Tag Archives: Christopher Fowler

The Screaming Book of Horror

I’m due to start below another of my gradual real-time reviews, turning leitmotifs into a gestalt.

A hardback book I purchased from the publisher:

THE SCREAMING BOOK OF HORROR – edited by Johnny Mains

Screaming Dreams 2012

There is no guarantee how long it will take to complete this review, whether days or years.

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the book, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading it. In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

All my other real-time reviews from 2008 are linked from here: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/

Authors included: John Llewellyn Probert, John Brunner, Alison Littlewood, Robin Ince, Bernard Taylor, Anna Taborska, Paul Finch, Rhys Hughes, Kate Farrell, Alex Miles, Craig Herbertson, Alison Moore, Claire Massey, Reginald Oliver, David A. Riley, Steve Rasnic Tem, John Burke, Christopher Fowler, Janine-Langley Wood, Johnny Mains, Charles Higson. (8 Oct 12 – Noon bst)


Christenings Can Be Dangerous – John Llewellyn Probert
“Well, a graveyard wasn’t such a bad place to be scared in,…”
This is an interesting case study to start this book with. Babies often scream even when they’re not scared, you see, but Horror concerning innocent babies can be shocking, and this one, for me, is! That, despite a humorous tone with a slight tongue in a slight cheek. Gratuitously horrific (unless one accepts these strange outcomes of the protagonist’s retributory madness regarding his ex)… and iconoclastic in terms of today’s  mœurs. Yet I wondered, would I have thought it was so shocking had I experienced this in the 1960s or 1970s within the Pan Books of Horror that I read at that time?  Rhetorical question. As a story in itself, at the beginning, it seems artificially to withdraw authorial omniscience regarding the protagonist’s thought processes, then meting these processes out to us regarding the circumstances of the christening church’s yew tree etc before Hell breaks loose (the latter scene very effective, TOO effective!) (8 Oct 12 – 3.05 pm)

[As is common with all my RTRs, I shall avoid other reviews and the book’s own introduction until after I have read and publicly reviewed the whole book.] (8 Oct 12 – 4.30 pm bst)

Larva – John Brunner
“‘Larva’, she amplified, ‘is a Latin word that originally meant both spectre and mask.'”
One’s whole body as the mask for self? This is another shockingly cross-grain story, one that revels in iconoclasm and PUS. It tells of uncouth muggers who prey on ‘poofters’ and ‘nignogs’, with, here, another baby victim (what chances that any anthology could start with consecutive stories that both themselves start with nipples being bitten!) – a baby who takes revenge not only for what happens in this story but what happened in the previous story! Meanwhile, I take suck or succour from this work not for its run-of-the-mill  morality tale of the protagonist’s eventual meted-out come-uppance but for its brilliant metaphysical larva conceit. And its  accomplishedly conveyed PUS AND VOMIT. [I thought John Brunner wrote SF and died some years ago, unless this is a different John Brunner or an uncharacteristic long-lost horror story discovered by Mr Mains?] (8 Oct 12 – 7.30 pm bst)

The Swarm – Alison Littlewood
“As jellyfish thrive they feed upon fish eggs and larvae,…”
…and thus the cycle goes on, here a calmer cosmic osmosis as it turns out stemming from the crueller, laddish threads set up by the two previous stories. Here the cruelty of the swarm – skilfully imbued with the tang of the sea – somehow becomes a spiritual culmination of the earth soul that may have been seeded from literature like that of John Cowper Powys (whom I serendipitously happen already to be reading). But there is an added frisson when we read in the Littlewood that each participant in the gestalt-‘creature’-from-leitmotifs (represented by a line of glowing lights) has 24 seemingly brain-disconnected eyes and then compare this to the creature with a ‘myriad of tiny pink eyes’ in the Probert. The fact that Littlewood’s  protagonist, at story’s end, is still narrating post-culmination (on the precise point of becoming beyond consciousness) did not seem to matter. This throws a retrospective light on Probert’s earlier gradual going up the gears of narrative omniscience… (9 Oct 12 – 3.05 pm bst)

[It hadn’t quite dawned on me fully how Littlewood’s jellyfish gestalt is arguably an allegory of my earlier stated reference on this page to my real-time reviewing technique of accreting leitmotifs (light motifs) to form a gestalt – nor how the overall title of this anthology is something that my edited ‘The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies’ anthology book (horror stories about actual Horror anthology books) would have loved to contain a story about a Screaming Book of Horror! In fact, thinking about it, was there one? I shall have to re-read it!] (9 Oct 12 – 6.15 pm bst)

Natural Selection – Robin Ince
“…not a bad structure really for the accident-prone system of evolution by natural selection and its adaptation of previous fish parts along the way.”
…and so the cycle continues from story to story. Here, a gem of a Horror Story, truncated to prose perfection, except it’s about the problem of what exactly to truncate in order to travel “along the timeline” (the book’s audit trail toward its gestalt?) so as to provide that perfect potential of a baby, screamer or not. Here, ostensibly a feminist tract, where, like in the Probert, the protagonist (this time female) seeks to truncate  her next ex and his baby but, here, by creating a new baby, a better one!  Gratuitousness  with a moral, like the Brunner. The image of cutting off  a human ear is wonderfully done. [As an aside, without ears, one cannot hear screams, only see them, like the one in Munch’s scream.] “…when was he going to stop screaming?” (9 Oct 12 – 7.05 pm bst)

[Further to my comment above about ‘The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies’, I have found in it a quote (i.e. from the Rhys Hughes story): “Wasting no more time on nostalgia, he cut out the entire Appendix and cast it aside. It was bloated and disgusting. The book screamed during the operation, but it was over in seconds.” (I note there is a Rhys Hughes story I’ve yet to read in ‘The Screaming Book of Horror’). Also, the story in the HA of HA entitled ‘Common Myths and Misconceptions Regarding Rita Kendall’ by AJ Kirby is predominantly about a scream: in fact the most famous audible scream in the world!] (9 Oct 12 – 7.35 pm bst)




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WILD JUSTICE – Edited by Ellen Datlow

I’m due to start below another of my gradual real-time reviews, turning leitmotifs into a gestalt. All my other real-time reviews, during the last three and half years, are linked from here: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/

As is customary with my real-time reviews,  I shall not read any introductions, story-notes or any other ‘extraneity-creep’, until  after I have completed the review of all the fiction, i.e. in accordance with my guiding interest in ‘The Intentional Fallacy’ since first encountering it during the 1960s.

