*                                                            *
 *         R E A D I N G    F O R    P L E A S U R E          *
 *                                                            *
 *                         Issue #5                           *
 *                                                            *
 *                       October 1989                         *
 *                                                            *
 *                                                            *
 *                 Editor: Cindy Bartorillo                   *
 *                                                            *
 *                     HAPPY HALLOWEEN!                       *

CONTACT US AT:  Reading For Pleasure, c/o Cindy Bartorillo, 1819
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call our BBS, the BAUDLINE II at 301-694-7108, 1200/2400 8N1.

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NOTE: Back issues on CompuServe may have been moved to a
different library.


                        TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                                          Line #

Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  131
What's News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  182
The Hugo Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  262
The Year's Best Horror Stories XVII . . . . . . . . . . .  296
Good Reading Periodically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  337
Random Reviews  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  457
Tracy Kidder  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  761
Supernatural Mysteries  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  819
New From Meadowbrook Press  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  888
Thomas Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  991
Fiction Into Film: FALLING ANGEL HEART  . . . . . . . . . 1076
Ray Garton  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1212
New From Underwood-Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1320
Featured Author: Robert R. McCammon . . . . . . . . . . . 1392
The Modern Halloween Shelf  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
Recent Book Releases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1659
Guest Reviewer: Darryl Kenning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2031
Important Days in October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2129
Number One Fan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2228
The Ultimate Stephen King Character Quiz  . . . . . . . .  376
TUSKCQ Answers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2273


Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding
darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand
for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met
neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence
lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and
whatever walked there, walked alone.
    --from THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson



Halloween is a very special holiday around here. I've thought
about it quite a bit and I think it's because Halloween, for us,
represents Possibilities--all of the wonderful, magical aspects
of the universe that we poor human beings haven't figured out
yet. Because we agree with Einstein, that we don't understand one
tenth of one percent about anything.

Just as Santa Claus is a symbol, so are the ghosts and goblins of
Halloween. The fat guy in red stands for peace on earth, goodwill
toward men, happiness, and presents. Ghosts and goblins stand for
all the scientific principles that humans haven't found yet, all
the dusty corners of reality that we haven't explored.

Have you ever wondered what this world looks like, seems like, to
an amoeba? If an amoeba could communicate with us, how would it
describe reality? Of course, we would understand the limited
nature of the description because of the amoeba's physical
limitations, but what makes us think our view is any more
complete? If the amoeba isn't an adequate judge of its own
perspective, we obviously aren't proper judges of ours.

You don't have to believe in werewolves to believe that there are
vast areas of medical science that we haven't mastered. You don't
have to believe in ghosts to believe that we don't understand
everything about death. You don't have to believe that Uri Geller
bends spoons with his mind to believe that the human brain has
untapped potential. And don't you think that it's kind of
exciting not to have all the answers? Isn't it really more fun to
sit back with a horror novel and think about "what if"?

Happy reading!


CONTRIBUTIONS:  We're just ecstatic when we get contributions. Of
course we can't pay, but if you'd like to send us a paragraph or
two (or even an article), we'd be delighted. Any book-related
ideas or opinions are suitable. See masthead for addresses.


Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like
asking a lamp-post how it feels about dogs.
          --Christopher Hampton


                        WHAT'S NEWS

* Quite a few years ago Charles Berlitz told us all about THE
BERMUDA TRIANGLE and now, wouldn't you know it, the little devil
has found another deadly area: also over water, also a triangle
(you getting goosebumps?). For $16.95 he'll tell you all about
THE DRAGON'S TRIANGLE, from Wynwood Press this month. ISBN

* In the Summer 1987 issue of The Horror Show Leigh Nichols (AKA
Dean R. Koontz) interviewed Dean R. Koontz. In the same vein,
Lionel Fenn (AKA Charles L. Grant) interviewed his "landlady",
Kathryn Ptacek (AKA Mrs. Charles L. Grant), in the Spring 1989
issue. Writers are sure a weird bunch.

* New book: DRACULA, PRINCE OF MANY FACES: His Life and His Times
by Radu R. Florescu and Raymond T. McNally ($19.95, Little,
Brown). This is an in-depth look at Vlad the Impaler, for all the
Dracula fanatics out there.

* Here are some recent and coming books on tape, all with a
Halloween theme:  MIDNIGHT (Dean R. Koontz), 5 cassettes, 15
hours, unabridged, reader unknown, $21.95, Sep89; THE VAMPIRE
LESTAT (Anne Rice), 2 cassettes, 180 min., reader unknown,
$14.95, Oct89; MAJESTIC (Whitley Strieber), 2 cassettes, 180
min., reader unknown, $14.95, Dec89; CABAL: NIGHTBREED (Clive
Barker), 2 cassettes, 180 min., read by Malcolm McDowell, $14.95,

* Chris Costner Sizemore, the real-life subject of the book and
movie THE THREE FACES OF EVE, has written a new book all by
herself: A MIND OF MY OWN (Morrow, Sep89, $19.95, ISBN
0-688-08199-1). In it she recounts her life from her birth in
1927, through her recovery in 1977, up to the present day. The
film rights have been sold to Sissy Spacek.

* THE READER'S CATALOG should be just out and may be worth your
attention. It's a listing of over 40,000 titles currently in
print, sorted into more than 200 categories. An 800 number is
given to order any book in the catalog, but giving the title to
your local independent bookseller is generally the more
Responsible Consumer thing to do. THE READER'S GUIDE is from
Random House, $24.95, ISBN 0-924-32200-4. Your local bookstore
should have a "house" copy. Ask if you can take a look at it.

* Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club was formed last October at
a book signing at the DeVille Bookstore in New Orleans. For $5,
coven members not only receive a quarterly newsletter complete
with a communication from Lestat de Lioncourt himself, but also
the opportunity to make donations to the club's periodic blood
drives. "What better way to prove I am a fan than to offer my
blood?" one member asks.

* Update on THE RUSSIA HOUSE by John le Carre: Meshdunarodnye
Otnoshenia has bought the Soviet rights to the thriller, and
plans to publish it next spring with a first printing of
"hundreds of thousands", according to Knopf. The novel will be
the subject of a public forum at the Moscow Book Fair in October,
and the film version (written by Tom Stoppard and starring Sean
Connery) begins shooting October 2 in Moscow and Leningrad.


Though rumors persist in the nation's tabloids--of extensive
plastic surgery, of involvement in the Iran-Contra Scandal, and
of that fabled "lost weekend" with Imelda Marcos--in truth, they
lead lives of quiet desperation, shunned by the public they so
desperately crave.
      --from Skipp & Spector's official biography


The more I think you over the more it comes home to me what an
unmitigated Middle Victorian ass you are!
          --H.G. Wells, to George Bernard Shaw


                      THE HUGO AWARDS

The award winners announced at the ceremony on Sept. 2, 1989:

Novel:  CYTEEN by C.J. Cherryh
Novella:  "The Last of the Winnebagos" by Connie Willis
Novelette:  "Schrodinger's Kitten" by George Alec Effinger
Short Story:  "Kirinyaga" by Mike Resnick
Non-Fiction:  THE MOTION OF LIGHT IN WATER by Samuel R. Delany
Dramatic Presentation:  WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
Professional Editor:  Gardner Dozois
Professional Artist:  Michael Whelan
Semiprozine:  Locus edited by Charles N. Brown
Fanzine:  File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Fan Writer:  Dave Langford
Fan Artist:  (tie) Brad W. Foster & Diana Gallagher Wu
John W. Campbell Award for best new writer of 1987-1988:
         Michaela Roessner


Love may fly out the window, but fear is something that likes to
stick with you.
          --Peter Straub


I have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar in my desk.
          --Robert Bloch


                       CONTENTS OF
                edited by Karl Edward Wagner
                    DAW, October 1989

TITLE                      AUTHOR               ORIG. APPEARANCE

"Playing the Game"         Ramsey Campbell      Lord John Ten
"Recrudescence"            Leonard Carpenter    Amazing
"Regression"               R. Chetwynd-Hayes    4th Book of After
                                                Midnight Stories
"She's a Young Thing and
 Cannot Leave Her Mother"  Harlan Ellison       Pulphouse
"Call 666"                 Dennis Etchison      Twilight Zone
"The Daily Chernobyl"      Robert Frazier       Synergy
"Now and Again in Summer"  Charles L. Grant     Fantasy Tales
"Snowman"                  Charles L. Grant     Gaslight & Ghosts
"Prince of Flowers"        Elizabeth Hand       Twilight Zone
"The Great God Pan"        M. John Harrison     Prime Evil
"Works of Art"             Nina Kiriki Hoffman  Pulphouse
"Fruiting Bodies"          Brian Lumley         Weird Tales
"Nobody's Perfect"         Thomas F. Monteleone  Pulphouse
"Dead Air"                 Gregory Nicoll       Ripper!
"Ours Now"                 Nicholas Royle       Dig
"Bleeding Between the Lines" Wayne Allen Sallee 2AM
"What Dreams May Come"     Brad Strickland      F&SF
"Lost Bodies"              Ian Watson           Interzone
"The Resurrection Man"     Ian Watson           Other Edens
"Souvenirs from a Damnation"  Don Webb          Pulphouse


Children are best at listening to stories and being affected by
them. And we, as readers, are at our best when we are most like
          --Alan Ryan



There's something inside all of us that makes us want to express
ourselves. How many times do you hear someone start a sentence
with, "I'm the kind of guy who..."? If you ever feel the burning
need to put your essence into words, and see it in print, you may
want to know about ROLLMAG ("It Jiggles Your Thinking"), a very
strange periodical. They put out "6 issues a year or so" for $15,
and the issue I saw (June 1989) was 4 pages. It consists mostly
of small paragraphs by people on subjects of their own choosing
(you must subscribe to be printed). One small excerpt: "Once I
would never cut lettuce with a knife, now I wear a vest from time
to time." Think about it. If self-expression sounds good to you,
write to: Rollmag, Box 5001, Mill Valley, CA 94942-5001.

