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Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense    edited by Jack Dann & Nick Cevers order for
Ghosts by Gaslight
by Jack Dann
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you hunger for strange tales featuring things that go bump in the night, ghostly apparitions in Gothic mansions, and phantoms frequenting cemeteries, then this is a collection of stories you'll want to read.

'Ghosts of the past and ghosts from the future unite in the chilling glow of this anthology, extending wisdom as well as fright, fateful comprehension as well as blind terror,' exclaim the editors in the book's introduction. 'And all in high entertaining form, in some cases as pure fuliginous horror, in others as awestruck observation, or as yearning towards otherworldly radiance, or as satirical fun.'

This rather overwritten description shouldn't scare away or spook any potential readers because this really is a very enjoyable collection of seventeen all new stories by some very credible modern masters of horror and the supernatural.

A sampling of the Table of Contents finds The Iron Shroud by James Morrow, Music, When Soft Voices Die by Peter S. Beagle, Smithers and the Ghosts of the Thar by Robert Silverberg and Marly Youmans' The Grave Reflection.

The list of other writers whose works you'll find here includes Jeffrey Ford. Paul Park, Laird Barron Shepard, Theodora Goss, Terry Dowling, Garth Nix, Gene Wolfe, Margo Lanagan, Sean Williams, John Langan, John Harwood and Richard Harland.

This anthology pays tribute to Victorian/Edwardian storytelling in all its full blown splendor. As you read these stories you'll discover plenty of dark twists, find hair raising ghoulish ramblings, and a modicum of wraiths seeking revenge. While some of the stories pay tribute to bygone masters of the craft like Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood and Edgar Allan Poe, others reveal some of the secrets that may be unmasked in the future.

From start to finish you'll discover some deliciously clever, spine-tingling yarns that will probably make you want to leave the hall light on when you retire for the evening. Pleasant dreams!

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