One of the nice things about picking up a short story collection is that it allows you to hedge your bets. When reading a novel, you’re in it for the long haul – especially if you’ve selected it as a book of the month club selection. In the case of an anthology, however, it’s a relatively shorter haul and, while the brevity of the well-written works often leave one wanting more, the brevity of the duds prove comparatively merciful. Yes, any anthology will have its stronger entries, its weaker entries, and all those that fall somewhere along that sliding scale. Take Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination for instance, a collection I read for the first time way back in elementary school. On one side of that sliding scale sits “The Cask of Amontillado“, a tale so creepily effective that it unnerves me to this day. On the other side, you have “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in which the killer turns out to be…wait for it…an orangutan. And then there are the many, many works that fall in between.

And so it is with Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. There were some stories I liked a lot, some that failed to impress, and a few that surprised.

In “Illimitable Domain”, Kim Newman pays homage to those lurid Technicolor Poe-inspired horror films of the 60’s. In Newman’s alternate reality, these movies prove so lucrative that Poe-inspired big-screen adaptations become all the rage. As someone who grew up watching Vincent Price ham it up in such garish Roger Corman classics as House of Usher, Tales of Terror, and The Raven, I tip my hat to the author’s encyclopedic knowledge of the genre. He does such a marvelous job of blending fantasy and reality that there were instances in which I found myself fondly recalling a movie…that never actually existed! Although it peters out in the end, it proves an immensely entertaining read.

Melanie Tem’s “The Picker” draws its inspiration from several of Poe’s works, most notably The Raven, in telling the story of a woman, coming to terms with the recent loss of her husband, and her strange encounter with a group of homeless individuals. As Tem explains in the story’s afterword, she was fascinated by mythological depictions of the ravens in which “They use what we have no more use for.” Indeed, these homeless people, “the pickers”, root through the trash, take what our protagonist has no more use for – particularly the effects of her late husband – and, as the narrative progresses, seem to acquire much, much more, inevitably becoming substitutes for what she has lost. An interesting story and a fascinating premise, but I was frustrated by our heroine’s inaction and progressive lethargy.

In “Beyond Porch and Portal”, by E. Catherine Tobler, explores Poe’s last days in which he was found wandering the streets of Baltimore in somebody else’s clothing. Agnes, Poe’s niece, looks into her uncle’s claims that he is being pursued by a mysterious individual named Reynolds, only to end up questioning her own sanity when the investigation lands her in an alternate dimension. Another interesting premise but a story that suffers from casual characterizations and, as a result, ends up feeling sleight.

As I started Gregory Frost’s “The Final Act”, I began to expect a modern re-telling of The Cask of Amontillado, but the story spins off in a totally different direction. Leonard offers to give his co-worker McGowren a lift, this despite the fact that he is still stinging over his wife’s indiscretion with the guy. As the ride progresses, we discover there is a long-standing animosity between the two that dates back to high school, a simmering enmity that threatens to explode into murder. A very engaging story that concludes with a twist that is certainly surprising if not altogether satisfying. As a rule, I’m not a big fan of story’s in which the narrative is ultimately undermined by the revelation that our protagonist is losing his/her mind.

Laird Barron’s “Strappado” is reminiscent of many a horror movie – a group of travelers accept an invitation to a secretive event and, once there, encounter much more than they bargained for. On the surface, it seems a fairly straightforward story and yet its deeply atmospheric progression and terrifying denouement stayed with me for days. This was one ending that I found highly effective, leaving the reader to wonder whether the final image of the protagonist and his lover entombed in the acid-filled barrel is merely symbolic of the inescapable experience they both shared or a shocking return to reality from an imagined escape.

In “The Mountain House”, our main character is the widow of a former NASCAR driver killed doing what he loved most – racing. She moves to an Appalachian estate and there befriends a young local boy who possesses a mysterious connection to other late drivers. Author Sharyn McCrumb does a nice job of painting a sympathetic and engaging portrait of the NASCAR spirit although, in the end and even with the benefit of the afterword, the Poe connection was lost on me.

From the standpoint of character study, Glen Hirshberg’s “The Pikesville Buffalo” in which our protagonist pays a visit to his two eccentric great aunts, Ethel and Zippo, is wonderfully touching. As a horror story dealing with shape shifters capable of assuming animal form, it falls a little flat.

