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The Devil and the Deep

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  70 reviews
It’s only water, so why should we fear large bodies of it, such as the sea or the ocean? However, when you’re all alone, you realize how scary a place it can be.

In Devil and the Deep, award-winning editor Ellen Datlow shares an original anthology of horror that covers the depths of the deep blue sea. Whether its tales of murderous pirates who stalk the waters i
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Night Shade Books
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An anthology built around the theme of the ocean? How could I say no to that? Not all of the stories resonated with me, but many did. And the ones that did- resonated deeply.

FODDER'S JIG by Lee Thomas. Sea monsters, a gay couple and a gold-digging relative. Every time I thought this tale was nothing special, something special happened. I need to read more Lee Thomas!

WHAT MY MOTHER LEFT ME by Alyssa Wong blew me away. Imaginative and bold, I already purchased another story from this
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
The sea coughed us up, but some day it’s going to reclaim us, and there’s precious little that we can do about it.

I have had a fear of deep water since I was a small child, so—as a horror lover who is not easily shaken—nautical horror is one of my favorite subgenres of both stories and film. When I learned that this sea-themed anthology was coming out, I knew I had to get my hands on it, especially after finding out that a few of my favorite anthology authors were featured in it (Seanan McGuire
Stephen Robert Collins
Ellen Datlow is like the late Peter Haining she finds stories by other authors that fit a theme then puts them into a collection this The sea horror collection she has huge amount of collections from Alien sex, Lovecraft, Dolls, (which I have read), Mad Hatters, Vampires, Science fiction, fantasy, well over 90 books. But unlike Haining she also writes stories too.
This has Christopher Golden of Buffy fame, Michael Marshall Smith & lot more bit unlike many collections she also at the bac
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not finish this book. the stories I read were 3 stars at best.
And this book is already a Kindle deal - it's only $1.99 right now! May be the best $1.99 you spend this year, so grab one now.


This is a wonderful collection. It's not huge - a little over 300 pages - but I read it in one sitting because I had to keep reading. Ellen Datlow is an editorial genius and I can't wait to read another of her collections.

4 stars. Read this if you haven't. I highly recommend it. Ocean creepies! Awesome. Very
Tyler J [They/He] (Wickedjr Reads)
My favorites of the stories include
Deadwater by Simon Bestwick
Fodder's Jig by Lee Thomas
What my mother left me by Alyssa Wong
A moment before breaking by A.C. Wise
Sister, Dearest Sister, Let me show to you the sea by Seanan McGuire
He Sings of salt and wormwood by Brian Hodge

The rest were various stages of slight dislike/not for me to I enjoyed it. I didn't hate any of the stories.

Overall average is 3.37

Really did enjoy it over all :)
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Spells, Space & Screams BOM
Shelves: audio, anthology
What My Mother Left Me by Alyssa Wong ★★★★★
“I’m monstrous, beautiful.
For the first time in my life, I feel whole.”

This was painful but good. I’m still choking back rage filled adrenaline over the levels of betrayal. It’s one of those man vs wild stories that let you see who are the real monsters.

Normally selkie stories are of misogyny, ultimate power over your wife. This was modern and brutal.

But it ended well so I’ll forgive Alyssa Wong my palpitations.

What My Mother Left Me by Alyssa Wong ★★★★★
“I’m monstrous, beautiful.
For the first time in my life, I feel whole.”

This was painful but good. I’m still choking back rage filled adrenaline over the levels of betrayal. It’s one of those man vs wild stories that let you see who are the real monsters.

Normally selkie stories are of misogyny, ultimate power over your wife. This was modern and brutal.

But it ended well so I’ll forgive Alyssa Wong my palpitations.

A Moment Before Breaking by A.C. Wise ★★★★★
“Once upon a time, a child went under the waves and did not drown. Once upon a time, a child rose, a dripping, monstrous thing, climbing up from the waves again.”
Amazing! Lovecraft never wrote so well! Fairytales, the Deep Ones, cults, glowing tattoos, friendship, and bloody vengeance!

This page turner had it all.

This was the story I was waiting for. Consider me pleased.

Sister, Dearest Sister, Let Me Show To You the Sea by Seanan McGuire ★★★★½
Another winner! Brutal versions of fairytales, those closer to the original pre Hans Christian Anderson versions, are something I love.

Somewhere between The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Puppetmaster Seanan McGuire has found a way to make you scream!

Deadwater by Simon Bestwick ★★★★☆
“I told you: you do whatever it takes to protect the safety you’ve found.”
Quietly violent story of damaged people finding each other.

Saudade by Steve Rasnic Tem ★★★★☆
“Loneliness is terrible. Loneliness deadens the spirit. A man who has lost his wife knows much about loneliness, I think.”
This an adult version of the tale of La Llorona. It was sad but well done.

He Sings of Salt and Wormwood by Brian Hodge ★★★★☆
I rather liked this story of two people who love the ocean separately, and completely... almost as much as they love each other.

Haunt by Siobhan Carroll ★★★★☆
“You have no idea how much even a sick child can fight you when she knows you are dragging her to her death.”
A ghastly reminder that you don’t need to create monsters for horror stories: humans are the original and reigning evil.

Fodder’s Jig by Lee Thomas ★★★☆☆
“I screamed. I think everyone who wasn’t infected screamed.”
Rather unpleasant sad story about a man who endured a monstrous family to find happiness... only to then face real monsters.

The Curious Allure of the Sea by Christopher Golden ★★★☆☆
"Sometimes she would trace the three spirals with her fingertip. It relaxed her completely, made her feel as if she might float away."
This felt like the beginning of a great mythological tale, something spooky, ancient, and possibly evil. Then it just hung up the phone.

The Tryal Attract by Terry Dowling ★★★☆☆
"It truly took moments to realize that I was the one yelling, mine the only skull screaming!"
This started out well with a mysterious old skull passed down over five generations that whispered to its keepers.

The middle gave me a moment of true heart clenching fright. I gasped and shuddered, the audio for this story was well done.

The conclusion, and historical/familial ties, felt discordant. It was rushed and lacked punch.

A Ship of the South Wind by Bradley Denton ★★★☆☆
“At least we aren’t crazy,” he said.
Uncle JoJim shrugged yet again, and his empty sleeve flapped. “Not yet.”

Two Native Americans coming home from a hunting trip are accosted by three nefarious roughnecks from Missouri.

It’s an ugly story that ended well while reminding you most of them didn’t.

The Deep Sea Swell by John Langan ★★★☆☆
“What remained is his anger, his rage... in the suit, his fury, burning...”
An angry ghost of a diver killed by a sea monster returns for no apparent reason.

It has backstory, and avid description, but still feels random.

Shit Happens by Michael Marshall Smith ★★★☆☆
“Then both of us were laughing as we ran faster and faster, over the bridge and toward a city on fire.”
Crazy, funny, gross paranormal disaster movie story told from the oddly believable POV of businessmen. Enjoyable but not memorable.

Broken Record by Stephen Graham Jones ★★☆☆☆
That was weird. Not SGJs normal well thought out horror with depth. At best you could say it was whimsical.

The Whalers Song by Ray Cluley DNF
I’m skipping this because reading about whaling will just upset me. I’d be blind to the story’s merits.

3.6 average for the 14 out of 15 stories I read.
Michael J.
I approach themed anthologies with caution. In too many instances, the central idea begins to wear thin after multiple stories with the same approach. However, with Ellen Datlow behind the ship’s wheel as editor, I decided to read this one. I trust her story judgment. It was also the winner of The Bram Stoker 2018 Award for Best Anthology Of The Year.

It’s not hard to see why. None of these stories were lukewarm in temperature. Everything met my expectations. Out of fifteen stories ten were abov
THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP: Horror Stories of the Sea, is a collection of 15 sea-themed stories edited by Ellen Datlow.

Most of these stories hit between two and four stars with me, but there were some that I found exceptional or "unique". Personal favorites of mine included:

"He Sings of Salt and Wormwood", by Brian Hodge: I honestly don't believe that I've read a story by Brian Hodge that I haven't loved, to some degree. His language evokes the most impressive images and moods, and his/>"He
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this from Edelweiss for review consideration. If you think that affects my review, you don't know me very well.

The Devil and the Deep was an anthology that sounded kind of interesting to me, but I had no true desire to read it. Mostly because I'm still a bit biased against anthologies, even though I've had some pleasant experiences lately. However, when I saw that it was available on Edelweiss  for immediate download, I figured there was no harm in giving it a look-
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
More misses than hits inside this one. My review can be read here ---->
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another great collection from Ellen Datlow - short and satisfying horror set around the theme of the sea. Full review to come.
Mike D
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listen to Ellen Datlow talk about this book on my podcast This new nautical themed anthology edited by Ellen Datlow really blew me away. It is perfectly executed, diverse, and bold in a way that I have come to expect from her work. It contains 15 all original short stories, all of which are solidly written and engaging. The edition starts with "Deadwater" by Simon Bestwick, which is remarkably well done and really hooks you in. It is the kind of tale that you expect to be in an anthology like this and ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd heard a lot about this anthology before I read it, and was unsurprised to find it on the Stoker ballot. I think it deserves to be there. The stories are diverse in tone, subject, mood and voice. More than one had an ending I didn't see coming at all but which totally made sense when it did, and there are several I would happily read again.
Carly ❊ Reading Is My Kind of Thing


Average Rating: 2.5 stars

My average rating for one of my most anticipated books of the year was 2.5? Yikes, I am so disappointed.

And look, it's not 100% on this book. As I've been experimenting with anthologies this year, I've gradually learnt that I don't really enjoy short stories.

In saying that, there were two basic criteria's these stories had to adhere too. They were:
a. Set in or near the sea
b. Be scary

That's all I needed from these stories. Maybe I'm harder to scare than I originally thought? Possibly. But some of these weren't set
Phillip Smith
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very good collection overall. Some of the more memorable ones include "Fodder's Jig," "The Whaler's Song," "Sister, Dearest Sister, Let Me Show You to the Sea," "Broken Record," "He Sings of Salt and Wormwood," and "Shit Happens." But my favorite was "Haunt" by Siobhan Carrol. Just a tremendous short story.
Jeff McIntosh
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Another good anthology by Ellen Datlow - with all the stories having some connection to the sea. All stories copyrighted in 2018.

As with all anthologies, not all stories appealed to me. Carroll's "Haunt" - which tells the tale of a a ghostly ship haunting the survivors of an earlier slave massacre....was perhaps too historical for my tastes, but a good story nonetheless.

I especially enjoyed Bestwick's "Deadwater", and an ocean inspired zombie apocalypse, Smith's "Shit
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought some of the stories were the weakest of the bunch, which is unfortunate because at first I had to force myself to keep going back to the collection. However, the stories seemed to get better and better, or maybe I just got more and more into it. Probably a combination of both, and at any rate I would highly recommend it!
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Review forthcoming
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I mentioned in my last post about Ellen Datlow how I planned to read more collections edited by her, and The Devil and the Deep is the next one I chose. I have always enjoyed stories about the sea and I was excited by the idea of reading horror stories all themed around the ocean. Sadly I didn't quite get what I wanted but I enjoyed this collection nevertheless. As per usual, I'll be going through the stories one by one.

Deadwater by Simon Bestwick-This was a great story to start with
C. L. Phillips
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Overall, 4 stars. There were a few really poor stories here, most of them placed right up front for some reason. Still, I trudged on, wanting to give each story a shot for its own merit. Doing so was a great pay off, for the last half of the book was especially good.

I wanted to give each story its own rating, since each from a different write. Besides, the only fair way to review an anthology is to review each individual story. So, here it goes.

