Limbus, Inc. by Anne C. Petty
Are you laid off, downsized, undersized?
Call us. We employ. 1-800-555-0606
How lucky do you feel?
So reads the business card from LIMBUS, INC., a shadowy employment agency that operates at the edge of the normal world. LIMBUS’s employees are just as suspicious and ephemeral as the motives of the company, if indeed it could be called a company in the ordinary sense of the word.
In this shared-world anthology, five heavy hitters from the dark worlds of horror, fantasy, and scifi pool their warped take on the shadow organization that offers employment of the most unusual kind to those on the fringes of society.
One thing’s for sure – you’ll never think the same way again about the fine print on your next employment application!
Limbus, Inc is the shadowy employment agency that straddles time and space and normalcy that ties the different stories within this larger novel together. Each story takes the premise of this employment agency in a different direction. There is a framing story that also tries to tie the stories together into a more cohesive collection.
To me, it read like something I experienced in a few of my creative writing classes. The teacher would give a series of prompts but a few people would of course end up picking the same ones. While everyone took the prompt differently and wrote stories that ultimately varied greatly from one another, they all shared the same root. While that can work, it got tiring and repetitive. It didn’t help that all the stories had a decisively male-centric point of view. However, the stories did have some relevancy in a time when the job market isn’t wonderful and many people are desperate for a job. There is a currency with this book.
Each of the stories could be reviewed separately, but unfortunately I have a hard time separating them enough in my memory to do that fairly. I probably enjoyed the last two stories the best because even though the last one was just as depressing as some of the earlier ones, there was something less anxiety-creating about them. I guess that’s one of the causes of my somewhat dislike of this book: it really did create anxiety for me. As another reviewer put it, there was an inconsistency between how Limbus is represented. This made it difficult to really get invested in the larger theme.
It’s definitely speculative fiction and if you’re curious about organizations like the Illuminati or perhaps the Free Masons, I would definitely recommend this book to you. Limbus, Inc. is definitely a strange organization.
My rating: 2/5