For those interested in the welfare of animals, there is a
magazine you should know about called The Animals' Voice
Magazine. It's published bi-monthly by the Compassion for Animals
Foundation; 6 issues for $24, 12 issues for $36 (but I've seen
introductory coupons for 6 issues for $18). This is a big, slick
magazine with great photography and many serious news stories
relating to animals. I also appreciated the black page preceding
their news section that warned of "photos of a graphic nature"
and announced that the news section ends on page 67. This is nice
for the squeamish. The last third of the magazine has lists of
companies to boycott, companies that do good, animal-related
merchandise, T-shirts, books for sale, book reviews, etc. Good
wide coverage of an important field. Send your check to: The
Animals' Voice Magazine, P.O. Box 1649, Martinez, CA 94553.


I'd like to rework CUJO so the ordeal doesn't look like some
work of divine punishment for adultery. I never intended that.
         --Stephen King



Do you REALLY know your Stephen King characters? Match up the
characters below with the novels. You might also try to remember
whether the character represented the forces of good or evil.

The Novels: Carrie, Christine, Cujo, Cycle of the Werewolf, The
Dead Zone, The Eyes of the Dragon, Firestarter, It, The Long
Walk, Misery, Pet Sematary, Rage, Roadwork, The Running Man,
'Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Stand, The Talisman (with Peter
Straub), Thinner, The Tommyknockers

Mother Abagail
Uncle Al
Bobbi Anderson
Kurt Barlow
Leigh Cabot
Marty Coslaw
Judson Crandall
Louis Creed
Arnie Cunningham
Barton George Dawes
Charles Decker
Bill Denbrough
Randall Flagg
Jim Gardener
Ray Garraty
Richard (Richie the Hammer) Ginelli
Danny Glick
Delbert Grady
Dennis Guilder
Billy Halleck
Dick Hallorann
Mike Hanlon
Ben Hanscom
Chris Hargensen
Eddie Kaspbrak
Dan Killian
Taduz Lemke
Charlie McGee
Ben Mears
Pennywise the Clown
Prince Peter
Mark Petrie
Stu Redman
Benjamin Stuart Richards
Beverly Rogan
Tommy Ross
Jack Sawyer
Paul Sheldon
Morgan Sloat
Johnny Smith
Greg Stillson
Richard Throckett Straker
Danny Torrance
Richie Tozier
Tad Trenton
Stan Uris
Walkin Dude
Annie Wilkes


Great horror fiction has never really been about monsters, but
about mankind. It shows us something important about ourselves,
something dark, occasionally monstrous -- and usually in bad
          --Douglas E. Winter


Fear is with us all the time. We can dope it up or drown it with
alcohol. We can tuck it into a drawer behind last year's designer
jeans, but it comes out to sleep with us every night.
          --George A. Romero



                   THE WELL-BUILT HOUSE
                      by Jim Locke

Think of this as a companion volume to Tracy Kidder's bestseller,
HOUSE (see Kidder article this issue). Jim Locke was one of the
carpenters that built Mr. Kidder's house so painstakingly. Now,
in his own book, Jim Locke tells you everything you need to know
to plan and build your own home--all the inside information that
consumers rarely have. If you plan to do the construction
yourself THE WELL-BUILT HOUSE will teach you good building
techniques. If you don't plan to do the actual work yourself,
this book will be an invaluable aid to overseeing the work done
by others. THE WELL-BUILT HOUSE (and Tracy Kidder's HOUSE) are
required reading for anyone contemplating building their own

                  IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING
                     by Gilda Radner

It's probably not news to you that Gilda Radner died this past
May. She had ovarian cancer, diagnosed on October 21, 1986, that
was largely unresponsive to therapy. IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING is a
close-up look at her struggle with cancer, it's treatments, and
the side effects of those treatments; and, as you might imagine,
it's not a very easy book to read.

It seems to me that the major value of books like this one is the
same as the comfort of monster movies. No matter how horrible the
monster is, he's that horrible and no more. Only in our
imagination are monsters INFINITELY horrible; once you've seen
the finite dimensions of the problem, you can begin to deal with
it. Likewise, as godawful as Gilda Radner's experiences were,
they weren't as awful as we could imagine.

What I'd like to read now is a companion volume from her husband,
Gene Wilder. He's a shadowy figure in this book, which is
centered entirely on Gilda and her medical care. His experiences
must have been equally nightmarish, and need to be shared for the
same reasons. Being a survivor of a tragedy isn't necessarily the
more fortunate role.

LAST GRISLY NOTE: There is an audio version available, read by
Gilda Radner herself. She recorded it in April 1989 and died less
than 30 days later.

Come to think of it, there is one very important lesson in IT'S
ALWAYS SOMETHING:  If you're going to get cancer, it sure does
help to be rich.

A wise nurse at the hospital told me later, "Never let a
gynecologist put anything in your nose".
          --Gilda Radner (IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING)

      WHY DO CLOCKS RUN CLOCKWISE? and other Imponderables
            Mysteries of Everyday Life Explained
                     by David Feldman

This volume (and the original, IMPONDERABLES) is in the same
category as Cecil Adams' STRAIGHT DOPE books (see RFP #1). Both
Adams and Feldman tackle the really tough, nagging questions of
life. The major differences are: David Feldman is more serious
and academic about his subjects. Most answers involve the citing
of an expert. Cecil Adams uses a more personal voice, taking
responsibility for answers himself, and he is a very funny man.
Generally then, I would recommend the Adams books first, but I
love these kinds of reference books so much I get them all. Here
are some of the questions covered here:

Why is the scoring system in tennis so weird?
Whatever happened to pay toilets?
Why do doughnuts have holes?
Why are hamburger-bun bottoms so thin?
Why are there eighteen holes on a golf course?
Why is Jack the nickname for John?

                  by Judy Oppenheimer

She lived forty-eight years, raised four children, took care of
an imperious husband and a big old house, and in her spare time
created a few landmarks of twentieth-century fiction, including
the short story "The Lottery", THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, and WE
HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE. She was also, as so many artists
are, a little strange: everyone, including her, agreed that she
was a witch, many thought she could read minds, she talked to
cats, and late in life she suffered from agoraphobia. Shirley
Jackson may have only lived 48 years, but she definitely got her
money's worth.

The jargon didn't exist at the time, but Shirley and her husband
were classic substance abusers. They were terribly overweight,
their alcohol consumption was prodigious, and amphetamines
(dexedrine) and tranquilizers (Thorazine, Miltowns, etc.) were a
standard part of the day. She died at 48, her husband at 51.

While I only meant to browse this biography, I ended up reading
every page, mostly because of Shirley. She was a fascinating
character, shockingly unnoticed during her lifetime. But when I
apply my standard of judgement of biographies: Would a person
who's never heard of the subject enjoy this? -- I would have to
say probably not in this case. Shirley's life was interesting to
me primarily because we came from similar backgrounds and had
similar life experiences; but you can't say that her life was
very dynamic or adventurous. This is the usual problem with
writers' biographies; it's just not that much fun to watch
someone sit in a chair and type. But if you'd like to spend some
time solely with Character, you'll enjoy meeting Shirley Jackson,
an unforgettable personality.

                  COSMIC CATASTROPHES
           by Clark R. Chapman & David Morrison

Catastrophism is the idea that the significant shapers of the
cosmos we know are not the day-by-day microscopic effects of the
laws of physics, but rather are once-in-a-millenium mega-events.
The weakness of this idea is that you find yourself believing in
the occurrence of catastrophes that no one can absolutely prove
have EVER happened.

For instance, some people believe that a comet of significant
size hit the earth 65 million years ago and wiped out more than
half of all terrestrial species. Others think that this is pretty
farfetched. So far, nobody can prove either point. COSMIC
CATASTROPHES is a sympathetic explanation of the most popular
theoretical catastrophes, told in a semi-heavy science-for-the-
layperson style.

                STRIKE THREE YOU'RE DEAD
                     by R.D. Rosen

The 1984 winner of the Best First Mystery Edgar from the Mystery
Writers of America, STRIKE THREE YOU'RE DEAD is a good mystery
that makes excellent use of its baseball theme. Harvey Blissberg
is an outfielder (batting .309) for the Providence Jewels, an
expansion team in the American League East. His roommate on the
road is Rudy Furth, a so-so relief pitcher. Or should I say used
to be, because Rudy is found dead in the whirlpool in the second

The characters are very lifelike, surprising me in a mystery with
a strong plot. Usually mystery authors either write a plot or a
group of characters, depending on their strength. In STRIKE THREE
YOU'RE DEAD we have the lead, Harvey Blissberg, who is remarkably
intelligent for a professional athlete (but not TOO smart, he
still gets into trouble several times). There's his girlfriend
(and maybe Rudy's too?); a low-life idiot with mob connections;
and then there's the spineless manager with his younger
domineering wife. Was Rudy sleeping with Harvey's girl? Was Rudy
into gambling? Particularly recommended for baseball fans; the
setting is not just a two-dimensional backdrop, Mr. Rosen
obviously knows quite a bit about major league baseball.

                       DEAR GEORGE:
         Advice and Answers from America's Leading
            Expert on Everything from A to B
                      by George Burns

This is George Burns' sixth book. I hope the others are better
because this one isn't worth your time or your money. The jokes
were stale thirty years ago and the whole burlesque, snickering-
at-dirty-thoughts routine is pretty ridiculous today. Or am I
wrong? Anyway, I can't recommend this book at all, which is
disappointing to me since I really love to see George Burns on
TV. I think he's very funny. Just not in DEAR GEORGE.

                      by Ridley Pearson

Detective Lou Boldt, Homicide, is a mess. His marriage is falling
apart, an ulcer is eating him from the inside, he's overworked,
underpaid, and on top of it all the serial killer they thought
they had caught turns out to be still at large. He's called the
Cross Killer because of the design he makes on the victims with
stab wounds. Now they have to start the investigation all over
again, with little evidence and no leads.

