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Think Yourself Lucky
Think Yourself Lucky
by Ramsey Campbell
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 2 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Think Yourself Lucky (Hardcover)
I sometimes wonder if horror keeps you young. Certainly Ramsey Campbell, whose writing career began in the 1960s, is showing no signs of flagging. Indeed his latest novel, Think Yourself Lucky, is one of his best yet, following on from the equally excellent The Kind Folk. Whereas that was a Machen-inspired supernatural piece, a novel redolent with the mysticism of landscape and the unseen little folk who inhabit it, Think Yourself Lucky is a far more down to earth affair filled with brutal murders and even more uncompromising satire as the novel comes to a close. Who is murdering David Botham’s colleagues and acquiantances? And writing about them on a blog the title of which he came up with? Is it David himself? Is someone following him? Or is there an even darker explanation? Campbell keeps you guessing right up to the end in a novel which runs through a remarkable variety of styles, beginning with the cruel wit of Birkin before reaching a climax of
shadowy Jamesian atmospherics and then polishing it all off with an ending that reminded me of Dickens’ Hard Times in the (quite surprising) extent of its brutal cynicism. Top quality stuff that’s a breeze to get through and will leave you thinking. Just don’t stare at that cover for too long – you never know who might end up looking over your shoulder if you do.


Monsters in the Heart
Monsters in the Heart
by Stephen Volk
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Collection by a Master of the Genre, 3 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Monsters in the Heart (Paperback)
Where would British horror be without Stephen Volk? Very much the poorer is the answer. Monsters in the Heart is the second short story collection from this author of high quality television hits like Ghostwatch and Afterlife, and the recent British ghost movie The Awakening. The book collects 15 stories that range from the touching (Swellhead) to the outrageous (In the Colosseum), from the witty (Who Dies Best) to the unsettling (After the Ape). All demonstrate Volk to be as versatile and creative in the short story medium as he is as a screenwriter. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary, well written, intelligent horror fiction, if you're not yet familiar with Stephen Volk's work, do yourself a favour and get hold of this one.


Twisthorn Bellow
Twisthorn Bellow
by Rhys Hughes
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best I've Read This Year, 8 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Twisthorn Bellow (Paperback)
...and that's the truth. Rhys Hughes, imaginative Welshman and prolific wordsmith has come up with a fine short comic novel here that's like a breath of fresh air that's been too long coming. Follow our golem hero and his associates on his unlikely adventures that involve words as much, if not more, than action! Enjoy an ending that is as out of left field as one might expect from this author and which actually involves reader participation! You'll believe you've made a difference to the book! I read this through in one sitting and I imagine I shall do so again whenever I need cheering up. Bags of fun and highly recommended for anyone with a sense of humour who isn't afraid to try something a little different. We need more stuff like this.


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Offered by worldcollectabilia
Price: £13.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 1 Feb. 2007
The best score to a film I have heard in a long time. This is music you can lose yourself in and it works beautifully even when divorced from the sometimes terrific imagery of the movie. My only query is why the US version of the CD has two more tracks and therefore 8 and a half minutes of extra music compared with the UK release. If you've got the choice go for the stateside release
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2008 4:49 AM BST


The Dancers At The End of Time (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
The Dancers At The End of Time (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.84

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Its Time, & Still a Classic, 29 Feb. 2004
Fully deserving of its place in the masterworks series and in numerous "100 best" lists of SF, this collection of three volumes published in the mid-seventies shows Michael Moorcock in a lighter, if no less creative, mood, than in the Elric & Corum books for which he became justifiably famous.
At the end of time there is no such thing as death (or if there is, it's speedily followed by resurrection), and onyx cathedrals and ebony citadels can be created at the stroke of a power ring. Moorcock's version of his eternal champion figure in this instance is Jherek Carnelian, whose pursuit of Amelia Underwood, plucked from her life in Victorian Bromley, forms the framework around which the many sub-plots are constructed. The first two parts are the best, culminating in an hilarious laugh-out-loud climax at London's Café Royal at the end of the 1800s. The third part 'The End of All Songs', does outstay its welcome a bit, and perhaps could have benefited from a bit of judicious editing. Nevertheless, it's a triumph in a genre which, Terry Pratchett & Douglas Adams aside, is not known for its comic potential. Fans of this book are suggested to go immediately to the tale 'Elric At the End of Time' in the volume 'Legends from the End of Time', also from Gollancz


Downward To The Earth (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Downward To The Earth (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Robert Silverberg
Edition: Paperback

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silverberg's 'Heart of Darkness'?, 29 Feb. 2004
The fours stars are given bearing in mind a comparison to Silverberg's other work. A superb and versatile SF writer, Robert Silverberg's 'Downward to Earth' isn't in the same league as classics such as 'Down the Line', 'Tower of Glass',and the SF Masterworks series' own 'The Book of Skulls'. It's still a pretty good read, though, and if you liked any of the above it serves as a pleasant enough time-waster.
There are plenty of swipes at the history of colonialism as Gunderson returns to what he knew when it was under earth rule as 'Holman's World'. It's now know as Belzagor and the dominant life-form appears to be the Nildoror, who, apart from a few subtle differences, resemble elephants. The book becomes reminiscent of 'Heart of Darkness' as Gunderson embarks on a journey in search of various humans who decided to stay after control of the planet was given back to the natives, among them an enigmatic individual named 'Kurtz'.
The author keeps things going with his usual skill and the denouement is worth the wait. From a lesser or unknown author this would probably merit five starts but it's Grade 'B' Silverberg


Prince Of Darkness [DVD] [1988]
Prince Of Darkness [DVD] [1988]
Dvd ~ Donald Pleasence
Offered by DVD SOLUTIONS * FAST WORLDWIDE DELIVERY * SAME DAY DISPATCH BEFORE 3PM MON-FRI * GUARANTEED TO BE IN STOCK
Price: £13.99

