epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Reviews: Elizabeth + Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations + Universes, part 1

Elizabeth by Jessica Hamilton
She’s just like the girl next door. If you live next door to Hell…

A 14 year old psychopath named Elizabeth Cuttner narrates this short but effectively creepy 1976 tale. Elizabeth is a teenager who may be an abuse victim but is also a monster. One day she looks in a mirror and a long dead witch appears offering malevolent powers. Elizabeth uses this power to rid herself of those who are of no use to her. This is an excellent, creepy, disturbing tale.

Best Lines:
“Father had forbidden me to use that word. He said it was only fit to be used by women on television commercials.”

“Katherine wore a new dress at dinner. It was a colour that people shouldn’t have to look at while they were eating.”

Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations edited by Eric J Guignard
A horror/speculative fiction homage to the pulp tales of yesteryear.

Konigreich der Sorge (Kingdom of Sorrows)
1939, Nazi scientists exploring the Arctic Circle find something Lovecraftian. Very good.

Gestures of Faith
Thoth and his friend Isis alone escape the death of Atlantis and journey to a new land. Good

Bare Bones
A two million year old Homo Sapien skull causes problems. Good.

Best Line:
“He looked at the chart as if willing it to come to life and agree with him.”

British Guiana, 1853
A man goes looking for a mythical beast. Okay.

Humanity receives a message from Tau Ceti. This is a good story that reminds me of that old ‘Outer Limits’ episode ‘The Music of the Spheres’.

The Talisman of Hata
A priestess tries to save her city. This is bleak but good.

Sumeria To The Stars
Clay tablets reveal the astonishing secrets of Babylon. This is an interesting tale bogged down by technobabble.

The Tall Grass
A man gets off a stalled train and encounters something awful. Okay.

Best Lines:
“I screamed?”

Universes by Stephen Baxter, part 1
A collection of short stories.

Earth II
A sequel to ‘Flood/Ark’ in which Earth suffered an extinction level flood and a few survivors fled to the stars in a FTL ship. One group started a colony on a planet they named Earth II. This tale set 400 years later shows what became of their descendants on their old, used up planet. Their descendants are unpleasant people who either worship or reject the legacy of the Founders. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“A culture a billion years dead.”

“If they could see this, see what they made, when they brought their children here”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review

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