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Otherworld Stories #10.6 -V Plates

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste

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The third book in the hilarious and horrifying national bestselling anthology series from the Horror Writers Association--a frightfest of sidesplitting stories from such "New York Times" bestselling authors as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, L.A. Banks, Kelley Armstrong, and many more! Horror fiction explores the dark side of human nature, often pushing the limits of violence, graphic gore, and extreme emotions. But with the popularity of shows and movies, such as "The Walking Dead," "True Blood," "Twilight," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," audiences have demonstrated their love for the genre--especially accompanied with a dose of humor to tone down the terror.

"Blood Lite III: Aftertaste" continues to put the fun back into dark fiction, featuring a wide range of humorous and highly entertaining horror-filled tales. Edited by Horror Writers Association founding member and award-winning author Kevin J. Anderson, the stories vary in tone from wry to downright laugh-out-loud funny. Featuring such well-known horror writers as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Golden, and many others, this collection of tales is perfect for anyone who enjoys being entertained as much as they love a good scare.

I was a teenage Bigfoot / Jim Butcher --
Blood-red greens / Joel A. Sutherland --
V plates / Kelley Armstong --
Put on a happy face / Christopher Golden --
Devil's contract / E.S. Magill --
Nine-tenths of the law / Eric James Stone --
Scrumptious bone bread / Jeff Strand --
Let that be a lesson to you / Mark Onspaugh --
Mint in box / Mike Baron --
Great zombie invasion of 1979 / J.G. Faherty --
Dating after the apocalypse / Stephen Dorato --
Typecast / Jeff Ryan --
Making the cut / Mike Resnick, Lezli Robyn --
Acknowledgments / Will Ludwigsen --
Mannequin / Heather Graham --
Short term / Daniel Pyle --
Distressed travelers / Nina Kiriki Hoffman --
Bayou brawl / L.A. Banks --
Steeple people / John Alfred Taylor --
For sale / David Sakmyster --
Man who could not be bothered to die / Norman Prentiss --
Last demon / Don D'Ammassa --
Misadventure to call your own / Adrian Ludens --
Smoke and mirrorballs / Chris Abbey --
Brians!!! / D.L. Snell --
Still life / Ken Lilli-Paetz --
Day in the life / Sherrilyn

513 pages, Paperback

First published May 29, 2012

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About the author

Kevin J. Anderson

504 books2,816 followers
Yes, I have a lot of books, and if this is your first visit to my amazon author page, it can be a little overwhelming. If you are new to my work, let me recommend a few titles as good places to start. I love my Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series, humorous horror/mysteries, which begin with DEATH WARMED OVER. My steampunk fantasy adventures, CLOCKWORK ANGELS and CLOCKWORK LIVES, written with Neil Peart, legendary drummer from Rush, are two of my very favorite novels ever. And my magnum opus, the science fiction epic The Saga of Seven Suns, begins with HIDDEN EMPIRE. After you've tried those, I hope you'll check out some of my other series.

I have written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and I'm the co-author of the Dune prequels. My original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. I have also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in collaboration with Tom Veitch, Predator titles (also for Dark Horse), and X-Files titles for Topps.

I serve as a judge in the Writers of the Future contest.

My wife is author Rebecca Moesta. We currently reside near Monument, Colorado.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 167 reviews
Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,936 followers
October 10, 2021
3.5 stars
I haven't read the whole Anthropology, only two entries

I was a teenage Bigfoot / Jim Butcher: 4.5 stars
One of my favorite novellas so far. I really enjoyed meeting another bigfoot and he was so sweet! I hope we see them in the main series. It's told from Harry's perspective.

V plates / Kelley Armstong: 2.7 stars
kinda meh, while I liked to be back in the Bitten world, the short story itself wasn't great. Fun to read for sure but the reason they had to face the bad guys... well, I think Armstrong could've created a better story. Still, the characters were nice, at least. It's told from Nick's PoV.
Profile Image for Mark.
330 reviews17 followers
June 3, 2012
I hope that admitting I bought this book just to read Jim Butcher's latest Harry Dresden short story doesn't make me a bad person. Besides, it's a Bigfoot story. I'll check out the other authors too.
Profile Image for Craig.
5,141 reviews123 followers
May 18, 2022
This was the third in a series of anthologies that Anderson edited in conjunction with the HWA that featured horror stories with a humorous slant. I thought it was more of an uneven selection than most anthologies... I didn't like it as well as the first volume of the series, and never got up enough interest to try the second. I thought the book was too long and I would have liked it better with some of the weaker stories omitted. Too many of them had elements of horror but weren't funny or were humorous but not at all horrific, and thus they didn't fit the theme. The Jim Butcher was fine, and I remember enjoying the Heather Graham, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lucien Soulban, and Mike Resnick/Lezli Robyn stories.
Profile Image for Cyn Armistead Newman.
338 reviews27 followers
August 6, 2012
This anthology is supposed to be humorous horror. I have a message for Kevin J. Anderson: grossness is not nearly enough for humor. I hope volume two was funnier (I haven't read it yet), but if it was as bad as this one, the series should have been a singleton.

The entire reason I skipped ahead to volume three is "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot" by Jim Butcher. Happily, it was worth reading. There was some humor, as is the case with all of the Dresden Files fiction. It wasn't the funniest of Butcher's stories, but the setup was good. Still, it's a Dresden Files story, and that's enough for a 4 out of 5.

I probably would have appreciated "Blood Red Greens" by Joel A. Sutherland much more if I played golf. As it is, I skimmed the description of the main characters' golf game on the first day of the zombie apocalypse and read for everything else. Not bad, not great. I'll give this one a 3 out of 5, acknowledging that I'm not the prime target audience.

"V Plates" by Kelley Armstrong has a clich&eacuted; setup: Noah is tired of being twitted about his virginity and wants to "fix it," so Nick agrees to take him to a brothel. (I thought there were supposed to be problems with control where young werewolves and sex were concerned? Maybe I'm confusing my mythologies.) Anyway, of course it can't be that easy, so there's trouble. The trouble is unfunny. This from an experienced author working with established characters who have potential? No. 1 out of 5.

Christopher Golden's "Put on a Happy Face" is about clowns and wishes. I found absolutely nothing funny at all in it. In fact, it was horrific. It wasn't badly written, though, so it gets a 3 out of 5.

"Devil's Contract" by E.S. Magill has been done before. Maybe not in an anthology, so I suppose perhaps there are non-geeks who haven't seen it done to death. But I've seen variations of it for years in various forms. Yawn. 2 out of 5.