I recently purchased this anthology as a customer from Amazon UK and downloaded it in a Kindle format to my ipad.  (None of my real-time reviews have been based on review copies.)

Wild Justice – Edited by Ellen Datlow

Ash Tree Press : 2012

First published as ‘Lethal Kisses’ by Orion Paperbacks, 1996.

There is no guarantee how long it will take to complete this review, whether days or years.

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the book, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading it. In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

Authors included: A. R. Morlan, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Thomas Tessier, Terry Lamsley, Joyce Carol Oates, Roberta Lannes, Pat Cadigan, Simon Ings, David J. Schow, Christopher Fowler, Douglas Clegg, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Marshall Smith, Michael Swanwick, Jack Dann, Pat Murphy, Michael Cadnum, Richard Christian Matheson, M. M. O’Driscoll,


…Warmer – A.R. Morlan

“(Edan detested the obvious, in all things.)”

Whether I shall ever get warm enough to locate this story’s core, I am wondering. I was borne along by the amazing style of its once pre-retrocausal ‘ruin porn’ (please forgive me if I get my terms wrong but I know deep in the heart when I enjoy a read whatever the niceties of describing it – and I sure enjoyeed this interconnected concertina of step-changes in an all-pervasive pent-up sememe fest) – and here a budding starlet fresh from tattoo-licking and nipple-ring ripping in a film of real-time agony is chosen / asked by a cancer-brinked, twit-anglicised, twat-filming impresario to lip-synch with some cyborg ligotti-dolls that have beautiful voices and things stashed away on their bodies fit to revive Ancient Rome or Greece as a new pawn of ruins without the necessity of the debt haircuts (I may have some of that wrong – I lost the connection between the dolls and the beautifully striking sing-voice). Pawn rather than porn because of this story’s quantitative-(dis)easing “Euro-market crotch-grinds“!  Phew, I am not sure I got all that was going on in that hair-raising read. But I was certainly taken along in a whirlwind of images and urgent motives, body-wise and blood-racing, “E“-book curdled, domino-rally story-driven.  I may need to re-read it after I have gone further into this book’s aspirational connect-bacchanale of a gestalt. Or so I suspect.  Keeping my head, I hope, walking “…a quarter mile of empty hallway carpeted in the sort of plushy beige carpeting that mats down if you sneeze at it,…” (11 Mar 12 – 7.35 pm gmt)

Anamorphosis – Caitlín R. Kiernan

“The carpet had ended at the threshold and the floor was just hardwood and something on it that looked like Karo syrup.”

The Morlan, I recall, talked about italics as a way of talking. This Kiernan has cutting italic asides among the other “words like fishhooks” and a repainted “Jackson Pollock” scatology of ripe pungencies that I feel, if this book were made of paper, it would actually smell for real.  It’s that strong. This story is about a laundromat-working ‘scryer’ helping the police unofficially by sniffing out synchronous, almost occult, connections, as I do with real-time reviews. But my office is thankfully nearer to a laundromat (I hear it churning suds and clothes even as I write this) than it is to the unspeakably awful crime scenes in this story!  When I worked in London in the 1970s, I visited the National Gallery quite regularly at lunchtime, and saw Holbein’s ‘The Ambassadors’.  I often read Yeats on the tube train commuting.  And Conan Doyle, too.  (I read the Afterword by accident!) — I’m just ringing this story round: hesitating to get to its nub. It’s most unsavoury, you see. But that’s because the prose is so effective.  And the idea of the gradual homing in towards the gestalt of crime-solving by Deacon the scryer – reaching out, much to his own hesitation of vulnerable self-sanity as part of his powers-to-see, like mine, thus only to graze against the mix of truth and fiction: the head-lease author’s skilful stretching in and out of the words themselves from different angles … like Deacon does similarly when viewing the Holbein.  I think I shall remember this story for a long time.  It even has a reference to “small-time porn” to resonate with the previous story.  Both have that slick stickiness of meaning.  Flensed but rich. From humanity’s ruins building a structured cartilage of  phonemes and sememes anew. “Deacon had done his hangover morning counting trick, backwards from twenty-five,…” (10 Mar 12 – two hours later)

A Grub Street Tale – Thomas Tessier

“They’re too sophisticated and good for the commercial market, category fiction, but they’re not quite brilliant enough for literary acceptance.”

The eternal conundrum of writing fiction, even if one doesn’t think about it too much, but just writes. A thought-provoking but workmanlike tale – I’d say about serious revenge – or it may have been about an elaborate joke of light-hearted revenge by one of the parties involved because the ending skilfully ends too soon to tell us. A story about an author whose life was not fulfilled for whatever reason. And a metaphor of someone who would have been better left adrift, I guess, off the coast of Whitby rather than taken ashore -assuming the power of fiction is real magic rather than make-believe. Just my extrapolation. In any event I imagine Deacon from the previous story being given the job of sniffing out what lies behind this story’s crime-of-passion. I enjoyed being taken through the story’s civilised conversation: a quiet relief from the manic driving of the previous two authors! (11 Mar 12 – 8.45 am gmt)

Back in the Dunes – Terry Lamsley

“He scraped away some of the ashes and realised there were concrete floors…”

I am taking for granted that there is a connecting ‘link’ with all these stories that I do not need to plumb: i.e. as connected by the original ‘Lethal Kisses’ title of this collection, and I am satisfied, so far, this is the case.  I am keeping my powder (or sand) dry, meanwhile, concerning the new title: ‘Wild Justice’. My job – as I perhaps presumptuously see it – is hopefully to dig in different directions – and here to dig, along with the main protagonist, beneath the beige carpet of sand: in a scrubby seaside area connected with holidays and caravans and arcaded amusements etc – which is very much like the area where I actually live on the NE Essex coast.  This story creates that ‘genius loci’ brilliantly. Including the textured litter or props or uncivilised signs of behaviour that the sand and dunes often conceal.  And the sense of timelessness as well as lost time, easy sex, serial relationships to mask loneliness, shapeless miscreants who are not a million miles from Deep Ones or from Aickman glimpses out of the corner of the eye or from, as here, ghosts of seaside tragedies and of uncaring care in the community … and I am not disappointed, further enriched as it is by an atmospheric sense of retrocausality.  I am only slightly disappointed by what is, for me, the stilted mechanics of dénouement through self-conscious dialogue. (11 Mar 12 – four hours later)




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Black Static #25 – Fiction Review

I’m starting below another of my gradual real-time reviews. This time it is of the fiction stories in TTA Press’s ‘BLACK STATIC’Issue 25 (November 2011). Received as part of my subscription to this magazine. As before, I shall attempt to draw out all the fiction’s leitmotifs and mould them into a gestalt.

