Kim Newman's Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories was published by Titan Books in January 2017.
Information about Kim Newman:
Kim Newman is a well known and respected author and movie critic. He writes regularly for Empire Magazine and contributes to The Guardian, The Times, Time Out and others. He makes frequent appearances on radio and TV. He has won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy and British Science Fiction Awards and been nominated for the Hugo, World Fantasy, and James Herbert Awards.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories:
A collection of horror short stories by acclaimed author, journalist and movie-critic Kim Newman. This volume contains twenty-one stories featuring famous figures from Jack the Ripper to Frankenstein's monster, and includes a brand-new, exclusive Anno Dracula story 'Yokai Town: Anno Dracula 1899'.
A REVIEW OF KIM NEWMAN'S ANNO DRACULA 1899 AND OTHER STORIES
Kim Newman has established himself as one of the most original, imaginative and impressive authors of dark fantasy, dark fiction and horror fiction. His fiction ranges from dark fantasy to horror fiction and is marked by freshness, originality and satirical elements. Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories offers readers an electrifying blend of fantasy, science fiction, horror and history with a dash of pulp fiction and satire.
After reading a couple of novels by Kim Newman I was excited about Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories, because I haven't often had an opportunity to read his stories. I found this collection to be engaging and entertaining, because the stories were well written and some of them were delightfully original, not to mention refreshingly different.
Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is one of the most interesting short story collections of the year, because the stories feature appearances by such figures as Jack the Ripper, Edgar Allan Poe, Frankenstein's monster, a Martian etc. The author's approach to them feels fresh, because he has his own unique way of writing about them (to be honest, I was a bit surprised by how deftly the author wrote about them).
This collection contains the following stories:
- Famous Monsters
- A Drug on the Market
- Illimitable Dominion
- Just Like Eddy
- Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue
- The Chill Clutch of the Unseen
- One Hit Wanda
- Is There Anybody There?
- The Intervention
- Red Jacks Wild
- Sarah Minds the Dog
- The Snow Sculptures of Xanadu
- The Pale Spirit People
- Coastal City
- Completist Heaven
- Une étrange aventure de Richard Blaine
- Frankenstein on Ice
- Yokai Town: Anno Dracula 1899
These stories consist of short stories and a couple of scripts that have been written for plays, audio anthologies and audio series. Fans of Kim Newman will be delighted to read them, because they offer an interesting glimpse into his writing career. Newcomers to his fiction will also find them intriguing, because they showcase his imagination, his strengths as an author and his storytelling skills.
There's a satirical edge to many of these stories that I find utterly charming. The author has a talent for writing satirical fiction, because he seems to know exactly what to write about various things and he has a slightly twisted sense of humour. It's great that he never stumbles when writing about history and people, but delivers original stories. Because the stories have satirical elements, they reminded me of a bit of Graham Diamond's Chocolate Lenin.
Here's more information about the stories and my thoughts about them (I'll do my best to avoid spoilers in the short synopses):
- A story about a tentacled Martian who gets roles in Hollywood films.
- The author writes well about the War of the Worlds and how Martians are treated on Earth.
- An excellent story that is something a bit different and intriguing.
A Drug on the Market:
- In this story, the author plays with an interesting idea of reconstructing the formula of Dr. Jekyll's potion and releasing it as a drug called Jekyll Tonic.
- I enjoyed this story, because I found the author's vision of the late Dr. Jekyll's potion and its powers to be entertaining.
- I think that everyone who has read Robert Louis Stevenson's 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' will enjoy this story.
- In this fascinating story, Hollywood becomes interested in Edgar Allan Poe's horror stories.
- I have a feeling that this story will be of special interest to those who are familiar with old horror films and Roger Corman's films.
- It was fun to read what the author wrote about Roger Corman and his productions.
Just Like Eddy:
- A story about Edgar Allan Poe and his sinister doppelgänger Edgar Allen Poe.
- A clever and entertaining short story that will delight many readers.
Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, or: Children of Marx and Coca Cola:
- A story about Yevgeny Chirkov who has been separated from his unit. He witnesses how zombies (Americans) crowd the morgue in Moscow.
- The author's decriptions about Russian society are interesting and offer quite a lot of amusement and entertainment to readers, because he exhibits signs of satirical storytelling.
- An excellent and engaging story.
The Chill Clutch of the Unseen:
- This is an excellent and melancholy story about an old man who protects the town against monsters.
- I like the atmosphere in this story.
One Hit Wanda:
- A well written tale about The Vanity Brothers, their hit single 'Lonely One' and a girl called Wanda.
- This story appears here in printed format for the first time, because it was originally written for an audio anthology called Thirteen (edited by Scott Harrison and Neil Gardner, read by Samuel West).
Is There Anybody There?:
- A fascinating story about a medium called Madame Irena who contacts a modern-day hacker with her Ouija board.
- This is a great story for those who enjoy stories about mediums, because the author has come up with a story that is both captivating and original.
- In this story, a man called Keith is radically entered into a program that is supposed to help him.
- I enjoyed reading about what happened to Keith, because those who cared about him entered him into therapy so that he could confront his problem.
Red Jacks Wild:
- A well written story about John Carmody who is a psychologist - and also Jack the Ripper - in New York. He stays young by killing disposable people so that he can make human sacrifices to Hecate every three years.