Eric James Stone's "Nine Tenths of the Law" was actually memorable enough that I didn't have to look it up before writing this review. That puts it ahead of the crowd. It wasn't really funny, though. There's an ironic twist, but it didn't make me laugh and, in fact, I half expected the ending. 2 out of 5.

"Scrumptious Bone Bread" by Jeff Strand was also memorable, but that's just because it was excessively gross. It was also one of three stories to make fun of rednecks or country people, and I have a personal standard of one stereotyped story per anthology. 1 out of 5.

Mark Onspaugh's "Let That Be a Lesson to You" was entirely forgettable. I just read the book today, so if I can't remember it at all, that's sad. 1 out of 5.

"Mint in Box" by Mike Baron was, on the other hand, memorable. It reminded me of the horror comics I used to borrow from my older cousin, Shannon. It was a dark, depressing cautionary tale - or, at least, that's how I read it. I didn't see any humor at all. 2 out of 5, because of the humor fail and the excessive nastiness.

J.G. Faherty's "The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979" was the worst of the anti-country stories. Of course everybody out in the boondocks is a drunk, trigger-happy redneck! Gross, unfunny, goes on too long - 1 out of 5.

Stephen Dorato's "Dating After the Apocalypse" fared a bit better. For one thing, I remember it and I'm not groaning. I didn't ever laugh out loud or anything, but I did smile once or twice. That's about as good as it gets in this collection. 3 out of 5.

"Typecast" by Jeff Ryan introduces us to a truly nasty casting director and her put-upon assistant as they go out for a coffee break while casting a serial killer. The casting director must ruthlessly "cast" everybody she sees, revealing much more about herself than anyone else. I have no trouble remembering the story but I didn't find it very funny. Ironic, yes, but irony alone doesn't create humor. 2 of 5.

I didn't even notice Mike Resnick's name before - odd. Anyway, his and Lezli Robyn's story "Making the Cut" was a breath of fresh air. There was genuine, good-natured humor in it. I laughed. 5 out of 5.

"Acknowledgments" by Will Ludwigsen is written as, well, acknowledgments for a book. It's more entertaining than most acknowledgement sections, but that isn't saying much. 3 out of 5.

Heather Graham's "Mannequin" is one I have no trouble remembering. It was creepy as hell, but totally not funny. I don't know why it was chosen for this anthology. I can't give her better than a 3 out of 5.

"Short Term" by Daniel Pyle is, again, highly memorable. It's disturbing and unfunny to me. Serial killers just aren't funny, even when they do have almost no short-term memory any more. 1 out of 5.

Nina Kiriki Hoffman's "Distressed Travelers" is based on a highly original concept. I'd love to see what she did with it in another context. I could actually see the humor in this story, even if I didn't get any big laughs. It was amusing. 4 out of 5.

"Bayou Brawl" by L.A. Banks has to take another poke at rednecks early on. It isn't as bad as the other two, at least, but I was sensitized by the time I got to this story. Then it moves on and seems to be a poor excuse for setting up a love triangle between a human woman, a male werewolf, and a male vampire. Anita Blake's been there and done that a few dozen times now, Banks - there's no shock value in it any more. There wasn't much humor in it unless you look at it on a meta-level (UFO versus terrestrial spookies) and even though - blah. 2 out of 5.

John Alfred Taylor's "The Steeple People" gives us demons selling steeples with resident imps. Okay, that's a little bit funny (to an irreligious person, anyway). The story didn't live up to the setup, though. 3 out of 5.

"For Sale" by David Sakmyster is couched as a real estate flyer. I don't think I've seen anything done quite like that before, but the property itself is a clicé. I'll give Sakmyster 3 out of 5 for effort and originality.

Norman Prentiss's "The Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die" was just gross. At least he avoided World of Warcraft jokes, but otherwise, there wasn't any reason given for the main character to avoid dying and without one, I couldn't believe it. 2 out of 5.

"The Last Demon" by Don D'Ammassa was actually somewhat cute. Ogerak the Off-putting escapes Hell and doesn't find the mortal realms incredibly welcoming. 4 out of 5.

Adrian Ludens' "Choose Your Own" is based on those "Choose Your Own..." stories that were apparently popular at one time (I missed out on them). You don't actually chose your own path in the story, but the choices are there and it's obvious which ones the main character made. I didn't find it funny, but at least I cared what was happening, which is more than I can say for many of the stories in this collection. 3 out of 5.

"Smoke and Mirrorballs" by Chris Abbey is a parody of Dancing With the Stars, with Dracula, Van Helsing, The Mummy, and the like thrown in as contestants. It was mildly entertaining at the end, although the gratuitous gore wasn't funny. 3 out of 5.

D.L. Snell's "BRIANS!" takes a good swipe at Twilight as well as self-published authors. It was macabre yet funnier than most of the rest of the book. 4 out of 5.

"Still Life" by Ken Lillie-Paetz had too much set-up for a failed punchline. 1 out of 5.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's "A Day in the Life" gives us an editor unrealistically celebrating the death of her biggest-selling author. I don't care how difficult the author was, there's just no way the editor would be celebrating the death of the author who made her career. There wasn't any funny in it, but the failed suspension-of-belief check ruined the story anyway. 1 out of 5.

"Old MacDonald Had an Animal Farm" by Lisa Morton introduces us to an idiot. That's the only way I can describe the main character. Okay, characters in stories make mistakes because that drives the plot. But there wasn't any humor in his mistakes, nor in the rest of the plot. It was all dark and depressing. 1 out of 5.

Brad C. Hodson's "Two for Transylvania" starts off okay, with Dracula and Van Helsing teaming up together to scam villagers. It's a silly idea, but you go with it. It would make a decent skit. 3 out of 5.

"The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour: An Apocumentary" by Lucien Soulban wasn't particularly funny or macabre or anything else. Of course, I find most rockumentaries somewhat boring, and it seemed like a good send-up of them, so it has that going for it. I'll give it a 3 out of 5 for that alone.

Overall, I wouldn't have read it if I weren't determined to finish and review it. The things I do for you people! I certainly won't be reading it again.
Profile Image for Julianna.
Author 5 books1,329 followers
September 3, 2023
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"3.5 stars overall"
*newest review(s) for this anthology

I Was a Teenage Bigfoot by Jim Butcher - I Was a Teenage Bigfoot is a novelette in the Dresden Files series that takes place around the same time as the full-length novel Dead Beat in the series chronology. It’s also the second in a group of stories sometimes called The Bigfoot Trilogy that follow Harry as he helps his friend River Shoulders, who is a Bigfoot, look after his son, Irwin, who doesn’t know that his father is a creature of legend. In this one, Harry is tasked with going to the boarding school where Irwin attends to check on him, since his mother is out of town on an archaeological dig. Bigfoots aren’t supposed to get sick with human diseases, but surprisingly the boy is ill. This leaves Harry to find out why, and he finds some supernatural shenanigans afoot.

