You know, one would think I’d be progressively more contrite about how I (fail to) present myself in my blog…but…nope. No. I feel a little bad when I think it makes other people feel awkward, but I don’t regret the not making my sex one of the main focuses of my personality. I’m fine with letting it manifest itself quietly in the little details of my posts…
I mean, does it matter to you guys who didn’t know at first? I know it matters…but does it really change your level of interest in what I say here?
I ask partly because the few of you who’ve mentioned it don’t seem to like me any less (or, indeed, any more) than you had originally…so I am inclined to think it only matters as much as I make it matter…but still, I am curious. I’ve only ever encountered one individual on this site whose sex I couldn’t even make a confident guess about. I blame part of it on this person posting only about once a month (and never acknowledging my comments). If they posted more or responded at all, I might be able to guess.
I’m just curious about what it’s like to run into people like me, since I largely haven’t.
And I have a book review for you with lots of clickable links. I hope you’ll enjoy some of these stories since you can read them for free 🙂
American Supernatural Tales
Edited by S.T. Joshi
As a relatively young country, America stepped late into the literary arena. In this anthology, S.T. Joshi has selected twenty-six authors who, in the beginning, made it their business to write horror stories rivaling those of Europe, and to showcase current leaders in American supernatural writing.
These collected stories show us the frightening and the weird all around us, from the depths of the ocean to the planet Mars and even in our own backyards. In Joshi’s portrayal of the supernatural realm, there is something to fascinate or frighten almost anyone.
I LOVED this book! *drools*
I know, I’m ridiculous, but I really did enjoy the stories in this collection. I bought it on a whim, and was worried that I would only like a few of the pieces included, but it turned out much, much better. This is easily the best money I’ve spent on a book in a very, very long time.
Since it’s a bunch of short stories instead of one long story, I’m going to go ahead and review this the same way I reviewed The Complete Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales (click here, here and here to see my reviews of those stories), and tell you about a few of the best stories in each entry.
I’ve got four to tell you about in this one, and hopefully I will be able to do it without giving too much away—that would ruin the story, after all—but I really recommend reading these, and will post up links to the stories if I can find them online someplace.
Here we go!
“What Was It?” by Fitz-James O’Brien
This was the first story in the book that really made it hard for me to fall asleep. I guess reading it at bedtime is what you should do for optimal effect, but if you are prone to nightmares or have to wake up early the next day, I don’t recommend it!
The way the story plays out toward the end makes it a little less scary, but O’Brien does an excellent job at introducing the supernatural element here.
“The Yellow Sign” by Robert W. Chambers (hit the “read online” option if you go to the link)
This story was fascinating to me, partly because I am prone to bizarre dreams, and partly because the scary element in the story reminded me strongly of a movie that gave me plenty of nightmares when it came out. I was interested to see that this concept appeared in a story written over 100 years before the movie in question, and if you like scary movies at all, you might be interested in this, too.
“The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft
I really enjoyed this story, and not only because reading it helped me better understand Facebook’s sense of humor in telling me that I’m going to be destroyed by Cthulhu (my apologies if you missed my post about that…it was a few months ago). I really liked the way Lovecraft builds up the creepy, conspirational theme in this story, and I almost wish that had gone on a bit more before what I suppose is the main event of the story. The ending was slightly unsatisfying, but it was still a good story.
“The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis” by Clark Ashton Smith (disregard the forward to this story)
I almost think that reading this right after “The Call of Cthulhu” is almost too much of a good thing, but if you’ve been clicking the links I posted, these stories go well together.
This story reminded me of a few sci-fi movies that I’ve seen, but it was somehow better for having been written long before the films in question. There isn’t (I don’t think), any one moment in the narrative that I found particularly scary, but the question mark hanging over the end of the story is kind of gruesome. Smith is one of the writers in this collection that I felt not only told a good story, but found a good ending for it as well.
Anyway, hope you all will take my advice and enjoy these, since some of the ones I’ll tell you about in my next review I couldn’t find links for online.