Genre and Sub-GenresEdit
Editor and AuthorsEdit
Contributors: Charlaine Harris, Toni L.P. Kelner, Victor Gischler, Patricia Briggs, Rochelle Krich, Heather Graham, James Grady, Melissa Marr, E.E. Knight, Seanan McGuire, S.J. Rozan, Stacia Kane, Suzanne McLeod, Simon R. Green
The overall theme of this anthology is the do-it-yourself world of home renovation, but with a definite otherworldly twist. Dealing with topics as diverse as wizardly home security, ghosts in the walls, and supernatural building permits, these stories include both series-related tales and stand-alone yarns. Although paranormal anthologies are not usually my favorite books, this one includes several top-notch stories, particularly those by Victor Gischler, Patricia Briggs, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and Toni L. P. Kelner. My two favorites were those by Stacia Kane and Seanan McGuire. ~ Fang-tastic: "Home Improvement"
Supernatural Elements Edit
Ghosts, wizard, vampire, Sidhe fae, guardian spirit, pixies, elven housing inspector, Reincarnation,
List of Stories Edit
|Story Title||Series and Order Number||Author||Supes||Lead(s)|
|"If I Had a Hammer"||Sookie Stackhouse #11.1||Charlaine Harris||ghost||Sookie Stackhouse|
|"Wizard Home Security"||Stand alone||Victor Gischler||wizard||wizard|
|"Gray"||Mercy Thompson Universe||Patricia Briggs||vampire|
|"Squatters' Rights"||Stand alone||Rochelle Krich||Ghost|
|"Blood on the Wall"||Stand alone||Heather Graham||mausoleum|
|"The Mansion of Imperatives "||Stand alone||James Grady||haunted house|
|The Strength Inside||Stand alone||Melissa Marr||Bori sisters|
|"Woolsey's Kitchen Nightmare"||Stand alone||E.E. Knight|
|"Through This House"||October Daye series 4.5||Seanan McGuire||Goldengreen, Queen of the Mists||Toby & friends|
|"The Path"||Stand alone||S.J. Rozan||timid guardian spirit|
|"Rick the Brave"||Downside Ghosts series 3.5||Stacia Kane||deadly ghosts||Rick, Chess, Terrible|
|"Full-Scale Demolition"||Spellcrackers.com series 0.5||Suzanne McLeod||Sidhe fae||Genny Taylor|
|"It's All in the Rendering"||Stand alone||Simon R. Green||elven housing inspector||Peter, Jubilee Caine|
|"In Brightest Day"||Stand alone||Toni L.P. Kelner||houngan (voodoo priestess), revenant||Tante Ju-Ju|
Shifters, vampires, ghost, faeries, elves, magic users
Synopsis by StoryEdit
"If I Had a Hammer" — Charlaine Harris (new Sookie story)
Sookie, Sam, Tara, and J. B. attempt a renovation project to make more room for Tara and J. B.'s twin babies, but are stymied when they inadvertently unearth a ghost who has his own agenda.
"Wizard Home Security" — Victor Gischler
Good story with a satisfying ending: A wizard takes a few shortcuts on his home security system and learns the hard way that when magic is involved, it's never good to skimp on personal protection.
"Gray" — Patricia Briggs — Mercy Thompson Universe
A vampire returns to renovate and live in an apartment she live in decades earlier. As construction begins, she has a run-in with the local vampire leader and a reunion with the ghost of her dead husband.
"Squatters' Rights" — Rochelle Krich
When a couple moves into their new home, the wife begins to hear noises in the wall and voices in her head. We know from the get-go that this renovation project will end badly.
"Blood on the Wall" — Heather Graham
A New Orleans cult leader accused of murder is forced to team up with the private investigator he has been harassing in order to find the real killer. Here, the home improvement project takes place in a mausoleum.
"Mansion of Imperatives" — James Grady
In a typical horror-story set-up, five people head for a haunted house in the woods during a blizzard to start a renovation. It's kind of like The Evil Dead without the humor.
