Friday, February 18, 2011

PROM NIGHT: Strange Tales of that once-in-a-lifetime Night [review]

The invitation, the clothes, the theme, the night you'll always remember- or wish you could forget! opens Prom Night, a collection of short stories ranging from funny, strange, magical, and bittersweet, on that most-awaited event in high school. Almost anything you can imagine is here: zombies, vampires, elves, fairies, Greek mythology, unrequited love, UFOs, aliens, sex, and time travel. There's sure to be at least one story you'll enjoy.

In fairy stories the spell runs out at 12, but our characters always forget that. In 'Happily Ever After' a fairy godmother helps an awkward boy to the prom, but shows that love and happy endings don't need magic. 'Märchen to a Different Beat', has Hansel and Gretel, now older. A fairy godfather slash drag queen helps a gay Hansel get a date. It ends with a dance- Hansel and Jack from the Beanstalk.

'Omar's One True Love', his dreamgirl kills herself, but he must have her as a date. The solution- bring her back to life, but she wants to stay dead. Omar's condition: she can die again after the prom. It gets funny on the night he brings a zombie. In 'Bitterfly' a boy gets accused of killing his boyfriend due to drug-induced hallucinations, with a winged girl who may not be real.

'The Ancient Order of Charming Princes' tells what happens to Princes Charming after happily ever after. They're for hire as prom dates. As they reminisce about their pasts slaying monsters and saving princesses...
Who would have thought we are now reduced to an escort service? Like a bunch of hookers in shining armor.”
Gyrating and thrusting, that's what kids call dancing nowadays. Last time I saw anyone move like that was when you got ants in your codpiece.”
My butt hasn't been this firm since the Renaissance.”

'Borrowed Lives' is a sad tale on memories from an old picture bought on a thrift store. In 'Music to her Ears', an old woman has a music box that brings her back to 1916. The best story may be 'Memory and Reason', a future where a boy and an alien girl choose to be together despite the odds.

If I were to design the cover, it'll be a rose corsage on a severed hand.

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