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the stories, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading them. In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

All my previous TTA Press reviews are linked from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/tta-press-my-real-time-reviews/

All my real-time reviews are linked from here: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/

Item image: Black Static 25 Cover

There is no guarantee how long it will take to complete this review, whether days or years.

The stories to be reviewed have been written by Alison Littlewood, Christopher Fowler, Ray Cluley, Nathaniel Tapley, Barbara A. Barnett.

NB: There is much else of value for the Horror reader within ‘Black Static’ in addition to its fiction: – www.ttapress.com (25 Oct 11)


About the Dark – Alison Littlewood

“The tree stood in the centre of the school yard and its branches had been cut off to stop kids from swinging on them.”

A story of subtle emotional and sexual feelings between three almost grown-up school-kids who explore a cave when on truant, but those feelings are threatened by a subsuming by words (“Stories are for kids“) and by something else with more power even than the words, particularly for one of them whom you are cleverly allowed to dare inhabit as a reader-become-protagonist: and I have acted in a diversionary way by use of that initial headquote above from the story (I usually give such keynote quotes for stories I review): and here as an oblique (if, for me, uncannily relevant) way of avoiding a direct spoiler: a literal spoiler forming — or formed by — the words.  This proved to be a compulsive, suspenseful, spooky story: a story that is enhanced by the blacker-surround-sound print format of the first few paragraphs suddenly becoming, in utter contrast, a form of silent but visible ‘white noise’ as one turns the page while entering the blackness for the first time and for real and with greater effect by use of the print format: “You going in?”  (25/10/11 – ninety minutes later)

The Curtain Parts – Christopher Fowler

That’s when the real discoveries are made, when organisation collapses into chaos.”

Flat-sitting – rife with class and gender consciousness – this is an effective build up of neighbourly dangers for our female I-narrator as the mortice locks in an earlier story I reviewed by this author (“Locked“) [and the hotel-like balcony-apartmentation in another story (“The Conspirators“)] become different locks, different balconies: Sado-Masochistic neck-locks that only spatchcock scissors might prise free.  The school-kids in the previous story when they grow cynically older and still “bare-breasted” or peachy-testicled, still seeking each other amid the world’s darkness become themselves?  The tree in the schoolyard now Daedalus’ trojan horse? (25 Oct 11 – another 3 hours later)

The Travellers Stay – Ray Cluley

She gave the room key back to him so whatever it opened up would be his fault.”

…or the reader’s fault? Another lock to unlock like this magazine’s earlier neck-lock and please don’t forget those jumbo cockroaches in the previous story before reading this one. This fiction gestalt is a darkness of words – here now separating out into what I imagine would feel like pins and needles of roach words metamorphosing into exterior Kafkas rather than organic ones.  On another level, this is a very disturbing Motel story that has a a feel of the seedy Wild West but is probably just round the corner from where each of us readers lives.  Here the kid becomes the schoolyard tree himself with a bark-like carapace, no doubt…  I seem to be heading towards a gestalt within a gestalt, a Cluley one: my previous reviews of this author [“Beachcombing” “At Night, When the Demons Come” “Pins and Needles“] being vital parts of the real-time word-musician in me waiting to get out and perform live.  And many of the apostrophes in this story text seem to be squeezed between letters rather than having a space of their own (look and see) – literally. Like the smuggled mites of imagination encroaching… “He brought his arm out from under the covers to reach for her…” (26/10/11)

The Holy Spear – Barbara A. Barnett

What had happened to the man who could sing through the pain and play his role to the end?”

…attuning the rock musician in the previous story to the opera singer hereIn many ways a stock Zombie story, but it is better than that for me because I am a sucker for the new-found genre of ‘Classical Horror’ of which this is an example (‘Parsifal‘ also being my favourite piece of music) and because of the snapping ‘needle-pack’ as another separatable-carapace or neck-lock, and the earlier disfigured tree in this magazine now the holy spear – or the metamorphosis into monsters, yet not being monsters if they then kill other worse monsters – but, meanwhile, only the act of sacrifice-and-reward in our spirituality will answer that conundrum. Irrespective of these connections, it is a very thought-provoking story as a discrete entity of fiction. And a compelling Zombie one, to boot.  How I hate the word ‘Zombie’, though.  “Beyond the barricade, every man was a praying man…” (26/10/11 – another 2 hours later)

Best. Summer. Ever. – Nathaniel Tapley

“A family room Dave. One with a balcony.”

I spend the end of most of my real-time reviews stretching towards – then normally reaching – some coda. Ironically, in this edition of BS that is special to me for obvious reasons, you’ve caught me Natt Mr Tapley cockroaching into my last sock. Absolutely hilarious. And uncodifiable. (26/10/11 – another 2 hours later)



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GHOSTS (Crimewave Eleven)

I’m due to start below another of my gradual real-time reviews, turning leitmotifs into a gestalt.

And it is of the 240 page paperback book entitled Crimewave Eleven: ‘GHOSTS’ : TTA Press 2010.

There is no guarantee how long it will take to complete this review, whether days or years.

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the book, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading it. In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

All my real-time reviews are linked from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/df-lewis-real-time-reviews/

All my TTA Press real-time reviews here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/tta-press-my-real-time-reviews/ (22 Dec 10)

Authors included: Dave Hoing, Nina Allan, Christopher Fowler, Mikal Trimm, Richard Butner, Cheryl Wood Ruggiero, Ilsa J. Bick, Cody Goodfellow, O’Neil De Noux, Steve Rasnic Tem, Alison Littlewood, Joel Lane, Luke Sholer.

