Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book Review: In Concert by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem

In Concert By Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem
364 pages hard cover
Centipede press

I had read interviews with Melanie Tem before reading this collection but went into it completely blind. The Tem's are a married couple who have racked up Bram Stoker awards and various fantasy nominations and awards on their own so it stands to reason that a collected of their short fiction co-authored together would be high quality. It is high quality.

The subtitle on the book is “The collected speculative fiction.” that leads one to believe that the stories are going to be a lot more of science fiction than the book delivers. Sure several of the stories are but the majority are firmly in the horror genre. The stories appear in the collection in the chronological order that they were published in. Each one is tightly crafted so there is little growth of the years. The Tem's were in full command of their combined talent early on.

To me the best story of the collection “More than should be Asked.” It is a creepy story about a bad penny child that takes creepy to a disturbing peak. Other interesting stories include a vampire story called “The tenth scholar,” The opening Science Fiction tale “Prothesis” and a very interesting tale set in the west called “Lost.”

I think this is a fantastic collection of dark fiction. Libraries that are serious about horror and Science Fiction do their members a favor by having this book and putting it out where it can be seen. The only draw back I can see is the $65 dollar price tag. Yikes you could get five genre books for that price in trade paperback, many are of equal quality. That being said I think this book an important entry in the genre of dark fiction.

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