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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 09:00 am:   

Bookslut.com has a great review of my Prime Books anthology of city stories The Urban Bizarre.

The review reads, in part:

Mamatas, in his intro, makes it clear that this anthology exists as much to oppose the happy post-Giuliani feel that contemporary urban literature has taken on as anything else. Mamatas remembers a New York before The Nanny Diaries, back when Times Square had hookers and porn shops, instead of the Disney store. Mamatas recruited a group of zine and underground writers, and the resulting anthology, if rough around the edges, is one hell of a good read.

The best of the bunch includes "Perhaps the Snail," by James Maxey, a story that starts out as erotica and evolves into something much more powerful; it's a simultaneously beautiful and disturbing story of a groupie discovering himself. Maxey's imagery verges on the poetic at times, all the more impressive given the sense of the absurd that he combines with the erotic. There are other stories as sexually explicit, if not as erotic. Heather Shaw and Tim Pratt's "Blue Chuck Does Thrilltown," a fun tale that shows us the brothels of the future, is enjoyable (if inconsequential), and Ann Sterzinger's "Amy" is a superb love story (at least, as close as anything here comes to being a traditional love story) that springs its horrific element a bit too suddenly.

But there's not one story in
The Urban Bizarre that isn't readable (a rare feat for an anthology). This anthology is a damned fine kick in the ass, and is a book that people need to pay attention to.

We're also available in hardcover. So, what are you waiting for? CONSUME!
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 01:50 pm:   

A couple of more neat reviews of The Urban Bizarre. Here's one from David Niall Wilson at ChiZine:

This is not your motherís anthology, nor is it your standard horror anthology. This is not, in fact, a horror anthology at all, though most of the fiction fits that theme just fine, thank you. It is definitely a Chiaroscuro: Those Who Walk Alone anthology, if that makes any sense.

Overall, this is a very strong collection of stories. Anthologies tend to ride on the strength of a few stories, or on the names of a few tried-and-true marketable authors. Neither is true of The Urban Bizarre. The best thing one can say about The Urban Bizarre, is that it is both.


Also, Publishers Weekly gave us a short, positive notice positive write-up in in their Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Notes section, which is for books that don't get a full review but that they want to mention to bookbuyers anyway:

The Urban Bizarre, an anthology edited by Stoker-nominee Nick Mamatas (Northern Gothic), collects 14 all-original stories of the city by new writers on the underground fringe. As Mamatas aptly observes in his introduction, "The stories here are speculative, dangerous, slippery and sexualized, but they're also painfully, thrillingly authentic." (Prime [www.primebooks.net], $27.95 180p ISBN 1-930997-39-6; $15 paper -40-X)


Woo!
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 03:40 pm:   

Congratulations Nick. Nice reviews!
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 04:32 pm:   

Thanks. I also noticed that I am an idiot and didn't append the URL to the ChiZine review, of which those two grafs were only a part:

http://www.thechiaroscuro.com/urban_bizarre.htm
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 07:56 pm:   

Nick, I tried to respond to your email right after you contacted me but it bounced three times....
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 11:51 pm:   

I've been getting that all day. Driving me nuts. It's cleared up now though.

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