- This story is a follow-up to Robert Bloch's 'Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper' (I'm sure that readers who have read Bloch's story will find this story interesting).
Sarah Minds the Dog:
- An amusing and entertaining story about Sarah - an executive personal assistant - who finds herself in a bit of trouble when she's minding a rottweiler called Dynamo.
- I think that readers will be interested in knowing that this is the first print publication of a script that was written for Glenn McQuaid and Larry Fessenden's audio horror series 'Tales From Beyond the Pale'.
The Snow Sculptures of Xanadu:
- This is an interesting piece of short fiction, because it's kind of like an ode to 'Citizen Kane' and other films.
The Pale Spirit People:
- A story about Indians, spirit objects and trouble in the Ghost Lands.
- I like this story very much, because the author has written it in an interesting way. There was something in this story that slightly reminded of Tanya Reimer's novels.
- An interesting and well written story about Superman in Nazi Germany. In this story, Superman has landed in Germany instead of the USA.
- If there are readers out there who are not fluent in German, the title of this story means "Superman".
- A fascinating and a bit different kind of a short story about Coastal City, hyperheroes (aka hypers, including Amazon Queen, Green Masque, The Darkangel, Shrinking Cheerleader etc), villains and monsters.
- In this story, a man who watches different TV channels finds a channel that shows strange Frankenstein movies.
- This story will be of special interest to everyone who has ever watched classic horror films, (s)exploitation films and B movies.
Une étrange aventure de Richard Blaine:
- This is a fascinating story about Richard Blaine in Paris.
- I found this story to be well written and interesting, because the author wrote well about the happenings.
Frankenstein on Ice:
- In this story, a team will determine if what has found in the Arctic Circle truly is a Frankenstein's monster.
- This story is the first print publication of 'Frankenstein on Ice', which was written as a segment of the play 'The Ghost Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore'.
Yokai Town: Anno Dracula 1899:
- Yokai Town: Anno Dracula 1899 is an exclusive story to this collection. According to the author's website, it's an extract from the prologue of the forthcoming novel Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju. In this story, a ship called Macedonia has carried its passengers a long way from Dracula's dominion to Japan.
- Because I enjoyed this extract and became intrigued by the story, I look forward to getting my hands of the forthcoming novel. Based on this story I can say that the novel will be worth waiting for.
Here are a few additional words about some of the stories:
I consider 'Famous Monsters' to be a prime example of how original fiction Kim Newman writes, because who else could've come up with a story that features a Martian who is into acting in Hollywood films. This story intrigued me, because the author wrote well about the Martian's feelings and life. It was interesting to read how Martians were treated and what kind of life they had on Earth. This story is connected to H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
'Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, or: Children of Marx and Coca Cola' is one of my favourite stories in this collection. I like the author's portrayal of Russian society, and I also like his characterisation very much, because the characters are eccentric and interesting. This is a bit different kind of a zombie story that will delight many readers.
'One Hit Wanda' is a well-told short story about a pop group and a girl called Wanda. It was interesting to read about Wanda and how she was a muse to Johnny, because she was a bit different kind of a girl who had an eyepatch. This story has a fascinatingly nostalgic feel to it.
I found 'The Intervention' to be an excellent story about a man, Keith, who was put into therapy by those who cared about him. It was intriguing to read what happened to Keith and how he was treated when he started the therapy, because he thought that he didn't have a problem. I've read a few good stories about interventions, but this story is definitely among the best ever written about this subject.
'Red Jacks Wild' paints an interesting picture of Jack the Ripper and his seemingly immortal life. The author has created something special in this story, because he portrays the killer as a highly intelligent man who works for the FBI and the NYPD pro bono so that he can keep his mind sharp by doing criminal analysis. His patient, Sheldon Loesser, is an interesting addition to the story, because he is a paranoid man who owns High Integrity Comics, which publishes horror comics.
What I like perhaps most about these stories is that Kim Newman has his own unique way of writing horror and creating monster and history mash-up stories. It's possible that the author's way of doing certain things may not please everyone, because he dares to be bold and experimental, but that's one of the reasons why readers should read his stories. I personally consider his stories to be fresh and worth reading, because they're marvellous entertainment.
I like Kim Newman's writing style, because he has his own vision of horror fiction. He doesn't imitate anybody, but writes interesting and occasionally satirical stories that offer food for thoughts and entertain readers. It's great that he doesn't try to please everyone with his fiction, because it separates him from many other horror authors.
I think that readers who have knowledge about history, famous people and popular culture (especially films) will greatly enjoy this collection and find a lot to love in it. The more you know about films and their contents, the more you'll enjoy some of the stories, because the author uses quite a lot of references to many famous and well-known films (horror fans will probably recognise many of the films that are mentioned in the stories).
Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is an excellent collection that can be recommended to horror readers and fans of the author. It can also be wholeheartedly recommended to newcomers to his fiction, because it's an enjoyable and entertaining collection to everyone who enjoys intriguing stories. Such stories as 'Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, or: Children of Marx and Coca Cola', 'A Drug on the Market' and 'Übermensch!' alone make this collection worth reading. (By the way, you don't necessarily have to be a horror fan in order to enjoy this collection, because all of the stories are worth taking a look.)
My final words are:
Kim Newman's Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is excellent and gripping entertainment for horror fans!