Review: She Walks in Shadows, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles

indexI’ve been excited to talk about this anthology for a while. Here, we finally answer the question of “yikes, where are all the women Lovecraft authors?” Who is representing “the Other” here?

And again, if you’ve never really asked that question (I mean, it took me a while to formulate it too), after She Walks in Shadows you’ll be scratching your head and the surface wondering what you’ve been missing.

Editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles have assembled a fine collection of weird, Lovecraftian, tentacle-y body horror fiction from a refreshingly diverse writers (stylistically and geographically). As with any anthology, not every story is going to be your favorite but you’re bound to find more hits than misses and maybe even a new author or two to love. And illustrations! I have to say the multitude of illustrations was one of my favorite parts of having this (yes, even in e-book form).

I’m so pleased with this collection and how well everything meshes, united by its single theme but still sprawling everywhere like chaos; there’s lovingly recreated Lovecraftian purple prose but also very modern styles that don’t feel like they stick out. There’s historical settings and, well…cheerleaders. There’s violence, laugh-out-loud moments, drama, insanity, a little erotica, and my favorite, that sense of unnameable dread perfectly encapsulated.

Now, you might be thinking, what if you’re a horror fan but not strictly Lovecraft? Try it anyway. But is it going to convert anyone? Probably not. Most of the works are very accessible, but you’re probably going to have to have a feeling for weird fiction in general to fully immerse yourself. But if you need a little push off the edge…

Do I have a favorite? Sure, but maybe next time. For now, if you’re hyped to check these stories out right now come to Innsmouth Free Press and read a few sample stories and join us on the dark side! And look out, soon, for a new female-centric anthology from Dark Regions Press: Dreams From the Witch House.