Courtesy of Georgette...
"The first Dark City was a compilation of short stories by an author who goes by the pseudonym Xeus. She returns with the sequel, together with 14 other writers. Some are names you've heard before if you're paying attention to the Malaysian writing or blogging scene, while others will come as surprises.
Ahmad Azrai's "Death Dealer" stands out for its unusual setting. As it opens in the era of Sultan Muzaffar Shah, a boy strikes a deal with the Angel of Death. I have to admit that this is the kind of story I've envisioned to death (heh) myself, which is why it attracted me. I only wish that there was more of a middle to go with that beginning and ending.
Lydia Teh, whose last book was the very funny "Honk! If you're Malaysian", told me how she pulled "Hin's Moment of Truth" out of a dusty archive somewhere and reworked it for DC2. Probably still her only fiction piece to date, her story is about a gambler who is about to get lucky in a nasty twist kind of way.
Xeus has this knack of making me burst out laughing with the conclusions of her stories and "Signature Spa" is no exception. (It only shows what a sick individual I am.) Spas are at every corner now, fighting for customers and the self-centred protagonist of this story finds herself a deal too good to be true.
Jennifer Tai has a story about a banker's encounter with a mother and her son; Noor Bebe brings us a half-touching and half-creepy tale of a woman looking for her missing husband in "Trapped"; John Ling provides a knife-twist of revenge in "Zero Sum"; and Chua KokYee's "The Penalty" brings us into the world of football gambling.
With 17 stories, there is something for everyone looking for a taste of the macabre and plenty for anyone who enjoys a wicked sense of humour. While most of the stories appear to be set in metropolitan KL, there are a handful of tales that take place outside it... like the one about the photojournalist who works in Kuching.
Dark City 2 have not yet been sighted in local book stores. "