so.