Born in the Bronx, Stefan Petrucha spent his formative years moving between the big city and the suburbs, both of which made him prefer escapism.
A fan of comic books, science fiction and horror since learning to read, in high school and college he added a love for all sorts of literary work, eventually learning that the very best fiction always brings you back to reality, so, really, there's no way out.
An obsessive compulsion to create his own stories began at age ten and has since taken many forms, including novels, comics and video productions. At times, the need to pay the bills made him a tech writer, an educational writer, a public relations writer and an editor for trade journals, but fiction, in all its forms, has always been his passion. Every year he's made a living at that, he counts a lucky one. Fortunately, there've been many.
trade Telos paperback, new In stock shipped from our UK warehouse
The premise of this book involves a subterranean race who travel to the surface, killing the people of London of the 1950s. It struck me, on seeing the cover and given that the first Time Hunter book is a variation on 1984, that this must be a variation on the Time Machine, and expected the Morlocks and the Eloi. But I was wrong.
In this story Honore Le Chasseur, an ex-GI turned spiv, is getting used to being a time sensitive and the fact that his friend Emily is a "time channeler" which allows them both to travel in time. He is then hired by a man called Randolph Crest, a poet who believes he is being persecuted by a nameless enemy. Enter the subterranean race.
What follows is an unravelling of the facts of the situation, marrying detective and science fiction. Who is Crest? What is his link to the subterraneans? What are they trying to achieve? Why are they killing people? Will Honore accept his new status?
It's a well-paced, fast moving narrative, that makes good use of the locale and time period in the best crime fiction manner whilst blending in science fiction concepts. It reminds me of Quatermass, Doctor Who and that peculiar brand of science fantasy that used to be a staple of British telly. It's also quite fun, playing on the mysteries of Emily's identity and featuring a character from Daniel O'mahoney's Cabinet of Light, although you don't really need to have read that book to understand the character here.
There is a mild dissatisfaction in that the origins of the subterraneans is never broached, but that's the only weakness. Otherwise you get a good pulp adventure story.
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