Aphelion Issue 183, Volume 18
April 2014
 
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Rogues in Hell

Edited by Janet Morris & Chris Morris
Stories by 21 of the World's Best Writers

Review by Dan L. Hollifield



Type of music/work: Fantasy Short Story Anthology.

Musicians/Performers/Author(s):

Shirley Meier, Bradley H. Sinor, Michael Z. Williamson, Deborah Koren, Julie Cochrane, Bruce Durham, Janet Morris, Chris Morris, Richard Groller, H. David Blalock, Nancy Asire, Michael H. Hanson, Sarah Hulcy, Michael A. Armstrong, Larry Atchley, Jr., Bill Snider, Edward McKeown, John Manning, Jack William Finley, David L. Burkhead and Allan Gilbreath.

Published by Perseid Publishing (July 13, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0985166878
ISBN-13: 978-0985166878
Cover design by Sonja Aghabekian / Cover illustration Detail from "Triumphof the Genius of Destruction (1878) by Mihaly Zichy
Amazon Paperback $19.95
Amazon Kindle $8.49

General impressions of the album/book:
I was handed an autographed copy of this book at a convention, after posting a review of the previous volume in this series. To find out that the writers and editors thought my previous review had earned me those autographs was a compliment of the highest order. Right away I knew that this was going to be another fun read. All I had to do was read the list of authors, and I knew I was going to have fun reading this one. As soon as I had time, I dove in, read it cover to cover, and loved every minute of it. This may well be the best volume in the series. The stories are, each and every one, amazing and highly entertaining. I was forced to read the book in short stretches of time, between other activities, and I was eager to get back into it every time I was forced to put the book down. If I'd had the time, I would have read the whole thing in one sitting. It's that good.

Specifics:
The stories share a common theme, as do the rest of the volumes in this series. What I particularly enjoyed was that several stories shared the same setting, but were told from the points of view of quite different characters. In fact, the events of some stories were hinted at as taking place in the background of others. They overlap, in other words. This is how Meta-Fiction should be done. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into co-ordinating these overlapping tales. I know from personal experience that it isn't easy to do. Yet these writers, and the series editors, succeed in making it look easy.

The "...From Hell" series itself is an awesome undertaking. The fact that each and every story is so good is an indicator of just how much the writers care about the work, how much effort they put into crafting each tale, and the commitment that Janet & Chris Morris have put into their editing duties. This volume is the best I've read so far in the series. If you do not yet own a copy of this book, you need to get one as soon as you can. I cannot stress this enough; This is one of the best anthologies that I have ever read. There isn't a clunker in the entire collection. Every single story is a work of art, compelling, engaging, engrossing, and once you start reading, you will not want to put it down for any reason.

Go buy yourself a copy of this book! You will not be disappointed. You will, however, find yourself reading it time and time again. It is that good.

Background info:
Since this is an anthology, I'll skip my usual practice of adding a biography of the authors.


Review Copyright 2012 by Dan L. Hollifield


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