Five darkly erotic short novels that entwine love and death, with horror boosting the sex, by World Fantasy Award winner Simmons (Children of Night, 1992, etc.). Simmons has never been more stylish than here, with the short novel form compressing his effects and squeezing a lurid glow from each page. Best of all, each piece stands richly distinct from its companions and casually shows fearful labors of research uncommon to the horror genre, with writing of an unhackneyed freshness seldom found among the kings and queens of gore. ``Entropy's Bed at Midnight'' tells of the woes and fears of an accident-insurance investigator, his mind a library of fatalities, whose young son died in a freak driveway accident and who now watches his five- year-old daughter set forth alone on a screamer slope for sleds. ``Dying in Bangkok'' unveils a sucker-tongued female vampire in a superbly drawn Bangkok, whose Thai clients pay her to suck blood from their erections--a revenge tale whose twist would delight Poe. ``The Man Who Slept with Teeth Women'' tells of the astral initiation of an adolescent Sioux who will be the wise man of his tribe, of his need to choose a bride from lovers with teeth in their vaginas, and of his climactic penetration. ``Flashback'' is an sf story about a near-future family hooked on a drug that induces flashbacks so that one may relive high-intensity and even imaginary moments in one's life. Explosively gory, ``The Great Lover'' is a relentless tour de force that may well become a classic (along with ``Dying in Bangkok''). Drawing on poems by WW I poets and attributing them to a single poet, this works a variation of the visionary Angel of the Somme (a glowing woman whom soldiers saw walking the battlefield) and turns her into Death as a languorously sexual Pre-Raphaelite goddess whose embrace transcends life. Enduring stuff--even more memorable than Simmons's novels.