"The Strength Inside" — Melissa Marr
Bori sisters are attempting to raise their younger siblings and need to build a wall to keep them under control. The problem comes when the homeowners' association's annoying president won't approve their proposal.
"Woolsley's Kitchen Nightmare" — E. E. Knight
Story teems with supernatural beings, a supernatural Gordon Ramsay clone attempts to set a strange restaurateur on a profitable path, that includes a few structural improvements.
"Through This House" — Seanan McGuire (October Daye series: between Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea)
Toby's friends come to her aid as she attempts to take ownership of the knowe of Goldengreen (Toby's gift from the Queen of the Mists), but they must first overcome some rather violent resistance from the current residents. (Fang-tastic October Daye)
"The Path" — S. J. Rozan
An extremely shy and timid guardian spirit helps to reclaim a lost artifact that will allow him to continue his reincarnated path through life. The "home improvement" in this story takes place in an ancient cave.
Rick is a naive human trying to earn enough money to get out of debt, but he gets in over his head when the building he is renovating turns out to be full of monstrous, deadly ghosts. Luckily for him, Terrible and Chess come to his rescue. (Fang-tastic: Downside Ghosts)
"Full-Scale Demolition" — Suzanne McLeod (Spellcrackers series; set 6 months before The Sweet Scent of Blood)
Genny Taylor is a Sidhe fae who can't cast spells, but can crack (i.e., break) them. In this story, Genny is asked to rid a home of pixies, but that turns out to be a ploy to involve her in a much deadlier scheme that plays out in a house that is in the middle of a renovation. (Fang-tastic: Spellcrackers)
"It's All in the Rendering" — Simon R. Green:
In this typically offbeat and humorous tale, Green tells the story of Peter and Jubilee Caine, who are the caretakers of a safe house (at 13 Daemon Street) that exists in both the mortal and the supernatural realms. When they are threatened by both a human and an elven housing inspector, they must figure out how to prevent the destruction of their home.
"In Brightest Day" — Tony L. P. Kelner
A young and irreverent houngan (i.e., voodoo priestess) must keep reanimating a revenant so that he can finish his last architectural project. Then, she has to justify her actions to Tante Ju-Ju and the voo doo council.
Artist: Lisa Desimini
- Publisher: Ace Hardcover,
- Book data: Hardcover, First edition, 340 pages, Pub Aug 2-2011, ISBN-0441020356
Cover Blurb Edit
The editors of the New York Times bestselling Death's Excellent Vacation bring home a new collection...with a never-before- published Sookie Stackhouse story!
There's nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherwordly portals in the attic. Now, for any homeowner who's ever wondered, "What's that creaking sound?" or fans of "how to" television who'd like a little unreality mixed in with their reality shows, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner return with an all-new collection of the paranormal perils of Do-It-Yourself.
Sookie Stackhouse resides in these pages, in a never-before-published story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. And New York Times bestselling authors Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and nine other outstanding writers have constructed more frightening and funny fixer-upper tales guaranteed to shake foundations and rattle readers' pipes. ~ Goodreads | Home Improvement: Undead Edition
External Links Edit
- Fang-tastic Fiction: "Home Improvement: Undead Edition" (Anthology)
- Goodreads | Home Improvement: Undead Edition by Charlaine Harris
- Home Improvement - Publication Listing - ISFdb
- Patty's Home Page - Briggs
- Victor Gischler's Blogpocalypse
- James Grady | Home
- Heather Graham, homepage
- Simon R Green | Best-selling SciFi and Fantasy
- Charlaine Harris Official Website
- Stacia Kane
- Toni L. P. Kelner
- E.E. Knight
- Official Website of Author Rochelle Krich
- official website of melissa marr - main page
- Seanan McGuire
- Suzanne McLeod - Urban Fantasy Author of the Spellcrackers.com Vampire Series
- SJ Rozan - Award-winning author S.J. Rozan