Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dead Bait 2

Dead Bait 2
Severed Press 2011

Dead Bait 2 by [Alten, Steve, Ramsey Campbell, Guy N Smith, Tim Curran, James Robert Smith]

A themed horror series that is both horror and stays on theme!  Be still be bleeding heart.  Not as good as the first installment, or maybe the novelty is wearing thin - I suspect these are leftover submissions from the first series.  I'm impressed that they've managed to spread out the topics and types of fish to avoid too much repetition.

Captain Fontaine and the Man Eater by Raleigh Dugal
A midlife crisis tale of shark fishing.  There's a brief hallucinatory scene with a mermaid or something, so you can take that for Magic Realism if you want, but not really horror.

The Mer-Monkey by Paul A. Freeman
An anthropologist goes looking for Fiji mermaids with a stupid twist that doesn't make sense.

Heavy Weather by Murphy Edwards
A sea Captain promises the biggest catch, for a price.

Lonely After Dark by Tim Curran
A vengeful ghost lurks beneath the ice on Spider Lake.  My favorite of the collection, but there's a lot of leftover potential in ice-fishing horror.

Ferry-Moans by J.M. Harris
A guy fishing in the Amazon kills a native girl who becomes bait.  Starts to play off the whole "women are good at fishing because of pheromones" thing before it just fizzles out.

Raised by the Moon by Ramsey Campbell
A college student's car breaks down in a desolate coastal town.  He finds shelter with an old, miserable couple who deliver him to a horde of sea people.  I've never had much luck with Campbell, and this one I had trouble following some of the prose.  We've come this far without a Dagon reference, and I'm genuinely surprised it didn't come up here.

A Summer on Quiet Island by Cody Goodfellow
Another small town with a dying fishing industry, this time on an inbred island with mostly deaf inhabitants and a lot of creepy juvenile sexuality.

Lost in Time by Steve Alten
Noirish double crosses unearthing a buried pirate treasure and prehistoric fish.

The Fish Thing by Guy N. Smith
Smith doesn't even bother phoning it in - the title is about as creative as this gets.  A man kills his unfaithful Romany lover and throws her in a lake.  He goes back to the lake and she turns into the Fish Thing, the end.

Shiners by Michael Hodges
Man fishes with son, man catches weird looking fish, man gets snatched into the sky by some kind of bat thing.

The Worst Thing Ever by Anthony Wedd
Shark attack, written from the viewpoint of an annoying British teenager.  Some decent gruesomeness.

"The Krang" by James Robert Smith
A mercenary shanghais a one-armed beggar to hunt the Krangin an old-timey fantasy.  Slight horror overtones, but I enjoyed it so I'll forgive going a little off-genre.

Available from Amazon for Kindle.

Click here for an excerpt.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is the only place that I can find the contents of this anthology. Thanx. Good review. I know it makes me sound ig'nant, but I've never had much luck with Ramsey's stories either, or Smith's for that matter. Highbrow and lowbrow respectively, and both are over-rated. I know to avoid this anthology now. Nice cover tho'.