UNDERCURRENTS is a good mystery. There are two maps in the front
of the book, followed by a long, detail-filled police procedural.
This is the GOOD kind of detail: lots of food for thought, but
you aren't penalized for not remembering any particular piece of
apparent trivia. In other words, the complexities of the plot
aren't there JUST to hide the give-away plot points. The story
seems to unreel naturally, with important matters as well as
trivial, evidence that fits a theory as well as many loose ends.
Just like life.

While this is the story of a brutal serial murderer, there really
isn't much violence in UNDERCURRENTS. This is a police story, not
a through-the-eyes-of-the-killer gut-wrencher like, say, RED
DRAGON (by Thomas Harris). And, wonder of wonders, I actually
solved the mystery before Detective Boldt did, a significant
event for me despite how many mysteries I read, so this is
obviously a fair-play mystery. A very good mystery.

NOTE:  UNDERCURRENTS was bought, read, and enjoyed by Linda Lee
Bleecker, widow of Bruce Lee and wife of screenwriter Tom
Bleecker. She recommended it to her husband, who has optioned it
for a feature film.

                    SACRED MONSTER
                 by Donald E. Westlake

It would seem like a standard Hollywood success story: Jack Pine
is the quintessential star, immensely talented and completely
lacking in scruples. He even has the standard supporting cast:
lifelong friend welching off him forever (name is Buddy Pal, do
you believe it?), a respectable number of wives and mistresses,
even the fawning butler Hoskins. He's slept, charmed, acted, and
doped his way to the top (even got an Oscar). And now he's
telling Michael O'Connor his life story.

Ordinary? Not even close. Funny? It's a riot. I didn't realize,
until I picked myself up off the floor and stopped laughing,
that's it's possible to WRITE slapstick. I'd always heard that
slapstick was a visual technique; now I know better. But don't
think you can dismiss SACRED MONSTER as comic fluff. It's a
devastating and shocking indictment of Hollywood life; it's
hilarious and ominous, ridiculous and chilling--all at the same

The subtitle is A Comedy of Madness, which is apt, because if
there's one thing SACRED MONSTER will teach you: if you're going
to live in Hollywood, it sure helps to be insane. This definitely
makes my Ten Best list for 1989. It's your loss if you miss this

                     SHADES OF GRAY
                  by Timothy R. O'Neill

Cadet Barstow is being haunted by a gray shape in his room at
West Point. One more cadet suffering from stress wouldn't concern
too many people if it weren't for the fact that one morning Cadet
Barstow disappears from his room. Faculty psychologists Sam
Bondurant and Liam FitzDonnell are asked to investigate, as
quietly as possible, before crazy rumors get started. The course
of their investigation constitutes most of this fascinating

While the pace is occasionally uneven, the story is compellingly
told, and it bears the distinction of being one of the few books
I've read (me, the old Horror warhorse) that actually prevented
me from sleeping. The nightmares suffered in this story are so
real, so like my own nightmares, that I was truly bothered by
them. I had to read another book, something very different, to be
able to sleep. This pokes a serious hole in a pet theory of mine,
that psychologists don't understand diddly about people, because
the author (who is Lt. Col. Timothy R. O'Neill) has a Ph.D. in
experimental psychology.

This is not recommended for the blood-and-guts, a-decapitation-
on-every-page types, but if you're in the mood for a literate
supernatural story, a perfect Halloween story, this is one of the
very best in a long time. Incidentally, I've heard that a movie
version might be on the way. It was supposed be in preproduction
this past summer.


It seems that good horror fiction, and perhaps the best of my
work, is a bit closer to the edge of feeling and basic elemental
life-concerns than most other fiction, and than most commercial
horror fiction.
         --Dennis Etchison


All good writers write from the things inside of them. They write
about the things that make them happy, or make them fearful,
anxious or whatever. That's what you choose. In other words: you
don't choose horror...horror chooses you.
          --William F. Nolan


                      TRACY KIDDER

In THE SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE (1981) Tracy Kidder spent months
inside Data General Corporation of Westborough, Massachusetts as
a crack team of computer wizards worked to design and build a new
computer, a 32-bit supermini. The excitement and energy come
right off the page, as do the frustrations and exhaustion. This
is the story of talented people pushing, and being pushed, to the
limits of their abilities. You'll probably need a vacation after
reading this, just to recover. The best computer-oriented book
I've read, and I'm not alone because Mr. Kidder won a Pulitzer
Prize for it.

In HOUSE (1985), we have a change of pace: Mr. Kidder takes us
along as he has a new house built for himself. Like his previous
book, step by step, inch by inch, it's all here -- getting the
blueprints from William Rawn Associates, Architects, and getting
the house actually constructed by Apple Corps, Builders. You've
probably heard jokes about how frustrating it is to build a
house, and here's your chance to see all of the problems in
close-up. You'll find that even when everyone means well,
misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions can be devastating.
Absolutely must reading for anyone contemplating having a house
built or any major construction done.

In AMONG SCHOOLCHILDREN (1989), just out, Mr. Kidder turns his
attention to the school system, specifically the fifth-grade
class in Holyoke, Massachusetts, a small city with big-time urban
problems. The teacher is 34-year-old Chris Zajac: she is funny,
feisty, and passionately dedicated to her pupils, kids who will
amuse and exasperate you--and break your heart. The ad says:
"This intense and affecting chronicle by the Pulitzer
Prize-winning author of THE SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE and HOUSE is
Tracy Kidder's most emotional subject-- and potentially his
biggest best seller." $19.95

Having read THE SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE and HOUSE, I can guarantee
that AMONG SCHOOLCHILDREN is sure to be very educational and
completely absorbing.


Horror is one of the last areas of fiction still standing in the
rain. It hasn't come under heavy intellectual scrutiny; it's
still innocent of much compartmentalizing and theorizing; its
major works are not regularly dissected in the weightier Sunday
newspapers by lazy academics out to make a quick buck.
          --Clive Barker


Henry James was one of the nicest old ladies I ever met.
          --William Faulkner



This is a more-than-usually arguable category. The following
books have more-or-less detection in a more-or-less supernatural
setting. In any case, there's some good reading here.

Allingham, Margery       The Mind Readers
Berckman, Evelyn         The Victorian Album
Blackburn, John          Bury Him Darkly
Bontly, Thomas J.        Celestial Chess
Breen, Jon L.            The Gathering Place
Burley, W.J.             The House of Care
Carr, John Dickson       He Who Whispers
Carter, Diana            Ghost Writer
Carvic, Heron            Miss Seeton Bewitched 
                          (AKA Witch Miss Seeton)
Chesbro, George          An Affair of Sorcerers
Christie, Agatha         The Pale Horse
Crane, Caroline          Something Evil
Daly, Elizabeth          Evidence of Things Seen
Davies, L.P.             The Reluctant Medium
de Weese, Jean           Hour of the Cat
Dickinson, Peter         Walking Dead
Doyle, Arthur Conan      The Hound of the Baskervilles
Estleman, Loren D.       Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula
Fletcher, Lucille        The Girl in Cabin B54
Gallico, Paul            Too Many Ghosts
Grant, Charles L.        The Grave
Hillerman, Tony          The Blessing Way
Hjortsberg, William      Falling Angel
Howatch, Susan           The Devil on Lammas Night
Innes, Michael           The Daffodil Affair
Johnston, Velda          A Presence in an Empty Room
Leiber, Fritz            Conjure Wife
Lovesey, Peter           A Case of Spirits
McBain, Ed               Ghosts
McCloy, Helen            Mr. Splitfoot
McDowell, Michael        Cold Moon Over Babylon
Peters, Elizabeth        The Love Talker
Phillpotts, Eden         The Grey Room
Pronzini, Bill           Night Screams
Rhode, John              In the Face of the Verdict
Rinehart, Mary Roberts   The Red Lamp
Rohmer, Sax              The Dream Detective
Rosenfeld, Lulla         Death and the I Ching
Sladek, John             Black Aura
Smith, Guy               Deathbell
Stein, Duffy             The Owlsfane Horror
Stewart, Fred Mustard    The Mephisto Waltz
Stewart, Ramona          Sixth Sense
Streiber, Whitley        The Wolfen
Tey, Josephine           The Franchise Affair
Warner, Mignon           The Tarot Murders
Wheatley, Dennis         Gateway to Hell
Wilcox, Colin            The Black Doors
Wilson, Colin            The Schoolgirl Murder Case


When a 16-year-old kid writes a volume of horror stories, it's
self-evident that he's a lost soul, and Ramsey Campbell has
devoted the last twenty years to living up to his early
horrifying promise.
          --Karl Edward Wagner



Their Place, Get Back at Your Kids, and Go Out with a Bang

by Bob Feigel and Malcolm Walker

Here's a hilarious book that shows senior citizens how to cope
with life in the slow lane--and how to fight back. Included are
ingenious tactics like:

* how to save money by shoplifting
* how to get by on pet food
* how to do your own face-lift
* how to fake senility to get a seat on a crowded bus
* how to defend yourself with a crutch
* 6 ways to embarrass your children
* how to use your will to get back at your family
* 5 ways to go out with a bang

$5.95 paperback ISBN: 0-671-69000-0 Out in November

Outsmart Your Kids

by Bill Dodds

Since kids think nothing of lying and cheating to get their way,
here's an outrageous book that shows adults how to fight fire
with fire.

