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HorrorScope Reviews GRANTS PASS

http://ozhorrorscope.blogspot.com/2009/05/book-review-grants-pass.html - They loved it.

Grants Pass is a remarkable, disturbing, and worthwhile read, and one that is likely to stay with the reader for some time to come. I’m predicting that this anthology will be up for a swag of awards come the next round of Aurealis, Ditmar and Australian Shadows nominations.


Book Review: Grants Pass

Ed. Jennifer Brozek & Amanda Pillar, 2009, Morrigan Books

“When the end of the world comes, meet me in Grants Pass, Oregon.”

So writes Kayley Allard in her online journal, innocent of the fact that the end of the world is indeed coming. Within months, 99% of the world population is dead or dying, victim to a confluence of various pandemics and natural disasters, as well to the accompanying civil unrest. But as civilization crumbles, many recall Kayley’s journal entry, and thus a new urban myth arises: a final oasis of humanity in a dead world, a safe refuge from the Apocalypse. And so, from all corners of the United States, and even overseas, the tattered remnants of humanity begin to make their way towards Grants Pass, Oregon...

It’s rare that I get to read an anthology in which virtually every story is a standout piece, but Morrigan Books have delivered exactly that with Grants Pass. Having said that, there were some offerings that rose slightly above the rest (a nod here to Stephanie Gunn, Cherie Priest, Martin Livings, Seanan McGuire, Ivan Ewert, Jay Lake and Scott Almes), but it’s fair to say that there are no ‘fillers’ whatsoever in this book.

While the current Swine Flu pandemic admittedly lends some weight to the seventeen ‘survivors’ tales’ (supplemented with fictional media extracts and Kayley’s opening and closing journal entries) that comprise the anthology, it’s the fact that the editors and contributors have all clearly understood that the key to a great horror tale – as with SF and fantasy – is not necessarily the setting or situation of the piece, but the observation of how human beings react to a given situation, that truly makes this anthology such an affecting and terrifying read. While the ultimate tone of the anthology as a whole is one of hope, some very dark issues are explored in the individual tales: When the end of the world comes, what happens to ordinary people?; to those with genetic diseases, or mental illnesses? What happens to the children left behind? And are human beings really capable of abandoning their more petty concerns when such things truly cease to matter?

Grants Pass is a remarkable, disturbing, and worthwhile read, and one that is likely to stay with the reader for some time to come. I’m predicting that this anthology will be up for a swag of awards come the next round of Aurealis, Ditmar and Australian Shadows nominations.

Posted by Chuck McKenzie

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
talkstowolves
May. 26th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
I saw that earlier; fantastic!
cuddlycthulhu
May. 26th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Very nice. I'm very much looking forward to picking up your anthology.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )