Bibliography | Forbidden Acts

Forbidden Acts
Edited by by Nancy A. Collins, Edward E. Kramer, Martin H. Greenberg
390 pages
October 1995
ISBN: 0380779153
Cover art by Robert Scudellari
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Original anthology of 21 horror stories about taboo behavior, with an introduction by Joe Bob Briggs.

An array of talented notables has contributed to this unique horror anthology. This novel collection of stories explores one of the hottest topics of the day--the extremes of human relationships as they apply to sexual, religious, and cultural taboos--both within our world and outside it. The stories touch upon diverse elements to present an extraordinary anthology. Original.

Twenty-four short stories follow themes of human boundaries pushed to the limits, bringing readers into the lives of men and women who dabble in satanic worship, sexual manipulation, and other dark vices.

Contents: (all are short-stories unless otherwise noted)
Introduction by Joe Bob Briggs
Light of Thy Countenance by Alan Moore
The Contract by Brian Herbert & Marie Landis
Blood Knot by Steve Rasnic Tem
Interrogator Frames by Rob Hardin
The Real World by Brooks Caruthers (novelette)
Choke Hold by Lucy Taylor
Blackpool Rock by Philip Nutman (novelette)
Forgotten Promises by Edward E. Kramer
Coming of Age by Douglas Clegg
High Heels from Hell by Mike Lee
The Energy Pals by Howard Kaylan (novelette)
The Agony Man by Don Webb
Brainchild by Rex Miller (novelette)
Furies in Black Leather by Nancy A. Collins
You Hear What Buddy and Ray Did? by John Shirley
Playing Dolls by Melissa Mia Hall & Douglas E. Winter
Facets of Solitaire by Christopher Golden (novelette)
The Picture of Jonathan Collins by Karl Edward Wagner
Happy Couple by Danielle Willis
Mysterious Elisions, Riotous Thrusts by Kathe Koja & Barry N. Malzberg
Stations of the Cross by David Aaron Clark

Reviews :
A strong and occasionally risk-taking anthology. , November 18, 1997
Though not all the stories are as taboo-shattering as the cover hype implies, a good bit of them are still excellent. Danielle Willis shows us the decidedly unromantic and unglamourous life of a vampire and her lover; Lucy Taylor gives us deadly autoeroticism and shows us what lies on the other side; Don Webb turns torment into art and Steve Rasnic Tem twists the family ties. An incident in a junior high school locker room destines one teacher for revenge in a story from Edward E. Kramer. There's also great work from Rob Hardin, Mike Lee and Howard Kaylan. A collection with far more hits than misses.
"A queasy little gem about emotional health, relationships, and some of the nastier implications of medical science giving us an easy way to regenerate destroyed brain tissue."--Ed Bryant, in Locus, on my story in Forbidden Acts, "Interrogator Frames"
So you're looking at some single-mindedly morbid web page when you click on a jpg of a trade paperback, Forbidden Acts . You figure you'll get a generic order form that will ask for your credit card number: "e-mail for info." Instead, you end up in a big red room where this guy comes over to you, sticks a copy in your face and says, "I think you should buy this."
The guy's delivery seems a bit emphatic. It's an Avon paperback, not Lucky Seven or Always Good. Why is he hyping the book like a goddamned drug?
"You don't understand," he says. "This book is way sicker than it looks. The stuff they describe in here? It was too much for Joe Bob Briggs, which he says at the beginning of the book."
Joe Bob Briggs? You grab for the book. The guy waves you away.
"No, really," he says. "I don't know you, right? But I feel this book would be good f'you. I don't make no extra money off it. But I'm in there, page three-hunnert-sixty-four. See this page right here? Maybe you should go to the bookstore, check it out. Like they say, taste is relative. Cause you ain't so normal, look where you are, look what you're doin'. You're lookin' around, you're clickin' on things. You like Nancy Collins and John Shirley and Alan Moore and Danielle Willis? I figured you did. I just wish Joe Lansdale was in there instead of that Rob Hardin dude. But everything is real good, real good, even that Rob Hardin, I gotta say. Plus Kathe Koja's really great, an'-uh...Y'know, my ex-girlfriend usedta say she liked my hair long, but fuck it."
"I'm geh-in' it all cut off next week, whattaya think about that? Short, like, one bang to the side. My singer friend Monica says I should shave it all off 'cause I'd look 'sexy,' but she's married with two kids, why should I listen to her? Think I'm makin a mistake?"
You shake your head slightly. Fine, whatever.
"Anyways. Try it, look at it, gimme a chance. Tower Books gots it, Forbidden Planet, Dark Carnival, they all gots it. It's a national type book, they gots it near you. You could probably order it on the Home Shopping Channel. Anyways, I can't be standin' here talkin' all day. I need me a job. I got this degree in sociology, but that don't mean shit on the job market, know what I mean? So maybe I'll see you around. And buy that book."
You turn and walk, clicking your tongue. You'll probably buy the book even though you're annoyed. In person, Barry Malzberg wasn't half as articulate as you'd thought.

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