In “The Brink of Eternity”, Barbara Roden offers up a beautifully lyrical and, by contrast, effectively bleak account of one explorer’s obsessive search of the North Pole for the entrance to the mythic “hollow earth”. A truly horrifying descent into isolation and madness.

Stylistically, I found Delia Sherman’s “The Red Piano” most evocative of Poe’s work. A woman rents a house on the condition that she not touch a mysterious red piano. She thinks nothing of it and, as she settles in, gets to know her neighbor, a seemingly lonely fellow named Roderick (!) who happens to have a similar piano in his mansion. As romance blossoms, the reader begins to suspect that there may be a deeper, almost other-worldly connection between the two pianos. Not my favorite entry but an entertaining read nevertheless.

M. Rickert’s “Sleeping with Angels” is another haunting story that succeeds because it is, at its heart, a story of neglect and child abuse as told through the eyes of an innocent child whose friend, Annabel, seems an odd little girl – but her injuries and tall tales belie a terrible secret…

In Steve Rasnic Tem’s “Shadow”, the reader is the protagonist, a woman who has sealed herself off from the outside world stricken by a horrible plague. As you sit, barricaded inside your home, you watch a videotape recording of your seemingly lunatic uncle who informs you of a “shadow” that has infected the place. Another nicely atmospheric entry that does a slow build to its decisive conclusion.

I found Pat Cadigan’s entry more reminiscent of The Twilight Zone than Poe. In “Truth and Bone”, we are introduced to a teenager who hails from a family possessed of paranormal powers. She, herself, has the ability to foresee an individual’s time and manner of death and uses this knowledge to save the life of a local bully – with disastrous results. As in many tales of this ilk (and here I include time travel stories as well), the lesson seems to be that the future is fated to happen and no amount of tampering will deny destiny. A fine entry although I felt as though I’d seen and read it before.

Nicholas Royle’s “The Reunion” is a weird little tale about a couple attending a reunion taking place at a bizarre hotel. Time shifts abound as the husband bears witness to architectural impossibilities, future versions of his fellow guests, and his own doppelganger. The story sets up an intriguing scenario it never pays off, cutting out at the climactic moment when our protagonist is about to come face to face with his double.

Kaaron Warren’s “The Tell” is a riff on Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. In this story, an enigmatic stranger presents our heroine with a gift: a horsehair heart said to have belonged to Poe himself. As it turns out, the heart may well have been the inspiration for many of Poe’s tales as it confers upon its owner the ability to dream the darkest of nightmares. Not one of my favorites either.

Another Twilight Zone-esque outing is David Prill’s “The Heaven and Hell of Robert Flud” about a salesman whose visit to a remote farm proves a most unwise detour. A terrific little gut punch of terror. This one WAS one of my favorites.

While the Poe connection is tenuous, Kristine Katherine Rusch spins a disconcerting tale of a woman, assaulted and left for dead by someone she trusted, who struggles to recover from the violent attack. Her vocal chords damaged beyond repair, she communicates via a voice box, and is forced to move back home with her parents as she awaits a trial that may not go her way. It’s a dark and, frankly, quite depressing story – but dead on.

Lucius Shepard’s “Kirikh’quru Krokundor” charts the journey of a group of anthropologists to deepest, darkest Venezuela where they encounter a bizarre otherworldly force that compels them to have sex with each other. Hmmmm.

In “Lowland Sea”, Suzy McKee Charnas gives us a contemporary spin on The Masque of the Red Death, a terrific end-of-the-world scenario where the survivors of a plague known as the red sweat carouse their days away in a secure compound while society crumble around them. Eventually, when provisions begin to run low, our heroine Miriam is sent (read: forced) out on a fact-finding mission (read: to test whether the contagion is still active). She returns to the compound with now news but is refused entry on suspicion that she is now infected. The revenge she exacts on the survivors is perfection.

The final entry in the collection, John Langan’s “Technicolor” in which The reader is audience to a college professor’s lecture outlining his theory on the meaning behind the mysterious color sequence in Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”. It’s a clever story that ambles along straightforwardly enough only to take an astonishing hairpin turn in its last page. Worth the price of admission.

Editor Ellen Datlow has done a nice job of assembling a varied selection of stories paying homage to Poe. Tales humorous and horrific, uncanny and unpredictable, there’s something in this collection for everyone. So, now that I’ve waded in with my preliminary thoughts, what did everyone else think? Start posting your questions for editor Ellen Datlow.

