[HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

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[HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

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Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

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The essential collection of beloved ghost stories, compiled by the editor who helped define the genre—including stories from award-winning, bestselling authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay.

Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially Ellen Datlow—the most lauded editor in short works of supernatural suspense and dark fantasy. The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories is her definitive collection of ghost stories.

These twenty-nine stories, including all new works from New York Times bestselling authors Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay, span from the traditional to the eclectic, from the mainstream to the literary, from pure fantasy to the bizarrely supernatural. Whether you’re reading alone under the covers with a flashlight, or around a campfire with a circle of friends, there’s something here to please—and spook—everyone.

Contributors include: Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Vincent J. Masterson, A.C. Wise, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Lee Thomas, Alison Littlewood, M.L. Siemienowicz, Richard Kadrey, Indrapramit Das, Richard Bowes, Nick Mamatas, Terry Dowling, Aliette de Bodard, Carole Johnstone, Dale Bailey, Stephen Graham Jones, Bracken MacLeod, Garth Nix, Brian Evenson, Jeffrey Ford, Gemma Files, Paul Tremblay, Nathan Ballingrud, Pat Cadigan, John Langan.

Purchase here (or at the bookstore of your choice) and join in on the discussion:



I'm hoping this is right because I'm doing a copypasta without verifying. I'll adjust if necessary.

Table of Contents:
  • Introduction Ellen Datlow
  • Ice Cold Lemonade 25ȼ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person,” by Paul Tremblay
  • “Linger Longer,” by Vincent J. Masterson
  • “Whimper Beg,” by Lee Thomas
  • “The July Girls,” by Alison Littlewood
  • “About the O’Dells,” by Pat Cadigan
  • “A Hinterlands Haunting,” by Richard Kadrey
  • “The Number of Things You Remember,” by M. L. Siemienowicz
  • “Must Be This Tall to Ride,” by Seanan McGuire
  • “The Surviving Child,” by Joyce Carol Oates
  • “The Medium’s End,” by Ford Madox Ford
  • “A Shade of Dusk,” by Indrapramit Das
  • “Icarus Rising,” by Richard Bowes
  • “The Puppet Motel,” by Gemma Files
  • “Air Valve Semilunar Astern,” by Nick Mamatas
  • “The Unwrapping,” by Terry Dowling
  • “The Upper Berth,” by F. Marion Crawford
  • “A Burning Sword for Her Cradle,” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Precipice,” by Dale Bailey
  • “The Shooter,” by M. Rickert
  • “The Tree of Self-Knowledge,” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “The Other Woman,” by Alice Hoffman
  • “The Loneliness of Not Being Haunted,” by Bracken MacLeod
  • “Mee-Ow,” by Garth Nix
  • “Jasper Dodd’s Handbook of Spirits and Manifestations,” by Nathan Ballingrud
  • “His Haunting,” by Brian Evenson
  • “The Jeweled Wren,” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “The Air, the Ocean, the Earth, the Deep,” by Siobhan Carroll
  • “The Ghost Sequences,” by A. C. Wise
  • “Deep, Fast, Green,” by Carole Johnstone
  • “Natalia, Queen of the Hungry Dogs,” by John Langan
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Started this last night. Read the intro and most of the first story (Tremblay's). Whats hte plan as far as breaking these down?
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

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That's what I was wondering. Three stories at a time like we did with chapters?
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:27 pm That's what I was wondering. Three stories at a time like we did with chapters?
I think that makes sense to schedule out, but I do think when we are discussing let's seperate out spoilers / posts into one of the shorts clearly marked to make it easier to not get spoiled.
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by Alien Redrum »

Absolutely. I'm thinking like:

Ice Cold Lemonade 25¢ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person by Paul Tremblay

Blah blah blah blah and it's really too bad Ron isn't joining because he'd really like that one part where
Spoiler:
HAHAHAH MADE YOU LOOK, RON!
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shiki-jitsu (Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:25 pm)
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Ice Cold Lemonade 25¢ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person by Paul Tremblay
First story down...
Spoiler:
I like what I have read of Tremblay before as we have discussed and this story I think falls in line wiht the rest of his work. One difference I find funny is that IIRC I complained about the way the kids in Devils Rock talked and found it very fake, but I didn't see that to be the case in this story. His interactions with the girls were well written I thought. I liked the approach to this as a memory that was triggered by the drawing, but I do wish there was something more to the backstory. I get all the part that she talked about when he first saw the drawing, but some more of it would have made the end more impactful. I felt like the ending was disconnected from the rest of the story. Maybe I just enjoyed the bits in the 80s more than the current timeline. They definitely felt more fleshed out.

