Day Four by Sarah Lotz
The sequel to ‘The Three’ takes place on a remorselessly low rent cruise ship. The customers treat the staff with contemptuous dismissal, the staff respond with sinister dismissal and the grotesquely inevitable situation boils over when the ship breaks down in the vast hinterland of the Gulf of Mexico.
What begins as an initially fractious reaction in the cloistered environment soon turns into an exceptionally nasty series of events and the valiant leader is no such thing. This was excellent and dark and the creepy ending leaves those who set events in motion with bleak satisfaction.
“No way. Do I look insane?”
Hunter Of Sherwood: Knight Of Shadows by Tony Venables
This is a diametrically opposed interpretation of the myth. It features Guy of Gisburne, Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John, Friar Tuck, the Sherriff of Nottingham, Prince John and Richard the Lionheart - just not as you know them.
King Richard is on Crusade and the Hood rebels against Prince John and the people love him for it. Only the misunderstood Prince John and the outcast knight Guy of Gisburne know what a monster the Hood truly is and how great a danger to the realm he really is. It is the unloved Guy who will be the realm’s true saviour.
But nobody apart from Prince John cares about Guy who has been subjected to years of unwarranted harassment and disparaging remarks. Now he is on a mission to steal a relic from the Templars. There is fighting, brooding and much remaking of the myth. This was good. The preening prurient Robin Hood is the villain and the Guy of Gisburne is the hero. I would like to read more.
“They have no nation, yet princes fear them.”
“Others will come. Worse than us.”
“Until the screaming started.”
After The People’s Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones
A collection of cantankerous horror stories.
I read this dull tale in another anthology. A cinema is haunted or cursed or something. In-between musing mildly on life, the ‘hero’ finally does something about it.
A debacle of a story that makes no sense, also appeared in another anthology.
Welcome To The Reptile House
A punk bum waster slowly and steadily alienates everyone and moves towards his inevitable destiny with relentlessness. Okay.
This Is Love
A camping trip goes horribly awry as unworthy motivations are wrongly attributed. Okay.
“The jeans-model pose.”
The Spindly Man
As a book club discusses Stephen King, a disruptive new member with the personality and appeal of a decayed clown shows up. Good.
“Or a dead friend, who wasn’t quite fast enough?”
The Black Sleeve Of Destiny
A boy gets a hoodie at a thrift store, an evil hoodie. Good.
“Yelling and grounding and spaghetti flying though the air.”
The Spider Box
A supremely creepy tale that demands we be appalled. Good.
“We won’t talk about this.”
A father is offered a deal but there is a twist. Okay.
An excellent tale of werewolves.
The Dead Are Not
Aliens attend funerals. This was excellent, horrible and creepy.
“With bad, bad intent.”
“People who aren’t people.”
College students put on a play. Bad things happen. Okay.
An unnerving tale of a scientist. Okay.
After The People’s Lights Have Gone Off
A couple’s dream home is a nightmare. Good.
A widower goes mad. This was bad.
Solve For X
A woman has been adducted by a crazy man. This is a disturbing tale of Stockholm syndrome.
Star Trek #48: Renegade by Gene Deweese
This badly written 1991 novel sees Kirk and co told to solve the problem of a planet and its rebellious colony. This had data tapes, computer hacking and elevators used instead of turbolifts. Klingons are the baddies. Spock and McCoy are presumed dead and there is general hysteria. Spock is the only computer expert on the Enterprise apparently and the revelation of the baddies is ridiculous.
“There was no trouble - then.”