From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. This darkly fascinating anthology of nine stories shows humans trembling in the presence of mighty, unknowable powers and their predatory servants. In Gerri Leen's "Whither Thou Goest," Ruth is revealed to be a psychic leech, giving freshly disturbing meaning to her touching vow never to leave her aged mother-in-law. Jesus' exhortation to drink His blood is taken literally by a congregation of vampires in D.K. Thompson's "Last Respects." A ...
Do you read the Bible for the sex? Did you find that story of Solomon threatening to cut the baby in half really messed up? This is the book for you. Mad prophets gather around a dilapidated musician in a seedy night club. A widow slaughters the enemy general repeatedly. A doomed king speaks to the dead.
Written by the most original voices in dark fantasy including Catherynne Valente, Gerri Leen and Stephen M. Wilson, these nine stories are full of passion, violence and divine exuberance.
In Leen's recounting, Ruth isn't some virtuous convert whose redemptive re-marriage carries on a family line that leads to David and ultimately Jesus Christ, but a demon whose sustenance depends on sucking the souls of others. The implications of a Biblical setting go beyond a plot device for a horror story. If the main character is seen as an avenging demon, a false convert, who becomes revered as a foremother of the virgin birth of Jesus according to the genealogy in Matthew?
This particular anthology is a collection of horror stories based on stories found in the Bible, and it's as entertaining as it sounds. You don't need to know the stories on which they are based to enjoy these tales, but if you're someone like me who has read the Bible cover-to-cover it's even more fun to look at the original stories and in most cases see just how few modifications were required to make them fit soundly into the horror genre.
All in all, this is a great anthology.
My absolute favorite of the anthology is Elissa Malcohn’s Judgment at Naioth, a fantastic short about an Israel existing in a different time and place where the Philistines are a major drug gang and David is an aging musician in a dance club populated by prophets who are kept addicted to drugs. His eldest son Amnon is a ruthless mayor and his favorite son Absalom is among the denizens of the club. Solomon a prophet in this strange world.
Those people who were subjected—willfully or otherwise—to bible readings at one point or another, and thought the savage violence and wild sex was maybe worth another look, this next one pulls no punches, mallets, nails or other blunt objects of the sort. It’s the October release SHE NAILED A STAKE THROUGH HIS HEAD: TALES OF BIBLICAL TERROR (Dybbuk Press) from editor Tim Lieder, who has compiled some seriously twisted Good Book rehashes.
Not that it’s done with any disrespect, but quite the contrary. A fresh spin is put on the Old Testament, making it scream with new excitement one didn’t think possible. There’s enough satire and human disgust with the hardness of God and the world He’s created to satisfy even the most morbid atheist. Yet there’s a thread of truth that allows the pieces in the volume to rise above the typical collection of yarns.
Tim Lieder (editor) is the founder of Dybbuk Press through which he has edited numerous titles including Teddy Bear Cannibal Massacre. His short stories have appeared in Everyday Fiction, Silverthought and Shock Totem.
Catherynne Valente is one of the most exciting voices in modern fantasy. SHe has written poems, novels and shorts stories including Palimpsest, The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects. She has won numerous awards and has been nominated for the Hugo.
Lyda Morehouse is a big fan of God and the author of the AngeLINK tetrology. The well-received series is religious cyberpunk mashup which includes Archangel Protocol and Apocalypse Array, which won the Shamus and Philip K. Dick awards respectively. A prequel to the series called Resurrection Code is forthcoming from Mad Norwegian Press in December 2010.
Romie Stott is an editor of the slipstream magazine Reflection's Edge. Her work has been published in Strange Horizons, Jerseyworks, THe Huffington Post, and Death List Five. As a filmmaker (working under the name Romie Faienza) she has displayed her work at the National Gallery in London and the Dallas Museum of Art, and participated in Jonathan Lethem's Promiscuous Materials Project. She is a founding member of the film and art collective Rocker Box Gasket.
Elissa Malcohn was a 1985 John W. Campbell Award finalist and is on the recommended reading list in The Year's Best Science Fiction, 26th Annual Edition. Her work appears in Asimov's, Hugo Award winner Electric Velocipede, Bram Stoker award winner Unspeakable Horror, IPPY Silver Medalist Riffing on Strings and elsewhere. When not writing she enjoys photographing bugs, singing, performing spoken word at open mics and deconstructing scripture. She lives in central Florida with her partner Mary C. Russell.
Stephen M. Wilson is a poetry editor of Doorways Magazine. His own writing has appeared in such places as The Queer Collection, Avant-Garde for the New Millennium, The Vault of Punk Horror, The Huffington Post and Space & Time Magazine. He received an honorable mention from Ellen Datlow in the YBFH series as well as several Rhysling Award nominations.
Daniel Kaysen's short dark fiction has appeared online at Chizine and Strange Horizons and several times in the print magazine Black Static. He lives in the south of England.