For those of you who were at the SoBSFcon, you may have seen Craig. I fell in love with him at first sight and adopted him from the dealer's room in Atlanta. He likes his new home in the DMV, mainly because there are other monsters both of the action figure and the feline variety for him to kick it with. He also is just as much of an avid reader as my gargoyle Jamie. Anyway, Craig insisted I share this review, because he too found this book to be a phenomenal gem.
Review of 'Hell is an Awfully Big City' by D.L. Russell
The reason why I love anthologies, especially single-author collections is that they give me a good 'feel' for the author's story telling, style, voice and technique. I discovered this gem at the SoBSF (State of Black Science Fiction) convention, at which the author only had one copy. There to sell other titles, Mr. Russell referred the book to me when I mentioned my love of horror. Telling me that the book contained a variety of stories about different horror staples such as vampires, werewolves, aliens and even ghouls, he also informed me that he could not sell me that single copy he had in his possession. Be that as it may, I hunted down that book immediately after the convention and found a copy on Amazon. I am failing to say that after a lengthy discussion with the author about monsters that I was wildly curious about the tales. This has happened before, but like with the lottery not every gamble is a success.
This one was a jackpot win, however. I got my (second hand) paperback in the mail and immediately dove into the worlds of a consummate story teller. Right after cracking the book open, I was stunned by the beauty of the formatting, unique fonts and production of the work. Among the pages were shorts about witches who lure, ghouls who stumble through life, a vampire whose confidence and soul could use some aid, and a rapper and his wife who have to confront creatures from the deep. Those were phenomenal however, one story in particular really blew me a way. About an alien invasion, Mr. Russell's tale called "That Ain't No Chicken" features a proud ole rooster named Mr. Mudfoot who saves the world from an alien invasion, is one that I will definitely be rereading again! Also of note just for the richness of the prose is the 'Old Men of McDonald's,' which has not only an instant classic appeal in the realms of cerebral science fiction but is a wildly imaginative yarn filled with nostalgia and observation.
Yes there is some gore but also some serious thought put into this collection and while I am unable to find a kindle version, this novel is a definite keeper and treasure if you can find a copy! (I think there are 2 used copies remaining...and no I have no intention of coming up off Craig's copy).