36 thoughts on “April 20, 2009: Poe – 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, Edited by Ellen Datlow

  1. I have a brilliant idea for the name/title of the new film:

    Stargate Atlantis – the Movie

    I wish you tons of best wishes and loads of good luck with the film…. and some credit should be given to the talented crew and cast.



  2. Hi Joe, I already confessed that I was not able to read the book for discussion, but I do have it and after reading your review, will definitely read it! I always loved the Masque of the Red Death. But I think I need to go back and read some of my Poe again so I can really appreciate the new stories.

    I am curious though:

    1. Why put together an anthology of stories inspired by the Poe classics?

    2. Did the editor notice a trend in stories inspired by Poe – was there a favorite story that seemed to inspire new authors to take it, give it a new spin and make it their own?

  3. Told ya. 😉

    “The Heaven and Hell of Robert Flud” caught my attention, since ‘Flud’ is a family name…and tends not to be that common. Too late to pick the book up now, but maybe sometime down the road I’ll see if the library has Poe and look into it.


  4. Everyone is allowed one mistake per year. That was yours, Joe. From now on, we expect perfection!! 😀


  5. Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe

    Joe, your Poe review is right on the money! I agree the book was full of hits, misses, and some falling in between. I took notes on each story, but in looking them over, even my notes don’t jog my memory of what a couple of the stories were about or how a couple of them ended.

    I do remember “Illimitable Domain”. I did not understand the humor of Mr. Newman. I read it twice and could not tell if he was having fun with, or making fun of, those early 1960’s Poe movies. I just could not appeciate it. I did not think it was a good way to start a tribute collection to Edgar Allan Poe. After all, those early movies, such as my very favorite “The Pit and the Pendulum” are the reason I fell in love with horror at an extremely young age (maybe 6 years old). Poe has been my hero ever since. (And I loved Vincent Price – he was cool!!).

    I liked all the stories, but felt some needed to be longer just for the story telling purposes. But that would not have fit this format. One in particular was “Strappado”. That story creeped me out! And I wanted more. Come on! Falling into a pit and breaking your leg, the next thing we know, it is 2 weeks later and he is found in a closet. Wierd! Exactly what happened in those 2 weeks? An “imagined escape”? You mean they died Joe? Like you Joe, this one stuck with me (and still is).

    The book was an easy read, and overall, I very much enjoyed all the stories. I only wish I could have written a short story for the book myself. It would have contained a very old large mansion passed down from generation to generation within the same family, a head of the household (whose sanity is slipping away, and prone to nightmares), some missing family members, last seen in the house, and lots of strange noises. Perhaps the noise is one of those missing relatives calling out… And Vincent Price would have a cameo!

    Thanks to Ms. Datlow for putting this book together. No better nighttime reading than a spooky, creepy book!

  6. NOW you fix your paragraphs!! Come over here and clean my computer screen of all the little fingerprints from having to use my finger to mark my place in your text as I read your post!

  7. Well, I didn’t get a chance to read it, but I must say…

    Lucius Shepard’s “Kirikh’quru Krokundor” charts the journey of a group of anthropologists to deepest, darkest Venezuela where they encounter a bizarre otherworldly force that compels them to have sex with each other. Hmmmm.

    …has got to be one of my favorite of your responses to a book/story/etc ever.

    Hope you had a pleasant day!

  8. Again I failed to read the book in time for this discussion but I did manage to read a few. I guess that’s what I get for working a little too much. Here are my thoughts so far:

    “Illimitable Domain” was not very good. I found it to just rattle on and on and just end really with no explanation. Because this was the first of the 12 short stories, I began to lose interest in the entire book and found it hard to give the others a chance. But because I enjoy Edgar Allan Poe, I read on.

    “The Pickers” was better that the first story, but again not very good. The ending also left questions unanswered. Who exactly were the Pickers and how did they become what they are? Why did Toni just give up like she did and let the pickers take her apart? This story reminds me of Hitchcock’s The Birds for some strange reason.

    “Beyond Porch and Portal” was excellent. It held just enough mystery to keep the horror just on the edge so you’re just slightly creeped out but not scared out of you mind. It took me until almost the end to realize that she had died the minute she chose to go with Reynold and figure out his secret. I loved how the author chose to write the story in the time that Poe was alive. It helped to add to the suspense.

    “The Final Act” was pretty good. I didn’t expect for McGowren to be dead. Just one question: “Who killed him? Laurel or Len? I could have done without all the cursing. Most of the time in stories I find it unnecessary, especially in this one. That was always one thing I’ve enjoyed about reading Poe was that he never cursed that I can remember.

