Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
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Friday, December 24, 2010MACABRE: A JOURNEY THROUGH AUSTRALIA'S DARKEST FEARS
MACABRE: A Journey Through Australia's Darkest Fears is one hell of a volume. Literally. It's like a brick...but a brick chock full of great horror fiction.
Editors Angela Challis and Dr. Marty Young have put together an extra special anthology here. The book is exclusively an Australian endeavor, charting the change of the genre over the years. This is the big selling point of this collection in my eyes. The editors did not simply put out the call for submissions or do a year's best. This book has been thoroughly researched and it shows. The stories are arranged chronologically, and the first piece, Fisher's Ghost: A Legend of Campbell Town is dated 1836.
To be honest, this bothered me, at first. I'm not really a fan off pre-20th century horror as it can be thickly written, too flowery, or simply just lack a plot. The stories featured here, despite their age, were great and written with a certain contemporary feel.
This book took me a long time to get through, choosing to dip into for a short story every now and again. Obviously, I can't comment on every single story featured, but there wasn't really a story that was poorly written or off the mark.
It sucks that our very own Necrotic Tissue will be running against MACABRE for the 2010 Shadow Award for best publication, as MACABRE really is a monster. I also have to thank Angela and Shane for getting my copy signed by oodles of the writers at Worldcon this year. Makes this fine collection a cherished gem on my shelf.
If you want to spend some of you hard earned cash on an anthology (and in this day and age you really are spoiled for choice on that score) I can highly recommend MACABRE. It oozes quality on every page. This was no slapdash anthology thrown together. Come on, it's been nearly 200 years in the making! You don't even need to be Australian, Just buy it and enjoy it. Well done, guys. A standout book. Top marks.