This is the first time I’ve reviewed Crime Fiction, if that is what this book contains. And, if so, I must be very careful about spoilers. For my own benefit, I am not reading the Contributors’ notes until I’ve read and reviewed all the fiction. It’s a crime to know anything about a work of fiction other than the act of reading it.

I have glanced at the contents list, however, and I see the first fiction is split between being the first and last. A crime in the making?

Plainview: Part One: The Shoe Store by Dave Hoing

“…but the rest moved in circles her circles never touched.”

Drawn straight – by accomplished prose and dialogue – into this (I opine) Twin Peaks type scenario of a missing 19 year-old girl, her family, the police, suspicions set up, an e. e. cummings line of poetry intriguingly set to resonate (like the owls in TP?), a neat circular plot-line to Part One as a whole – and the exact time of year and weather serendipitously equalising what I’m experiencing myself today.  A neat searching for how the fiction shoe will fit?  And who will help me horn it on? (22 Dec 10)


Wilkolak by Nina Allan

“He loved the cleanness of digital…”

A substantial, compelling, skilfully written story about a youth and his camera, his ambitions as a forensic photographer, the still lifes (both animate and inanimate), the girl friend, the parents – in a guessing game (a mystery not completely detached from (or attached to) headlines yesterday about the Crossbow Cannibal)… where digital photography … and old-fashioned ‘waiting to see’ photography (with which I grew up and also appreciate more than the immediacy of digital) … paralleled by as well as parallelling the events here – giving a sense of the narrator empathising with the youthful protagonist who is also ‘waiting to see’ what happens. And not only the narrator, the head-lease author, too, genuinely ‘waiting to see’ and we readers, too, ’wait to see’ with our own ‘takes’ on the unfolding events. Not to make ‘snap’ judgements, as we may well have done already with the previous yet ‘unfolded’ ‘Plainview‘ story. 

Wilkolak’ is a genuine masterpiece of something. With its hints of the legend behind the story’s title, it may not be crime fiction for the purist (I wouldn’t know) but it certainly is fiction that will stay with you, whatever its genre. (23 Dec 10)


The Conspirators by Christopher Fowler

” ‘Then why not sell to me?’ Court walked over to the balcony…”

An interesting moebius scarf of a story … long-term business colleagues, the one who was the original mentor of the other looking “…like a game show host” … meeting in one of their plush hotels, and a call-girl called Vienna (“…like a character from a video game“) , and icecube-clunky bars – and the plot travelling from the heat of the Middle-East to St Petersburg – a Russian city I visited only a few weeks ago and where one would need the scarf, presumably… A neat story of high finance and high stakes. Don’t forget the red herring, if not in the story, certainly in this review.  Waiting for the end. In plain view? Or purl? (23 Dec 10 – three hours later)


INTERMISSION: One of the crimes upon fiction for which I have been accused is being more text-based than plot-based in my real-time reviews. So be it. What have these words in common: timely, lonely, allusively, sparely, rely, rarely, diffusely, lovely, comely, recessively…? (23 Dec 10 – another 2 hours later)


Who’s gonna miss you when you’re gone? by Mikal Trimm

” ‘You’re a good guy, Des.’ “

Another unforgiveable moebius series of eely crimes forgiven by the family that is us, having, as readers (sharers?), been brought into the family proper of the one committing such crimes. Lived through, haunted, visionary, purged, trimmed, untrimmed, zipped, snagged and unzipped and rezipped and scrapbooked. Powerful rite of passage, where the device I’ve noticed in recent decades (since King?) of a protagonist’s internal thoughts italicized beyond the effective reach of even the head-lease author to control…. Here this device has been used to its maximum, better than I’ve ever seen it used.  (23 Dec 10 – another 3 hours later)


Holderhaven by Richard Butner

“Rudy imagines all these objects, all this text, laid out in a giant matrix.”

A country house matrix, another ‘waiting to see’ journey as we take snapshots of past events, but where, in real time, Rudy investigates the marks in a secret passage, all conveying a sort of McEwanesque Atonement, a Reggie Oliver-type ambiance and haunting, or a Murder weekend in Cluedo as a cross-section of a house’s history, plus a neat echo of the previous story’s (un)zipping and a similar aberration if with a different gender… (23 Dec 10 – another 2 hours later)


Eleven Eleven by Cheryl Wood Ruggiero

“How often do numbers stand in line like that?”

Children are often victims (in tune with the previous two stories). This, meanwhile, as a short backdrop, by retrocausality, to the earlier longer fictions in this book, is a magical tale of real events as filtered through the consciousness of a girl who is 12 years old today.  If we had experienced these real events in the same way as she did, we would have expected to wake from a dream or nightmare. But this is reality for the girl, a ‘waiting to see’ and never reaching the end of the queue (or audit trail) of events …. but we readers reason for ourselves in this crime fiction which was crime and which was fiction. The blend of the two here being religion. Or God? Or truth itself. Very clever tale. (24 Dec 10)

Zipped up in an itchy bag? Ready to zap? (24 Dec 10 – two hours later).

(review to be continued here in due course after Christmas)

Where the Bodies Are by Ilsa J. Bick

“…a featureless rectangle studded with graves and a single whitewashed, tumbledown mausoleum – a genizah – “

An itchy bag? I am amazed at some of the telling connections and coincidences serendipity can find.  Here between two separate publications. Please compare another story I’ve read today – ’The Covered Doll’ in Black Static #20 – with the previous story in this book and with this story: a story of child abuse in its most mysterious and motive-confused (Mother and new born baby). And the connections and coincidences between those investigating the potential crime and its safeguards for both parties in the crime, and the ‘waiting to see’ watcher of the graveyard, this story’s protagonist – all those interconnecting ways of ‘containing’ death and birth in containers. I also recognise this is a very well-written and thought-provoking story in itself, disregarding my personal real-time context of experience reading it. (26 Dec 10)


Neighborhood Watch by Cody Goodfellow

If this is a Neighborhood Watch badfellow, I don’t want to meet a good one!  Means justifying the ends with all the new surveillance gear. Another parent with its child-prey punished even before getting an end away. Getting a death away. This book its cuboid container-box on boxing day. Each story an end in itself, but feeding a gestalt that’s getting off on the biggest crime of all. Waiting to watch. Waiting to see. (26 Dec 10 – another 8 hours later)


 K Love by O’Neil De Noux

“…found the suicide note in a clear, plastic sandwich bag…”

A truly effective ‘waiting to see’, in post-Katrina New Orleans during that period when the inhabitants believed the approaching Rita would be even worse than Katrina.  And to this ironic background an investigation by a female detective into a gory crime – and despite or because of the story’s humorous-human ending (reflecting the sense of characterisation built up), is that more powerful as a result.

