For Lit Reactor’s Bookshots, Christopher Shultz lauds The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen, the new anthology from the award-winning, superstar editor Ellen Datlow.
It’s pretty much a given that an Ellen Datlow anthology will at least be good, if not great. I know that putting together a collection of stories isn’t that much like assembling a mix tape—despite such comparisons being made in the past—but one does get a “solid mix tape” vibe from anything with her name on it.
The Cutting Room is no exception. Each tale flows into the next with such natural ease, it’s hard to imagine the table of contents progressing in any other fashion.
Looking at each piece individually, I’m hard pressed to find a genuine dud among them. Sure, there were some I didn’t enjoy as well as others, but none elicited any feelings of “meh” or, worse yet, downright ire—you know the kinds of stories I mean, the ones that make you throw the book across the room and scream to no one in particular, “I just wasted all my time reading THAT?!?!” None present in The Cutting Room, I’m happy to report.
Musings on the intellectual justification of this anthology aside, The Cutting Room is a ton of fun, particularly with the appearance of comical fare like Ian Watson’s “The Thousand Cuts,” the aforementioned “Bright Lights, Big Zombie” by Douglas E. Winter (more black humor than straight-up comedy, but it had me chuckling) and, last but not least, Kim Newman’s hysterical “Illimitable Dominion,” which deals with Roger Corman’s spate of Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price.
Halloween is just around the corner—a time when we gather ‘round the television and watch spooky movies. But All Hallows Read is fast approaching too, and what better way to supplement your horror movie viewing than by reading a scary book about films and filmmaking? Makes perfect sense to me.
Read the rest of Shultz’s review at Lit Reactor.
For information on The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Josh Beatman.