When the opal miners heard strange tapping sounds in the tunnels, they thought it was a subterranean creature stalking them. They called it the “miners’ mother” and left offerings of blood to keep it away. Now the mines are closed, the offerings neglected and a long-dormant creature stirs hungrily in the dark.Continue reading “The Cavern – Alister Hodge (Review)”
The small fishing community on Yarkie Island leads a peaceful, picturesque existence, far from the bustle of the modern world. Simple, honest folk lead the same simple lives as the generations before them
The only part of Yarkie that isn’t picturesque is the local dump. Here, modern pesticides have created something far worse than the squabbling rats. Something organised, and hungry, and filled with hate.Continue reading “The Nest – Gregory Douglas (Review)”
There are reports of new, never-before seen creatures in the South of England. At first, people think little of them, dismissing them as fictional or no more dangerous than ferrets. But the creatures grow, and multiply, and spread, their lust for human flesh increasing every day. As the death toll rises, humanity is forced to confront a new and horrifying idea: we are no longer top of the food chain.
The above description applies equally well to three different books, all by John Halkin, and all having a single-word title beginning with “S”. In Squelch, the menace is large, carnivorous caterpillars and poison-spitting moths. In Slither, hypnotic worms (the reptile-kind, limbless lizards) hunt humans in the sewers. And in Slime, evil hordes of jellyfish are the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.Continue reading “Squelch, Slither, & Slime – John Halkin (Review)”
Some things just naturally belong together: horses and carriages, swallows and summer, quiet seaside towns that need a lucrative tourist season and giant shark attacks.
The peaceful seaside town of Merit is about to host a sailing competition. There’s a lot of opportunity for profit, and the acting mayor has decreed that nothing must go wrong. Unfortunately, there’s something in the water.
A rookie cop gets partnered with an alcoholic veteran; a marine biologist makes the find of his career; an acting Mayor ignores the truth. And beneath the waves, something hunts. Something vast and merciless and hungry. Continue reading “Thresher – Michael Cole (Review)”
An entomologist’s plane goes down in a national park, releasing giant centipedes into rural America. The arthropods are aggressive, numerous, and venomous, attacking animals and people alike.
A cast of characters including a small-town sheriff, a (different) entomologist and a seedy trucker find themselves locked in an unexpected and desperate battle for survival. Continue reading “Death Crawlers – Gerry Griffiths (Review)”
The dive bars of Australia are filled with unlikely and unverified rumours. Rumours of an area where ships go mysteriously missing. Rumours of sunken wrecks and scattered bars of shining gold. Rumours – the most ridiculous and unbelievable of all, of a vast dark shape gliding through the water, territorial and shockingly violent.
Tyler Matthews is an alcoholic with an ex-wife and a rapidly shrinking bank account. A scarred stranger, met in yet another bar, offers him a chance at solving the third of those issues. All he has to do is retrieve a possibly-mythical fortune while avoiding an almost-certainly mythical prehistoric shark.
Feed is a story of treasure hunting, redemption, and man-eating marine fauna. It’s also a story about cannibalism, desperation, and exactly how far people will go to survive.
Continue reading “Feed – Michael Bray (Review)”
John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) is one of the greatest horror films ever made. It’s a masterpiece of suspense and tension, demonstrating – point by point – the key ingredients of horror. In addition, the skilled use of practical special effects gives it a visceral kick that you very rarely find in later films. It’s brilliant, and I recommend that everyone watches it at least once.
Until recently, I didn’t know it was based on anything. I knew that there was at least one story inspired by it – Peter Watt’s The Things – but I didn’t know that the film itself was based on a short story. That story is John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There? Continue reading “Who Goes there ? – John W. Campbell (Review)”