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Book Reviews: The Influence + Sherlock Holmes In Orbit, part 1

The Influence by Ramsey Campbell

This 1988 horror has an evil witch (?) old woman, a supernatural proof father and a little girl who is the target of her witchy great-aunt who wants to defy death. The family are sick of great aunt Queenie so when she's dead; they're glad. But Queenie was terrified of what's on the other side and there is cumulative disturbance and a slow build up of dread as she tries to return and take over Rowan's life.

Rowan's parents are useless. Her mother stands by a husband she'd be better off leaving. Her husband has outbreaks of rage and rising discontent. In life Queenie had callous brutality and utter indifference for her kin, this icy loathing only grows after her death. Queenie makes difficulties and is beyond being placated. This was good as young Rowan is in extremity.

Best Lines:

“What kind of eternity was deserved.”

“Expression of malice.”

“Socially interact.”

“Chucked himself under a train. Reckon that's normal do you?”

“Drive out the imposter.”

“Didn't feel welcome enough to go in.”

“I did love you, however hard you made it for us to.”

“A vast darkness that led somewhere Alison rather not see.”

Sherlock Holmes In Orbit edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg, part 1

This 1995 DAW antholgoy was authorized by Dame Jean Conan Doyle. Who?


“A nostalgic country of the mind, where it is always 1895.”

The Musgrave Version

By George Alec Effinger. Someone claims Watson was an unreliable narator. This is a story of a young Holmes v Fu Manchu. The narrator is a snob and claims to ahve been quietly influential on Holmes on an undescribed fantastical adventure. This was a nothing sequence.

Best Line:

“Attract unpleasant attention.”

The Case Of The Detective's Smile

Holmes encounters Alice In Wonderland. Watson is reverential of Holmes and still belives himself Holmes' favourite friend even when Holmes challenges that belief by hurting him. This was not affecting and causes discontentment.

The Adventure Of The Russian Grave

Holmes and Watson in Russia! Unwittingly they've headed into a trap set by the long dead Moriarty: Tunguska. This was ill-advised.

The Adventure Of The Field Theorems

By Vonda N. McIntyre. I've read this before. Arthur Conan Doyle encounters Martians. This was okay.

The Adventure Of The Missing Coffin

By Laura Resnick. Holmes encounters vampyres! This was unfunny comedy.

Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review

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