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

Books, comics etc. anything that's on a page and not moving.
User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

shiki-jitsu wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:02 am
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.
Spoiler:
Oh! You're correct, that slipped my mind. For some reason I thought it was just old age or something. Not to push it (because, honestly, I know it's just a theory), was anything mentioned on how the first guy that died treated his kids?

The main reason I ask is I don't care if I'm right or not, I just want an answer. This is really well written. It's not scary, really, just fucking sad all around. But you're right, why Scotty? The only thing I can think of is he treats his daughter like shit, just like Pelham's dad. If there were any indication on how the first guy who died treated his kids, it would be cool because there was a pattern.

Or, back to your original point, maybe one last paragraph of a friend of his finding the book at HIS wake, so you know what's up.

Great story, but there are definitely questions.

:3.5stars:

(This could potentially be higher if we talk out a reason. :lol: )
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

"The July Girls," by Alison Littlewood
Spoiler:
Holy fuck what a downer! :lol:

So while no particular story has wow'd me yet, I liked this one quite a bit. Not so much for the scares, as there aren't any really, but the way the author delivers both rage and sadness in one person is rather impressive. I felt so fucking bad for the narrator because her sister was obviously a piece of shit, even in death.

But it begs the question, are we getting the whole story? We are getting just one side after all, and she even corrected herself where she said originally she was looking somewhere else when the picture was taken, but come to find out, she was looking at Sophia's boyfriend. Granted, that isn't enough to kill her, but it does make the narrator unreliable and she might have deserved what she got. I kind of like how it's open to interpretation.

That said, this is wonderfully written, almost poetic without being purple prose (I hate using that term in back to back stories, but as our great leader says, it is what it is).

I really loved this passage (bolding mine):
My mother had been wrong: Sophia was here and she hated me. She hated me because I was jealous. She hated me because I wanted everything she had. She hated me because she was dead and I was alive but I didn't know how to live, not really--not without her to show me how.
Fucccccckkkkkkkk

Yeah, I definitely dug this one.

:4stars:

And here's a picture of a fogous. I had to look it up.

Image
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
shiki-jitsu
Horror DNA Hardcore
Horror DNA Hardcore
Posts: 3792
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:01 pm
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 180 times

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

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:28 pm "The July Girls," by Alison Littlewood
Spoiler:
Holy fuck what a downer! :lol:

So while no particular story has wow'd me yet, I liked this one quite a bit. Not so much for the scares, as there aren't any really, but the way the author delivers both rage and sadness in one person is rather impressive. I felt so fucking bad for the narrator because her sister was obviously a piece of shit, even in death.

But it begs the question, are we getting the whole story? We are getting just one side after all, and she even corrected herself where she said originally she was looking somewhere else when the picture was taken, but come to find out, she was looking at Sophia's boyfriend. Granted, that isn't enough to kill her, but it does make the narrator unreliable and she might have deserved what she got. I kind of like how it's open to interpretation.

That said, this is wonderfully written, almost poetic without being purple prose (I hate using that term in back to back stories, but as our great leader says, it is what it is).

I really loved this passage (bolding mine):
My mother had been wrong: Sophia was here and she hated me. She hated me because I was jealous. She hated me because I wanted everything she had. She hated me because she was dead and I was alive but I didn't know how to live, not really--not without her to show me how.
Fucccccckkkkkkkk

Yeah, I definitely dug this one.

:4stars:

And here's a picture of a fogous. I had to look it up.

Image
"The July Girls," by Alison Littlewood
Spoiler:
Yeah, this one was definitely a downer :lol: In the best possible way. Definitely the best written of the group so far. Really liked the way the relationship between the half sisters was written. Their interactions.. and more importantly, non-interactions. The snubs and barbs. Really well done.

I liked how at first it wasn't clear how she died. Just that something horrific happened. I assumed because of the subject of ghosts it was going to be a murder, didn't even think about it being a motorcycle crash until the author stated it. I like how the mystery of the photo was slowly revealed as well as the fact that we were learning all of this through a narrator that wasn't being 100% honest with us.

I had an idea of what a fogous was, but not really. I am glad to see that what I thought pretty much matches the picture you posted. Though the opening was smaller in my mind.

I liked the unsettled nature of everything in the book, the relationship, the loss the uncomfortable interactions with the mother and stepfather. The attempt at normalcy with the vacation trip even though there is nothing normal you can do. Nothing was creepy until the trip into the fogous. Once in that tunnel I could feel the cramped space and the darkness. Very well written.

There were two quotes that stood out to me. That one that you quoted above, but also the very last line...

There, in the dark and cold, she had decided to be my sister, after all.

