Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Exotic Gothic 5, Volume 1
edited by Danel Olson
PS Publishing, 242 pages

Exotic Gothic 5, Volume 1
Danel Olson
Danel Olson is a Professor of English at Lone Star College, Texas. He has compiled collections of new Gothic stories and novel excerpts from around the world including Exotic Gothic: Forbidden Tales from Our Gothic World (2007), Exotic Gothic 2: New Tales of Taboo (2008). Exotic Gothic 2 was shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award, and Exotic Gothic 3 was a finalist for both the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy Awards.

Danel Olson Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

The successful series Exotic Gothic published in the beginning by Ash-Tree Press and then taken up by PS Publishing has now reached its fifth installment, continuing to provide dark short stories of modern gothic from every corner of the world. Volume five has been divided in two volumes, possibly because the response to editor Danel Olsen's call for new stories has been so overwhelming that it was too hard for him to exclude too many tales he deemed to be worthwhile. Personally I have my reservations. Judging by the content of volume 1, a portion of the selected stories included could have been easily left out, including the one by acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates. Don't get me wrong, the anthology is not bad at all and therein the reader will find some excellent stories.

Deborah Biancotti's "All the Lost Ones" is a disturbing, subtly horrific ghost story set in a darkly atmospheric Venice (and never mind if the phrases in Italian she throws here and there are full of mistakes...) while Simon Clark's "L'Amour est Mort" is another ghostly tale taking place in a gloomy yet fascinating Bruges with its canals and ancient houses.

Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud provides "The Open Mirror," a delightful supernatural tale with a spicy touch of eroticism first published in French and here translated into English by Edward Gauvin, while Theodora Goss contributes "Elena's Egg," an enchanting example of modern gothic reporting the memories of a Hungarian woman.

The strong and tense "Burial Grounds" by Nick Antosca explores family dramas and hidden secrets which end up getting buried beneath the ground in rural America.

"Moonrise on Hermit Beach" by Nancy A. Collins is a very nice mix of horror and crime where three old friends meet again, lured back to the site of a murderous episode of their past.

Finally, in the dark, excellent "The Girl Next Door" by Gemini Wahhaj, the disappearance of a young girl finds a grim and unexpected explanation years later.

Thus the book, although not every story is top notch, includes some remarkable modern gothic fiction apt to elicit pleasurable shivers without resorting to gore and violence.

Copyright © 2013 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide