Monday, December 24, 2012

Fungi - Edited by Orrin Grey and Silvia Moreno-Garcia

3 of 5 Stars         Review copy

Fungi is a new anthology from Innsmouth Press edited by Orrin Grey and Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  First let me compliment the brilliant cover art from Oliver Wetter.  He does a very nice job of capturing the spirit of what lies between the covers of this anthology.

As I read the 27 stories in this collection I found my response to be as varied as the stories themselves.  There were some I loved, some I was lukewarm about and others that I just didn't care for at all.

The anthology starts with "Hyphae" a tale from John Langan.  One of the better stories in Fungi. 

After that the stories get more and more out there, including a land of mushrooms, a tale where every character is named for a type of mushroom.  There's a fungus western, pychedelic mushrooms.  Some of the stories are truly Lovecraftian and then there are stories that just have a fungi theme.  There a few familiar names in this anthology and plenty of relative newcomers.

One of my favorite stories is written by Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington.  "Tubby McMungus, Fat from Fungus', a wonderful, fairy-tale type of story involving cats, rats and of course fungus.  There's also the delightful ""Wild Mushrooms" from Jane Herenstein and the clever "Letters To a Fungus" by Polenth Blake.  Nick Mamatas makes an appearance with a compelling story of revenge, titled 'The Shaft Through the Middle of It." 

When I read an anthonology, I certainly don't anticipate loving every story, but it would be nice to enjoy more than a handful.  Thus 3 of 5 Stars.  This means I'm glad I read it, but I'm just not crazy about it.

If it sounds interesting to you, read it by all means.  The paperback ($15) and e-book ($8) editions of Fungi are identical. However, Fungi is also be available as a hardcover ($28.00, available only via Innsmouth Free Press ) with three extra stories not included in the paperback and ten black-and-white illustrations by Bernie Gonzalez.

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