THE DEEP ONES: "Red Jacks Wild" by Kim Newman
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Discussion begins on March 25, 2020.
First published in Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories (2015).
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SELECTED PRINT VERSIONS
Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories
By now the series is like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Penny Dreadful: all the characters of Gothic, horror, popular fiction can potentially rub shoulders with one another and with real-life public figures of the time. The first novel actually starts off a bit more restrained, extrapolating from a change in the course of events in Stoker's novel and slowly introducing elements not in Stoker's world - other literary vampires to begin with, then widening the net.
In most of the stories in the collection, he's playing with the familiar characters and tropes that I imagine we're all carrying around in the "Monster Kid" part of our minds (that cast list on the cover of the book doesn't lie), but in standalone tales. The historical and cultural references go a lot wider than a narrow genre focus though, which is all to the good.
Obviously I don't want say too much about the story we actually chose, for fear of spoilers. I'm not sure if I should say anything really. Newman is a humorous writer and places his plot twists like the punchlines to so many gags. Giving anything away would be to spoil the joke, so to speak.