Perfect final line.
Letterboxd

"Ghost hunters are the romance novels of tv" - Neon Maniac

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

Definitely agree on that last line. Lot of hate with those two. :lol:
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

"About the O'Dells" by Pat Cadigan
Spoiler:
Holy hell I loved this one from the first line:
I was just a little girl when Lily O'Dell was murdered.
From there it only got better. One thing that's striking about this story is the voice is so on point. I love how the main character is clearly a teenager/kid and thinks just like a dumb kid. I could easily relate to some of her thoughts because I had the same ones when I was mad at my family. There's a line where something was happening outside that she wanted to see what was up, but she didn't want her parents to think that she even cared. :lol:

Also, this is so true:
"Not even ten years," Ralph said, which reminded me time was different for grown-ups.
Two more lines I really liked:
It was the kind of rain that comes straight down and very hard, like it's real pissed-off at everything it's falling on.
And (this one kind of creeped me out. It might have been the weed, but it was still effective.):
Had it rainded the night Lily O'Dell got killed? I was pretty sure it hadn't--

Yes, it did. It rained blood. You got caught in the storm.
This story is just great. It creeped me out, has a character I liked and could relate to (at least 16-year-old-me could) and the voice of the teen is spot on and not hokey at all.

Plus the entire thing of the O'Dell's is just damning and fucking sad.

Man, I liked this.

Oh, and I busted out laughing on this next line, and I don't know if it was the author's intent or not:
If there was a problem, they'd solve it.
Image

:lol:

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

:5stars:
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
shiki-jitsu
Horror DNA Hardcore
Horror DNA Hardcore
Posts: 3792
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:01 pm
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 180 times

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

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:46 pm "About the O'Dells" by Pat Cadigan
Spoiler:
Holy hell I loved this one from the first line:
I was just a little girl when Lily O'Dell was murdered.
From there it only got better. One thing that's striking about this story is the voice is so on point. I love how the main character is clearly a teenager/kid and thinks just like a dumb kid. I could easily relate to some of her thoughts because I had the same ones when I was mad at my family. There's a line where something was happening outside that she wanted to see what was up, but she didn't want her parents to think that she even cared. :lol:

Also, this is so true:
"Not even ten years," Ralph said, which reminded me time was different for grown-ups.
Two more lines I really liked:
It was the kind of rain that comes straight down and very hard, like it's real pissed-off at everything it's falling on.
And (this one kind of creeped me out. It might have been the weed, but it was still effective.):
Had it rainded the night Lily O'Dell got killed? I was pretty sure it hadn't--

Yes, it did. It rained blood. You got caught in the storm.
This story is just great. It creeped me out, has a character I liked and could relate to (at least 16-year-old-me could) and the voice of the teen is spot on and not hokey at all.

Plus the entire thing of the O'Dell's is just damning and fucking sad.

Man, I liked this.

Oh, and I busted out laughing on this next line, and I don't know if it was the author's intent or not:
If there was a problem, they'd solve it.
Image

:lol:

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

:5stars:
"About the O'Dells" by Pat Cadigan
Spoiler:
Yes, yes yes!

Story of the anthology so far. Absolutely perfect! Perfect start, great ending that I honestly didn't really see coming. Every quote you are pulling out again were the ones that stood out to me, especially the creepiness of the raining blood one. And the time running different for grown-ups is so simplistically accurate. It is a great line.

I felt for this character. She was so well formed in such a short amount of pages. The backstory and how it slowly came into focus. Going to need to check out more from this author.

I read the Kadrey story as well and will write about that later today. I mght hav emore to write on this one as well.
These users thanked the author shiki-jitsu for the post:
Alien Redrum (Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:24 pm)
Letterboxd

"Ghost hunters are the romance novels of tv" - Neon Maniac

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

You have no idea how much it pleases me that you loved this as much as me. I shit you not, I thought, "And this is where we separate." :lol:

And I'd been FINE with that. Because I would have been on the curious as to why. But, shit, this one fired on every cylinder. Ever since that Paul Tremblay book, I've been thinking about what you said on how important it is to correctly write a youth's voice. And while I don't necessarily agree with your criticism of Tremblay (which is FINE :lol:, it's not a criticism of YOU), when that writing works, IT WORKS. And the author absolutely crushed that voice here.

I recently finished Stephen Graham Jones' upcoming novel, and it's written by a teen, and it's annoying in the best possible way because he nails that fucking annoying teen 'voice'.

But, man, yeah, totally glad we're on the same page here.

Started the next one, and while I'm only three pages in, I like the intro of the character.
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

"A Hinterlands Haunting", by Richard Kadrey
Spoiler:
I...I honestly don't know how I feel about this. I definitely didn't hate it, and it kind of kept my attention throughout, but I also know it's going to be a forgettable one. I liked how it started off, with him being a ghost, and the 'twist' was okay, but it didn't really move me one way or the other.

