Dante's Disciples

Edited by Edward E. Kramer and Peter Crowther

Borealis/White Wolf Publishing. $14.95


As the title suggests, Dante's Disciples is a collection of stories about Hell, but most have little to do with Dante's classic Inferno. The multiple Hells here are better described by Brian Lumley's story title, "Hell Is a Personal Place."

Demons head earthward to wreak havoc and to collect souls. Souls try to escape from Hell. Hell itself tries to escape to Heaven. Other, more ambiguous Hells are identified only because of the context of the anthology, and sometimes not even then.

Although the interpretations of Hell may vary widely, the tone of stories is almost universally grim. Dante's Disciples does not contain the unexpected spark of good humor present in Kramer and Crowther's earlier anthology, Tombs. What could have appealed to a broader audience is restricted to horror; and even horror fans probably appreciate an occasional "lighter touch."

But, while in Hell . . . Be sure to visit Gene Wolfe's "Bed and Breakfast," James Lovegrove's "A Taste of Heaven," and Storm Constantine's "Return to Gehenna." And for a little relief from the grimness, try Doug Murra's "Ferryman," Jody Lynn Nye's "The Bridge Over the River Styx," or "A Wreath for Marley" by Max Allan Collins.

 

Also edited by Edward E. Kramer and Peter Crowther:

Tombs. White Wolf Publishing, 1995

 

This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris


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