Mitzi Szereto (Ed)
Getting Even: Revenge Stories (Serpent’s Tail)
Sounding worryingly like a manual for angry Bobbitt types, this anthology of short stories looks at ways of serving up the cold dish of revenge. Men don’t come out looking too rosy, and boors, cheaters, liars and leches are given just desserts by poison, sharp nail files or dogged scheming. Where it could sway into lemon-sucking spite, or a man-bashing orgy, the stories are tempered with a cheeky, wicked sense of humour that keeps the tone entertaining, rather than just plain embittered.
The range is enjoyable too, flipping from noir fiction to zombie fantasy. Umi Sinha’s thought-provoking floral prose in ‘Parvati’ takes the reader to post-colonial India where a maharajah gets jealous of a frisky monkey, and a few pages later, a downtrodden middle American married to a white trash slob is plotting ways of becoming a widow. This is an entertaining set of modern Tales of the Unexpected.