Seventeen Brand-New Tales of Dolls
What if a doll had the power to hold a piece of your soul? What if it could heal you or hold the evils and pains of the world? These ideas are just a few that are explored in Datlow’s latest cultivated collection of shorts.
Interestingly, Datlow noted in a recent interview (at the Once and Future Podcast, see below) that her one stipulation for the collection was basically no Chuckie dolls and the result is an odd an chilling blend: from serial killers to not so imaginary friends and even a panel of dolls who’ll hold you accountable for all your misdeeds against them, writers like Joyce Carol Oates, Carrie Vaughn, and Richard Kadrey have penned some of the creepiest doll stories ever in The Doll Collection.
Some of the standouts for me included Jeffrey Ford’s “Word Doll,” a wonderful and atmospheric folk tale sort of story; “Homemade Monsters” by John Langan, wherein a boy’s creation could be the explanation behind an odd childhood event; and Seanan McGuire’s “There is No Place for Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold,” which ties to Pandora and her box of evils.
Whether you’re an avid collector or an anxious avoider, this anthology has something for everyone.
Table of Contents:
Skin and Bone by Tim Lebbon
Heroes and Villains by Stephen Gallagher
The Doll-Master by Joyce Carol Oates
Gaze by Gemma Files
In Case of Zebras by Pat Cadigan
There Is No Place For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold by Seanan McGuire
Goodness and Kindness by Carrie Vaughn
Daniel’s Theory About Dolls by Stephen Graham Jones
After and Back Before by Miranda Siemienowicz
Doctor Faustus by Mary Robinette Kowal
Doll Court by Richard Bowes
Visit Lovely Cornwall on the Western Railway Line by Genevieve Valentine
Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey
Miss Sibyl-Cassandra by Lucy Sussex
The Permanent Collection by Veronica Schanoes
Homemade Monsters by John Langan
Word Doll by Jeffrey Ford
Check out the podcast!
4/15 Becky LeJeune
THE DOLL COLLECTION edited by Ellen Datlow. Tor Books (March 10, 2015). ISBN: 978-0765376800. 352p.