Overall a good start to the anthology and goes along with the introduction in the sense that she talks about the fact that ghosts stories are not always about ghosts. Think this would make a really cool live action short, or as part of an anthology tv show.
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

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shiki-jitsu wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:52 pm Ice Cold Lemonade 25¢ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person by Paul Tremblay
First story down...
Spoiler:
I like what I have read of Tremblay before as we have discussed and this story I think falls in line wiht the rest of his work. One difference I find funny is that IIRC I complained about the way the kids in Devils Rock talked and found it very fake, but I didn't see that to be the case in this story. His interactions with the girls were well written I thought. I liked the approach to this as a memory that was triggered by the drawing, but I do wish there was something more to the backstory. I get all the part that she talked about when he first saw the drawing, but some more of it would have made the end more impactful. I felt like the ending was disconnected from the rest of the story. Maybe I just enjoyed the bits in the 80s more than the current timeline. They definitely felt more fleshed out.

Overall a good start to the anthology and goes along with the introduction in the sense that she talks about the fact that ghosts stories are not always about ghosts. Think this would make a really cool live action short, or as part of an anthology tv show.
I definitely agree with your thoughts, 100%.
Spoiler:
This was slightly disappointing because I'm a big fan of his work, and this was missing...something. It is effectively creepy in parts, but it feels like it could have had more of a punch if there was more backstory.

Like you said, the ending is disconnected. It feels like an ending from something else, or even something was edited out that ties the ending in better. I don't know.

One thing I noticed and really thought would play into the ending was an odd choice of words in one particular sentence. When he saw Kelly's grandfather, he said he ran through Kelly to get out of there. Not around or by. Through. When I read that, it stopped me in my tracks thinking there would be something to this. But it wasn't. Not that I can think of anyway.

I did really love the ways he described having a crush on Kelly without actually saying it. One of my favorite parts from the book is:
She nodded and didn't look at me. She didn't even look at me when I was staring a her profile for what felt like the rest of summer.
I felt that sentence. His handling of the whole school-boy-crush is terrific in that it's not annoying (which those can be).

I wish I knew what happened to Kelly, ultimately. It seems like that is missing.

Oh, one more thing that's neither here nor there. I tend to enjoy works set up like this: A writer writing about his childhood. It immediately sets the mood. Like The Body or The Girl Next Door (but, to be fair, I can't rightly remember if that was done in the book; I know it was done in the movie).

That said, I did enjoy it overall, but it's one of the weaker entries in Tremblay's catalog.

:3.5stars:
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

“Linger Longer,” by Vincent J. Masterson
Spoiler:
This one I am very curious on your thoughts on.

Spolier: I did not like this story at all.

I felt like this short was extremely disjointed, and I am sure this is by design, but reading this felt like a fever dream. So many loose connection points in the story. I didn't give a shit about any of the characters (which I get is hard to do in such a short time).

I am not sure what to even say about it. I am curious to see if you felt the same.
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

“Whimper Beg,” by Lee Thomas
Spoiler:
I really liked this story. Kept me intrigued and curious to where it was going. The scratching, the phone calls, everything else going on... kept me as a reader on edge. Definitely worked to create that tension.

Ultimately, I do have questions. Why was the ghost dog/pelham going after Scotty. Why Walt? Was it just the passing on of the book, assuming it is just a cursed object that affects each person that takes it into their possession? Why would Walt be target initially, or why Scotty?

Really liked the whole last scene with Bette and Scotty. Well done.
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by Alien Redrum »

OMG you're on fire. I"m still slogging through "Linger Longer".
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:24 pm OMG you're on fire. I"m still slogging through "Linger Longer".
Sounds like you may have similar thoughts on that story as myself. :lol:
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

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shiki-jitsu wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:44 pm “Linger Longer,” by Vincent J. Masterson
Spoiler:
This one I am very curious on your thoughts on.

Spolier: I did not like this story at all.

I felt like this short was extremely disjointed, and I am sure this is by design, but reading this felt like a fever dream. So many loose connection points in the story. I didn't give a shit about any of the characters (which I get is hard to do in such a short time).

I am not sure what to even say about it. I am curious to see if you felt the same.
Ugh. Yeah. Yes to all.
Spoiler:
There are a few things that frustrated me. First is I really loved the idea of this story. Hell, I wanted to read the Civil War story that was in this story. That's the tale I wanted to read. The execution, though, was just bad.

First, I COMPLETELY agree about the characters. None of them are likable. The boyfriend seems like an asshole, the main character is annoying, the bf's best friend is a douche (I really fucking disliked him and his milady-esqueness.), and Mallory is just...there. None of the characters really add any depth to this.