    I always seem to compare Edgar Allan Poe to Alfred Hitchcock. Both were masters of horror – one with words while the other was visually dynamic. Both men were capable of scaring their audiences without the blood and gore of horror today. While people now-a-days try to copy or even beat these two masters, they will never come close to the wonderful stories Poe and Hitchcock produced. They will always have people compared to them and their works but I don’t believe that it is possible for anyone to top them in the two different categories. Both were geniuses of their times.

  9. Joe,

    Yes, I’m still here…just lurking a bit as RL gets in the way of my online life. ;o)

    Thank you for finishing the Atlantis script. I was told on the set tour of the Creation Con that there was no news about the SGA movie because the script wasn’t finished so I’m SO happy to hear it’s done.

    I hope there’s some Sheppard/McKay friendship/bickering moments. Those are the best ones for me. They are the main reason I watched the show for so long….their interactions have been brilliant…thank you for that also.

    Um…are there any Sheppard/McKay moments?

    Joe this rant isn’t aimed at you…I’m sure you aren’t the one that is deciding whether to let the cat out of the bag or not:
    But dang it…I’m SO sick of everyone hinting that SG-1/SGA has gay characters. If someone(TPTB) really has thought it out enough to say, yes the other Stargate shows have gay characters…then why the secrecy? Just say it already. Is it a main character? Recurring? Walk on role? It’s just too weird to keep hinting about it. Either tell or let it go.

    I was SO bummed on the set tour that the Atlantis Stargate was down and an SGU set of a bedroom was standing where the gate had been. My advice to anyone that is only going to the Creation con to see the SG-1 SGA sets…don’t bother. They wouldn’t let us see hardly any SG-1 sets and with the SGA Stargate down and a silly little bedroom set up, it really ruined seeing the Atlantis sets. *sigh* Hard lesson and a lot of money wasted. Seeing the actors was nice of course. But Creation really should have told us we wouldn’t be seeing much of SG-1 sets and that the Atlantis gate was down.

    We did get to walk through the offices Joe and saw yours. I was tempted to take out my lipstick(as I had nothing else to write with) and sign my name on your glass wall…but I was a good girl and refrained…LOL.

    It’s a good thing I didn’t know about that part of the tour ahead of time….*evil grin* I might just have left a SAVE SGA lemon for Brad!

    I’m hoping the SGA script gets finalized quickly and that MGM greenlights the movie soon.

    Thank you again Joe and Paul too(he did the first part, right). I’m sure with SGU it’s been hard to get to the SGA movie. *hugs*


  10. Bonjour Joseph!

    Vous allez bien? Moi super!

    Aujourd’hui je fait de l’acrobranche, c’est le fait de ce balader d’arbre en arbre….roh j’espere y arriver car je pense avoir le vertige…

    Je voudrais tellement lire des romans mais mes parent ne trouvent aucun intêret à acheter ce genre de livre, la seul chose que je peu acheter de temp en temp c’est des BD car mon pére les lit aussi. Et puis s’il m’arrive de pouvoir m’en acheter je finit toujour pas y renoncer car j’ai peur d’acheter un livre qui ne me plait pas.

    Bonne journée, bisou =)

  11. Not to be a naysayer, but you do realize that you’re one game away from experiencing an “energetic, crowd pleaser” about a Christian boy band from Ohio, right? Maybe you can start praying that Alexei Kovalev hates boy bands from Ohio, too.

    Next time, just lie and say you have relatives in Detroit.

  12. ““Kirikh’quru Krokundor” charts the journey of a group of anthropologists to deepest, darkest Venezuela where they encounter a bizarre otherworldly force that compels them to have sex with each other”

    —–yeah as if they dont do that already.

    “The Masque of the Red Death” is just too weird, and it makes no sense.

  13. Answer: Actually, 20 is “Reveal team back on Earth all along. Destiny is only V.R.!” Don’t tell anyone.

    Ha ha! This is why I love the Mailbag. You are so freakin’ funny!

  14. just incase you haven’t been paying attention to the hockey playoffs here is a quick rundown;
    Canucks are up 3-0 trying to knock out the blues today
    Habs are down 0-3 trying to stave off elimination tomorow

    i don’t think you will ever live this one down, enjoy the show 😛

  15. I’m not usually one for this genre, but I may just have to pick up this particular book…a lot of the stories piqued my interest. (Which is difficult to do as of late.)