Now parents can beat kids at their own game by using
unconventional and, until now, unthinkable methods, including:

* how to get some sleep when your kids throw a slumber party
* how to get your kids to eat spinach, broccoli, and liver
  without a whimper (and without even knowing it)
* how to avoid telling your kids about sex
* how to lose your kids on a nature hike

$4.95 paperback ISBN: 0-671-68998-3 Out in October

               SCIENCE IN THE TUB

                 by James Lewis

Now school-age kids can learn science while they splash and play
in the tub. Here are fifty fun experiments that introduce five-
to nine-year-olds to concepts like:

* how a pump works
* why water evaporates
* what causes a whirlpool
* how air pressure works
* how water changes an object's weight
* why water magnifies objects

James Lewis' first book for toddlers and preschoolers, RUB-A-DUB-
DUB SCIENCE IN THE TUB, was published by Meadowbrook Press in

$6.95 paperback ISBN: 0-671-68999-1 Out in October

        The Official Book of Ridiculous Records

                 by Brad Schreiber

Here's a book for people who enjoy Guinness' most amazing records
and Ripley's most unbelievable facts, but wish they went one step
further. It's the weirdest collection of world records, and the
funniest. Here are just a few:

* the most hotel rooms destroyed by a rock group
* the strangest last request by a condemned prisoner
* the most socks lost in a laundromat
* the biggest lie told by a TV evangelist
* the longest distance driving blindfolded
* the most successful sewer fisherman

$4.95 paperback ISBN: 0-671-69035-3 Out in November

Meadowbrook Press, 18318 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven, MN 55391


And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted--nevermore!
          --from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe


                      THOMAS HARRIS

If you like a good serial-killer story, you definitely need to
know about Thomas Harris, who has written two of the absolute
best. You get both memorable characters and a plot that will keep
you up long past your bedtime.

                       RED DRAGON

Douglas E. Winter has called RED DRAGON "one of the finest horror
novels of the eighties", and it is certainly the quintessential
Psycho Killer story. Thomas Harris puts you into the mind of a
seriously disturbed personality, allowing you to feel the pain he
feels. Unlike most of the Psycho Killer novels, however, this
point of view is not played for titillation, but for revulsion.
The closer you get to the Tooth Fairy (the media's nickname for
the guy, and don't ask), the more horrifying he is.

By the way, don't be surprised if you wind up with a permanent
paranoia about the way the Tooth Fairy chooses his victims. Let's
just say that Thomas Harris points out vulnerabilities you
probably didn't realize you had. This is the stuff of nightmares,
so let the reader beware.

Oh, yes, I should mention that there is a movie adaptation of RED
DRAGON called MANHUNTER, and it's available on videotape. From my
unofficial poll, people who haven't read the book like the movie
more than people who have. I thought that the movie left out too
many important details, as well as trivializing Dr. Hannibal
Lecter, my favorite character. Will Graham, the lead character
who is trying to catch the bad guy--his character is pretty much
a zero in the movie. All in all, I'd at least read the book first
if I were you.

                THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Here's our cast: Dr. Hannibal Lecter is back, as is FBI
Behavioral Science Section Chief Jack Crawford. Will Graham, an
alcoholic now, has retired to Florida, but Clarice Starling, an
FBI trainee, is here to take over. And of course there's Dr.
Frederick Chilton, administrator of the Baltimore State Hospital
for the Criminally Insane, who is the novel's jerk-in-residence.
And I almost forgot, there's Buffalo Bill, serial killer still at
large. Catching him is what THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is all

The most obvious thing to say about SILENCE is that Thomas Harris
has done it again; a strong cast of characters solves a partly-
intriguing, partly-disgusting mystery in compelling prose. There
are even a few improvements. The good-guys-against-bureaucracy
element of the plot is stronger. Crawford and Starling have to
fight criminals AND bureaucrats to do the job they were hired to
do, and with, of course, no commensurate reward. Also, there is
comedy this time: Chapter 14 introduces Pilcher and Roden,
entomologists at the Smithsonian who could play Vegas. A very
nice touch.

As usual, there's little one can say without giving away
important plot details. Thomas Harris provides numerous plot
twists, many surprises, and a great deal of tension. Enjoy it.
But wait for a weekend evening to read it, because you're going
to lose some sleep over this book.


Horror is that which we have not yet come to terms with.
          --Ramsey Campbell


I love it when someone tells me he had nightmares from reading
one of my stories or couldn't sleep -- or was scared so bad he
went out and bought a small tactical nuclear weapon for
         --Dean R. Koontz



                       FALLING ANGEL
                  by William Hjortsberg

For the first few chapters you may think that FALLING ANGEL is
just another hard-boiled detective story, and you'd have plenty
of facts in your favor. Most of the standard fixtures are
present: seedy detective hero, a mysterious and wealthy client
who is obviously hiding something, an exotic and dangerous woman,
and, of course, the verbally abusive policemen. So why is this in
RFP's Halloween issue?

Well, let's start at the beginning: The story opens on Friday the
13th when attorney Herman Winesap (of McIntosh, Winesap and Spy)
asks our hero, Harry Angel, to meet a potential client, Louis
Cyphre, at a restaurant at 666 Fifth Avenue. Have you noticed
anything wrong yet? Then there's the character of Louis Cyphre;
an ominous, creepy guy who wants to find 1940s singer Johnny
Favorite dead or alive -- and makes no attempt to disguise the
fact that finding him dead would be the more pleasant solution.
This is only the beginning of what is certainly the finest
supernatural detective story every written.

Over and above the horror, beyond the detection, there's the
network of warning signs and hints laid by Hjortsberg. He uses
literary allusions, symbolic imagery, and all kinds of wordplay
in his game of hide-and-seek with the reader. It's so much fun,
don't be surprised if you immediately want to read the book
again, once you know the whole story, to see just how Hjortsberg
created the maze of deception that is FALLING ANGEL. My one hint
to you: pay attention to all proper names; they are all carefully

If you haven't read FALLING ANGEL yet, skip to next dotted line


Speaking of literary allusion, it may escape the casual reader
that FALLING ANGEL is really a retelling of the Oedipus story
(you remember, the guy who murdered his father and married his
mother). Your first hint is the quote from Oedipus The King by
Sophocles in the front of the book. Within the story the
parallels are numerous:

1. Dr. Fowler is shot through the eye (Oedipus puts his own eyes
2. The incest in FALLING ANGEL mirrors the relationship between
   Oedipus and his mother.
3. The name of Angel's agency is Crossroads Detective Agency
   (Oedipus kills his father at the crossroads).
4. Angel, like Oedipus, seeks intelligence and finds the guilt
   within himself.
5. Angel, like Oedipus, tries to defy the gods and control his
   own future.
6. Oedipus was a king who ended up an outcast, while in FALLING
   ANGEL we have an "Angel" who's destined for Hell.

While I'm at it, I might as well mention that the cycle of 3
plays about Oedipus by Sophocles (called the Theban Plays) is
well worth reading. I think you'll be surprised how well it has
aged. Knowing the story ahead of time (as the contemporaries did
too) and watching Oedipus make a complete jerk of himself is
still great fun.



Alan Parker's adaptation of FALLING ANGEL (he wrote the
screenplay and directed it) is called ANGEL HEART. I'm not sure
why he changed the name, but both names are equally meaningful,
once you know the story. It's an atmospheric, tension-filled
movie, and very effective at translating Hjortsberg's complicated
plot to a visual medium.

Other than simple condensation, Parker made a couple of major
changes. To begin with, he put the voodoo down in New Orleans
instead of New York City, and most critics focused on that
difference, usually saying it was a questionable decision.
Personally, I don't see that it hurt or helped the story. Most of
the secondary characters were greatly abbreviated in order to
give full weight to Angel's story, so their location wasn't all
that important.

The performances of the two stars, Mickey Rourke as Harry Angel
and Robert DeNiro as Louis Cyphre, are superb, perfect casting.
Every one else is adequate, and because of the way that Alan
Parker has skewed the story, this is all that is necessary.

The videotape, by the way, comes in a Not Rated version with the
footage of dripping blood during the sex scene replaced. For once
the censors had at least half a point, because this scene is
really disturbing. Unfortunately, that is the whole point of the
scene, and Parker accomplishes the purpose admirably. This is an
"adult" film in the best sense of the word. It requires maturity
to thoroughly understand, and can be upsetting to older children.

If you haven't seen ANGEL HEART yet, stop here!


The biggest change that Parker made was the identity of the
killer, which is remarkable when you think about it, because this
story is, underneath all the horror elements, a murder mystery.
Of course, due to the peculiar circumstances of this story, the
technical identity of the murderer isn't quite as important as is
usual in a mystery, but the change is still significant. And I
think it's inspired.

I like the story much better with Parker's explanation of the
crimes. It is psychologically very compelling. Obviously Angel's
schizophrenic alter ego is trying to stop people from talking,
shut them up before they give "him" away to Angel. Angel's pauses
in front of mirrors towards the end (one of them shattered),
warns us that his personality is disintegrating. And, of course,
ultimately he remembers. Parker added a fascinating twist to a
novel that was based on fascinating twists. A very fine movie.


Zombies are the liberal nightmare. Here you have the masses, whom
you would love to love, appearing at your front door with their
faces falling off; and you're trying to be as humane as you
possibly can, but they are, after all, eating the cat. And the
fear of mass activity, of mindlessness on a national scale,
underlies my fear of zombies.
          --Clive Barker



                        LIVE GIRLS
                       by Ray Garton
                  Pocket Books 1987 $3.95

On the hard-core street that never sleeps, Davey Owen is lured
into the nightmare of the damned... He's lost his girl, blown his
job, and he's looking for consolation in the seedy precincts of
Times Square. As dusk falls, a garish glow envelops the street
where "LIVE GIRLS", a peep-show house, beckons Davey through its
doors...into a world of strange, savage ecstasy...into the pale
irresistible arms of a woman who offers him the kiss of demons in
exchange for eternal life. A woman so ravishing, so insatiable,
that he must say yes again and again until he can no longer say
no. He has given her the vital essence of his body. Now she will
devour his soul...

LIVE GIRLS is a tale about vampires with a very unique twist...
the main "characters" are female, who work at Live Girls and
obtain their life-giving blood in a very unique way. Observe the
following passage:

      "Across from him on the wall between two of the doors
       was a sign. He stepped forward and squinted to read it
       in the poor light:


           --PANEL WILL RAISE

      Davey held in a laugh. Insert tip of what through slot?"

LIVE GIRLS won the 1987 Bram Stoker Novel Award from the Horror
Writers of America. This book got very little industry play, and
if it weren't for being a member of the HWA, I might very well
have missed the book completely. From the grizzly murders that
the book opens with to the all-out battle against the vampire
queen herself at the end, LIVE GIRLS is totally captivating and
almost impossible to put down. Warning: make sure there are lots
of lights on when reading this book and make sure your ghoul
tolerance is at a high.

