True Review
Current Issue Number 77 Vol.20  March 2011


SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, ed. by Tim Pratt. Night Shade Books (, 2010, 431 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-189-8

“Deals with the devil” stories go back literally to the beginning of literature. They certainly go back to the beginning of modern-day fantasy, with the 1940s-era John W. Campbell-edited Weird Tales Magazine, not to mention Amazing Stories and other pulp-era magazines providing their fair share.

But you can always find a prize in every box (or wrapped in this anthology).

The best:

“The Price” by Neil Gaiman. One lone black cat suffering from dire injuries leaves one cat rescuer concerned – until he realizes what a battle the cat is in, and the resulting consequences.

“A Reversal of Fortune” by Holly Black. Nikki is able to save her dog, Boo, with a devil of a deal, by engaging the angel of darkness. How she beats him proves clever enough for any age.

“The Man in the Black Suit” by Stephen King. A boy gone fishing has a mean encounter with the Devil – bringing up fears of bee stings and other assorted nastiness.

“Non-Disclosure Agreement” by Scott Westerfeld. After a film special effects manager dies during a directing accident, he is pursued by the Devil himself to find a way to make hell a little more believable – returning to earth to hook up with a computer graphics talent and good engineers to create a much more perfect, more believable “hell.”

“The Goat Cutter” by JayLake. The Devil is even more disgustingly evil than anyone can imagine. What is that saying about how you have to “become like evil to defeat evil”?

“We Can Get Them For You Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman. Another Gaiman story has Peter Pinter, who wants to exact revenge on a couple of people who did him wrong. Peter turns to the Yellow Pages, to a Pest Control firm, Ketch, Hare, Burke, and Ketch, who “dispose of irksome and unwanted mammals, etc.” Why not hire them to get rid of one, two, or more unwanted PEOPLE?

Andrew M. Andrews

In This Issue

Soft Apocalpyse Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 Click on the Book Cover for Review Best Sci-Fi of the Year Oscar Wilde & Vampire Murders

Dawn to Dusk Brave New Worlds All Clear Zombie Autopsies Best of Kim Stanley Robinson

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Griftopia Sleight of Hand Immaculate Deception Pump Six

Sympathy for the Devil Atlantis & Othe Places Darkness Holiday Nano Comes to Clifford

Game Changers Armageddon In Retrospect   The Fall of the House of Usher Realms of Fantasy

Next Time In True Review


FLAMING ZEPPELINS: The Adventures of Ned the Seal, by Joe R. Lansdale. Tachyon Publications (, 2010, 285 pp., $14.95. ISBN 978-1-61696-002-5

FLAMING ZEPPELINS is a combination of two short novels, ZEPPELINS WEST (Subterranean Press, 2001) and FLAMING LONDON (Subterranean, 2005). The love of westerns and pulp fiction, comic books and Texas weirdness, come into play. The best campy fiction in all of America? Probably.

Andrew M. Andrews


THE COLLECTED FANTASIES VOL. 5, THE LAST HIEROGLYPH, by Clark Ashton Smith, ed. by Scott Connors and Ron Hilger. Night Shade Books (, 2010, 370 pp., $39.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-032-7

THE COLLECTED FANTASIES is the last of five volumes to collect all of Smith’s tales. Included are works ranging from “The Dark Age” (April 1938) to “The Dart of Rasasfa” (July 1961).

Andrew M. Andrews