Weird Ales: Last Orders
By Various Authors
Quantum Corsets
June 7, 2017
Reviewed by Matthew Scott Baker

I greatly enjoy horror anthologies as a whole, but those collections that boast unique and specific subject matters are truly entertaining. Whether the focus is on something commonplace, like a potato, or something as broad ranging as space, I’ll gladly give just about any topic a look…however, those subjects that I’m familiar with or that interest me will get special attention.

Such is the case with the WEIRD ALES series. This collection caught my eye because I am an ex-bartender, and therefore I’m very acquainted with alcohol. Throwing a horror element in with it is a great idea for an anthology, and I have to admit creator/editor Theresa Derwin does an excellent job with its execution. Alcohol is a far-reaching subject matter, and thankfully, this series covers quite a bit of it.

WEIRD ALES: LAST ORDERS is the final book in the trilogy, and it is simply fantastic. Many talented authors dwell within, and readers should be pleasantly satisfied with the stories they offer up. I daresay you might never drink liquor again after reading a few of them.

If you are not familiar with WEIRD ALES: LAST ORDERS, here is the book’s synopsis courtesy of Quantum Corsets:

And now, the end is near… From creator Theresa Derwin and editor Lynn M Cochrane comes the final installment of the Weird Ales trilogy. From festivals to free houses, clubs to cantinas, bars to breweries to beerkellers, we’ve travelled the drinking world. But the bell is being rung, so from the hangover from hell to Gav Thorpe’s spectacular conclusion, join us for Last Orders. The last drink you’ll ever take.

The stories in WEIRD ALES: LAST ORDERS are written well, and each has a distinct voice that stands out. The prose flows smoothly for the most part, and each tale’s characters are fleshy and believable.

But the plotlines themselves are the real winners with this book. I love the vast diversity they encompass, as they offer many different fascinating glimpses into the subject matter. Derwin did a fine job selecting the right stories to close out this series.

Probably my favorite story in WEIRD ALES: LAST ORDERS is “Alcoholiches Anonymous” by Marc Kadushin. This is one of the more original tales in the collection. The story focuses on an “alcoholich” named Greg who runs a supernatural bar. I love the tone of this story, as well as how the events play out. I even found myself with a grin on my face as it concluded.

WEIRD ALES: LAST ORDERS is a great anthology, and I recommend adding it to your library. The stories are inventive and sometimes comedic, however they all contain a strong, healthy dose of horror. If you’re looking for imaginative horror, give WEIRD ALES: LAST ORDERS a look…it’ll leave you thirsty for more.

About Matthew Scott Baker

Matthew Scott Baker is a horror writer from Greenland, AR. His fiction has appeared in Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as a couple of anthology collections, including FIFTY SHADES OF DECAY, a zombie anthology published in 2013 by Angelic Knight Press. In addition to writing fiction, Matthew runs Shattered Ravings, a blog devoted to reviewing movies and books in the horror, science-fiction, and fantasy genres.