Hot Blood, Edited by Jeff Gelb and Lonn Friend

(Hot Blood, #1)
Published 1989

Robert R. McCammon, Graham Masterton, Harlan Ellison, Ramsey Campbell and other masters of the macabre take readers into their private world of fear, fantasy, and fatal attraction--in 24 tales of dread and debauchery, riveting stories of sex and terror . . . the fresh fusion that is fast becoming America's obsession.

This weird cover and book has short stories from such a great ensemble – Graham Masterton, Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison, F. Paul Wilson, Ramsay Campbell, that I had to pick it up. Not to mention, of course, that the erotic horror theme is interesting if done right.

Overall it was a worthy anthology; not erotic, but some disturbing stuff here and there, others creepy, others just strange.

The first story by Graham Masterton was average. The story was creative and out there, but not too crazy about it. As usual his writing style is smooth. The same is same for Richard Matheson’s The Likeness of Julie, promising but just not raising above average. The Thang by Robert R. McCammon doesn’t have much of an explanation for how the man got that way, but it was a cool short story where it was hard to take the eyes away, much like a train wreck.

F. Paul Wilson’s Menage A Trois was lots of fun with an eccentric old lady and a dark humor. Mr. Right from Richard Christian Anderson is amusing and brief, reminding me of a joke I’ve seen on the internet before over the years. Chocolate from Mick Garris was written well in the first person POV, not with any full explanation, but interesting nonetheless.

Again by Ramsey Campbell (have so much of his stuff in my library to read still) was maybe the creepiest story of the bunch. Eerie, with his powerful talent of the pen enhancing the horror. Where his story was the creepiest, the next story by Lisa Tuttle, Bug House, is the most disturbing. There IS a strange eroticism with this one in fact, but it gives miserable shivers. Interesting story that is the perfect length for its tale and almost numbing in its telling, and is one of the best offered.

Vengeance Is. By Theodore Sturgeon is such a short story, a scene really, that is doesn’t draw much attention. J.N. Williamson (RIP) also tells a simply short story which is disturbing in itself. Michael Garrett warns us on the type of people you shouldn’t cross in Reunion, a decently long tale that has a semi-predictable, but still worthy, ending.

Harlan Ellison’s Footsteps was awesome and gothic with tone, I love the surprise ending and almost a happy one for the big and bad. Pretty is…from Mike Newton is a typical prey and predator tale that tells it from a woman’s point of view instead of the similar stories like it, it was interesting.

I loved Aunt Edith by Gary Brandner, good stuff, even if not very surprising. Meat Market from John Skipp and Craig Spector is painfully brutal but cool and fits into the anthology like a second glove. Robert Bloch doesn’t disappoint with being brutal and yicky with the Model either; his great writing style working well for this horrible event. Carnal House (Steve Rasnic Tem) is eerie and unsettling but gothic and justified.

They’re coming for you by Les Daniels was great – funny stuff, humorous writing, loved the ironic ending, bravo. Suzie Sucks by Jeff Gelb plays on some urban legend stuff kind of, a suitable story that doesn’t have a lot of surprises but works. Ray Garton’s Punishments is one of the very top of the stories as the best, great stuff and interesting.

If you’re a horror fan or anthology fan, pick this one up if you pass it by. There have been new ones since then (this is part one), and it’s an older book, but it’s fun for those demented moods.

   Other Books in the series:

This series has a count of thirteen, of which I only own the first one. These links are to Goodreads:

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