Love for Tremblay books in Ellen Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year

The Little Sleep by Paul G. Tremblay (Henry Holt and Company) is an intriguing first novel that drags readers along with its narcoleptic detective protagonist through the pain, powerlessness, and humiliation of his medical condition while forcing us to accompany him on his search for truth no matter where it leads. Mark Genevich’s car accident several years before the beginning of the novel has left him battered and odd looking and with narcolepsy—i.e. he falls asleep at the drop of a hat, as a result of stress or sometimes just living. He’s a private eye whose biggest case falls into his lap while he’s asleep. Compromising photos of a young woman who might be the DA’s daughter are left by . . . someone—who hires him to . . . what? Mysteries abound and Mark’s the only one who can (or wants) to solve them.”
The Harlequin and the Train by Paul G. Tremblay (Necropolitan Press) is an expansion of a story originally published in 2004. Surreal, complex, and extraordinarily creepy, it focuses on Rudy, a commuter train engineer, who after only a few months on the job, hits a harlequin clown standing on the tracks. The aftermath is shocking and unexpected and embroils Rudy in a web of despair and fear. There’s some experimentation with structure that for me, neither enhances nor detracts from the powerful core of the tale.”
Phantom edited by Paul G. Tremblay and Sean Wallace (Prime Books) is a fine follow-up to their 2007 non-theme anthology Bandersnatch. This one, with fourteen new stories is more to my dark taste, with some very strong horror stories by Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Graham Jones, Steve Eller, Vylar Kaftan, Nick Mamatas, Steve Berman, and Lavie Tidhar. With an introduction by Tremblay. The Eller story is reprinted herein.”

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