Letters From The Dead by Campbell Black
This 1987 novel is a morass of dated references, sexism and rape culture. Two women bemoaning the end of their marriages end up in a remote beach house in ballygobackwards. Their whiny teenage children are along for the ride. There are more dated references, many author tracts on the idiot behaviour of women, locals with a secret and an offensively bad ending. Do not read this. Ever.
Angels Of Music by Kim Newman
Erik the Phantom of the Paris opera house endures through the decades. He has a series of female agents who investigate dark purposes and end them for community gain. This was a very good, pretty effective tale as thoroughly unpleasant types driven to brutal ends by their ambition are brought low by Angels. Various pulp fiction characters are mashed together. This was mesmerising but Erik does not invite sympathy and the finale is full of bitter irony.
“He’d find himself wearing a chandelier for a hat.”
“I don’t go to the opera myself. Big draughty houses and fat women singing words no one can understand...”
“How would they like to know that the dead looked back? Seldom kindly.”
“Was offended at not being picked to be a murder victim.”
“Ninety-nine ghosts out of a hundred were disinherited cousins wearing bed sheets.”
Star Trek Volume 12
This disappointing Trade Paperback collects the ‘Live Evil’ and ‘Reunion’ storylines from the reboot comic. ‘Live Evil’ sees the Enterprise fall into the mirror universe. Mirror Kirk is somehow alive, mirror McCoy has been mangled and mirror Chekov is a punk. Also mirror Khan is a man of peace. There are no ugly details or steely ruthlessness in his misfire. This was not a magnificent achievement and was not innovative. The mirror Enterprise is an oppressive instrument and the mirror crew are vile babbling monstrosities with a taste for anarchy. This shows how the Terran Empire is unlikely; its very hellishness would make it unlikely to survive. Then came ’Reunion’ in which we see the Orion homeworld, learn Gaila survived the events of ’Star Trek’ and meet her vile mother. This was okay and lifted the volume above the mediocre as its straightforward narrative entertains.
“Spock sent me over to check out the sickbay on this thing. It’s depressingly clean. Get me outta here.”
“It is an honor to wed your spawn.”