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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

Palace Corbie Seven
edited by Wayne Edwards and John Marshall
Merrimack Books
329 pp/$12.95

Palace Corbie is a fiction magazine that grew into an annual anthology. Now in its seventh year, it is supposedly "loosely based on the theme of perseverance in extreme circumstances, the stories...admit the weaknesses in us all, and at the same time show that there is no level of emotion or action to which we cannot move...[T]here are no excuses, there is no reprieve." Edited by Wayne Edwards and John Marshall, this year's incarnation consists of 18 stories, six poems and a special feature -- "The Piano Player Has No Fingers." The latter is a mini-anthology of 14 stories, each with the same title. Each writer wrote an entirely different story to suit his/her concept of the title. (Two writers wrote two stories each.) The "Piano Player" stories are worth perusing for their diversity alone. The rest of the fiction is just as diverse, ranging from the smoothly surrealistic to the single gross-out idea. Some of the writers are seasoned veterans, others have made names for themselves in the small press, a few are newcomers. The stories from Douglas Clegg, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Gemma Files stayed with me the longest, but most of the rest were interesting and fairly well-written.

The anthology lacks information about its contributors, none of whom can be currently considered a household name. Such information would have been appreciated. Overall, Palace Corbie is a handsome trade paperback well worth the cover price for its variety of fiction as well as the novel execution of "The Piano Player Has No Fingers."-- Paula Guran

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Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.