These Bigfoot stories have been fun so far, and this one, in particular, was light and amusing. I love Harry for being committed to his job and for not taking “no” for an answer in making sure his charge was OK. I also love how he handled the situation when he found out who the perpetrator was. It was quite funny, as was the way in which the story began. This little novelette was very well-written and engaging and I didn’t necessarily feel like there was anything else to tell, so my only real complaint here is that it was too short of a foray into Harry’s world. But otherwise, I very much enjoyed it. Star Rating: ****1/2

Blood-Red Greens by Joel A. Sutherland - “Blood-Red Greens” is a stand-alone short story about two friends, Randall and Errol, who have a standing date every week to play golf. Errol always wins, because Randall is a terrible golfer who’s thinking about quitting. During one of their games, the zombie apocalypse arrives, leaving them fighting off zombies while trying to finish playing, ending with a small twist.

Many years ago, I used to watch golf on television, but in the intervening years, my interest in the game has waned. There’s a lot of golfing terminology used in this tale, so with my prior knowledge of the sport, I wasn’t entirely lost, but it did kind of slow things down. The story is a fairly simple one that doesn’t have much of a plot. It’s basically about Randall and Errol and them being obsessed enough with the game to keep going even though they’re constantly being attacked by zombies. It’s kind of funny that they don’t think much of it, but instead just kill a zombie or two and then move on to the next hole. The ending was rather predictable, but mildly amusing. The writing itself is good, keeping me pretty well engaged, so overall, this was decent for a short story. Star Rating: ***

V Plates by Kelley Armstrong - “V Plates” is a short story in Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld series that falls between Frostbitten and Waking the Witch in the series chronology. It features the werewolf characters of Nick, Reese, and Noah, who I gather were introduced somewhere earlier in the series. Eighteen-year-old Noah is still a virgin and having some girl trouble, but also eager to lose his “V plates.” Reese suggests to Nick that they take Noah to a brothel that caters to supernaturals and that came recommended by some other werewolves he knows. Although not so certain this is the best way to handle things, Nick, who appears to be the oldest and a pack mentor, reluctantly agrees. However, upon their arrival, the women who answer the door are acting a bit strange and as Nick and Reese wait for Noah to be serviced, Reese picks up on something that’s seriously amiss and that leaves them fighting their way out of a rather bizarre situation.

Aside from one other short story that was found in an earlier Blood Lite anthology, I haven’t read anything else from this series yet. Normally I don’t read series stories out of order, but I just hadn’t gotten a good sense yet as to whether I would enjoy the series. So, I decided to take the opportunity to sample it first. The other short story I read was entertaining enough but left me feeling a bit lost with all the names of characters I didn’t know being dropped. This one was a little better. I still felt like I probably would have enjoyed it more if I’d already had knowledge of Nick, Reese, and Noah, but at the same time, I got just enough of a sense of their characters to be rather intrigued by them. There are still some names of characters mentioned of whom I have little to no idea who they are. But I can say that “V Plates” is well written. It sufficiently entertained me and I liked the characters enough for it to inch me a little closer to possibly giving the series a try at some point in the future. Star Rating: ****

Put on a Happy Face by Christopher Golden - “Put on a Happy Face” is a stand-alone horror short story. It’s about a guy named Benny who always loved to make people laugh while growing up, especially his mother. He followed his passion to become a circus clown and studied all the great clowns of the past to learn the best techniques for getting laughs, but many years down the road, it isn’t nearly as enjoyable as he thought it would be and his little circus clown troupe often gets a tepid reception. Then one day, he finds an old book written by one of his clown idols that he’s never read before in a mobile book fair that goes to many of the same places the circus does. The book discusses how this clown summoned the demon patron of clowns in an effort to get the best laughter of his career. Desiring nothing more than to be the funniest clown in history, Benny does the same, but at a very high and unexpected cost.

Readers who harbor coulrophobia (aka the fear of clowns) perhaps shouldn’t read this story, as it might only make the phobia worse. Or on the other hand, since so many clowns end up meeting their demise, perhaps it might be therapeutic. Since I don’t have this phobia, I’m not sure which, or it might depend on the reader’s perspective. In any case, this was a decent story for one so short that demonstrates the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” Poor Benny craved laughter so badly, he never considered what the consequences might be for trying to force it to happen. The way the story ended was not only disturbing, but also pretty sad, because Benny gets a hard dose of truth that, in and of itself, would’ve been painful even without all the destruction that accompanied it. The story was a little slow for a horror tale, due to being rather heavy on the narrative prose, but it was still pretty readable, although not exactly what I’d call enjoyable because of its dark nature. Star Rating: ***

Devil’s Contract by E. S. Magill - “Devil’s Contract” is an extremely short piece of just under seven pages. I call it a piece rather than a story, because there are no characters or plot, so it really isn’t a story. It’s actually a satire of a software contract that pokes fun both at our corporate overlords and how much power they wield over us, as well as the people who never read said contracts. I started out reading it, thinking it might be kind of dry, but in reality it was so incredibly witty and well-done that I laughed so hard I cried. I think it was so hilarious because it really hits the nail on the head, containing a lot of truth about the way in which both people and corporations behave. I also have to give the author major props for taking me by surprise and for her imaginative creativity. This is definitely my favorite piece in this anthology so far. Star Rating: *****

Nine-Tenths of the Law by Eric James Stone - “Nine-Tenths of the Law” is a very short story of only about five pages that takes place in an unspecified future time where zombies essentially rule. They aren’t what you typically think of as zombies. Their flesh isn’t rotting off their bones, nor do they have a single-minded pursuit of brains, but instead are highly intelligent creatures who are now running our government incredibly efficiently as lawyers, judges, and politicians. Kyle, a ghost, comes to Gordon, a zombie attorney, wanting to evict the humans who are buying the home he’s lived in for the past twenty years, so he asks Gordon to litigate his claim for him. Gordon agrees and the results end up in an amusing plot twist. I previously read another short by this author in another Blood Lite anthology and thought it was quite clever and creative, and this one was equally so. This was a very amusing and diverting story and I honestly didn’t see the ending coming. Star Rating: ****

Scrumptious Bone Bread by Jeff Strand - “Scrumptious Bone Bread” is a stand-alone short story about Tommy, a taxidermist who is a little strange. His even stranger friend, Andy, who clearly isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, comes into Tommy’s shop. He’s gotten it into his head that he wants to find out what it would be like to crush up a person’s bones and use them like flour to make bread. He’s already killed a woman for this purpose, but he can’t figure out how to get her bones out of her body and wants Tommy’s help. Tommy reluctantly goes along with it, but when he realizes just how inept of a criminal Andy is, he decides he out, except that Andy then threatens him. This leads to more murder and mayhem, and Tommy giving Andy’s idea a try for himself with unexpected results.

