Supernatural Noir

Author: edited by Ellen Daltow
Pages: 336
Pub: Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Horror, Short Stories
Etc: received via NetGalley

The Short of It

Dark and smoke filled horror stories.

The Long of It

Ellen Datlow has done it again.  She is a phenom editor and I’ve decided that she must have vivid nightmarish dreams every single night.  Supernatural Noir opens with an introduction by Ms. Datlow where she jumps right in to explain Noir fiction for newbies via a Paul Duncan who wrote a book Noir Ficiton.(1)

[Noir Fiction is] “used to describe any work, usually involving crime – that is notably dark, brooding, cynical, complex, and pessimistic.”

So, naturally, this is going to be one of those warm and fuzzies books, right? *wink*

There are twenty different authors in this collection, and the stories vary from ghouls to gnomes.

The Thoughts about It

This collection was like a mental embolism filled with fear that exploded in my brain. For realz, guys.  I actually tweeted Ellen Datlow in an exclamatory OH THE NIGHTMARES tweet. And for the sake of those naysayers out there claiming that there is no way a story could spook them. Well! I was once one of you!  There are few moments in my memory where I can recall drifting off to sleep only to be haunted.  I mean, come on, I was brought up on Nightmare on Elm Street.  Seriously.  Like, watching it in third grade.(2)

As a collection it IS pretty impressive.  There were only three stories that didn’t color me impressed.  And considering I RARELY read short stories having only three not interest me IS impressive!  Let me see if I can try to get one-line summaries for a couple of the stories. (3)

The Getaway – A robbery goes bad when four buddies realize that the shots that they heard really did hit them and death is only delayed momentarily.

Mortal Bait – Becoming friends with the fae folk can become disastrous, especially if you are only a prop in their games.

Little Shit – Somewhere between a telepath who can also create thoughts and an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit lies this little shit. 

Ditch Witch – Running away from a quick hookup might lead you into the community of evil garden gnomes after blood.

The Romance  - The bewitching movement of a carousel ride reveals more than giggly children spirits. 

Dead Sister -  Perhaps a detective can reveal why her dead sister’s body goes missing every night.


(1(1)  That seemed awfully verbose and slightly meta for a mere definition.
(2(2)  I was also reading Stephen King in third grade; my mom had no issue with me scaring the crap out of myself, obviously.
(3(3)  I find that a one-sentence summary for short stories is very difficult and I don’t know if I’ll do it again.


  1. I read about this one recently on Terry Windling's blog. Your review makes me eager to read it!

  2. I've got to tell you that when I first saw that cover, I thought the bird was wearing a wig. :D

  3. Books don't generally scare me (Stephen King is from my homestate) so you've tempted me by this one. I'm one of those believers that books aren't scary.


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