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Physics,, Zombies & Anti-God: All in Widescreen!, 1 Feb. 2003
This underrated film is far from perfect, but the concepts are sufficiently ambitious to allow you to forgive their rather garbled presentation. Carpenter's script (attributed, in a nod to Nigel Kneale, to 'Martin Quatermass') is never very clear about exactly what is going on and why, and neither is his accompanying commentary track. The film uses what sounds like a rudimentary grasp of quantum physics (but then I wouldn't know) to explain the existence of Anti-God, whose son is trapped in a container secreted in the bowels of a crumbling Los Angeles church. Only now he's trying to escape so that he can bring his father from his anti-matter universe into our own by using mirrors as a portal. Trying to combine science and the history of religion in this way was never going to be easy, and Carpenter deserves some credit for trying to deal with several complex concepts within the context of what is, essentially, a low-budget siege movie. This film continues to divide the fans, but as the DVD Delirium Guide puts it, this is one of those few horror films that actually becomes scarier the more you think about it.
The Momentum Pictures DVD is the best version available of this film to date. The widescreen transfer is excellent, allowing you to fully appreciate the skill of Carpenter's compositions. This disc also improves over the old Image disc by including a commentary track by Carpenter & actor Peter Jason which, while not illuminating, is probably worth listening to once.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2012 11:23 PM GMT


Dangerous Visions
Dangerous Visions
by Harlan Ellison
Edition: Paperback

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you ever read one science fiction anthology....., 10 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Dangerous Visions (Paperback)
.....make sure its this one. Originally published in 1967 and now reissued by IBooks in three different covers, this is one of the landmark works in science fiction, an essential read for anyone interested in the field, and a kick in the intellectuals for those who demean the world of SF for its lack of ‘quality writing’. Here are 33 stories with not a bad one among them.Certainly some are better than others, and some will leave you wondering what on earth they were meant to be about. But some will stimulate, some will thrill and a few, just a few, may change the way you view life. And that’s a few more than in most anthologies available nowadays. Honourable mentions go to Theodore Sturgeon’s “If all Men Were Brothers Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?”, Larry Niven’s “Jigsaw Man”, Fritz Leiber’s “Gonna Roll the Bones”, Spinrad’s “Carcinoma Angels”, and Philip Jose Farmer’s wild and weird ‘Riders of the Purple Wage’. Even the UK gets included with fine stories by Brian Aldiss and J G Ballard. Ellison provides a useful introduction to each story. It’s obvious from these short pieces that he’s passionately enthusiastic about both the writers and their subject matter. Allowing each writer an afterword to their story is an interesting device which works on some occasions and not others. Apparently this book has been in print ever since it was published but this is the first time I’ve been able to get hold of a copy . I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to do the same.


The Day Of The Triffids (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
The Day Of The Triffids (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by John Wyndham
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, Thought-Provoking & Still Relevant, 21 Dec. 2002
Over fifty years old, John Wyndham's novel concerning the British aftermath of a perceived global disaster is sadly still frighteningly relevant. Some people may have been put off reading this classic by the comments of some SF critics who have derided Wyndham's style as 'cosy English cardigan-wearing SF'. Don't believe a word of it. Its potent deserted-hospital opening and descriptions of an empty London still contain sufficient resonance for those scenes to be reworked entirely successfully for Danny Boyle's recent film '28 Days Later'. Once the central character sets off into the British countryside we embark on a fascinating tour of the way in which different social factions might tackle the problem of survival under such circumstances. Some of the speeches will be considered sexist by some readers, but don't forget when this was written. Just pretend that characters like Coker are talking about humankind in general and Wyndham's social commentary still has plenty of bite...


Black Gods And Scarlet Dreams (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Black Gods And Scarlet Dreams (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
by C.L. Moore
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wild Worlds & Weird Creatures, 17 Dec. 2002
Volume 31 in the Fantasy Masterworks series is another collection of stories culled from the pages of the 1930s magazine 'Weird Tales'. Catherine Moore wasn't quite as prolific in the field as some of her better-known contemporaries, but managed to more than hold her own in providing the requisite bizarre creatures and strange worlds demanded of this type of pulp fantasy fiction. Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams is, in fact, two story collections. The first follows the adventures of Jirel of Joiry, Moore's warrior heroine, through five stories, the best of which is probably the last -'Hellsgarde', which is a bit like a cross between 'Xena - Warrior Princess', and one of Clark Ashton Smith's stories about rotting castles full of the living dead and gateways to other dimensions. We only get 160 pages' worth of Jirel and one is left with the feeling that a whole volume could easily be devoted to this character, although I have no idea whether Moore wrote any further stories about her.
On to part 2 and the adventures of Northwest Smith, laser gunslinger of the spaceways. Anyone concerned that the book is about to degenerate into cheap Western plots rehashed with a space setting will be pleased to learn that the first story contains a weird vampire-gorgon creature that must have provided the inspiration for using Caravaggio's Medusa as the book's cover art. Moore's prose style, particularly her descriptions of the various lurid landscapes in which Smith tends to find himself, is eminently readable. Unfortunately, plot wise these stories are often very similar, with our hero being threatened by a voluptuous lady alien who requires an essential part of him for some nefarious scheme. He usually escapes through the power of his will, sometimes helped along with a few bursts from his laser/ray/blaster gun (it changes from story to story). A book to be read more as a period piece, as well as a shining example of how a woman managed to succeed in the male-dominated arena of thirties pulp SF. Nevertheless, if you've been enjoying the books by Robert E Howard and Clark Ashton Smith in this series, then you could do worse than to while away a few pleasant hours with this volume as well.


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