This story was pretty well-written, but a little too gruesome for my taste. The whole idea of chopping up bodies and cannibalizing the bones was simply a bit too stomach-turning for me. However, I was mildly amused by just how dumb these two guys are and by the twist at the end. So overall, not a bad read, just not one that wasn’t entirely to my liking. Star Rating: ***

Let That Be a Lesson to You by Mark Onspaugh - “Let That Be a Lesson to You” is a very short story of just under six pages. The first-person narrator has just received a book on demonology that he ordered from Amazon. He rapidly leafs through it, looking for answers on how to apparently contain some kind of demon. Not finding the information he needs, he must then go feed this creature who I guess is supposed to be a parody of a wealthy, aging, Hollywood star.

This story started off OK. I was wondering what the main character might be trying to accomplish with his demonology book and the entries he reads from the book were mildly amusing. However, the final page and a half of the story couldn’t have been more offensive if it tried. In that short space, the reader get assaulted by animal cruelty, racism, ableism, and misogyny. I’m sure the author thought it was somehow funny, but I didn’t find any humor in this at all and don’t know why anyone would. Granted the main character turns out to be a demon himself, but even taking that into account, I thought it was over the top. I also wasn’t sure what the point of the story was. I guess it was that the narrator demon got the tables turned on him or something, but I certainly didn’t sympathize with him, especially after the abhorrent and appalling things he does to an innocent baby and kittens. Star Rating: *

Mint in Box by Mike Baron - “Mint in Box” is a stand-alone short story of only about eleven pages. It tells the story of a Jim, a geek who is an avid collector of action figures and other various movie memorabilia. He’s been searching for a rare action-figure connected to a cult-classic horror film, the director of which died, but not before placing a small amount of his blood in the unique paint for the action figure. When Jim finally finds the one he’s been seeking, he gets a lot more than he bargained for.

Aside from its rather gruesome nature, I thought this was a fairly clever story, right up until the end. I kind of guessed that something of this nature might happen, but at the same time, the actual outcome isn’t really explained. Instead, it’s all left to the imagination of the reader exactly what happened and how. I usually prefer for things to be wrapped up a little more neatly, but otherwise, it’s not a bad little story. Star Rating: ***1/2

The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979 by J. G. Faherty - “The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979” is a short story written from the POV of a hillbilly-esque character named Elmer who has seen a few zombie movies, so when a group of pale, bloody, and battered individuals start staggering across his friend Charlie’s field, he knows the zombie invasion has started. He and Charlie spend most of the story picking them off one-by-one, thinking they’re going to be hailed as heroes, but by the time most of the zombies are dead and the sheriff shows up, things quickly go awry.

This was an OK story, but I felt like it leaned too heavily into stereotyping. Elmer and Charlie are classic hillbilly types who are far from being the sharpest tools in the shed. In addition, there were several other offensive elements that IMHO dragged the story down rather than elevating it. More than once, Elmer considers murdering Charlie even though they’re supposedly friends. I also felt like the two men took a little too much gleeful pride in picking off the zombies, never giving a single thought for the people they might have once been. Then there was a bit of sexism, as well as a brief (like two sentences) implied reference to bestiality, which I thought was completely unnecessary and over the top. In the end, I guess you could say that Elmer kind of got what he deserved. So, the story was alright, just not anything to get too excited about. Star Rating: ***

Dating After the Apocalypse by Stephen Dorato - “Dating After the Apocalypse” is a very aptly named stand-alone short story about a guy named Malcolm who is trying to navigate dating after an unspecified apocalyptic event. The humans seem to still be trying to live normal lives, aside from the fact that they don’t really go out after dark because of undead zombie-like creatures who will attack them. After a string of unfortunate dating experiences, Malcolm has all but given up on finding the right person until a co-worker suggests his widowed sister. The two hit it off and things are going great until the unexpected happens.

I really enjoyed this story right up until the end. It’s exactly how I might imagine dating after a supposed zombie apocalypse might be. All the weird experiences Malcolm has are darkly humorous, and once he meets Julie, it even turns a bit romantic, which is right up my alley. The only issue I had with the story is the ending, which like a few other stories in this anthology, was a bit open-ended. I suspected something was going to ruin things once Malcolm appeared to get his happy ending, but I was only left to speculate and honestly couldn’t figure out exactly what happened and how. This unfortunately put a bit of a damper on what was otherwise a fun reading experience. Star Rating: ***1/2

I ran out of characters in the review field.:-) Click on the remaining story titles to see my reviews for each one:

Typecast by Jeff Ryan - Star Rating: ***

Making the Cut by Mike Resnick, Lezli Robyn - Star Rating: ***1/2

Acknowledgements by Will Ludwigsen - Star Rating: **

Mannequin by Heather Graham - Star Rating: ****

Short Term by Daniel Pyle - Star Rating: ***

Distressed Travelers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - Star Rating: ****1/2

Bayou Brawl by L. A. Banks - Star Rating: ***1/2

The Steeple People by John Alfred Taylor - Star Rating: **1/2

For Sale by David Sakmyster - Star Rating: ****

The Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die by Norman Prentiss - Star Rating: ****

The Last Demon by Don D’Ammassa - Star Rating: ****

A Misadventure to Call Your Own by Adrian Ludens - Star Rating: ****1/2

Smoke and Mirrorballs by Chris Abbey - Star Rating: ***

BRIANS!!! by D. L. Snell - Star Rating: ***1/2

Still Life by Ken Lillie-Paetz - Star Rating: **

A Day in the Life by Sherrilyn Kenyon - Star Rating: ****

Old MacDonald Had an Animal Farm by Lisa Morton - Star Rating: ****

*Two for Transylvania by Brad C. Hodson - Star Rating: **1/2

*The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour: An Apocumentary by Lucien Soulban - Star Rating: ***1/2
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,711 reviews708 followers
January 20, 2016
Third in the Blood Lite series of humorous and/or creepy horror short stories.

Be sure to read the authors' bios at the end. There's one in particular that's an absolute riot!

"I was a Teenage Bigfoot" (Dresden Files, 7.25)
"V Plates" (Women of the Otherworld, 12.5???)

The Stories
Jim Butcher's "I was a Teenage Bigfoot" finds Harry Dresden checking on a friend's son in boarding school who is supposedly suffering from mono…hah! Still, Harry does find a friend.

This story is the first of a trilogy of short Bigfoot stories by Butcher.

Joel A. Sutherland's "Blood-Red Greens" reflects a passion for the greens. The golf greens that is. It really is too funny the lengths to which two men will go to enjoy their game of golf.

Kelley Armstrong's "V Plates" is another funny one although I think Armstrong was channeling Keri Arthur on the first half of this one. Seems Noah doesn't cotton to bein' teased about his virgin status and Reese and Nick are gonna help that poor boy out. Just, well, it just wasn't supposed to go quite like this.

Christopher Golden's "Put On a Happy Face" is all about clowns, so, for those of you with a fear of clowns…you probably want to read this. The first of the sad ones…and remember, be careful what you wish for.

E. S. Magill's "Devil's Contract" is too funny! A nice rip on software Terms and Conditions. Accept or decline at your peril.

Eric James Stone's "Nine-Tenths of the Law" is a, sort of, nod to lawyers. It's a zombie-ruled world in which they went for the lawyers, the politicians, and judges. Makes it so much easier to get laws passed and judgments made. And Mr. Petrides sneaks in that possession is…Nine-Tenths of the Law…*snicker*!

Jeff Strand's "Scrumptious Bone Bread" is a creepy rip-off of Jack and the Beanstalk with a sociopathic nut case curious about bone bread and stupid enough to ask a friend to help. Well, it's just too depressing working with someone who doesn't think ahead…

Mark Onspaugh's "Let That Be a Lesson to You" is a truly nasty tale involving Amazon.com, demonology, and animal and human sacrifice. Although, since it's hurting a demon…

Mike Baron's "Mint in Box" pokes at all those collectors who buy toys and never remove them from their box. Yup, you got it! **Mint** **Still in its original box** It's both creepy and well done about a man collecting dolls, sorry…action figures…from obscure horror flicks.

J. G. Faherty's "Great Zombie Invasion of 1979" is way too funny as Faherty makes fun of dim, drunk rednecks who are gun-happy.

Stephen Dorato's "Dating After the Apocalypse" keeps you wondering as you read through the story. Then there's the ever-so creepy end….urghhhh!

Jeff Ryan's "Typecast" forces us to listen as Linda bitches through her morning about how she sees people. She can't help but see someone to — loudly — cast them as a character. Oh, man, she has no clue about manners, decency… Ya just about cheer at the end.

Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn's "Making the Cut" is a supernatural barber shop with a wide range of supernatural clientele including poor, unhappy, worried Lamont. He feels he's letting down his 'rassling fans, but Mavis inadvertently has the answer.

Will Ludwigsen's "Acknowledgements" sends up the acknowledgements many authors write in their books, although his thanks are to all those who helped with his supernatural investigation. Nicely done and quite funny.

Heather Graham's "Mannequin" was truly creepy with a twist. Two young couples intend to spend the night at the Cantrell House. Renowned for the fate of its original owners and their murders, it's a little bit's Chucky with those mannequins all over the place. Ick…

Daniel Pyle's "Short Term" is rather gruesomely funny as this old fart, Henderson, manages to break into someone's house. Again and again and again and…

Nina Kiriki Hoffman's "Distressed Travelers" certainly puts a twist on a supernatural sucker. "Tim" loves airports for all the emotions they generate, such a harvest. Sigh… It is rather luscious how Hoffman assigns such a variety of flavors to all those feelings. Fortunately, "Tim" is a humanitarian, somewhere, inside that, whatever and "he" does humanity a favor.

L.A. Banks' "Bayou Brawl" is a brawl all right and a pretty funny story involving shifters, vampires, fae, humans, and demons up against aliens. And they're in a hurry to take care of this mess before the military gets involved! God only knows what the fae would do if the army attacked! Banks twists on vampires, werewolves, full moons, and threesomes with a touch of Marie Laveau. The end is an absolute crack-up. Talk about cooperation.

This is Banks' last story before she died. She will be missed.

John Alfred Taylor's "Steeple People" is too funny for words! A clever little business scheme with a concern for its accountant to verify its false set of books. From steeples to "roadkill" and a hijacked sprinkler system…

David Sakmyster's "For Sale" is one for all of you who has gone house hunting or sells houses. Mmm-hmmmm, a real steal…if you survive!

Norman Prentiss' "Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die" is just gross! Although, I do know the feeling…I'll probably just keep waiting for the latest Butcher, Armstrong, Kenyon, Mead, Singh, Harrison, Harris, Tremayne, Todd, Green, Hamilton, Phoenix and on and on and… Yup, like Tony, I'll never die…bwa-ha-ha!

Don D'Ammassa's "Last Demon" is a too funny story about Ogerak the Off-putting. A demon who escaped Hell intending to rule the world only to get there. To Earth that is. Poor baby. It'll give ya a whole new appreciation for life as we…well, suffer it.

Adrian Ludens' "A Misadventure to Call Your Own" is mostly funny, part irritating. It's one of those stories in which's you decide (from a possibility of three choices that crop up every few paragraphs) which direction the story will follow. It seems our protagonist made a bad decision last night and now he's paying for it this morning. Let's see where that body ends up.

Chris Abbey's "Smoke and Mirrorballs" is a dorky combination of Dancing with the Stars and famous characters from history and/or the classics.

D.L. Snell's "Brians!!" is so dorky that it's funny! For all the mama's boys and those of you who hate Stephanie Myers, come read this zombie fest!

Ken Lillie-Paetz's "Still Life" is two pages long and gets right to the point…unlike his artist!

Sherrilyn Kenyon's "A Day in the Life" finds Elliott Lawson hysterically happy to hysterically terrified in one short day. Let this be a lesson to book reviewers, editors, and publishers…oh, my!

Lisa Morton's "Old MacDonald Had an Animal Farm" is a quirky combination of Animal Farm, Dr. Doolittle, and I am Legend…I ain't sayin' another word…

I have to confess I think Meowsy's name is too cute…don't tell my kittens I said that!

Brad C. Hodson's "Two for Transylvania" pokes fun at the Dracula classic and the scam artists. Too bad ol' Drac didn't read Bram Stoker before starting this little scheme.

Lucien Soulban's "Four Horsemen Reunion Tour: An Apocumentary" will appeal to anyone who follows rock 'n roll documentaries.

The Cover and Title
The cover is white with a close-up of a vampire's very white chin and her black lips and nails. Licking a bloody lollipop certainly adds a certain je ne sais quoi, LOL.

Blood Lite III is the third in this ongoing series of anthologies while the subtitle (it's really the title), well, let's just say it definitely leaves an Aftertaste
Profile Image for bella.
249 reviews25 followers
June 7, 2012
I'm not one for short stories. Usually I buy anthologies to read one or two stories in them. Usually its one of my favorite authors with their favorite series (in this case Jim Butcher and his Dresden files series) and I will put the rest of the stories away for a rainy day.

When Jim Butcher joked on April Fools Day about a bigfoot series, I got excited even though I knew it was a April Fools Day joke. Luckily for his avid readers it is going to be a short story series, with the first being released in Blood Lite III: Aftertaste.

I Was a Teenager Big Foot sees our favorite wizard Harry helping out the Forest People (ie. Big Foot) in helping one of their offspring with some black magic. This was a fun first story, and for those that have never read any Dresden Files books it is a good place to start as any. It doesn't rely on reading any of the other books, and is a fun, quick story. There is supernatural action and lots of Harry's humor that we all love. The scene where Harry tries (rather unsuccessfully) to pick up a nurse is my favorite!

While I haven't read the other stories in this anthology, I will put them away for a rainy day as its full of authors that I hope one day to try.

I highly recommend Blood Lite III for fans of urban fantasy, definitely a must read.

Profile Image for Cathy.
1,667 reviews242 followers
December 21, 2015
Werewolves with an unusual problem, an old-fashioned solution and unusual side effects. Liked the plot. Makes me want to pick up the original series again.

Part of the Led Astray short story collection.
Profile Image for Amy.
63 reviews
July 5, 2012
Ok, I admit that I only read the short story by Jim Butcher. It was a great story and did not disappoint. I loved the Bigfoot characters! I am sure I will get around to reading the other stories soon. I will come back and amend my review at that time.
Profile Image for Barbi Faye (The Book Fae).
660 reviews12 followers
June 28, 2017
Woot! Five and a half stars! I am just so enchanted with these short horror stories with a dark sense of humor. I love them. This has been the second book I have enjoyed so far. I have really liked "V Plates" by Kelly Armstrong, of course her story has a wolfy vibe! "Mannequin", by Heather Graham; two couples attempt to spend the night in a haunted locale, especially after one of them is proven sensitive and psychic. Supernatural fun abounds!! "Smoke and Mirrorballs" shows how utterly ridiculous the concept can be, when 'Prancing Line A Minor Star' can allow any manner of being, but, HOW can a VAMPIRE win the MIRRORBALL prize??!! Anyhooz, some of my favez that got me knee slapping and I gotta read me some more! I love it!
Profile Image for Shreyas.
526 reviews12 followers
May 8, 2020
'I Was A Teenage Bigfoot' (The Dresden Files #7.2) by Jim Butcher

Profile Image for Sam.
226 reviews3 followers
March 3, 2021
Jim Butcher has a very strong short story game. They always have fun, and tell you a little more about the world or characters. In this case you get a reminder and fuller explanation of the Venatori Umbrorum (they are like knowing muggle allies in the form of The Watchers Council from Buffy acting as an underground information and insurgency like Sherlock’s Baker Street Irregulars.) They is even a fun little cartoon reference theme quoting Animaniacs (and Gilbert and Sullivan, which is arguably it’s wonderfully silly precursor) to the nurse who makes a callback to bring it full circle. *chef’s kiss*
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,669 reviews171 followers
December 17, 2015
4 stars

V PLATES is a short story found in the anthology BLOODLITE III: Aftertaste. A book with approximately 30 short stories by authors such as Kelley, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Jim Butcher, Bloodlite III is a publication from the Horror Writers Association. And since we have been focusing on some of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld novels, V Plates is a rather interesting look at Nick’s new -found attempt at fatherhood.

In the novel Frostbite, we are introduced to 3 new characters werewolves.: Noah the 16year old son of a former pack mate: Reese, a 20 something import from Australia on the run from his past: and Morgan- a Canadian werewolf living with a real wolf pack in Alaska. V Plates is the story behind Noah’s first foray into manhood, and Reese’s attempts to find Noah an experienced woman.

Noah was tired of being teased about his virginity. At 18, he was small for his age, and the other guys at school made it a point to tease Noah about his lack of sexual experience. And to complicate matters, Noah dumped his girlfriend in order to hook up with the school bad girl. But Reese had another idea in mind. Heading into the city, Reese had book a night of sexual pleasure at the local brother, and Nick was not too pleased that Noah had gone to Reese with his worries.

But all too soon, the local house of ill-repute was something from horror movie. Reese’s senses went into overload when he recognized the stench of death. When an oversexed woman of the night insisted on entertaining Reese, he made sure that Nick went along for the ride. And once in the room, it would become readily apparent why Nick was suddenly Reese’s wingman. How Nick missed the scent of death is questionable, but a fight with a houseful of demons and zombies, would ensure that Noah kept his virginity for another tale.

V PLATES is approximately ONE chapter in length. Kelley has promised to write a series of shorts so that her fans would not be disappointed, and V Plates is the first of many –we hope. A lighthearted look at Nick’s attempts to raise a teenage boy and young man with only his own experiences to draw from, V Plates is a great addition to the Men of the Otherworld series. FORBIDDEN (December 2012) will focus on Morgan.
Profile Image for Critique de Book.
47 reviews6 followers
July 30, 2012
Title: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste
Author: Anthology
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Pocket Books (May 29, 2012)
Available: $7.99
Rating: 3 stars
Rater: Lauri

From the publisher:
Sink your teeth into a smorgasbord of macabre morsels laced with horrific humor in this all-new Blood Lite collection! Whether you shriek with laughter or scream in fear . . . well, that’s simply a matter of taste.

What I liked: I love horror, and bought this book to read during my recent travels. And some of the stories are great. Jim Butcher’s, for one. And I love the “smorgasbord,” as the pub calls it, approach to reading. It’s a blast, and you get to taste so many different flavors – plots, characters, storylines, descriptions. And short stories are better if you’re attention is wandering, or if, like me, you have a child to watch, too.

What I didn’t like: Some of the stories were horrifying, and not in a good way. That they didn’t contain spelling errors is perhaps the best thing I can say about them. The plots of several were beyond trite, or so shallow I could see right through them. Melodramatic dialogue. All telling and no showing. Too much explained and not enough revealed. These stories seemed to be written by brand-new writers who had no editors to bleed the stories into some semblance of good.

In sum: Unless the price is lowered an awful lot, I won’t buy another one of these books. Even the half of the stories I liked don’t make up for the half that I didn’t.
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,560 reviews29 followers
June 16, 2012
Another awesome representation from The Horror Writers Association. This novel includes some of the hippest paranormal writers of our present era: the dearly-departed LA Banks, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Jeff Strand, Heather Graham and Sherrilyn Kenyon. There are also quality stories from many unknown authors as well. I have a tendency to skip stories that don't hold my interest and I am happy to say that I read every single tale in here. There were quite a few that made me laugh out loud which amuses me to no end.

This anthology deals with ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies and seems to give no preference to any one type of paranormal ghoulies. I liked that because there seems to be an over abundance of vampire and/or zombie stories these days. I can't wait to see what part four of this anthology series brings to the table. Maybe it'll be BRIANS!!!!! LOL
Profile Image for Kat.
1,720 reviews103 followers
February 22, 2013
Basic Premise: This short story collection asks contributors to combine horror and humor in their stories.


I don't think I've ever read a better batch of short fiction. From start to finish, all of the stories were excellent. There were only a few authors on the list that I recognized (Jim Butcher has a Dresden short here), but that really didn't affect any of the quality. I teetered on giving this book five stars because it impressed me so much.

I'd review individual stories, but there were something like 30 stories in it, and that would take more time than I currently have. Suffice it to say-I HIGHLY recommend this collection!
Profile Image for Riju Ganguly.
Author 32 books1,448 followers
August 23, 2014
I had bought this book ONLY for the story of Jim Butcher, that hadn’t been published anywhere else. As luck happens, except that story, and one by Kelly Armstrong, and a classic one from the golden oldie Mike Resnick, rest of the stories were unadulterated crap. Somebody needs to drop the editor (and half of these authors) into the world of Lizzie Borden, and after providing said strong-willed heroine with a sufficiently sharp & hefty axe, let things take their own (and undoubtedly hilarious, from our perspective) course. I would strongly recommend NOT BUYING this book, and would suggest that you wait for the next collection of stories from Jim Butcher to come out.
Profile Image for Melodie.
1,278 reviews70 followers
September 7, 2015
I am done with these anthologies after this! Giving it 2 EXTREMELY generous stars solely on the merit of the first story, I WAS A TEENAGE BIGFOOT, by Jim Butcher. Love me some Harry Dresden and Butcher has the art of the short story down to a science. He KNOWS how you do it. Quite obviously, most of the other people who contributed to this book..DON'T! Have no idea how many of these stories I started and just had to give them up because they were SO bad! Don't waste your time!
Profile Image for Lynda.
2,377 reviews110 followers
October 8, 2016
I had already read the Harry Dresden story. I enjoyed most of the rest. As in most anthologies, some were better than others.
Profile Image for Pam Winkler.
151 reviews2 followers
October 8, 2017
I Was a Teenage Bigfoot by Jim Butcher was good; I always like Jim Butcher's stuff.
Blood-Red Greens by Joel A. Sutherland was ok.
V Plates by Kelley Armstrong was pretty interesting.
Put On a Happy Face by Christopher Golden was good and definitely more horror than humor.
Devil's Contract by E.S. Magill was amusing.
Nine-Tenths of the Law by Eric James Stone was amusing, I liked it a lot.
Scrumptious Bone Bread by Jeff Strand was bizarre and good.
Let That Be a Lesson to You by Mark Onspaugh was nice; as was Mint in Box by Mike Baron.
The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979 by J.G. Faherty was disturbing.
Dating after the Apocalypse by Stephen Dorato was amazing; very nice.
Typecast by Jeff Ryan was amusing.
Making the Cut by Like Resnick and Lezli Robyn was amusing; just like the last one.
Acknowledgements by Will Ludwigsen was pretty funny.
Mannequin by Heather Graham didn't really appeal to me much.
Short Term by Daniel Pyle was disturbing and definitely more horror than humor. Good though.
Distressed Travelers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman was great. I really loved it; to the degree that when I was going through the stories, I ended up reading it again.
Bayou Brawl by L. A. Banks I mostly skipped.
The Steeple People by John Alfred Taylor was pretty amusing.
For Sale by David Sakmyster was good and amusing.
The Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die by Norman Prentiss had a great title, but I didn't like it much.
The Last Demon by Don D'Ammassa, A Misadventure to Call Your Own by Adrian Ludens and
Smoke and Mirrorballs by Chris Abbey were all ok.
Brians!!! by D.L. Snell was interesting? It was kind of predictable in points, but I really didn't expect the ending.
Still Life by Ken Lillie-Paetz was interesting.
A Day in the Life by Sherrilyn Kenyon wasn't my type of thing.
Old MacDonald Had an Animal Farm by Lisa Morton was a little more horror than humor. I didn't really like it much.
Two for Transylvania by Brad C. Hodson was a lot of fun, I liked it.
The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour: An Apocumentary by Lucien Soulban seemed like it would have been a lot better if I'd ever seen Spinal Tap. It was ok.
Overall, pretty good.
Profile Image for Theresa  O'Brien.
71 reviews
August 23, 2021
I bought this book mainly for the Kelly Armstrong story and though overall I enjoyed most of the stories, I would not in all honesty say they were all humorous.

As with most Anthologies, the stories vary in quality. I don’t intend to summarise each of the 30 stories. I think other reviewers have done that better than I could, but I will list my favourites:-

Jim Butcher's "I was a Teenage Bigfoot" A Harry Dresden story and part of ‘Working for Big foot’ trilogy. I like Jim Butchers Dresden Universe and enjoyed this one. 4*

Kelley Armstrong's "V Plates" Part of the ‘Otherworld’ series involving Noah, Reese and Nick – three of my favourite characters. Loved it. 5*

Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn's "Making the Cut" A supernatural barber shop with a wide range of supernatural clientele. Would really have liked to have seen this as part of a series. Unfortunately, only found one other in ‘Lite Bite ll’. 4.5*

Heather Graham's "Mannequin" Two young couples intend to spend the night in a ‘haunted’ house. Not what you think. 4.5*

Nina Kiriki Hoffman's "Distressed Travelers" “Tim" loves airports for all the emotions they generate, such a harvest. This was another story that I wished had been part of a larger series. 5*

L.A. Banks' "Bayou Brawl" Aliens vs shifters, vampires, fae, humans, and demons. What was not to like. Again, just wished it was part of a larger series. 5*

John Alfred Taylor's "Steeple People" Demons in the erection business, building steeples for churches, but with a hidden extra. Brill. 4.5*

Overall rating for the book is 3*

1,399 reviews2 followers
January 25, 2019
Actually only read 220 of 513 pages. The first story 'I Was a Teenage Bigfoot' and 'Close Shave' were entertaining and the latter definitely had that Mike Reznik touch. The Kelley Armstron story 'V Plates' was amusing, but the general theme as well as all the other stories concentrated on zombies, ghosts, demons, and other paranormals. The problem was the concentration on gore and death with little else to recommend it.
Profile Image for Cynthia Egbert.
2,235 reviews27 followers
November 4, 2020
Blood Lite III: Aftertaste by a variety of authors, 513 pages. It will come as no surprise that I got this one from the library simply for the Jim Butcher/Dresden Files short story. Well, and for the short stories, I remain a short story junkie. It was worth slogging through a lot of lesser material for that one story. As with any anthology, there was some hits and some misses but Butcher and Graham, the two authors I am most familiar with in this bunch, gave me something to appreciate.
Profile Image for David Caldwell.
1,673 reviews32 followers
February 22, 2013
This is a collection of 30 urban fantasy stories usually with a lighter atmosphere than your normal urban fantasy story.