Deadwater: A female protago
Alexa "Naps" Snow
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice collection overall. Enjoyed some, skipped some. I love the seas, water, never thought it could give me the chills but there were stories that reminded me of the dark side of the ocean.
Josh Hedgepeth
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review posted on my blog,

What I will post here are my thoughts as I read through the book beginning with a list of each story and a rating out of 5/5 stars. However, you can find my thoughts on each story on my blog (not posted here to save space).

Table of Contents
Deadwater — Simon Bestwick ★★★☆☆
Fodder’s Jig — Lee Thomas ★★★★★
The Curious Allure of the Sea — Christopher Golden ★★★★★
The Tryal Attract — Terry Dowling ★★★★☆
The Whalers Song — Ray Cl
Brad Hodges
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It’s a natural human tendency to fear the unknown, and our relative ignorance about the sea fosters superstitions, myths, and legends about it and what might inhabit it (sirens, sea monsters, forms of organic life that we can’t even begin to comprehend because the conditions in which they flourish are inimical to human life)." So writes Ellen Datlow in her introduction to The Devil and the Deep, an anthology of horror tales connected with large bodies of water (mostly the ocean). I have no part ...more
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A collection of very well written horror and dark fic, with a diverse mix of stories. For some, the perils of the natural world occupy a large part of tale for others, the supernatural menace is much more to the forefront. And while there were a couple of stories that did not resonate quite so strongly for me the majority did. I think this was especially the case where characters I had come to care for managed, in whatever strange or oblique way, to win through.

In part, this is what made the an
Anthologies can be a compilation of hits and misses and a little in between, sadly "The Devil and the Deep" was overpowered with misses for me. I averaged out on 2.3*, that's not good, you know. Two stories I couldn't even finish, I was too bored and life is too short.
I think though, that if you like your Horror more on the slow moving side, maybe even a little on the Lovecraftian side, you are the reader who will be much happier than me with this book. I missed a sea monster here and there, I
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
For me, the ocean is frightening enough with the "normal" dangers one can encounter--sharks, rip tides, boat-sinkings, sneaker waves, and so on--that stories of the fantastically horrific are not necessary. As Brian Hodge writes in one of the selections from the book, "As a rule, ignorance was a a virtue, but if you gave too much thought to the sea, and everything with teeth that called it home, you'd never venture out to meet it." Unfortunately, this book's stories all lie outside the realm of ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am blown away by how many of the reviews for this book are good. Great, even.

Because this is a load of ****. (Insert your favourite, four-letter prophanity.)

The “horror” stories are bland and unmemorable.
But they are worth the one star, sure.

The narrators, however, are not.
There are two, and they both seem to enjoy mocking the different dialects of the English language.
Ms. Kowal’s British accent in the first story is, to my Norwegian ear, not off the charts bad, but it is
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These stories are great.
Ellen Datlow curates the best horror stories of anyone, by far, I've love the "best horror of the year" collection and was looking forward to this a lot. Well it did not dissappoint. In fact, I squealed aloud with glee when I got to what was my favorite story in the book, A Ship of the South Wind — Bradley Denton, which isn't exactly on the ocean but there is a connection, No spoilers.

Table of Contents
Introduction — Ellen Datlow
Deadwater — Simon Bestwic
Barry Martin Vass
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Ellen Datlow has been compiling and editing short story anthologies of science fiction, fantasy, and horror for more than thirty years. The fifteen short stories used in The Devil and the Deep were all published in 2018 and come from a variety of bestselling and award-winning authors with sea-based horror as their focus. Most are American - writing about things like freediving off the Oregon coast and a strange ghost haunting her daughter in Nag's Head, North Carolina - but there are ...more
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
“That’s one of the things that lies in the deeps, never far enough from the surface; the only real difference between the broken ones and everyone else is that the broken ones know there isn’t one.” 0 likes
“The wood smoke gave the whole place the scent of autumn,” 0 likes
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