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Modern lives seem littered with expiration dates. Packaging tells us when our food will go bad; when we can expect appliances to cease functioning; when contracts for the internet finish! But as annoying as these small expiration dates are, they fade to nothing compared to the larger events: when a species goes extinct; when a body of water evaporates, or dies because the PH balance alters; when giant icebergs break apart and glaciers melt forever, threatening the ecosystem of this planet.
From the micro to the macro in terms of expirations, we are faced with
the one termination with which we are all too familiar— the
up-close-and-personal end of life for each of us and for the ones
we love. It’s the personal that terrifies us most because it feels
the most real.
Nancy Kilpatrick has gathered together twenty-five original stories by Kelley Armstrong; Nancy Holder & Erin Underwood; Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem; Lois H. Gresh; Gar and Judy Reeves-Stevens; Daniel Sernine; Paul Kane; Sèphera Girón; Kathryn Ptacek; Steve Vernon; Rebecca Bradley; Mary E. Choo; Morgan Dambergs; Tobin Elliott; Pat Flewwelling; J. M. Frey; Ken Goldman; Amy Grech; David McDonald; Ryan McFadden; Silvia Moreno-Garcia; Elaine Pascale; Richard Payne; Christine Steendam; and George Wilhite to look at the what-if’s of our expiring future.
These stories span a range of emotions. Some will make you
laugh, other will make you cry. They are grim and hopeful, sad
and joyous, horrifying and comforting. You can expect to be
touched in some way.
Each of us comes with an alpha and an omega stamp, an inception
and an expiration date. Knowing this is what allows us to focus on what is truly important:
paying attention to our best-before date and treating ourselves,
each other and life in general with kindness, understanding, respect,
and experiencing the awe of the miracle that we are,
at this very moment, alive!
About the Editor:
Award-winning author Nancy Kilpatrick has published 18 novels, over 225 short stories, 1 non-fiction book (The Goth Bible) and has edited 15 anthologies. She writes mainly dark fantasy, horror, mysteries and erotica, and is currently working on two new novels. Some of her recent short fiction appears in: Blood Lite and Blood Lite 2; Hellbound Hearts; The Bleeding Edge; The Living Dead; Vampire Stories by Women; The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women; Vampires: Dracula and the Undead Legions; By Blood We Live; The Bitten Word; Halloween: Magic, Mystery and the Macabre; Searchers After Horror; Dark Fusion: Where Monsters Lurk; and Darkness on the Edge. She co-edited with David Morrell the horror/dark fantasy anthology Tesseracts Thirteen. She is the editor of Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, Evolve Two: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead, and Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper.
Nancy won the Arthur Ellis Award for best mystery story, has been a Bram Stoker finalist three times and a finalist for the Aurora Award five times. Danse Macabre won the Best Anthology of the Year from the Paris Book Festival, and Nancy's newest short fiction collection Vampyric Variations won silver in the horror catagory of the ForeWord Reviewers Book of the Year Awards. [MORE]
- Rue Morgue:
- "A horror anthology focusing on endings is almost by definition going to be filled with depressing stories, but these are still well worth reading. The recent death of contributor Melanie Tem adds inadvertent poignancy to “Night Market,” her collaboration with Steve Rasnic Tem, which links the compassionate euthanization of animals with a depressed veterinarian’s own near-death experiences. Numerous stories have been told from the vampire-hunter’s point of view, but Kelley Armstrong presents the vampire’s perspective on the hunters in “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” Ryan McFadden explores crushing survivor guilt in “Death Drives a Cordoba.” A deal with the devil in J.M. Frey’s “The Twenty-Seven Club” serves as a reminder that one can rarely choose the manner of one’s death. Of course, one way to select the way you die is suicide, which Morgan Dambergs’s “Sooner” explores. When humor does enter these tales, it is often bleak and dark, as befits the subject matter. These stories work best in small doses, but they offer a variety of compelling visions of deaths and other endings." -- Publisher's Weekly
- "This is a stellar collection. Definitely Gothic, dark, sinister, strangely hopeful, macabre yet alluring... A must read." -- Alex Scully, namelessdigest.com
- "Expiration Date is an anthology of short stories dealing with the termination of life or an ending of sorts. Probably not suitable for very young readers, it is well-written and presents a variety of views of death and the afterlife. It should appeal to lovers of the strange and sometimes macabre. Recommended." -- Hore, CM Magazine
- "Many of the stories are from lesser known authors (at least lesser known to me) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed those contributions even more than the ones from well-known authors. Horror fans should definitely check this out." -- Kelly Mills
- "Like many of these anthologies, the central theme is interesting, but the variety in this collection kept it from being utterly grim or morbid. Definitely well worth reading" -- V. W. Palmer
- Library Thing, Reviews
- "As the title implies, this is a collection of short stories with end of life as the common thread....I have to say I really enjoyed this collection of often creepy tales of the end of life. If you enjoy a good macabre story you will have plenty to choose from in this collection." - J. A. Hernandez, amazon