The Island

 

Norman Partridge, "The Island" in Screams From the Dark, ed. Ellen Datlow (Tor Publishing Group: 2022).

This story impressively wrings effective horror from iconic monsters that you might have thought so familiar as to have lost their potential as vehicles of engaging fiction. The personification of the island is brilliantly handled, and the unfolding of the island's story within the story of imprisoned monsters, shipwrecked vampires, crustaceans from space, and many other creatures works to pace revelations that fuel the reader's imagination. The story is fun, violent, and full of action while maintaining a severe sense of deep weirdness delivered through wonderfully expressive prose. 

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