Andrew May gives us a mix of science fiction, fantasy and mild horror. I think this is a collection that works best for those who are well versed in these genres, as you will get the references and the cleverness of stories like The Call of Cool-o, which is an H. P. Lovecraft style plot written in the style of Philip K. Dick, or The Museum of the Future, which is essentially the same story (each set in 2012), told as the story would have been if written in 1912, 1932, 1952, 1972 and 1992, employing the styles and recurring themes common in each period. Quite often 'Fortean' themes are explored, something of a speciality of May's, using a story of real life weirdness* as a setting for the fiction.
If I had to pick out a favourite it would be the relatively long story (many are only a few pages) A Case for Crane, which sees the main character watching a 1970s US crime drama, which he gets pulled into at various levels, sometimes inhabiting the mind of the character, sometimes the actor playing the character and sometimes the author, giving a strange and mind-twisting meta-view of the story. This sounds messy, but actually works really well. And I'm a sucker for period tales set in Oxford or Cambridge, of which there are several, though I should point out that all the best Cambridge colleges have a Senior Combination Room, not a Senior Common Room as mentioned in The Rendelsham Magi, with its unusual twist on the star of Bethlehem.
Monday, February 09, 2015
ANDREW MAY REVIEW
Posted by Jon Downes at 12:22 PM
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