  16. Joe, can i just say that im not behind the whole sex stargate thing. thats one element that im afraid will ruin the franchise. and overall i dont want to watch something that is realistic or representative of our society, that would be boring and slightly nauseating. but you guys do what you think is right, just i feel you guys are pushing it to the extreme with this one. putting gay characters isnt gonna make it unique, its only gonna make it disappear in the background.
    having said that will SG-1 characters behave differently in this new show? like will Jack be dead serious? and im guessing having Teal’c could be a problem because of his history that might confuse the people you want to attract to SGU. am i right?

  17. I jope you can help me.
    I asked me, if the ICARUS Base could be a kind of second SGC on earth as emergency system. The big power bridges around the stargate in the Base seem to be mobil. Am I wrong or could it be?

    It also could be a base near a sun to catch power out of it for the stargate. The bower bridges around the Gate are so big, that I think they have to transport a lot of energy.

  18. Hello Joe,
    Wow, books can be so complicated. My small brain can’t handle it. I also have to say i have to agree with duneknight. I totally agree about what he is saying. Oh and remember how i said i want to be an actor. Well i went to AMTC thing
    http://www.amtcworld.com/ At the event they allowed everyone there to audition for acting modeling dancing or singing. They are scouting for talent and you can try out for free and they can critique you. I read a TV ad. The judge said i did a good job!! But I am waiting for a call that will come later this week with a more detailed critique. My friend(a musician and actor involved with AMTC) said I did really good, so i am kinda encouraged! Mabye, if i get real good real fast, I might be able to get a tiny part in SGU. Unrealistic, but a cool thought. Anyways here are my questions for the next mailbag.

    1. Will the Atlantis Movie’s A plot be about the Wraith?

    2. Will there be lots of action? Such P90 fire, Space battles, hand to hand scenes. Or will it be like a common episode’s dose of action? Do you think it will have more action than the previous movies?

    3. How do I contact Mrs. Val Halverson?

    4. So are you done Filming Water yet? Has Life Started Filming yet?

    5. How close is Air to being finished.? How are the visual effects coming? Are they almost done?

    6. Do you think the Atlantis movie will be released in the summer or the spring of 2010?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  19. Oh and check out the article about my friend on the AMTC website. He ultimately wants to be a musician but is amazing at acting and also wants to be a actor. Mabye he could get a part on SGU?
    Here is the blog entry about him on the AMTC website.


    And here is his myspace with his music.


    Enjoy and please tell me what you think?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  20. I’m going to confess that I haven’t read the book either and I fear it will be added to a long list of books that I have yet to read. I will try to find it at my library or request it.

    I do love Poe though.

    I just bought Clive Barker’s omnibuses for his Books of Blood and I do have a story called “The New Murders of Rue Morgue” featured in it so I’m going to be reading it to make up for the blunder of being a step behind on this book reading one.

    Questions for Ellen Datlow hmm…. I’ve come across her many times so I have many questions but will try to make it relevant to Poe.

    1. Did she try to channel the spirit of Poe for her selection of the stories?

    2. Poe could be quite a brutal critic, in his own way, what would she think he would have to say about the stories chosen?

    This is still one for you, Joe.

    Have you ever read Edward Carey’s Observatory Mansions? I warn you, I may become the way Sam, from Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, is with one poor fellow until you do.

  21. Please forgive me for not participating in your BOTMC, although I recognize that you wouldn’t notice my absence anyway. The problem is that I have, on my bedside bookshelf, some 30 unread books I’m trying to get through, so that I can’t justify adding more on your recommendation in the short term. Even so, I always make note of your reviews, in order to add to the pile later on.

    If any of your recent suggestions piqued me, it would have been this latest one (Poe afficianado, that I am). The review was a little disappointing, but I’ll probably give it a look down the road. In the meantime, keep up the good work. Because of you, I discovered Ian M. Banks and John Scalzi, and rediscovered Heinlein (rereading is truly a pleasure in one’s old age).

  22. @ selkiesgrace – Sorry I missed you in yesterday’s blog (oh, and thanks for calling and ‘waking’ me up last night…I sooo did not get to bed before 2 am. 😛 ).

