Monday, September 19, 2011

Classics Mutilated ed. by Jeff Conner

Classics Mutilated is a collection of short fiction in the genre of what is apparently called Monster Lit, which is when authors take classic works and add in zombies or whatnot or famous historical people and put them in some kind of supernatural situation. At least according to the introduction anyway; I've been avoiding that stuff.

Technically speaking only one of the stories in the collection is the "take a classic and add stuff to make it weird" type. That's Rick Hautala's "Little Women in Black," which combines a scene from Little Women with some men in black type action. Basically, I found that story to be weird and confusing, though still entertaining.

The rest of the stories are more or less evenly divided between weird tales featuring historical personages and weird literary (or other media) mashups. Overall, I preferred the mashups. The historical ones weren't bad, but mostly featured people I don't particularly care about.

"Fairest of Them All" by Sean Taylor is a very strange mashup of Snow White and Alice in Wonderland.  This story was just cool.

"Anne-droid of Green Gables" by Lezli Robyn is a steam punk version of Anne of Green Gables. It's a very heart-warming story.

"Death stopped for Miss Dickinson" by Kristine Katherine Rusch tells the story of Emily Dickinson's love affair with Death. It was interesting,but as I'm not particularly a fan of poetry, I wasn't as entranced as I was with some of the stories.

"Twilight of the Gods" by Chris Ryall is the story of Loki told in the style of Twilight. This was funny.

"Pokky Man" by Marc Laidlaw is basically a non copyright infringing Pokemon story told in the style of a documentary film. Definately my least favorite of the mashups, but still not a bad story.

"Vicious" by Mark Morris is the tale of how Sid Vicious got put under a Voodoo curse. I'm not really that much of a fan of punk or 70s rock in general,  but I actually liked this story and felt kind of bad for Sid.

"From Hell's Heart" by Nancy Collins is the story of what happened to Ahab after he died in Moby Dick. This was a cool story with one of my favorite monsters in it.

"Frankenbilly" by John Shirley is a story about Billy the Kid meeting up with Victor Frankenstein. As you might guess, it was inspired by Billy the Kid Versus Dracula and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter., which means it's cool (at least if your like me).

"The Green Menace" by Thomas Tessier is about Joe McCarthy fighting killer frogs. The only downside to this story is that since MCarthy is a real person, you know the frogs aren't going to kill the bastard even though you wish they would.

"Quoth the Rock Star" by Rio Youers is about Jim Morrison meeting the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe. The Doors aren't really my kind of music any more than The Sex Pistols are, but I still enjoyed this one.

"The Happiest Hell on Earth" by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow is the tale of what would have happened if the animal people from The Island of Dr. Moreau had gone on to work for a company that is very much like Disney, but not called that since no one wants to get sued. This was a very cool story.

"Dread Island" by Joe Lansdale is Huck Finn meets Uncle Remus meets Cthulu. I think it's the best story in the book.

1 comment:

seanhtaylor said...

Just found your review. So glad you enjoyed "The Fairest of Them All."

Take care,