999 ed. Al Sarrantonio – A Review Rises From The Dead

Many years ago the University of Bristol Sci-Fi Society were sent several review copies of forthcoming titles. Lacking anyone on the committee with time to review them, they turned to me, as a life member with lingering and diverse arcane responsibilities, to review for their magazine. Unfortunately the magazine never reached print, and even the society has fallen before the prevalence of torrents and DVD capable laptops.

However earlier today I came across my reviews, along with a few reviews of some books I had bought or borrowed at the same time, in an obscure folder on my archive. They are the product of a younger writer but fear of ridicule is no ground for consigning my thoughts to formatting. Instead I will redeem the promise to review them by sharing the reviews that are more than a sentence over the next few weeks. First up, 999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense:

999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and SuspenseThis anthology aims to demonstrate that horror and suspense are legitimate forms of literature. As an avid supporter of this concept I am not really qualified to judge this objectively, so I will leave the artistic debate to others.

As to the short stories (an occasional novella) contained within, I would suggest everyone open the book at random; the tale you find will certainly make you feel the touch of the unknown.
Alternatively, if someone recommended an author to you, then (if they are active) they are probably in here. Some of the greatest names in modern chillers show their mastery of the snapshot: brief, sharp, and permanent.

After reading the review I am tempted to track down another copy. So a rousing “Good work! Keep going!” back down the path of my years to young me, sitting in his bed-sit wondering if anyone will ever like what he writes.


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