Plus, the story is too wordy. The author pointlessly added analogies when they weren't necessary. I can't remember any particular one, but one was vaguely like, "They passed her, like cars do on the highway." WTF. "They passed her" is fine, man. I'm not a fan of purple prose unless done well, and it's too much for a short story. Get to the point.

I think I'm angry about this whole thing because it could have been something great. It was just a whole lot of build up to...nothing. As soon as the Civil War story was told, you knew where it was going, and it was madly disappointing.

:1star:
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:45 pm
shiki-jitsu wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:44 pm “Linger Longer,” by Vincent J. Masterson
Spoiler:
This one I am very curious on your thoughts on.

Spolier: I did not like this story at all.

I felt like this short was extremely disjointed, and I am sure this is by design, but reading this felt like a fever dream. So many loose connection points in the story. I didn't give a shit about any of the characters (which I get is hard to do in such a short time).

I am not sure what to even say about it. I am curious to see if you felt the same.
Ugh. Yeah. Yes to all.
Spoiler:
There are a few things that frustrated me. First is I really loved the idea of this story. Hell, I wanted to read the Civil War story that was in this story. That's the tale I wanted to read. The execution, though, was just bad.

First, I COMPLETELY agree about the characters. None of them are likable. The boyfriend seems like an asshole, the main character is annoying, the bf's best friend is a douche (I really fucking disliked him and his milady-esqueness.), and Mallory is just...there. None of the characters really add any depth to this.

Plus, the story is too wordy. The author pointlessly added analogies when they weren't necessary. I can't remember any particular one, but one was vaguely like, "They passed her, like cars do on the highway." WTF. "They passed her" is fine, man. I'm not a fan of purple prose unless done well, and it's too much for a short story. Get to the point.

I think I'm angry about this whole thing because it could have been something great. It was just a whole lot of build up to...nothing. As soon as the Civil War story was told, you knew where it was going, and it was madly disappointing.

:1star:
Agreed. Glad you were at least able to articulate the issues more than I.
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by Alien Redrum »

shiki-jitsu wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:11 pm “Whimper Beg,” by Lee Thomas
Spoiler:
I really liked this story. Kept me intrigued and curious to where it was going. The scratching, the phone calls, everything else going on... kept me as a reader on edge. Definitely worked to create that tension.

Ultimately, I do have questions. Why was the ghost dog/pelham going after Scotty. Why Walt? Was it just the passing on of the book, assuming it is just a cursed object that affects each person that takes it into their possession? Why would Walt be target initially, or why Scotty?

Really liked the whole last scene with Bette and Scotty. Well done.
Okay, I'm medicated right now, but I agree. I'm going to formulate more thoughts tomorrow, but I wanted to address one thing now because I'm high and it's writhe brilliant or dumb.
Spoiler:
I had the same questions as you, and here's what I think: I think the book transfer has something to do with it, but what if Walt just died naturally, but Scotty was targeted because he was a shitty father. And the daughter calling were his chances to live if he had answered.

But since he didn't, he died as Pelham did in some sort of ironic revenge. In a way, Scotty is playing the role of Pelham's dad so he can get his revenge.

This makes sense RIGHT NOW. Let's see what tomorrow brings. :lol:
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Re: [HDNA #5] - Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:22 am
shiki-jitsu wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:11 pm “Whimper Beg,” by Lee Thomas
Spoiler:
I really liked this story. Kept me intrigued and curious to where it was going. The scratching, the phone calls, everything else going on... kept me as a reader on edge. Definitely worked to create that tension.

Ultimately, I do have questions. Why was the ghost dog/pelham going after Scotty. Why Walt? Was it just the passing on of the book, assuming it is just a cursed object that affects each person that takes it into their possession? Why would Walt be target initially, or why Scotty?

Really liked the whole last scene with Bette and Scotty. Well done.
Okay, I'm medicated right now, but I agree. I'm going to formulate more thoughts tomorrow, but I wanted to address one thing now because I'm high and it's writhe brilliant or dumb.
Spoiler:
I had the same questions as you, and here's what I think: I think the book transfer has something to do with it, but what if Walt just died naturally, but Scotty was targeted because he was a shitty father. And the daughter calling were his chances to live if he had answered.

But since he didn't, he died as Pelham did in some sort of ironic revenge. In a way, Scotty is playing the role of Pelham's dad so he can get his revenge.

This makes sense RIGHT NOW. Let's see what tomorrow brings. :lol:
Spoiler:
so I didn’t have the same thought, but I did go back and read more about Walt when I had my own question and it would be far too coincidental to be natural as he died in his yard but the body was clearly attacked by wildlife. So the implication was that it was Bette/Pelham.
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