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Nightmare Flower

(Monster, She Wrote)

by
4.15  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Elizabeth Engstrom is a talented and original writer of dark fantasy who uses the trappings of speculative fiction to illuminate human emotion and the human condition. Nothing in an Engstrom story is what it first appears to be, yet at its core each tale has the ring of truth.

Nightmare Flower is Engstrom's first major collection, containing eighteen short works plus a nove
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Tor Books
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 ·  59 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Andrew Schultheis
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent set of short stories from author Elizabeth Engstrom writer of "When Darkness Loves Us," one of my favorite reads of last year. Really enjoyed these tales which range in page count from flash fiction to novella length. Standouts for me include "Music Ascending," a science fiction story about a man collecting sounds to create a very unique experience and "The Jeweler's Thumb is Turning Green," a strange tale of a maimed jeweler seeking a second chance. The two novellas that end the colle ...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A short story collection I took my time with if only to savor Elizabeth Engstrom’s excellent writing, Nightmare Flower is full to the brim with short tales (and two novellas) that almost defy classification: I guess one could call them “weird fiction”, with healthy splashes of horror and sci-fi.

Even though I didn’t quite love every entry here—a few stories are just too short, feeling like unformed sketches—the highlights more than make up for them, and Engstrom’s sheer writing ability carries e
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Madison C.
Feb 01, 2021 marked it as dnf
DNF. I love horror stories, and the ones in this book are well-written. However, I don't want to read anymore stories that allude or blatantly discuss abuse or rape. I might revisit this at a later date; but right now I have no interest in finishing "Nightmare Flower." ...more
Karas Jim
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Long has it been since I last read such original stories, all in one book. Engstrom covers a wide palette of human emotions, such as grief, love, depression and determination inside a highly dark spectrum of literary creations. Her short novel at the end, "Project Stone", is in my opinion a form of praise to Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", and it was a read of quite high standards. ...more
Jenni
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
God I love Engstrom.
Hugo
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A collection of varying quality and interest: some short and punchy stories - The Old Woman Upstairs, Rivering, Will Lunch be Ready on Time? The Pan Man and the titular Nightmare Flower - are excellent examples of the effectiveness of the short form, but there are also a lot of unpublished works here, and many of them seem vignettes, ideas for longer stories that did not come, and some of them almost as unformed as writing exercises. But the bulk of the collection - fully half the book - compris ...more
Briar Page
Nov 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Engstrom's better with longer-form fiction, I think, so it's not surprising that my favorite work in this collection by far was the enigmatic novelette "Fogarty & Fogarty". ("Project Stone", a novella and Engstrom-atypical foray into sci-fi thriller, is also very solid, with a surprisingly bleak, cynical, utterly unsentimental ending.) The short stories that make up the remainder of the collection are uneven: some come off as underdeveloped, some as surprisingly clunky and amateurish in their ex ...more
Magdalena
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Another fantastic collection in the Monster, She Wrote series from Valancourt Books! Elizabeth Engstrom's stories are strange, spooky and twisted. Some of my favourites include: "Will Lunch Be Ready on Time?", "Grandma's Hobby", "Nightmare Flower" and "Project Stone" which gave me some strong Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and the Twilight Zone vibes. I will definitely look into more works by Engstrom, especially When Darkness Loves Us, soon.
I'm so happy that weird stories by the women featured i
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Wyrd Witch
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
3.5 stars

When I first heard about Valancourt’s Monster, She Wrote series, I got excited. A previous Valancourt horror anthology really failed in terms of widening the representation of its writers, and I was enthused to read some forgotten works of women’s literature. I decided I needed to start from the very beginning of the line with Nightmare Flower by Elizabeth Engstrom. Not only will the collection kickstart my exploration of the series, but it will also give me a good avenue to see if Engs
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Amy Sturgis
The final science fiction novella in this volume, "Project Stone," on its own is worth the price of admission and earns the book five stars. What makes this collection so remarkable, however, is the breadth of different moods and genres represented. Elizabeth Engstrom takes the reader on a tour of dark fiction across the spectrum of Gothic, fantasy, science fiction, and slice-of-life storytelling. I'm so glad Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson recommended this gem in Monster, She Wrote and Vala ...more
Marisa
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 I think, or a generous 4. Review forthcoming with Sublime Horror.
Robert
Highlights of this entertaining collection of Weird Fiction include the title story, "Rivering," "The Pan Man," "The Jeweler's Thumb was Green," and the novella "Fogerty and Fogerty," which features probably Engstrom's strongest prose (she expertly captures her homeless male protagonist's voice). The short novel that closes out the book, "Project Stone," features a strong paranoiac plot but some clunky dialogue and several unsatisfactorily drawn secondary characters. There's also a few very shor ...more
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Elizabeth (Liz) Engstrom grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois (a Chicago suburb where she lived with her father) and Kaysville, Utah (north of Salt Lake City, where she lived with her mother). After graduating from high school in Illinois, she ventured west in a serious search for acceptable weather, eventually settling in Honolulu. She attended college and worked as an advertising copywriter.

After ei
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Monster, She Wrote (5 books)
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