‘Noir Fatale’ a Collection of Short Stories Linked by Theme

 

Cherchez la femme — look for the woman. The phrase defines one sub-genre of noir mystery fiction.

Noir Fatale: The Dark Side of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell, explore that sub-genre in science fiction and fantasy.

The book is an anthology, a collection of short stories linked by the theme. All are original, written for this collection. The authors are an all-star cast. Besides stories written by the two editors, Baen regulars David Weber, Griffin Barber, Sarah Hoyt, Mike Massa, and Robert Buettner contributed, as did Steve Diamond, Laurell Kaye Hamilton, Alistair Kimble, Patrick M. Tracy, Christopher L. Smith, and Michael Ferguson. Hickley Correia, Larry Correia’s daughter kicks in a story too. Its quality testifies to heredity rather than nepotism justifying its inclusion. It’s a marvelous short piece set in Tokyo incorporating Japanese mythology.

Marvelous is a good word to describe all of the stories in the book. They’re split between science fiction and fantasy. Even within those categories, the stories are diverse. There’s hard science fiction (in one story literally vacuum-hard), alternate history, and space opera. Fantasy includes urban fantasy, classic fantasy, and mixtures in between.

Weber’s story is set in his Honorverse, during the time of the People’s Republic of Haven. Larry Correia adds a story to his Hard Magic setting.

A broad range of story styles is presented, too. Some, such as Smith and Ferguson’s “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Kimble’s “A String of Pearls, and Hoyt’s “Honey Fall” are classic noir, whether set in the 1930s through 1950s or set in the far future. Others are like Barber’s “A Women in Red” and Tracy’s “Worth the Scars of Dying” are dark fantasy tales. World War II forms the setting for Massa’s “Three Kates” is equally dark.

Yet there are delightfully light tales in the mix as well. These include Hamilton’s urban fantasy “Sweet Seduction,” and Buettner’s “The Frost Queen” an unexpected love story.

Noir Fatale is a book that will charm both noir fans, and general science fiction and fantasy readers. Correia and Ezell have created a captivating mix of stories.

Noir Fatale: The Dark Side of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell, Baen, 2019, $25

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.

Published in Literature
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 13 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    I always liked anthologies of short stories. It gives an opportunity to sample authors.

    • #1
    • May 26, 2019, at 12:05 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    As long as you only have one other comment, and it’s by me, I might as well add, every time I pass this by, I think that is the most unattractive cover model for a book I think I have ever seen. She might as well be naked with that skinsuit, but there is something just not right about the proportions.

    • #2
    • May 26, 2019, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):
    I think that is the most unattractive cover model for a book I think I have ever seen. She might as well be naked with that skinsuit, but there is something just not right about the proportions.

    You won’t get any argument from me, but I have been assured covers with near-nekked women sell F&SF,

    • #3
    • May 26, 2019, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    I think that is the most unattractive cover model for a book I think I have ever seen. She might as well be naked with that skinsuit, but there is something just not right about the proportions.

    You won’t get any argument from me, but I have been assured covers with near-nekked women sell F&SF,

    I’m sure they do. Not that I would know anything about that or anything.

    • #4
    • May 26, 2019, at 2:25 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Boss Mongo Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    As long as you only have one other comment, and it’s by me, I might as well add, every time I pass this by, I think that is the most unattractive cover model for a book I think I have ever seen. She might as well be naked with that skinsuit, but there is something just not right about the proportions.

    Don’t know about proportions. I will say that I think Larry Correia knows a little bit about marketing. He (if I’ve got it right, and there’s no guarantee that I do) self published his first books, and had a big enough groundswell of grass roots support that he had publishers come around and re-publish under their moniker. Not too shabby.

    And, the brother has a sense of humor about it.

    Aaand, I just bought two Hidden Angels books. Darn it, ‘Hant, you know a little bit about marketing your own self.

    • #5
    • May 27, 2019, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Arahant Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    I will say that I think Larry Correia knows a little bit about marketing.

    Don’t doubt that a bit. I’m just saying that particular gal, even functionally nekkid, ain’t doin’ much for me. Certainly not above the waist. Just the proportions, etc.

    • #6
    • May 27, 2019, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Arahant Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Aaand, I just bought two Hidden Angels books. Darn it, ‘Hant, you know a little bit about marketing your own self.

    Thank you very much, sir.

    • #7
    • May 27, 2019, at 12:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. RPD Member
    RPD

    I wonder if she buys her outfits off-the-rack?

    • #8
    • May 27, 2019, at 7:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    I want to read the book, but won’t have it on my shelf – too racy to leave around with my kids and houseguests. So I downloaded the audio book, and will listen while I do manual labor.

    • #9
    • May 28, 2019, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    iWe (View Comment):

    I want to read the book, but won’t have it on my shelf – too racy to leave around with my kids and houseguests. So I downloaded the audio book, and will listen while I do manual labor.

    I will pass that along to Toni Weisskopf – editor of Baen Books.

    • #10
    • May 28, 2019, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Douglas Pratt Member

    Splendid book. Unattractive cover.

    I understand that most anthologies rarely pay beyond the advances to the authors, and that authors do them for two reasons: because they like writing short stories and to get their work into wider audiences. Both are perfectly valid reasons. In my own case I discovered Faith Hunter’s work through a MHI anthology. I’m grateful. I am not a voracious reader; I’m usually reluctant to try something new. Reading anthologies helps overcome that.

    • #11
    • May 28, 2019, at 7:41 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    We got to hear from several of the authors talking about this book at SpikeCon last weekend. Kacey Ezell was not there because she is off somewhere flying for the United States Air Force. 

    It’s definitely on my Amazon wish list. And at the Baen Traveling Road Show program they had several book covers — including this one — printed up in near poster size.

    • #12
    • July 11, 2019, at 7:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Listened to it… some good ones, some “eh”.

    • #13
    • July 14, 2019, at 12:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like