I thoroughly enjoyed LIVE GIRLS and just recently sat down to
read it again, enjoying it as much as the first time. Passages in
the book literally gave me goose bumps and I found myself rapidly
scanning pages, hurrying to get to the next action.

On a scale of 1 to 10 stars, I give LIVE GIRLS 9 1/2 stars.

                       by Ray Garton
                    from NIGHT VISIONS 6
                  Dark Harvest 1988 $19.95

MONSTERS is a novella, 124 pages, about religious fanaticism and
the effects of guilt, especially unearned guilt, on the human
psyche and on human relationships. Guilt that can bring out the
"monster" in us.

MONSTERS is an up-to-date version of the classic werewolf story,
set in a small California town called St. Helena. Roger Carlton
is returning to St. Helena after a six-year absence; an absence
caused by his being "run out of town" by a group of fanatic
Seventh-day Adventists. You see, Roger dared to become a writer
of erotic murder mysteries and the Adventists have decreed that
this is wrong. When the going gets tough, Roger gets these pains
in his gut and sees visions of claws and creatures that are
vaguely human, that feed off human flesh. Roger falls in lust
with a young girl, Sondra, who works in the local delicatessen.
It turns out that she also gets the same gut-wrenching pains as
Roger. But, unlike Roger, Sondra knows the significance of the
pains and what they lead to. There are unexplained, gory slayings
that have been taking place in St. Helena and Sondra knows
much too much about them.

MONSTERS is an excellently written story in the true Ray Garton
tradition. There is lots of gore--which Garton is very good
at--and heart-stopping excitement. The outcome of the story is
telegraphed kind of early, but that doesn't detract from the
overall quality of the story. I found MONSTERS to be very
thrilling, difficult to put down and finished it in two sittings.

On a scale of 1 to 10 stars, I give MONSTERS 8 stars.


You know you're successful when you've pissed off your parents.
          --David J. Schow


Dean Koontz physically resembles a sick wart hog, as well. When
he answers his door at three o'clock on a Wednesday morning, he
looks decidedly mealy to me. This, I say to myself, is not the
face of an author, this is the face of a felon, a man you would
expect to be arrested on a morals charge involving kittens,
ducklings, and Cheese Whiz.
         --Leigh Nichols (AKA Dean Koontz)



Underwood-Miller publishes quality books by quality authors. We
have quite a few U-M books here in our library, and heartily
recommend any U-M release to readers and collectors alike. Here
are some recent items you might be interested in:


I've got my copy; how about you? Harlan Ellison is possibly our
greatest living essayist, and this is a huge collection of his
commentaries on film and whatever else happens to cross his path.
Not to be missed, and it's a beautiful book.
First Edition: ISBN: 0-88733-067-3 550 pages. $29.95
Deluxe: 600 slipcased, signed, numbered ISBN: 0-88733-066-5 $60

SCREAMS  by Robert Bloch

Three novels of psychological suspense in one volume:  THE WILL
TO KILL, THE STAR STALKER and FIREBUG. A must-own for Bloch fans.
Mine is on order as we go to press.
First Edition: ISBN: 0-88733-079-7 488 pages $29.95
Deluxe: 300 slipcased, signed, numbered ISBN: 0-88733-080-0 $50

HORRORSTORY: The Collectors Edition - Volume Five
edited by Karl Edward Wagner

The contents of DAW's YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES are always so
good and are now so hard to find that U-M decided to preserve
them in hardcover. There will be five volumes, starting with this
one (which covers DAW's YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES #13, #14, and
#15 for a total of 55 stories) and working backwards. Each volume
will include the stories from three DAW editions. This would be
the perfect Christmas gift for horror collectors.

Includes stories by: Tanith Lee, Ramsey Campbell, Jack Dann,
David J. Schow, William F. Wu, Joe R. Lansdale, Ron Leming, John
Alfred Taylor, Joel Lane, Wayne Allen Sallee, Stephen F. Wilcox,
W.H. Pugmire & Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Brian Lumley, Brad
Strickland, R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Phillip C. Heath, Leonard
Carpenter, David B. Silva, Michael Reaves, Tina Rath, William F.
Nolan, Simon Clark, Robert Bloch, Ron Wolfe, Vincent McHardy,
Charles L. Grant, Paul M. Sammon, Jovin Panich, Gardner Dozois,
Stephen King, Christopher Burns, Steve Sneyd, Daniel Wynn Barber,
Leslie Halliwell, Fred Chappell, David S. Garnett, David
Langford, Charles Wagner, John Brizzolara, James B. Hemesath,
Roger Johnson, John Gordon and Dennis Etchison.

First Edition: ISBN: 0-88733-078-9 $40
Deluxe: Special leatherbound edition. 350 numbered copies. This
very distinctive edition will be bound in leather with linen
slipcase, silk marker ribbon and imported French marbled
endpapers. Each numbered copy will be signed by its authors (see
note). As a bonus, each volume will have one of Michael Whelan
(this year's Hugo winner) remarkable covers as its dustjacket,
reproduced from the original painting! ISBN: 0-88733-077-0  $150

NOTE: Every effort is being made to locate each author in order
to sign these special copies, but we may miss a few! Satisfaction
is always guaranteed.


Being famous sucks. There is no upside. The downside is when you
realize the only reason everything on the buffet is free is
because they're planning on having you for desert.
         --Stephen King



                    ROBERT R. McCAMMON

Robert R. McCammon ("Rick" to his friends, "Mr. McCammon" to me)
was born on July 17, 1952, in Birmingham, Alabama. He still lives
there today, with his wife Sally, in a 100-year-old log house. He
has the distinction of being the only author I know of who
actually SOLD his very first book (he was 26); he has no "trunk"
novels. That novel was BAAL, and with it Mr. McCammon staked out
his territory: dark fantasy in general, and the existence of Evil
in particular. He has said:

   "Horror writing is the fundamental literature of humanity...
   I'll stick with it until I find a kind of literature that
   speaks more strongly about the human condition. I don't think
   there is one."

As you would imagine, he's given considerable thought to the
"voice" in which he has chosen to speak:

   "Horror and violence in the real world is very different from
   horror and violence in books and movies. If people object to
   the depiction of horror and violence, they are objecting to
   shadows and disregarding the reality; of course, it's much
   easier to demand censorship of books and movies than to
   grapple with the complex factors of real life, and that's one
   of the things that distresses me most: people are losing their
   courage to face up to reality. Certain groups will protest all
   day over things that don't matter a bit, and then they'll
   cower before issues that are vital to our culture and
   survival."          --Robert R. McCammon

I've never read a story by Robert McCammon that wasn't well-told,
but his first three novels weren't terribly original. He finally
decided to blaze his own trail, and achieved his first real
success, with THEY THIRST, which contains just about every
contemporary horror device, and I do mean EVERY. Let him explain

   "I decided to kick out the stops on that one [THEY THIRST].
   And I did have fun, for the simple reason that writing it
   was like building a huge panorama out of multi-colored Lego
   blocks, and then taking a big stick to it and playing
   Godzilla, just wrecking the whole place, but having the
   greatest time doing it."    --Robert R. McCammon

And for another opinion:

   "In many ways, THEY THIRST is the ultimate vampire novel....
   What thrills! When it comes to descriptions of wild berserk
   horror, McCammon is the master. The section that takes place
   in a sandstorm (vampires control the elements, remember?) is
   one of the finest, and scariest scenes I've read in all of
   horror fiction, bar none."     --Joe Lansdale

His final leap to Horror Genre Respectability was made with SWAN
SONG, a magnum opus of 956 pages, a gigantic prose painting of an
American landscape after a nuclear war. It shared the first
Stoker Award from the Horror Writers of America with Stephen
King's MISERY. As Mr. McCammon says of it:

   "The largest part of the book [SWAN SONG] deals with
   rebirth. I had a dream in which the real faces of people
   are hidden behind the ones they wear, and those real
   faces are nothing like the masks."

Mr. McCammon has said that he doesn't outline his novels, not
even the mammoth SWAN SONG, a technique (or lack of) that I
believe shows; his stories never seem forced or manufactured, a
significant achievement in a genre prone to manipulated shocks.

In the past few years Mr. McCammon has tried his hand at short
stories, with great critical success. As he says:

   "Some short stories are easy, and others just about blow
   the top off your skull. I'm still not very comfortable
   writing them [this was early 1987], but I've realized
   that a good short story can be a small miracle of mental

You can't say you've read the best of modern horror if you
haven't read McCammon, one of the finest critics of modern
society writing in any genre of fiction.