[And mention of a body bag and a realisation on my part that when storms attack a building the most vulnerable parts are the balconies.] (27 Dec 10)


Living Arrangement by Steve Rasnic Tem

“Old age was full of surprises.”

And I’m personally waiting to see what those surprises are, I thought, upon reading that at the start of the story. An old man in diminishing health (but with a well-conveyed hinterland of youth) lives with his daughter and grandson.  And the daughter’s latest rough-edged boy friend. This is a very clever crime story, I feel, in my relative innocence of this genre. A story with motivations I can truly understand but with some sense of surprise as it developed. If I told you how clever, I’d spoil it for you. Let me, instead, speculate on why this anthology of crime fiction has the overall ‘Ghosts’ heading. Or is it too early to tell, with three and half stories left to read and review?  I have wondered if it is to do with motives themselves being forms of ghosts that transcend the intentional fallacy…? Clues from victims as well as from the criminals that created those victims – now, in the future, in the past, clues imparted to the reader collusively by those victims and criminals themselves, accreting clues-to-selves that are the essence of ghosts haunting…? Waiting to see if I’m right. (27 Dec 10 – another 4 hours later)


4 A.M., When The Walls Are Thinnest by Alison J. Littlewood

“Waiting: I was good at waiting.”

This story from within prison is probably the best example so far of contained motives, contained and shared by the inmates, promises within, threats unfulfilled outside, even a librarian to keep the words contained. I found this story absolutely inspiring. Also, before reading this story, I probably was premature about speculating why this book is called ‘Ghosts’. I think I now know at least one reason, and not just because of its ‘phantom limb’ of a thumb-tip! Something far more intrinsic yet subtle. Bravo! This story ought to win awards.  And if so, it’ll be up against one or two others from this book, I guess. (27 Dec 10 – another 2 hours later)


The Hostess by Joel Lane

But the victims weren’t talking even when their mouths healed.”

A short Lane-like piece that if I retold it my mouth would never heal! Suffice to say it’s atmospheric and about a crime in Birmingham and the contained community of criminals that incubate victims as well as themselves as criminals, and any purging needs to be broadly aimed rather than focussed to allow optimum resolution to pan out serendiptously … and for some of the earlier child victims in this book also to find voice as emblemised by the child here …. and its last line of text is genius and makes the whole story work. It somehow makes my whole ‘waiting to see’ theory on this book work, too, or simply click into its rightful context. So, if push comes to shove, this brief story was worth its presence here if only for that… (27 Dec 10 – another hour later)


We Are Two Lions by Luke Sholer

“Motive’s only important if it can affect the outcome.”

Like paid gigolos who meticulously plan to treat each matured woman as a special, never-the-same musical instument to play loud or subtly or whatever – hitmen, too, with their ‘victims’. There are other hitmen in this book (in the Fowler, in the Tem? etc.) – and this substantial, compellingly told, cool narrative seems to pepper itself with every ‘musical instrument’ of fiction in this book we’ve ‘played’ heretofore. Even the camera-bag container for a gun. Narrative snapshots of the protagonist hitman and the ‘you’ he meets and then actually becomes in a very special blending – first as a loving couple (so believably conveyed in the scenes of encounter between him and you), next where ‘you’ want to emulate him – later in a far more violent blending of self with self in rivalry. The hitmen’s Godfather – named Singer – treadles away as the stitches jab like bullets into the texture of the text.  And the waiting-to-see has become the tree rotting, and the “time wrapped in flesh“….  And, of course, all the recurrent balconies, where teetering vulnerability shows itself as all hitmen know…. (27 Dec 10 – another 2 hours later)


Plainview: Part Two: The Blood Cools by Dave Hoing

“Take away the new cars and modern fashions, and Plainview could be a Polaroid of 1962.”

Whether it was the author’s or this book’s editor’s idea to split this story into two, bracketing the unfolding plain-views of fiction (tantamount to photographs with no filters other than the chosen frame or direction of shot) that now start, even as I speak, to grow into huge cross-sectioning memory-bases of cruel truth and mystery: and whether it was intended – at the point of writing – that it would always be thus divided into two … well, I shall never know by dint of ‘the intentional fallacy’, but, whatever the case, for me, it works perfectly. It makes it seem as if it were never written at all but simply happened. A rotting tree in fast frame here slowed down to match our cool pace of reading – and of living. Making us wait to see that we shall never know the ultimate truth only enjoy truth in media res … forever.  Merely left happy that I’ve managed to read and real-time review another book before my own slow never-endingness of death started. Whodunnit? Not me.  I wasn’t there.  Not my shoe. Ghosts don’t have shoes. Or the itchy body-bags of the past. (27 Dec 10 – another 3 hours later)


Eleven Eleven: standing upright until a crowd-wave of fiction rolls through us…

Death is the crime of those who abort it?

All in all a stunning book. One I am pleased I bravely reviewed without really knowing what to expect . (27 Dec 10 – another 4 hours later)


NB: Any writer whose single story or novel or collection is real-time reviewed on this site before 30 April 2011 is – inter alios – eligible to submit a story to ‘The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies.


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Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead

posted Monday, 5 April 2010

I’m starting below another of my gradual real-time reviews. This time I shall be reviewing the fiction in the anthology entitled Back From The DeadThe Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories as selected by Johnny Mains (Noose & Gibbet Publishing 2010).