First up is Jim Butcher's I Was a Teenage Bigfoot.Harry Dresden checks in on the teenage son of Bigfoot(please don't call him a squatch)when he becomes ill mysteriously.

Even a zombie apocalypse won't stop these old golfing buddies from playing a round in Blood-Red Greens by Joel A. Sutherland.

Nothing could go wrong taking 2 teenage werewolves to a brotel,could it? Find out in V Plates by Kelley Armstrong.

Christopher Golden delivers a truly macabre story when a clown tries to become the best in Put On a Happy Face.

Devil's Contact by E.S.Macgill shows why you should read those software user agreements a little more carefully.

Nine-Tenths of the Law by Eric James Stone has a zombie lawyer taking a ghost trying to evict the humans from his house as a client.

A serial killer wonders why that giant used ground up bones to make his bread in Scrumptious Bone Bread by Jeff Strand.

In Let That Be a Lesson to You,Mark Onspaugh shows one person's paradise is anothers torture.

A collector finds out his treasure isn't all that it was cracked up to be in Mike Baron's Mint in Box.

J.G.Faherty spins a twisted little tale of zombies vs drunk rednecks in his story,The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979.

If you think dating is rough now, just wait until the apocalypse.
Stephen Dorato points out some of the pitfalls in Dating After the Apocalypse.

A casting director proves to be a liitle too good at her job in Typecast by Jeff Ryan.

Making the Cut by Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn is a delightful little romp set in a hair salon that caters to the supernatural crowd.This one is a real winner.

Acknowledgements by Will Ludwigsen is a ghost hunter's thank you for his latest book.

Mannequin by Heather Graham tells the story of two young couples who go away for an overnight stay at a bed and breakfast with a gruesome past and is supposedly haunted.Nice but not as light-hearted as others.

A serial killer/rapist faces a very common problem in Short Term by Daniel Pyle.

A serial killer gets a little more than he bargained for with his latest victim in Distressed Travelers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

L.A.Banks presents a fun little story of aliens versus the supernatural creatures of the bayou in Bayou Brawl.This was one of her last stories written before her death in 2011.

The Steeple People is a tale of a plot by demons to secretly tempt churchgoers written by Alfred Taylor.

David Sakmyster presents For Sale.It is a tale of a realator's listing for a slightly unusual house with decidely unique features and a colorful past to say the least.

No matter how hectic your life is,somethings just should not be put off until later.See one example in The Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die by Norman Prentiss.

The Last Demon by Don D'Ammassa tells the story of the last demon created visiting earth for the first time and finding out he really misses the comforts of Hell.

A Misadventue to Call Your Own by Adrian Ludens is set up like a choose your own adventure about a person who gets into a sticky situation.The choices gimmick doesn't really work.Also the pronoun they(and their) is not a genderless singular pronoun as it is used.They represents a group not a single person.For a lousy story, read on.For a good story,skip this one.

Smoke and Mirrorballs by Chris Abbey is an unfunny take off of dancing with the stars with a supernatural cast of characters.Another one to dance past.

BRIANS!!! by D.L.Snell tries a little too hard to be funny while telling about an author's first time booksigning of his zombie novel.Three skips in a row.At least they were near the back of the book and all fairly short.

Some people are never satisfied as seen in Still Life by Ken Lillie-Paetz. It is almost completely the set-up for the final line with a twist.Thankfully it is only 2 pages long.

A Day in the Life by Sherrilyn Kenyon again proves you should watch how you treat people on your way to the top.I would love to have Simon Cowell read this one.

Old MacDonald Had an Animal Farm by Lisa Morton just proves my theory that cats are evil.What would happen if animals took over the world and you were the only person who could understand them?

It is always cool to find out the truth behind the legends.See how Dracula and Von Helsing really got along in Two for Translyvania by Brad C. Hodson.Just alittle confusing on the time setting with this one.

The final story is Lucien Soulban's The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour:An Apocumentary.Follow the making of a documentary on the preparations for the Big Show by the The Four Horsemen band.They have to replace Death who decided to not take part but everybody keeps dying before their auditions.

Overall I really enjoyed this collection.There was only 3 stories I would have skipped (strangely all in a row) and a couple of others that were just ok.I would have probably had a stronger story for the last one to balance Jim Butcher's strong opening piece.Most of the stories were stand alone stories which I feel frees the authors to try something different.Considering most of this genre tends to be darker, the lighter stories presented here(most were lighter that is)made a nice change.
13 reviews
May 22, 2020
Aftertaste is a collection of whimsical horror short stories. It was a pleasant read. My favorite stories were the Jim Butcher (it made me want to get back to reading the Harry Dresden series), the Jeff Strand, the Mike Baron, the Daniel Pyle, the Heather Graham and am interest in checking out the Kelley Armstrong series.
Profile Image for Charissa Wilkinson.
540 reviews12 followers
August 5, 2022
Overview: We are traveling back down the path of humorous scary stories. Will this collection be as good as the last?

Dislikes: A Day in the Life, and Old MacDonald Had an Animal Farm.

Likes: Mannequin and So I Was A Teenage Bigfoot we're great.

Conclusion: This one has some great stories. But it doesn't measure up to the last one.
Profile Image for B..
2,027 reviews10 followers
August 12, 2017
A fun read. These compilations get better over time, and Anderson did a great job finding stories that worked well together and were lighthearted and fun. I was able to take my time with this book in a way that I haven't in a long time and really sit back and enjoy the ride.
Profile Image for Katie.
611 reviews
December 26, 2018
Great collection. Nice mix of sci-fi, fantasy and horror running the range from light hearted to the darker spookier side. As always, I liked some stories more than others but there weren’t any that I even considered skipping. Well worth it!
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