Hysterical Realms is a collection of short stories parodying fantasy, fairy tales, and paranormal literature. I’m usually very careful around spoofs because they can be just too silly for my taste, but this anthology was very funny. I particularly liked “Parking for the Apocalypse” by Branden Linley. It’s about four horsemen of Apocalypse coming to Austin, Texas, to bring about the end of days. Only they can’t park their chariot, which is why they can’t start their Armageddon. And so they bicker and keep on driving around, and Famine is always hungry and always talking about stopping for some fast food, and Death quietly does not want the world to end because he has some side deal with Taxes. It’s hilarious.
Also, some stories in this collection had unusual twists. For example “Dungeoneering for Dummies” by Clay Sheldon describes a city where delving into dungeons is as widespread as hiking or mountaineering. There are professional dungeoneers. There is also a professional organization for them called The Heroes Guild, and its senior member is harassed into coming up with tips and tricks for beginning dungeoneers. His main tip is to not delve into dungeons because it’s dangerous. I loved it.
I also found reading these stories relaxing. Since I knew the characters would be okay at the end of each story, I didn’t stress. I would recommend this anthology to anyone who wants some light-hearted reading.
I was given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.