Wednesday, January 23, 2008

a fateful deficit

I found a bag of purchases from the 2004 Alternative Press Expo. It was hiding behind the mountain of sampler CDs I just finished selling off (and giving away). One of the items in the bag was a collection of scary stories by Jack Snow, author of two of the Oz books. The collection, Spectral Snow, was published by Hungry Tiger Press and illustrations by Eric Shanower are included. They do manage an old pulp action illo feel. Some of the stories originally appeared in Weird Tales.

In “Dimension of Terror” – sounds like an EC title, don’t it? – the first person narrator is honeymooning at a mountain lake. Curiously, there’s a fresh new island in the middle of the lake. What better way to start their lives together than on a lark, he and his sweetie decide, be “the first humans to set foot on that newly born shore.”

Ah but had our narrator “the slightest suspicion of the true origin of the island, the very thought of setting foot on its accursed ground would have chilled me with revulsion.” Later, it’s suggested the island was a meteor. A meteor from Hell?

“If only we might have faintly suspected the unutterable terror that lurked there for us on that island, we would have shuddered at the mere hint of its exploration!” Sadly, they went forth with nary the faintest of unuttered hints, a paucity of slight suspicions, a fateful deficit in the very thought department. Poor kids.

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