The Original Cyberpunk, also known as the Philip K. Dick Award-winning writer Bruce Bethke, this weekend announced the release of the inaugural title in his new ebook-only original anthology series, Stupefying Stories. The October issue consists of 459KB featuring all-new tales of the frightening, fantastic, and funny by Vox Day, Anatoly Belilovsky, Caileigh Marshall, Daniel Eness, Ryan M. Jones, Chris Baily Pearce, Allan Davis Jr., and others. Despite being one of the contributors myself, I thought the strongest piece was the one that inspired the cover image, “The Window” by David Yener Goodman. “The Window” is succinct as well as being heartbreakingly heroic in the most dreadful manner. My own contribution, “The Deported”, is a tribute to the late, great master of the short form, Guy de Maupassant, but although my story more closely followed the form and style of Maupassant’s short fiction, Goodman’s comes closer to achieving Maupassant’s inimitable effect.
Fair warning to Black Gate readers, however. While the overall content is strong, the story I liked least served to fully confirm the Black Gate ban on vampires. Fortunately, this weak link is overshadowed by the despairing “Return to Earth” by Ryan M. Jones and the mordantly cynical “Revival” by Daniel Eness. And faint, but distinguishable echoes of Edgar Allen Poe can be detected in Allen Davis Jr.’s “Quill”.