Tales from the Nightside by Simon R. Green
This collection of short stories probably came from an assortment of collections — those lovely teaser tales that allow you to buffet-style several authors at once. They definitely would offer up a chance to get a feel for the Nightside. And that’s kind of the problem with the collection. While we get a nice bit of backstory or origin stories on a few characters for half the collection, the other half consists of John Taylor tales. And these feel like less fleshed out versions of the novels. Like the half-discarded chicken wings of an actual Nightside novel. They’re still amusing and entertaining, but some of the resolutions are even more slapdash than the usual Nightside style.
It’s great getting input on how Razor Eddie became Razor Eddie, but it’s sort of a half-origin story. Bruce Wayne became Batman after training and after studying martial arts and then he became a vigilante crime fighter. He was driven by the deaths of his parents. But this would be like him going home after his parents’ funeral and finding the Batcave already stocked and then he puts on the mask and is suddenly infused with the knowledge and power of Batman. It COULD have happened that way, I guess, but it feels like it should be a slightly richer story.
But we do get some nice info on the original detective before John Taylor, and the origin of how Larry Oblivion became the Undead Detective, and we get another kind of half-assed origin story on Dead Boy. So it’s sort of a neat treat for fans of the series. But it’s also done LIKE the Nightside series, so it’s really quickly cobbled together and throw out on the assembly line.
And thus endeth the Nightside OFFICIALLY for moi.