BAAL (1978)  A first novel that bears the scars of
  conventionality, but survives due to McCammon's canny sense of
  detail and his cinematic flair.
BETHANY'S SIN (1980)  This is another town-with-a-secret where
  nobody goes out at night but, once again, given a vividness
  that makes it memorable.
THE NIGHT BOAT (1980)  What if a U-boat full of zombie Nazis,
  frozen in time, we still patrolling the waters? As you might
  imagine, it's not pretty.
THEY THIRST (1981)  The vampire novel to end all vampire novels;
  an inspired epic of evil.
"Makeup" (1981)  Appeared in MODERN MASTERS OF HORROR edited by
  Frank Coffey. An interesting, if fairly conventional, haunted-
  makeup-kit story, with a surprise ending.
MYSTERY WALK (1983)  Two different cultures clash: the quiet
  traditions of the Native American and the religious frenzy of
  an evangelical church. McCammon has points to make about both.
USHER'S PASSING (1984)  The further adventures of the House of
  Usher, which, contrary to Poe's tale, didn't really fall. It
  just should have. The Ushers are an unforgettable family.
"Nightcrawlers" (1984)  Appeared in MASQUES, an anthology edited
  by J.N. Williamson. The story of a Vietnam vet who literally
  can't get away from the war, it was made into a critically
  acclaimed segment of the Twilight Zone TV show (modern
  incarnation) directed by William Friedkin (THE EXORCIST).
  Possibly McCammon's finest short piece.
"The Red House" (1985)  Appeared in GREYSTONE BAY, a shared-world
  anthology edited by Charles L. Grant. Bob Deaken gets a lesson
  in living from the "family" in the Red House.
"I Scream Man" (1985)  Appeared in The Horror Show, Winter 1985
  issue. A creepy vignette.
"Yellow Jacket Summer" (1986)  Appeared in Twilight Zone
  magazine. Nature turns nasty.
SWAN SONG (1987)  A vast panorama of America following a nuclear
  war. I've heard from a at least half a dozen people who've
  already read this novel more than once, one of them is actually
  into double digits. Obviously a story that affects deeply.
"The Deep End" (1987)  This appeared in the NIGHT VISIONS 4
  anthology and went on to win the first Stoker Award for Short
  Story. A man faces the monster that killed his son, the one
  that lives in the deep end of the swimming pool.
"Doom City" (1987)  Appeared in DOOM CITY: The Second Chronicle
  of Greystone Bay, an anthology edited by Charles L. Grant. What
  would you do if you woke up to a world that had died while you
"A Life in the Day of" (1987)  Also in NIGHT VISIONS 4. Johnny
  Strickland, rising young ad executive, is about to find that
  the fast lane is going a lot faster than he had intended. This
  one will remind you of Rod Serling's best material.
"Best Friends" (1987)  Also in NIGHT VISIONS 4. The title refers
  to Tim Clausen's buddies: Adolf, Frog, and Mother. They star in
  this novelette, which is definitely not for the squeamish.
STINGER (1988)  If you're tired of cute E.T.-style aliens, you're
  ready to meet Stinger. As the cover says, "He's here...and he's
  NOT friendly." Definitely in the tradition of his earlier THEY
  THIRST, but this time there's more polish, more plot control.
"Night Calls the Green Falcon" (1988)  Appeared in SILVER SCREAM,
  an anthology edited by David J. Schow (see RFP #4). A story
  more heartwarming that horrific, of a long-ago star of movie
  serials who dons his costume one last time to catch a psycho  
  killer. A favorite story of mine.
THE WOLF'S HOUR (1989)  Meet Michael Gallatin, a master spy
  during World War II whose effectiveness comes, at least in
  part, from his talents as a werewolf.
"Eat Me" (1989)  Appeared in THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, an anthology
  edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector. Zombie stories are
  particularly good for social commentary, but Mr. McCammon
  extends this to both ends of the emotional scale with a
  combination of visceral shock and pathos.


This morning I put ground glass in my wife's eyes. She didn't
mind. She didn't make a sound. She never does.
     --from "The Dead Line" (1980) by Dennis Etchison



The following selections are some recommendations of books to
curl up with on a cool Halloween night. You're sure to find
something here from the 1980s that you missed. Thanks to all the
great readers on RelayNet (tm) who helped with their suggestions.

Peter Ackroyd -- Hawksmoor (1985) An awesome mix of detective
  story, ghost story, historical novel, and literary pastiche.
F.W. Armstrong -- The Devouring (1987) A psychic detective faces
  ancient evil in Buffalo, New York.
Iain Banks -- The Wasp Factory (1984) A book of extremes, it
  impresses some and disgusts others.
Clive Barker -- The Damnation Game (1985) A complicated and rich
  selling-your-soul-to-the-devil story.
Michael Bishop -- Who Made Stevie Crye? (1984) Is it a horror
  novel or the world's longest joke?
Ramsey Campbell -- Dark Feasts (1987) Campbell's choice of the
  best short pieces of his career to date. Also very good is his
  latest novel, Ancient Images (1989).
Jonathan Carroll -- The Land of Laughs (1980) More dark fantasy
  than horror; see if you can tell what's wrong with Galen,
  Missouri. The most original author I know.
Marc Eliot -- How Dear the Dawn (1987) A master vampire descends
  on a small coastal village.
Dennis Etchison -- The Dark Country (1982) Great short horror
  from a master. Don't miss "The Late Shift".
Ray Garton -- Live Girls (1987) An evil dwells in the seedy dives
  of mid-town Manhattan--insatiable female vampires.
Patricia Geary -- Strange Toys (1987) A young girl grows up
  knowing that the supernatural is very real, and her sister is
  very evil.
Charles L. Grant -- The Pet (1986) The patron saint of "quiet
  horror" at his best.
Thomas Harris -- Red Dragon (1981) Can Will Graham catch the
  psychotic "Tooth Fairy" before he kills again?
David G. Hartwell, editor -- The Dark Descent (1987) One of the
  finest horror anthologies available, as well as one of the
Robert Irwin -- The Arabian Nightmare (1983) This macabre fantasy
  takes place in 1486, written by a former teacher of medieval
Stephen King -- Good choices would be: It (1986), to get ready
  for the TV mini-series in May; Misery (1987), for a
  writers-eye-view of fans (particularly relevant in the wake of
  the "My Sister Sam" killing); or The Dark Half (1989), about a
  writer's problems with his pseudonym.
T.E.D. Klein -- The Ceremonies (1984) The Elder Gods are back in
  this modern recreation of Machen and Lovecraft themes.
Dean R. Koontz -- The master of suspense. His most recent are
  Lightning (1988), Midnight (1989), and the upcoming The Bad
  Place (1990).
Joe R. Lansdale -- The Drive-In (1988) Come to the Friday
  All-Night Horror Show, where the audience gets more than their
  money's worth.
Richard Laymon -- The Cellar (1980) Come to Malcasa Point,
  California, and visit The Beast House.
Robert R. McCammon -- Swan Song (1987) An epic adventure of
  America after the bombs drop.
Kirby McCauley, editor -- Dark Forces (1980), which has got to be
  the best anthology of the 1980s. A landmark book.
George R.R. Martin -- A very versatile writer. Fevre Dream (1982)
  is my all-time favorite vampire story, it's sort of a Mark-
  Twain-meets-Bram-Stoker, vampires on a riverboat novel.
Graham Masterton -- Picture of Evil (1985) Someone must destroy
  the painting that is the source of Cordelia & Maurice's power.
Richard Christian Matheson -- Scars and Other Distinguishing
  Marks (1987) 26 short-shorts, a collaboration with his father,
  and a screenplay he wrote for Amazing Stories TV show.
David J. Schow -- The Kill Riff (1988) Lucas Ellington knows who
  is responsible for his daughter's death--Whip Hand, a heavy-
  metal rock band--and he's going to make them pay.
Dan Simmons -- Song of Kali (1985) The horror that is Calcutta.
Lisa Tuttle -- A Nest of Nightmares (1986) Short stories from the
  female point of view.
Karl Edward Wagner -- In a Lonely Place (1983) Some of his best
  short stories.
Chet Williamson -- One of the best up-and-coming horror writers.
  Ash Wednesday (1987) is a good introduction.
F. Paul Wilson -- The Keep (1981) What do you get if you cross a
  vampire with a Nazi?
Douglas E. Winter, editor -- Prime Evil (1988) A nice anthology,
  worth the price to get David Morrell's award-winning "Orange Is
  for Anguish, Blue for Insanity".

Next to being Ed Meese, writing is the loneliest profession on
          --John Skipp


What's going to come out of those people who think that NIGHT OF
THE LIVING DEAD isn't enough?
          --Robert Bloch


                    RECENT BOOK RELEASES

These are just a few of the releases scheduled (as we go to
press) for August through October. HC=hardcover PB=paperback and
TP=trade paperback (oversized). The long 10-digit number is the
ISBN number, convenient when ordering from distributors. This
list is provided without warranty of any kind.

Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences
  by Susan J. Blackmore (parapsychology)
  Academy Chicago Aug89 TP $8.95 0-89733-344-6
How To Shit In The Woods by Kathleen Meyer
  Ten Speed Press Aug89 PB $5.95 0-89815-319-0
  How To S___ In The Woods 0-89815-320-4 (alternate cover)
  (An environmentally sound approach to a lost art.)
The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers
  Ace Sep89 HC $17.95 0-441-79055-0
  (Byron, Shelley and Keats are possessed by a kind of vampire in
  this novel by the author of The Anubis Gates.)
The Stephen King Companion edited by George Beahm
  Andrews & McMeel Sep89 TP $12.95 0-8362-7978-6
The PreHistory of The Far Side by Gary Larson
  Andrews & McMeel Sep89 TP $12.95 0-8362-1851-5
  (A fabulous narrative, pages from his sketchbook, rejects and
  bloopers. Includes 144 pages full-color.)
Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Special Effects by Thomas G.
  Ballantine Sep89 HC $60.00 0-345-32263-0
Trevayne by Robert Ludlum
  Bantam Sep89 PB $5.95
  (This novel, published for the first time under the author's
  own name, contains a new introduction that explains why.)
You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: 501 Famous Lines from Great (and
  Not-So-Great) Movies compiled and edited by John P. Fennell
  Citadel Sep89 TP $7.95
  (Memorable lines from 60 years of movies, many illustrated with
Razored Saddles edited by Joe R. Lansdale & Pat LoBrutto
  Dark Harvest Sep89 HC $19.95 0-913165-49-2
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney
  Fireside Sep89 TP $8.95 0-671-68211-3
The Penny Whistle Halloween Book: Everything You and Your
  Children Need to Know About Giving and Enjoying the Happiest,
  Scariest Halloween Parties of Your Life by Meredith Brokaw &
  Annie Gilbar
  Grove Weidenfeld Sep89 TP $9.95 1-55584-377-8
Nightmare Movies by Kim Newman
  Harmony Sep89 TP $12.95
  (Reviews hundreds of terror films, masterpieces and
  monstrosities alike.)
The Pessimist's Journal of Very, Very Bad Days by Jess Brallier
  and R.P. McDonough
  Little, Brown Sep89 TP $9.95 0-316-10600-3
  (Offers a historical disaster for each day of the year, plus
  room to write in one's own.)
Changing the Past: A Novel by Thomas Berger
  Little, Brown Sep89 HC $18.95
  (Walter Hunsicker is given a chance to see what life would have
  been like if he could change his past.)
The Feud by Thomas Berger
  Little, Brown Sep89 TP $8.95
  (Chronicles small-town America in the 1930s in a novel by the
  author of Little Big Man. A motion picture based on the book
  will be released this fall.)
Blind In One Ear: The Avenger Returns by Patrick Macnee
  Mercury House Sep89 HC $19.95 0-916515-58-3
  (The autobiography of the actor best known as John Steed in
  TV's The Avengers.)
It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here: My Journey Through Show
  Business by Charles Grodin
  Wm Morrow Sep89 HC $18.45 0-688-08873-2
  (The actor reflects on his career in Hollywood. I've heard this
  is a vastly entertaining book.)
Two Much! by Donald E. Westlake
  Mysterious Sep89 PB $4.95
  (Art Dodge decides to marry a rich woman but instead marries
  two--Liz and Betty Kerner, beautiful twin heiresses, in this
  farce by the Edgar Award-winning author.)
'Murder Will Out': The Detective in Fiction from Poe to the
  Present by T.J. Binyon
  Oxford UP Sep89 HC $21.95 0-19-219223-X
Mystery Reader's Walking Guide: London by Alzina Stone Dale &
  Barbara Sloan Hendershott
  Passport Sep89 TP $12.95
  (Features 11 walking tours through the heart of London.)
Panati's Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything &
  Everybody by Charles Panati
  Perennial Sep89 TP 10.95
  (Discusses how famous people, cities, flora, fauna and more met
  their demise.)
The New York Public Library Desk Reference
  Prentice Hall Sep89 HC $29.95 0-13-620444-9
  (A one-volume collection of the most frequently sought
  information covers 26 subject areas.)
Dumbth: And 79 Ways to Make Americans Smarter by Steve Allen
  Prometheus Sep89 HC $19.95
  (The humorist offers ways to improve critical thought and
Lucid Dreams in 30 Days: The Creative Sleep Program by Keith
  Harary & Pamela Weintraub
  St. Martin's Sep89 TP $5.95
  (The authors explore the mysteries of sleep and tell how to
  control dreams in this paperback original.)
Have an Out-Of-Body Experience in Thirty Days: The Free Flight
  Program by Keith Harary & Pamela Weintraub
  St. Martin's Sep89 TP $5.95
  (A step-by-step guide to an out-of-body experience.)
Death and the Chaste Apprentice by Robert Barnard
  Scribners Sep89 HC $17.95 0-684-19002-8
  (In this comedy mystery, everybody involved in a local
  theatrical production wants to kill an annoying innkeeper.)
Simply Barbara Bush: A Portrait of America's Candid First Lady by
  Donnie Radcliffe
  Warner Sep89 HC $14.95 0-446-51553-1
The Naughty Victorian Hand Book by Burton Silver
  Workman Sep89 TP $9.95 0-89480-624-6
  (Rediscover the therapeutically hilarious art of "furtling" --
  erotic hand manipulation -- in the book that puts the underside
  (and more) of Victoriana at your fingertips. It will profoundly
  change your relationship to your hand.)
Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
  Academy Chicago Oct89 TP $8.95
  (The author wrote this domestic chronicle in 1953 when her four
  children were under 10.)
Murder Guide to London, An A-Z of Metropolitan Atrocities by
  Martin Fido (true crime)
  Academy Chicago Oct89 HC $12.95 0-89733-341-1
  (This narrative guide to major murder sites provides maps and a
  key to murderers' names.)
Forgiven: The Rise and Fall of Jim Bakker and the PTL Ministry by
  Charles E. Shepard
  Atlantic Monthly Oct89 HC $22.95
  (The author won a 1988 Pulitzer Prize in journalism for his
  reporting on the televangelist and his ministry in The
  Charlotte Observer.)
An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones & William Wilson
  Ballantine Oct89 HC $24.95 0-345-29570-6
  (One of my favorite reference books. Not at all stuffy.)
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
  Ballantine Oct89 PB $5.95
  (The Vampire Lestat is confronted by Akasha, the mother of all
  vampires, in this reprint.)
The Twilight Zone Companion: Second Edition by Marc Scott Zicree
  Bantam Oct89 TP $12.95 0-553-34744-6
Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It by
  James Q. Wilson
  Basic Oct89 HC $24.95
  (Offers explanations from an expert in public administration.)
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  Berkley Oct89 PB $5.50
  (Maggie and Ira's trip from Baltimore to Deer Lick, PA, takes
  them through the memories of a 28-year marriage in this
  Pulitzer Prize winner. From the author of The Accidental
Literature in America: An Illustrated History by Peter Conn
  Cambridge Oct89 HC $29.95 0-521-30373-7
  (This illustrated history covers American literature from the
  17th century to the 1980s.)
Naming the Rose: Eco, Medieval Signs, and Modern Theory by
  Theresa Coletti
  Cornell UP Oct89 TP $8.95
  (Decodes the signs and symbols in Umberto Eco's novel The Name
  of the Rose.)
Guide to Literary London by George Williams
  David & Charles Oct89 TP $22.95
  (Includes authors' homes, historic theaters, clubs, bookshops
  and coffeehouses.)
Nemesis by Isaac Asimov
  Doubleday Oct89 HC $18.95 0-385-24792-3
  Special Limited Edition $125 0-385-26619-7
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer
  Espionage by Clifford Stoll
  Doubleday Oct89 HC $18.95 0-385-24946-2
  (Tells how an ex-hippie turned systems manager uncovered an
  international computer spy ring.)
Fifty Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth by The
  Earthworks Group
  Earthworks Press Oct89 PB $4.95 0-929634-06-3
  (Let's face it--somebody's got to.)
The Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin
  Facts On File Oct89 HC $29.95 0-8160-1824-3
  (Features a comprehensive guide to beasts, fiends and others.)
On an Average Day... by Tom Heymann
  Fawcett Columbine Oct89 TP $6.95
  (Takes an off-beat statistical look at America--e.g., on an
  average day, over 41,000 calls are made to dial-a-porn numbers
  and four people call Elvis at Graceland.)
Gone With the Wind: The Definitive, Illustrated History of the
  Book, the Movie, the Legend by Herb Bridges & Terryl C. Boodman
  Fireside Oct89 TP $14.95 0-671-68387-X
The Natural House Book: Creating a Healthy, Harmonious and
  Ecologically Sound Home Environment by David Pearson
  Fireside Oct89 TP $17.95 0-671-66635-5
The Open Door: When Writers First Learned to Read edited by
  Steven Gilbar
  Godine Oct89 HC $12.95 809-7
  (Thirty writers, including Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill,
  Jean Rhys, and William Cobbett, recall the special moment when
  written words suddenly had meaning.)
A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James, selected and introduced
  by Ruth Rendell
  Godine Oct89 TP $10.95 816-X
  (Thirteen tales by the master of chill, selected by an Edgar
  Award-winning author.)
A Cold Red Sunrise by Stuart M. Kaminsky
  Ivy Oct89 PB $3.50
  (Won the 1989 Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year.)
My Pretty Pony by Stephen King and Barbara Kruger
  Knopf Oct89 HC $50 0-394-58037-0
  (A new, slipcased edition of the work originally published by
  the Whitney Museum of American Art. I've heard there will only
  be 15,000 copies.)
The Dan Quayle Quiz Book: For People Who Think They are Smarter
  Than the Vice President by Jeremy Solomon & Ken Brady
  Little, Brown Oct89 PB $4.95 0-316-80359-6
  (Offers the chance to test one's knowledge of Quayle's
  statements with multiple-choice questions.)
The Book of Video Lists: 1990 Edition by Tom Wiener
  Madison Oct89 TP $10.95 0-8191-7011-9
  (My favorite, most-used video reference book. Terrific.)
Words On Tape, 1990: An International Guide to the Audio Cassette
  Meckler Oct89 TP $34.95 0-88736-368-7
  (This paperback original is the last word on over 30,000 audio
  cassette titles currently available from over 700 cassette
  publishers on subjects that range from self-help and
  inspirational work, to fiction and plays, and children's
  literature, to coursework in business and many other fields.)
The New TV: A Complete Guide to High Definition Television by
  Dale Cripps and Sam Bush
  Meckler Oct89 TP $14.95 0-88736-489-6
  (This original paperback offers complete coverage and in-depth
  analysis of the headline making technology known as HDTV (high
  definition television). HDTV promises to explode upon the
  consciousness of the television world while changing our
  concept of TV as we know it today. The book will excite readers
  into the "Brave New (visual) World".
Norma Jean: My Secret Life with Marilyn Monroe by Ted Jordan
  Wm Morrow Oct89 HC $18.45 0-688-09118-0
  (An early lover of the star tells of their affair. Contains
  rare photos.)
The Wanderer: Dion's Story by Dion DiMucci with Davin Seay
  Wm Morrow Oct89 TP $6.70 0-688-09206-3
The Crime of the Century by Kingsley Amis
  Mysterious Oct89 HC $16.95 0-89296-398-0
  (A serial killer has London police baffled, until a group
  including a master detective, a novelist, a rock star, and
  others sets its imagination to solving the case.)
Tomorrow's Crimes by Donald E. Westlake
  Mysterious Oct89 HC $18.95 0-89296-299-2
  (An ingenious collection of criminous science fiction and
  fantasy. Includes the brilliant 1967 novel ANARCHAOS.)
Help I Am Being Held Prisoner by Donald E. Westlake
  Mysterious Oct89 PB $4.50
  (Inmates decide to rob a bank while still behind bars.)
A Curmudgeon's Garden of Love by Jon Winokur
  NAL Oct89 HC $16.95 0-453-00677-9
  (In the tradition of the author's Portable Curmudgeon, this is
  a look at love without rose-colored glasses.)
Blind Faith by Joe McGinnis
  NAL/Signet Oct89 PB $5.95
  (The bestselling author investigates the murder of a Toms
  River, NJ, woman by a husband driven by greed.)
Horrors by Drake Douglas
  Overlook Oct89 HC $22.50
  (This history of the horror genre has been updated to include
  75 vintage film stills.)
Theatrical Anecdotes by Peter Hay
  Oxford UP Oct89 TP $8.95 0-19-506078-4
  (Collects the legends, lore and humor of The Great White Way.)
The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories edited by Michael Cox &
  R.A. Gilbert
  Oxford UP Oct89 TP $9.95
  (Collects 42 of the best English ghost stories ever written.)
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus by Graham Chapman, et
  Pantheon Oct89 TP $12.95 Volume I 0-679-72647-0
  Pantheon Oct89 TP $12.95 Volume II 0-679-72648-9
  Pantheon Oct89 TP $26 boxed set 0-679-72702-7
  (The scripts from the successful British comedy show will be
  published in two volumes, and as a boxed set.)
Haunted by James Herbert
  Putnam Oct89 HC $17.95 0-399-13486-7
Poodle Springs by Raymond Chandler & Robert B. Parker
  Putnam Oct89 HC $18.95 0-399-13482-4 (or Sep89)
  (Parker completes Chandler's unfinished Philip Marlowe novel.)
Tekwar by William Shatner
  Putnam Oct89 HC $17.95 0-399-13495-6 (or Sep89)
  (Chronicles the exploits of 22nd-century ex-cop Jake Cardigan
  as he searches for a device to rid the world of a drug that is
  poisoning society.)
My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan by Nancy Reagan with William
  Random House Oct89 HC $21.95 0-394-56368-9
  deluxe limited edition $100 0-394-58162-8
The Ludlum Triad: The Holcroft Covenant / The Matarese Circle /
  The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  Random House Oct89 HC $16.95 0-394-57610-1
Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters by Anne K.
  Routledge, Chapman and Hall Oct89 TP $14.95
  (Examines the life and work of the author from a feminist
A Dictionary of Literary Quotations by Meic Stephens
  Routledge, Chapman & Hall Oct89 HC $25
  (Contains 3250 quotations about literature, writers, writing,
  books and the book trade.)
The Complete Avengers by Dave Rogers
  St. Martin's Oct89 TP $12.95
  (This Avengers casebook recounts the history of the popular
  television show.)
The First 200 Years of Monty Python by Kim "Howard" Johnson
  St. Martin's Oct89 TP $14.95
  (A history of the ever-popular TV comedy, Monty Python's Flying
  Circus, and its six creators.)
Series of Murders: A Charles Paris Mystery by Simon Brett
  Scribners Oct89 HC $16.95 0-684-19096-6
  (Murder strikes the set of a TV police series.)
Currents of Death: Power Lines, Computer Terminals, and the
  Attempt to Cover Up Their Threat to Your Health by Paul Brodeur
  Simon & Schuster Oct89 HC $19.95 0-671-67845-0
  (Presents the case against electromagnetic radiation.)
The Comic Book in America by Mike Benton
  Taylor Oct89 HC $29.95
  (An illustrated history of comic books in America.)
Zapcrafts by Nancy Birnes
  Ten Speed Press Oct89 TP $14.95 0-89815-290-9
  (Over 200 recipes for microwave projects you can make that are
  not food.)
The Ridge by Lisa Cantrell
  Tor Oct89 PB $4.95
  (A possessed house.)
Walkers by Graham Masterton
  Tor Oct89 HC $18.95 0-312-93201-4
Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car
  Engine by Chris Maynard & Bill Scheller
  Villard Oct89 TP $7.95 0-679-72337-4
  (As far as I know, this is for seriously cooking in and on
  various parts of your car.)
Holidays in Hell by P.J. O'Rourke
  Vintage Oct89 TP $8.95
  (The social satirist takes a caustic look at the world.)
Fury by John Coyne
  Warner Oct89 HC $18.95 0-446-51420-9
Rapture by Thomas Tessier
  Warner Oct89 PB $4.95
  (A tale of psychological terror about obsessive and perverted
Spirits of Christmas edited by Kathryn Cramer & David G. Hartwell
  Wynwood Oct89 HC $18.95 0-922066-16-7
  (This collection of ghost stories includes everything from a
  little known tale by Dickens to new works commissioned for this