I will say, though, what elevates it a little is the dark sense of humor at the end. I kind of liked the banter between him and his wife, and how she refuses to kill him. :lol:

As usual, pretty curious on your thoughts here.

:3stars:
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

This is not a spoiler AT ALL for the next story. You learn this in literally the first paragraph. I fucking hate second-person narrative. The only time it's appropriate is in a Choose Your Own Adventure.

I'll still read it, but I'll complain the whole time. :mad:
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
shiki-jitsu
Horror DNA Hardcore
Horror DNA Hardcore
Posts: 3792
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:01 pm
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 180 times

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

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:45 am "A Hinterlands Haunting", by Richard Kadrey
Spoiler:
I...I honestly don't know how I feel about this. I definitely didn't hate it, and it kind of kept my attention throughout, but I also know it's going to be a forgettable one. I liked how it started off, with him being a ghost, and the 'twist' was okay, but it didn't really move me one way or the other.

I will say, though, what elevates it a little is the dark sense of humor at the end. I kind of liked the banter between him and his wife, and how she refuses to kill him. :lol:

As usual, pretty curious on your thoughts here.

:3stars:
"A Hinterlands Haunting", by Richard Kadrey
Spoiler:
I have mixed feelings about it.

I have been a fan of Kadrey's work for a long time (what I have read, which isn't a ton), though I know him more from a sci-fi/cyberpunk realm and to some extent non-fiction, than horror.... though I think I have read some Sandman Slim books IIRC. So I expected this to be a different take than the other stories. At first I was really into it. I liked the idea of following this ghost, I liked the world setup and I liked how ghosts were an accepted (but feared) part of society. When the twist happens and you find out he is in fact still alive there was something about it I didn't care for. The banter between them was good, but I don't know, a bit corny at times too. So I am not sure overall how I feel about it.

Ultimately, I will say it was a decent read, with potential. I want to like it more, I was hoping this would have been more of a fave. This may be one of the stories I will revisit later to reread after I have finished the rest.
Letterboxd

"Ghost hunters are the romance novels of tv" - Neon Maniac

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

This was the first of Kadrey's work that I've read, although I have heard of Sandman Slim.
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

Shiki, where are you in this second-person one? Does it get better? OMG this is tiresome. I'm 8 or so pages in.
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
shiki-jitsu
Horror DNA Hardcore
Horror DNA Hardcore
Posts: 3792
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:01 pm
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 180 times

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

Post by shiki-jitsu »

I haven’t started sit yet. Was hoping to tonight but.... yeah... tony Hawk... :lol:
Letterboxd

"Ghost hunters are the romance novels of tv" - Neon Maniac

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

:lol:

I'm going to pause on it to see what you think. I want to skip this, but if you enjoy it, I'll muscle through and see if it gets better. Fucking hipster writing. :shake: :mad: :lol:
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

User avatar
Alien Redrum
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
The Piers Morgan of Horror DNA
Posts: 9262
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:36 am
Anti-Spam Question: No
Location: Somewhere trying to cancel you.
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 221 times
Contact:

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

Post by Alien Redrum »

"The Number of Things You Remember" by M. L. Siemienowicz
Spoiler:
Okay, I finished this last night, and now I'm frustrated even more but not because I hate the style it is in, but rather that it could be SO MUCH BETTER if it wasn't in second-person.

Part of it might have been I was high and that got me into it, but part of it is when I kind of got in a groove, I started liking some of the 'scenes'. There are some really great things in this story, but it's absolutely ruined by the second-person narrative. I know I keep harping on that, but there is so much unnecessary bullshit either due to the style or the execution. I don't fucking care that I touched the doorknob. Shit like that is just fluff and I hate fat in a story, and this one is filled with it.

And what frustrates me is there is some gold under that fat and second-person bullshit. This would be a phenomenal story, I think, if it was done in first- or third-person. That would afford much of the fat being cut out, making it a far better book.

However, if the narrative is changed, it would make the "twist" ending less powerful. Those are sarcastic quotes by the way. That turn isn't all that.

I think this would be a far better episode of The Twilight Zone or something like that. It's a good attempt, but just doesn't do it in printed form. I think I'd probably enjoy it a lot more in a second go knowing what I know now, but I don't see myself ever going back to it.

Can't wait to read what you think. I kind of see you liking this more than me.

:2stars:
Sorry, no, the less that TV companies plough into reality bullshit, the better. - Follow Horror DNA on Twitter.

Letterboxd - Horror DNA 2020 Halloween Horror Movie Challenge

Post Reply