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the stories, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading them.  In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

All my previous real-time reviews are linked from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/df-lewis-real-time-reviews/

There is no guarantee how quickly this review will be completed. Each story will be considered and reviewed on this page as and when I read it. There will be a date at the end of each set of comments that will crystallise each part of the review subject only to the later correction of previously unnoticed typos. I shall attempt to draw out all the stories’ leitmotifs and mould them into a gestalt as I proceed through this review. That is how it always happens…

The authors of the stories: Christopher Fowler, Tony Richards, John Burke, Basil Copper, David A. Riley, Jack Wainer, Myc Harrison, Roger Clarke, John Ware, Jonathan Cruise, J.P. Dixon, Septimus Dale, Christina Kiplinger, Nicholas Royle, Ken Alden, Jane Louie, Craig Herbertson, Francis King, Harry E. Turner, Conrad Hill. (5 Apr 10)

Locked by Christopher Fowler

“Lewis played with the silver crucifix at his throat while he struggled with the concept of rejection.”

An intriguing haunted flat story told in an effective Dickensian-slipstream-of-events-and-characters and involving our modern interactions as real people together with communication systems like texts and blogs – all subsumed by a sense of insecurity that many of us today would recognise, both figuratively and literally. The paranoiac need for electronic firewalls on Facebook as well as fool-proof mortice locks in your door. The ending I did not predict at all and I loved it!  Funny as well as creepy. No mean feat.

“He was pushing a battered chicken leg into his mouth and actually crunching the bones.” (5 Apr 10 – two hours later)


Mr Smyth by Tony Richards

“There was a plate with a bare fishbone on it sitting on the dining table.”

A clearly-described workmanlike story of the calling up of dark hidden forces to assist towards one’s own good, but a story with its own hidden powers, one of which powers is serendipitously drawn from contrasting with the previous story. Not firewalls or locks here but a similar seedy flat with only “grimy curtains“, indeed ones that are hardly ever pulled together (it seems!).  And a (traditionally unPan-like, politically correct?) black police detective who suspects foul play when girls die (presumably of natural causes) soon after consorting with the flat’s equally seedy tenant.  How could such attractive girls be thus attracted by such seediness in place and person? A tale of seeming Defiance. An ending with shuddery resonances to those like me who grow old. (6 Apr 10)


Acute Rehab by John Burke

“At first it was funny.”

A very brief piece, complete in itself. Incredibly, however, it does, to my mind, also act as a neat expository coda to the previous story, whereby the previous story’s shadow in the corner now asks a question, echoing those who, in hospitals, are always asking for your date of birth, even though those asking know it already! (6 Apr 10 – four hours later)


Camera Obscura by Basil Copper

“There was a sprawl of unfamilar alleys at the foot of the steep overhang of the building, as far as he could make out through the grimy panes.”

I first read this substantial classic horror story in the late 1960s and I don’t think anyone needs reminding of its plot … telling of the moneylender and his ‘client’ – and the latter’s two ‘camera obscuras’, the second of which is more visionary than May Sinclair or Dr Who. Suffice to say, further light is possibly shed on this story by its new context here, for example the modern-Dickensian quality of the first story adumbrating here even greater Dickensianisms and the so-called security of any house that has its firewalls breached (passively or actively) – be they thus compromised by the internet or by more ancient contrivances of perhaps even greater power via meticulously positioned ’grimy panes’…

A big shiver as that sinks in. (6 Apr 10 – another 3 hours later)


The True Spirit by David A. Riley

“It was on occasions like this that Alice wished their dividing walls were higher…”

A long workmanlike story that successfully developed beyond the expectations of its stock witchcrafty and catty beginning. I was drawn in.  References to TV entertainments like ‘On The Buses’, ‘Bargain Hunt’ and (obliquely) ‘Randall & Hopkirk’ – plus a sense of growing menace and a bloodthirsty ending. Also an intriguing concept of ‘Pretend Vandalism’ and the wonderfully named place of Grudge End in a downtrodden English Satanic Mill township and allotments. Above all, it seemed to filter from and back into the book’s prior context very effectively, even though the author wouldn’t claim credit for that, I’m sure. Unless, of course, he, too, can tap into this book’s hidden tomely powers as well as into the dark urban myths of real life? A fine story, as it turns out, in aftertaste.

“There was the fact that Mr Gaskin’s back door was open – an unlikely thing in their experience of their neighbour who was a deadlock and bolts kind of man…” (6 Apr 10 – another 4 hours later) :-0


Angel by Jack Wainer

“She learned that he could caress as gently with his feet as with his hands.”

I had thought, for a while, that Peter Hopkirk, in the previous story, was an Angel. Maybe this story throws light on that or maybe that story throws light on this one. But otherwise, ‘Angel’ sits with strange and perhaps menacing yet impermeable charm in this book subtitled ’The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories’!

No other context or subtext than itself. But extrapolating against that impression, I’d say it tells of a young girl in regular episodes of maturing Natal Epoch encountering a supposed Angel in strict ratios of time distortion – with an implied deadlock security system of remaining (even to the extent of lowering her guard for tactical reasons with mortal (non-Angelic) men) ‘virgo intacta’ against a hellish text-virus disguised as a heavenly one, i.e. against dire infiltration from the rest of this book….?

As a stand-alone story, it’s perfect. Written by Jack Wainer: the pseudonym, I believe, of the publisher of ‘Peeping Tom’, a long-running and influential Horror small press magazine of the 1990s, in which my own fiction appeared quite regularly. (7 Apr 10)

A Good Offence by Myc Harrison
“Whispering was a way of life when you lived in a small town…”
Boyhood sexuality is an open goal, perhaps, for some. Cruelly conceived, but arguably justified, this is Charles-Birkinite revenge horror. An ice for an ice.
Tightly written, succinct, to the point. Meanwhile, taking a punt, quite irrelevantly perhaps, I mention that Hockey-sticks do jolly well look like giant keys…. (7 Apr 10 – three hours later)

Gallybagger by Roger Clarke
“Only in the ground for a year and then treated like old bedsteads and baths.”
In some ways, I’m a literary snob. In other ways, I’m the complete opposite. Against all my initial expectations, this impressive anthology is continuing to satisfy both these aspects of my ‘reading’ character. And often satisfying both simultaneously! This story, following the complicatedly embedded thing in the previous story, tells of the prising out (unlocking) of another complicatedly embedded thing: a pipeline in the Isle of Wight and its literal entanglement with wartime remains in the ground and, more figuratively, with some Wightian mythos of the Gooseberry Wife and scarecrows… This is the stuff of dream, where, cleverly, any surrealism is made real by being tangibly embedded in tangible things with implicit ley-lines veining real honest-to-goodness earth under the feet of man (wight). And is it any coincidence that the protagonist is named Coates (the composer of ‘The Dambuster’s March’)? I think not. See what you think. (8 Apr 10)

