Mojo -- a powerful, disturbing anthology edited by Nalo Hopkinson that explores the world of voodoo -- contains short stories by some of the biggest names in modern fantasy, including Neil Gaiman, Barbara Hambly, Steven Barnes, Andy Duncan, and Tananarive Due. Although the stories explore the myths and legends of personal magic, the subject matter ranges widely from African warriors in the holds of slave ships to abused children plotting revenge to drag queens to the undead living in affluent closed communities.
In Neil Gaiman's "Bitter Grounds," an anthropology professor is on his way to a conference in New Orleans to present a paper on the legend of the Haitian coffee girls, undead children who allegedly went door-to-door selling a chicory coffee mixture just before the dawn. When his car breaks down on a backwoods road, he runs into a mysterious Samaritan who comes into his life for a very definite reason.
The introduction by Luisah Teish, a popular spiritualist and author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, says it all: "Reader, Be Aware! There's a conjuring going on. You are being lured, with the turning of each page, into the myth and mystery of our DeepBlack magical heritage."
Unlike many anthologies, this collection of 19 original stories has no weak spots. Every tale is strong, unique, and noteworthy in its own right. Fans of Nalo Hopkinson works like Brown Girl in the Ring and the short story collection Skin Folk will cherish this brilliant collection. Paul Goat Allen