    If you’re confused about how Wraith reproduce – YOU, who’s more interested in how John Sheppard reproduces – well…think of how confused I am, especially after a year and a half of analyzing this subject to death! I’ve boiled it down to pod development/’birth’ for all, with the uglyass warriors emerging full-grown, and the ‘faced’ Wraith (males and queens) emerging as juveniles, but not as infants. How they come to be in those pods is a different story. 😉

    I think of their juvenile stage as a ‘ larval’ stage, during which they eat a diet similar to humans. I compare it to caterpillars that eat vegetation, but after they transform into butterflies they can only survive on nectar. So, too…Wraith, when they transform into adulthood, can only survive on the ‘nectar’ of human life.

    Joe – if I’m way off track with any of that, just slap me. 😀

    I think the only similarity between Borg and Wraith is the ‘hive’ mentality/structure, but Wraith are not connected the same as Borg, and have the ability for individual thought and action. Well, except the warriors, which are controlled by their superiors…but still much different than Borg, imho.

    So, Gracie – you give any more thought to what we talked about last night…you know…Todd’s hand, and a good ol’ suck n’ puke?

    I’ll convert you, yet!



  23. Some questions for Ellen Datlow:

    1. How did this anthology come about? Were you approached by a publisher or was it the other way around?

    2. If the idea for the anthology germinated with you, what led you to suggest a Poe-inspired anthology?

    3. As Joe pointed out, every anthology has its highs and lows. What are some of your favorite Poe stories? And which ones your least favorites? And why?

    4. As you were putting together the anthology, were there certain author you knew would be a perfect fit for the material? Kim Newman for instance? Were there some authors who actually approached you and ended up surprising you with their submission?

  24. hi, joe,

    can you reveal how many ‘sgu’ eps sam/amanda will be in? if just one, can you reveal the ep name?

    it’s cooler today. the sun did not set on the asphalt again. 😛 what’s the hottest day you can remember happening in vancouver?


  25. Joe…you ever think of writing a book about a guy with a blog? It could be written in blog format, with entries and replies…and as each day (or week) goes by, the blog slowly takes over the guy’s life, and he gradually loses his mind…all chronicled in his entries and his interaction with those commenting on the site. I think you could make it work!!

    NOT that you are ‘that’ guy, just…it’s just something that popped into my head, and I thought you’d be the sort of person who could really have fun with a concept like that.


  26. Oh, wait…scratch that. You don’t like stories where a person is losing their mind. lol. I forgot.



  27. Das wrote, “the blog slowly takes over the guy’s life, and he gradually loses his mind…all chronicled in his entries and his interaction with those commenting on the site. I think you could make it work!!”

    Gradually loses his mind… I’m pretty sure WE could make it work!

  28. Thanks for the book recommendation. This is the type of horror I enjoy because it’s more cerebral than visceral. There were a lot of great stories in this collection (The Pickers for the way these strangers quietly take over this woman’s life, Shadow for the feeling of isolation and paranoia it imparts, and Flitting Away for its real-world parallels). I have a few questions for Ellen –

    Hi Ellen,

    I was wondering if you can tell us what led you to become an editor and what is it about your work that you find most satisfying?

    You’ve worked in all three genres – science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Do you have a favorite? In the almost thirty years you’ve been editing, have there been any developments that either shocked or surprised you in any of the three genres. And, being a veteran of all these developments, what do you foresee for all three genres in the future?

    And, finally, what advice would you give young writers looking to break into the short fiction field, especially in today’s dwindling market where many even established genre magazines are closing their doors?


  29. das- I had this long ol reply all typed up and than I lost it. Grr. 😡 I’m off to bed.

  30. Hi Joe,

    Better late than never –

    Like you, I grew up reading Poe so I guess I was predisposed to liking this collection. Even though I occasionally missed the Poe connection (thank you, afterwards) that didn’t stop me from really enjoying a lot of the stories that made up this collection.

    If you haven’t already sent them out, I’d like to add some questions for Ms. Datlow –

    Hello Ellen,

    Great anthology. My question is similar to one that’s already been asked regarding how you put together this collection of stories – but, specifically, I’d like to know your connection to the different contributors. Did you have a pre-established working relation with all of them and, therefore, knew that they’d be up to the challenge or was it more of an open call? Were there any writers who you approached that weren’t able to make the deadline?

    What is it about horror that appeals to you? And, being so involved on the literary side of the genre, do you take any interest in its television and film versions? If yes, do you have any favorites?

    As an editor, have you ever had to turn down a story for any reason. And I’m not talking about submissions from first-time writers but established authors whose stories didn’t meet your standards? Also, have you ever refused to publish a horror story that felt was too graphic or offensive?

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