Spinalonga by John Ware
“The graves were no longer than three feet, so that the joints of the corpses had to be broken and the skeletons bent double to get them in.”
Another island, more grounded embeddings, an ikon and other disinterred matter reminding me of the keepsake and ‘earthkill’ in the previous story…. This book’s stories (independently written and unnconnected other than by this book) continue to seem – whether by intention or accident – to flow in and out of each other like mutual filters.
Tourists on a Greek Leper Colony Island (the I-protagonist and his wife Angela) – and a ‘priest’ who reminded me of the Angel in ‘Angel’ or Peter Hopkirk in ‘The True Spirit’ …. while ‘Spinalonga’ itself is how I remember the Pan Book of Horror Stories, Britishly charming as well as insidious with an ending that we, in our early days, thought to be so refreshingly nasty. But, sadly, today, nothing’s nasty any more because all is nasty. (8 Apr 10 – two hours later)

The Forgotten Island by Jonathan Cruise
“I have levered from its bed of moss and peat, the great iron boiler used a century ago for the rendering of fat of elephant seal and king penguin.”
Another island – and a journal of ‘Swiss Family Robinson’-like narration mixed with Jules Verne and ‘The Lord of the Flies” … but not flies, as such. If you’re a cat-lover… No, if I say what I want to say, it will have the potential readership of this book halved! “Cats are ‘The True Spirit’”, I’d say instead!
A wonderful tale of a shipwrecked yachtsman on an Antarctic island called Solitude (not forgotten at all!), with his loved one Ailsa. And it is as if the pipe from ‘Gallybagger’ squeals inside with feline terror…
You’ll have to read it to find the tale’s moral. And which creatures finally win out, be they human or animal. (8 Apr 10 – another 4 hours later)

Dreaming the Dark by J P Dixon
“If you’re a shapeshifter why stop at forms that already exist. What you are is limited only by your own imagination.”
An important novelette, I suggest, in the history of Horror Literature. No connections with the rest of this book for me to adumbrate this time, because this work is the island, the hub or heart, from which all “chameleons” and “baroque monstrosities” of “language-from-imagination-into-truth” do spread. Serendipitously, throughout the whole of this reading experience that was ‘Dreaming the Dark’, I was listening to Bach Cello Suites – serendipitous because the language, too, was as easy, free-flowing, going down like the darkest, smoothest syrup – while, in contrast, its consonants and edges ripped reading-muscles with their high graphic descriptions. This is Horror. No pretension to anything else. It just is. And it was almost as if I, the erstwhile horror writer, glimpsed something I’ve never glimpsed before – I have my own drawer in my brain I dare not pull out and look in, for fear of becoming what the words actually say (phonetically, graphologically, semantically and syntactically). (8 Apr 10 -another 3 hours later)

The Little Girl Eater by Septimus Dale
“It was dark and silent beneath the pier. Thin banks of concrete criss-crossed the sand, the upright girders were built solidly into these banks.”
More embeddings – and a man trapped (or literally locked) by the rising tide under the pier and afraid of drowning to the extent of considering cutting his throat with a rusty tin lid nearby. Apt for me, because I obtained this very book I’m reading in sight of a seaside pier. I now live too by a different seaside pier. I was born near yet another seaside pier. This is archetypal Pan Horror from my own memory of it in the early Sixties. It now reminds me of British black and white films from that era, like “The Taste of Honey”, or perhaps more aptly again, “Whistle Down The Wind” – where a more (to use that word again) archetypal Angel meets its own imagined version of Peter Hopkirk (extrapolating from earlier stories in this book)? And, incredibly, they sing together! (9 Apr 10)

Mr. Golden’s Haunt by Christina Kiplinger
“Mr. Golden swerved his car to miss hitting a tan and white cat that ran out into the street. Hearing a loud ‘meow’, the driver put his foot farther down on the gas.”
A poignant tale of a man growing old, put out to grass by his life-career of an employer, now to spend all his time with his wife… A couple similar to that ‘in “The True Spirit”. Mr. Golden has a mortality-malaise even to the extent of seeking out Death itself so as to get to know it better ahead of its due time of arrival. Mr. Golden’s own Angel? Or his Null Immortalis? I should know. (9 Apr 10 – four hours later)

The Stare by John Burke

“…absurdly afraid of that head moving at last, turning to stare at him…”

Another brief piece by this author, one that pushes all my fear buttons at once: staying in hospital overnight with goodness knows who else in the same ward. Done it, been there, got the T shirt. Yet here the fear is possibly even greater by dint of the implicitly or explicitly pervasive onlookers in such stories as ‘Mr Smyth’, ‘Acute Rehab’, ‘The True Spirit’, ‘Mr Golden’s Haunt’ … as if they are all now, forever, in dark synergy within the camera obscura of a single stare… (9 Apr 10 – another hour later)


The Children by Nicholas Royle

“There was no thunder or lightning, but the fat summer rain fell like a torrent of ball bearings.”

Having just empathised – from my own experience – with a stay in hospital, I now empathise – through literary osmosis – with a holiday abroad: sun-loungers, cocktail bars, kids’ rooms, swimming pools, hearty men high-fiving after a game of volleyball, rules and regulations packaged for increased ‘enjoyment’ and so on. It is even more frightful than the hospital stay! A Horror story simply from describing something people do for pleasure.

There is an element of Robert Aickman fiction here, too, and there can be no greater compliment if I say it matches up with some of his best stories. And I do.  But it is also original with lumpiness set in contrast with sharp ambient electricity. Things about crows and parents with surrogate adoptees. An inscrutable ending that makes you believe you know exactly what has happened that only nightmares usually make you believe till you wake up. If you wake up.

There’s a ‘Spinalonga’ about this story, too. And a swordfish that is perhaps the key to pick the lock of inscrutability? Beautifully written, including one remarkable long sentence about sparrows whose acrobatic display is like the language used to describe it. (9 Apr 10 – another 2 hours later)


The Moment of Death by Ken Alden

“Fegree took an envelope out of his case.  ‘I know a couple who want children and they are prepared to adopt yours,’ he said as he held the envelope in front of Lanover.”

