Halfway Down the Stairs by Gary A. Braunbeck

Rating: 4 of 5

Synopsis: “Climb halfway down the stairs with Bram Stoker Award-Winning author Gary A. Braunbeck, into worlds that occupy the spaces between “here” and “there,” where office workers become little more than scrolls of code and an ordinary man discovers that he has to help reassemble the missing face of God; from battle-scarred veterans who have to protect their village from encroaching spirits to a college experiment that may bring about the end of days, all of these stories feature Braunbeck’s trademark element: an unblinking eye for emotional detail that elevates the subject matter of each piece into the realm of the genuinely literary.” (source)

My thoughts: There’s truly something for everyone in this behemoth collection, Halfway Down The Stairs, that covers Braunbeck’s 30-plus year career. Genres range from horror to mystery to science fiction; there are short pieces and stories over 35 pages long. Where I think Braunbeck excels is the people who populate his stories and the ideas that permeate every layer. I’d only read Mr. Hands prior to this collection, but I’m now a die-hard fan and I cannot wait to read more of his novels. Next on the list: In Silent Graves.

This took me nearly six months to complete! Highly recommended to Braunbeck’s fans.

Official website | Add on LibraryThing | Add on Goodreads

(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

Received paperback from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Gods of HP Lovecraft edited by Aaron J. French

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Synopsis: “The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft, a brand new anthology that collects the twelve principal deities of the Lovecraftian Mythos and sets them loose within its pages. Featuring the biggest names in horror and dark fantasy, including many NY Times bestsellers, full of original fiction and artwork, and individual commentary on each of the deities by Donald Tyson.” (source)

My thoughts: The Gods of HP Lovecraft is an anthology easily enjoyed by those new to the twelve principal deities of the Lovecraftian Mythos.

If, like me, a reader doesn’t have much experience reading Lovecraft, the commentary on each deity, written by Donald Tyson, is a simple way to familiarize oneself prior to reading the story. Though, it would have been more practical for newbies (or those needing a quick refresher) if each commentary were presented before the new stories, not after.

It took about five months to make my way through this huge collection! While there are hits and misses, par for the course in reading anthologies, the clear standouts are 1) the artwork and 2) Seanan McGuire‘s “Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves.”

Official website | Add on LibraryThing | Add on Goodreads

(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

Received paperback from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Table of contents (with the deity):
“Call the Name” by Adam LG Nevill (Cthulhu)
“The Dark Gates” by Martha Wells (Yog-Sothoth)
“We Smoke the Northern Lights” by Laird Barron (Azathoth)
“Petohtalrayn” by Bentley Little (Nyarlathotep)
“The Doors that Never Close and the Doors that Are Always Open” by David Liss (Shub-Niggurath)
“The Apotheosis of a Rodeo Clown” by Brett J. Talley (Tsathoggua)
“Rattled” by Douglass Wynne (Yig)
“In Their Presence” by Christopher Golden & James A. Moore (The Mi-Go)
“Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Jonathan Maberry (Nightgaunts)
“In the Mad Mountains” by Joe R. Lansdale (Elder Things)
“A Dying of the Light” by Rachel Caine (Great Race of Yith)
“Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves” by Seanan McGuire (The Deep Ones)