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Halloween frights

By James Argendeli
CNN Headline News

"The Devil's Wine," a poetry anthology edited by Tom Piccirilli, is available from Cemetery Dance Publications.
Stephen King
Peter Straub
Ray Bradbury

(CNN) -- Just in time for Halloween, to quote the Bard in "Macbeth," act four, scene one: "By the pricking of my thumbs, / Something wicked this way comes."

For this special Halloween edition of the Book Lizard, I'm going change up the usual review with a brief preview of some new and upcoming releases of some wicked words by some modern masters of the macabre (and try saying that out loud three times really fast).

Let's start off with something completely unexpected: a poetry anthology featuring some names with which you may be slightly familiar. "The Devil's Wine," an anthology edited by Tom Piccirilli, has nearly 200 poems from writers including Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Charles de Lint and Jack Ketchum. While the King poetry may be reprints from more than three decades ago, there's lots of original poetry in this cauldron of verse. Hauntingly illustrated throughout by the artist Caniglia, "The Devil's Wine" is available from Cemetery Dance Publications.

Remember the novel "Ghost Story"? Peter Straub has a new, limited edition of the much-admired novel due by year's end with another spookfest, "In the Night Room." In this Straub novel a children's book author finds some very good reasons to question reality and the nature of creation. This volume is being produced by Borderlands Press in a 350-copy signed edition. Another Straub novel available now in a new paperback edition from Ballantine Books is "Lost Boy, Lost Girl," which ties directly into his new novel.

A couple of other Halloween paperback treats currently available include the always-reliable Bentley Little with his latest release from Signet, "The Resort." In Little's story, a family's tranquil retreat quickly twists into a modern-day nightmare.

And what would Halloween be without some new Stephen King fiction? No, I am not talking about the overwhelming Dark Tower series, but rather a new short story in "From the Borderlands," edited by Elizabeth E. and Thomas F. Monteleone. This is a paperback reprint of the sold-out, limited edition hardcover, and also includes stories by John Farris, Whitley Strieber, and 22 other dwellers on the night shift. It is published by Warner Books (a division of Time Warner, as is CNN).

The opus story collection "The Machinery of Night" by Douglas Clegg is an oversized, signed edition hardcover that clocks in at more than 700 pages. Just like finding a full-size chocolate bar in that Halloween bag of candy corn, this one is a trick and a treat. It includes 39 stories, some original to this edition. If Clegg's short stories are anything like his novels, this book will have readers burning the midnight oil far past the witching hour. This volume is soon to be released from Cemetery Dance Publications.

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