Chabon, Michael, ed. McSweeny's enchanted chamber of astonishing stories. New York: Vintage, 2004. 321pp.
Blech. This is Chabon's second attempt at the genre-crossing anthology in which he tries to invigorate the modern short story by getting both genre and non-genre authors to try their hand at genre tales. The first, McSweeney's mammoth treasury of thrilling tales was actually pretty successful. This one, not so much. There are a few standout stories, such as "Lisey and the Madman" by Stephen King and "Mr. Aikman's Air Rifle" by Peter Straub and a few others by Jonathan Letham, China Mieville and Poppy Z. Brite. But the stories by so-called mainstream authors are mostly pretty dull and unispiring with the exception of Margaret Atwood's story.