Right Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins
The first in the ‘Golgotham’ trilogy by the author of the ‘Vamps’ trilogy. In this AU, Golgotham is where all the magic folk live. Trust fund twit Tate who has notions of being a sculptor moves into the area. Though there is mutual mistrust between humans and the reviled magic workers, Tate falls for her landlord. She is also glad her new home isn’t a fetid squat and is sure her ‘work’ is an aesthetic experience and stylistic innovation.
Add in imperious magic users with mindsets of hostility, Tate’s frequently tedious ex, a mob boss, a hick and an attack monkey. This is an meticulously rote urban fantasy, but it is enjoyable with an irritatingly dumb heroine, a gentrification theme, smug social attitudes and various people have a lacerating dislike for the ‘hero’ and his puerile name.
“This one left the time I got busted in my dad’s BMW in the dust.”
“Start throwing beer cans and bottles, empty or otherwise.”
“Take that you creepy bastard!”
Cthulhu Fhtagn! Edited by Ross E. Lockhart, part 1
From the author of ‘The Book Of Cthulhu’, ‘The Book of Cthulhu II
’ and ‘The Children of Old Leech’
comes this anthology of weird tales inspired by H.P. Lovecraft.
The Lightning Splitter
A torpid tale of an introspectively hip family who painfully uncover the secret of their new home.
By Ann K. Schwader. A Mars probe encounters something and a solar conjunction is very close. Judiciously argued sense is ignored leading to a dark ending. This is good.
“Whatever’s going on in the chasma needs to stay there.”
“Susan, what is Clem scared of?”
“To the dark beyond human understanding.”
Delirium Sings At The Maelstrom Window
A bizarre tale as a man is reunited with his long lost daughter and faces contradictory demands. Terrible.
Into Ye Smoke-Wreath’D World Of Dream
A purple prosed tale full of knowing nods. No.
“His behaviour - always odd - was becoming severely lunatic.”
The Lurker In The Shadows
This unnerving tale reveals the correspondence between a Lovecraft who lived on and Stephen King. Events unfold exactly as you would expect in this sly tale.
“Cancel the fruit baskets for a decade.”
The sad tale of man and his vision of the future. Good.
“The world is vast and grim and hungry.”
“That’s something to think about, late at night.”
The Body Shop
The things people do to survive in a ruined world. Okay.
On A Kansas Plain
A good tale of paranoia and conspiracy.
“It sounds exactly like the movies.”
“I’m not sure exactly when Jim turned into a survivalist nutcase, but seems like the transformation is pretty far along.”
The Prince Of Lyghes
A toxic relationship reaches its nadir. Okay.
The Curious Death Of Sir Arthur Turnbridge
A gentle Sherlock Holmes/Poirot style pastiche in a rundown Manor in the countryside where strange things are afoot. This is good, light and funny and then has a sudden turn into harsh darkness. Very good.
Vikings get to Arkham first. Nope.
Return of the Prodigy
A late honeymoon on a remote island goes awry. Okay.
“The “beachwear for the mature woman” burlesque.”