Friday, September 2, 2016

An Honest Review of: Now Playing in Theater B (and) Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Vol. 5

Amazon typically does not allow authors to review anthologies if they have contributed a story to that anthology. With that in mind, I thought I'd post some honest reviews here on my blog for books that fit this category.

This week, I'll review two titles.

Title: Now Playing in Theater B
Publisher: A Murder of Storytellers
Editor: Adrean Mesmer
Number of stories: 27
Pages: 235
Price: $12.99 paperback, $2.99 Kindle
Theme: Grindhouse-inspired, B-movie horror stories
My story included: Four Houses Down, on the Bad Side of Town. Clive's home is for sale. But as the tour of the house unfolds, and more and more of Clive's strange and surreal memories are revealed, the prospective home buyer comes to realize something is very wrong.

I like the simple, yet eye-catching cover art by AP Sessler. The theme being what it is, there are some familiar themes and topics but nothing that I'm tired of reading about. I think overall, this anthology had fewer knock-me-out-of-my-chair-they're-so-good stories, but it also doesn't have any duds or stories marred by multiple typos. Personal favorite stories: The Lovely Thing by Lisa Finch and Tiny Town by Amber Bierce.

Overall: I give it a B--much like the movies the anthology pays homage to.
Here's a link to order.

Title: Morpheus Tales: The best Weird Fiction Vol. 5
Publisher: Morpheus Tales via Lulu
Editor: Adam Bradley
Number of stories: 20
Pages: 109
Price: $7.64 paperback, $3.99 Kindle
Theme: very short fiction (weird, horror)
My story included: Solitary Man. A prison guard visiting his comatose son tells the story of a famous writer who is serving a life sentence in solitary confinement. Of course, all is not as it seems...

I like the change of pace from cover artist by Matthew Freyer. Really disconcerting--in a good way. All of the stories are rather short, with the longest running 8 pages. Most of the authors do a good job within these constraints. These stories are reprints from three old issues of Morpheus Tales. There was only one story that was, for me, a chore to read. Among my favorites were: Business is Business by Lee Clark Zumpe, The Depredators' Club by Deborah Walker, and When the Letter Came by Matthew Acheson.

Overall: I give it a B. It's short, but also cheaper than buying all three individual issues.
Here is a link to order.

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