In dialogue and dialogue’s reported dialogue, this story seems to be something I didn’t think I had missed so far in my reading life until I knew I had missed it by dint of this striking treatment upon the trigger of death (its interconnecting tumblers falling one by one by one by one at a precise immeasurable moment) and upon the threat of premature burial, geared to the guillotine of testamentary evidence. Not ‘back from the dead’ so much as still alive…possibly like Mr. Golden greeting Death a split second before saying goodbye to it. (9 Apr 10 – another 3 hours later)

Perhaps, on reflection, what Null Immortalis has always been about before knowing its potentiality to be about anything at all! (9 Apr 10 – another 30 minutes later)


Caribbean Incident by Jane Louie

“From this, he determined the island was a shape of a bowl with the valley in the centre surrounded on all sides by high, pointed rocks.”

A quiet, almost nondescript story, but, subtly, with many busy implications of historic slavery caught in the fly-trap of the present, the act of God-making, a skeleton as icon of eternal renewal and faith: with another ‘moment of death’ crystallised as both promise of continued existence and threat of Man’s subjection to his own Null Immortalis.  Man not locked by those beach-girders under the pier, but by his own bones.

On the surface, another island, another shipwreck story like ‘The Forgotten Island’, flocks of birds as in ‘The Children’…

“It was a natural cleft no wider than a cupboard and all three of them had to move crablike sideways to pass along it.” (9 Apr 10 – another hour later)

Man not ‘back from the dead’ so much as still alive … not locked by those beach-girders under the pier, but by his own bones.


Today (10 Apr 10), I have been out of sight of a computer but with some time to read and also to scribble things on paper. So, I have now read the last four stories of this anthology during the day and have written my reviews by hand in real-time after each one. I simply now need to type them out below…


The Waiting Game by Craig Herbertson

“Lots of skeletons in our cupboards and room for another few.”

I sense this is archetypal Pan Horror – in a vengeful Birkinite vein? Deadly Sins in varying measures, in varying people, leading to two of those people (a man and woman) being cruelly ‘locked’ together … waiting motionlessly in great suspense … with potentially excruciating results. I, too, dare not move for fear of again ripping the reading-muscles …. while there emerges a theme that has been personally dogging me in the last few days, where someone makes a show of writing a substantive work partly in self-delusion and partly in deluding others.  I hasten to add this story itself was written, in part, about such a theme and is not an example of implementing that theme in real life! Enjoyed this story for what it was.

“He saw Catherine’s face again, dangling the key, spitting at him as she laughed.”


School Crossing by Francis King

“He had dropped the car keys and he had felt uncomfortably top-heavy as he had searched over the asphalt of the yard for them, the tips of his fingers grazing themselves…”

This is a very powerful story to drive. As a relatively aging man myself, I’ve got into it, turned (unlocked) its ignition (foreshadowing enormous thrust) and have been beset with visions of Nicholas Royle’s “children”, in an earlier story, now, here, as I drive towards a school crossing…

This is a truly memorable story of a mental breakdown within a family man via the vicissitudes of trying to be a good father, husband and (as his job) schoolmaster.

The story’s ending is even more powerful than the engine I drove towards it!

[Synchronously, another running theme in this story concerning the vicissitudes of cleaning one’s glasses seems to carry some of my memories of ‘Camera Obscura’.]


Sounds Familiar by Harry E. Turner

“…handed him a bunch of keys. ‘Here,’ he said, ‘take the car and drive like the wind…’ “

This is a darkly absurd gem that combines a brilliantly worded cornucopia of rare and off-the-wall foodstuffs … plus a dice with Death – implicitly, perhaps, conveying all Death’s earlier foreshadowings in this book.

The ending clicks into place with the same degree of neat surprise that archetypal Pan Horrors often provide – a surprise that you hadn’t predicted although, afterwards, you think you should have done. Not a dénouement so much as a dénastiment..

An Outing With H by Conrad Hill

” ‘The usual shit, old Alex,’ I reply as he low fives me.”

In interesting contrast, this is a blow-hard extravaganza where the powerful vehicle of this story becomes a wheelchair and its driver H. It is another insulated ‘island’ in itself (like ‘Dreaming the Dark’) but, positioned here at the end, it has more of a coda than a costa.

It drips with relentless narrative techniques like: “To my right, a horn sounds, deep and bloated like a rich man’s fart.”  It again flows like one of those Bach Cello Suites – with cutting blades instead of feathers or flags on its crotchets or quavers.

It disables any political correctness with each swipe – and it pockets all modern-day keyholes that are left to pick.

This is credit crunch prose supreme.

Sends me away with a smirk and a cruel snicker. H is another Miltonic Lucifer figure. Meanwhile, “I often suspect that I’m the only normal person left in this warped town.”


This book is evenly spread with oddities.

Every equation ends incorrect. No theorem can unlock them.

The stories blend and unblend even as you strain your muscles to keep watch on their even lines of eye-print. At one moment Pan-traditional with dénastiments, the next avant-garde with bad manners. This book reminds me of human existence facing out its own cruelties just as existentialists once faced out their sense of absurdity. I hope I have conveyed my enjoyment of this anthology with some degree of correctness within the marginal tolerances of an ever constricting societal intolerance for what us rogue medians can actually write about…or read.

I shall now read for the first time the non-fiction in this book: 

 Foreword – Shaun Hutson 

 ‘The Influence of Pan’ by David A. Sutton 

 All the notes at the head of each story. 

 Johnny Mains’ ‘Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares’ (a biography of Herbert Van Thal). 

 The Author Biographies at the end of the book.

I will not be back here to tell you what I thought about them.

comments (3)

1. Weirdmonger left…

Sunday, 11 April 2010 8:28 am

Locks, metal-embeddings in the ground, Death as an Island or Character – book’s general leitmotifs? LOST – its gestalt? ??
2. Weirdmonger left…

Sunday, 11 April 2010 8:31 am :: http://talesfromtheblackabyss.com/2010/0

Another real time review of this book at link immediately above.
3. Weirdmonger left…

Sunday, 11 April 2010 11:27 am

And of course – just remembered – Lock is actually the name of a character in LOST!


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