Just polished off The Worm Stone from Derek Tyson, a Hamlyn nasty!
I don't much like 80s horror as it typically had a nihilistic, cynical, grimy feel to it compared with the estatic excesses of the 1970s. But despite the lack of sympathetic characters and tension this was an effective page-turner. And feels like a 1980s updating of Brian Ball's Venemous Serpent.
It has one of the most original openings I've read in horror fiction with its 40 page prologue of a blind ex-slaver who now uses his fortune to traverse the English country-side destroying pagan monuments. Until he encounters the worm stone!
With a young girl possesed by the stones and teaming up woth a gang of satanists, the story then traverses between eras to unravel the mystery of the stone.
It manages to pack the necessary excesses without them ever seeming to being forced in, with the Burning Man being a particularly gloppy and memorable appartition. The elemental and authentic passages staged in the past bring to mind Robert Holdstock who was plying his trade under a few pseudonyms at the time. Any ideas anyone?
A change from the old routine from a period of genre writing characterised by animals attack clones and depressing rape scenes.
Post by H_P_Saucecraft on Nov 28, 2008 16:19:37 GMT
I read this one last year & enjoyed it immensely, makes a change from the standard possession novels. The Burning man is certainly a great character, shame there wasn't a sequel, it seemed to be open for one.
I think it was Noah recently suggested we try our hand at covering as many of these as we can and i couldn't agree more. Hamlyn certainly went a bundle on 'When Animals Attack' nasties but you only have to look at some of the other titles - Gerald Suster's The Scar, Dan Farson's trash pulp great Transplant (haven't got The Curse yet, but have heard great things about it), Les Daniels' The Black Castle and, of course, Robin Hardy & Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man, etc. - to see there's much more to them than that . Hal Astell has already reviewed several on his extremely recommended Hamlyn Horror and The Last Page Bookshop sites, but perhaps we can cover some he's not yet gotten around to.
*Thanks for providing the scan, Dave*
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
No Problem dem, I've got a few of the hamlyns & I think some of them haven't been covered here, I haven't read those ones yet, but I'll get some scans up soon. I don't think Tribe Of The Dead or The Summoning have been covered yet, have they?
I also don't think Trance by Joy Fielding has been covered, I read it last year, but my memory is a bit hazy, so I'll have to give it a jog & try & post something.
The WORM STONE looks top! Great to see Hamlyn getting a look-in again. I read THE PIKE awhile back by Tremlow and highly recommended it as a Windermere JAWS. The best pikeamok book though is DEVOUR by Paul Adams . Irredeemable to the core - characterisation chomped up by mutated pikes !Futura published this in '81 and I love them for it.
'Rose Tanner smiled , as she leaned back naked on the couch and lit a cigarette'.