I used to plot my novels very thoroughly in advance, chapter by
chapter, but abandoned that method from INCARNATE onward. Mind
you, this presumably leads to what Everett Bleiler complained was
"extemporized plotting" in THE HUNGRY MOON, but I confess to
liking the way that novel develops.
         --Ramsey Campbell


Once, a long time ago, someone had taken from him something
irreplaceably valuable. He couldn't remember what it was. And no
one would admit it.
     --from "Deadspace" (1985) by Dennis Etchison



                     DARRYL KENNING

           WAR WORLD - Vol. I - THE BURNING EYE
               created by Jerry Pournelle
                    Baen Books $3.95

This is yet another "Shared Universe" series based upon the
planet Haven and using the universe so well created in the
"Mercenary" series by Mr. Pournelle. A series of short stories by
stalwarts such as Mike Resnick, Poul Anderson, Janet Morris and
David Drake, just to mention a few. I thoroughly enjoyed the
original series and was prepared to find a watered down series of
disconnected stories. Not so. These are excellent, written by  
competent professional storytellers in a well thought out
universe, with an all-too-possible political system. This is a
"must buy" for folks who like rather "hard" Science Fiction with
a realistic war bent. 

                 BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN
                    by Sharyn McCrumb
                 Windwalker Books, $2.95

Imagine if you will the cover of this book, a young lady in a
bikini with a space helmet and air tanks on, leaning across the
computer of a pipe smoking author. Now I have got to tell you, I
wouldn't even slow down if I saw this thing on a newsstand, much
less pick it up....Bimbos...for heaven sake. Yet this is one of
the funniest send ups of Science Fiction Cons you can imagine.
Not only that, it is a darn good mystery besides. I found myself
chortling aloud as I read it, and just thoroughly enjoying
myself. This one may be hard to find, but it is definitely worth
the search. Many thanks to Mary Frost Pierson for recommending
this to me. 

              WRITERS OF THE FUTURE Vol. 5
                 Edited by Algis Budrys
               Bridge Publications, Inc.
              0-88404-379-7; $4.95; 1989

As I've noted several times before, I'm really not much of a fan
of short stories. In my experience it takes a rare talent to be
able to capture the imagination with a short Science Fiction
story. I think one of the problems is that it is difficult to set
the story parameters that quickly. But I digress; mostly the only
times I'll pick up a book of short stories is in an airline
terminal or on vacation when nothing else is available.

This series, however, has edged its way onto my VERY short
exception list for books of short stories.

Founded in 1983 by L. Ron Hubbard, the Writers of the Future
program/contest and the companion Illustrators of the Future are
worth their weight in gold to those of us who love Science
Fiction. You should read any one of this series to learn about
the program and the most impressive listing of authors and
illustrators who have given their time and talents towards
helping a new generation of SF talent get established.

Interspersed with the stories and illustrations are commentaries
about writing from luminaries such as Hal Clement, Marta Randall,
Frank Kelly-Freas to name only some. Even if you do not aspire to
the authorship sides of SF you will enjoy the insights offered.

     But the real treasure are the stories. 14 outstanding award
winning stories, complete with award winning illustrations. The 
authors and illustrators will surely be names that you will want 
to remember.....remember so that you can snatch up future
offerings as soon as they hit your bookstore.


   BOX SCORES:  From no stars (ugh!) to 5 stars

IN ENDLESS TWILIGHT by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.         3 ***
          TOR $3.95           March, 1988

DOWNTIME by Peter Fox                             4 ****
          Berkley  $3.50      January, 1988    

You can contact Darryl at 6331 Marshall Rd., Centerville, Ohio
45459, or on Compuserve (76337,740), or on the ANNEX Bulletin
Board 513-274-0821 (J 3 to join the Science Fiction conference).


...the book [THE PARASITE] is rather about the development of
Rose's dormant male personality and her consequent slide toward
fascist attitudes...
         --Ramsey Campbell



01 1760 William Beckford, British writer
01 1885 Louis Untermeyer, American poet and anthologist
02 1879 Wallace Stevens, American poet
02 1904 Graham Greene, British writer
03 1886 Henri Alain-Fournier, French novelist
03 1900 Thomas Wolfe, American novelist
03 1925 Gore Vidal, American writer
04 1884 Damon Runyon, American writer
05 1713 Denis Diderot, French writer
05 1840 John Addington Symonds, British historian and writer
06 1895 Caroline Gordon, American writer
06 1914 Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian anthropologist, author of THE
07 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died at 40
07 1849 James Whitcomb Riley, American poet
07 1879 Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary leader & writer
08 1872 John Cowper Powys, British writer
09 1899 Bruce Catton, American historian and journalist
09 1906 L‚opold Senghor, Senegalese poet
09 1918 E. Howard Hunt, Jr., American writer
10 1870 Ivan Bunin, Russian writer
10 1924 James Clavell, English-American writer
10 1930 Harold Pinter, British playwright
11 1885 Fran‡ois Mauriac, French writer
11 1910 Joseph Alsop, American journalist
11 1925 Elmore Leonard, American writer
12 1844 George W. Cable, American writer
12 1896 Eugenio Montale, Italian poet
13 1635 Roger Williams banned in Boston
13 1890 Conrad Richter, American writer
13 1925 Frank Gilroy, American writer
14 1888 Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand writer
14 1894 e. e. cummings, American poet
14 1906 Hannah Arendt, political philosopher and writer
15   70 BC Publius Vergilius Maro (AKA Vergil), Roman poet
15 1674 Robert Herrick, British poet
15 1814 Mikhail (Yurevich) Lermontov, Russian poet and novelist
15 1844 Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and writer
15 1881 P.G. Wodehouse, British-American writer
15 1905 C.P. Snow, British writer and scientist
15 1908 John Kenneth Galbraith, economist and writer
15 1917 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., historian and writer
15 1920 Mario Puzo, American writer
15 1926 Evan Hunter, American writer (AKA Ed McBain)
16 1758 Noah Webster, American lexicographer and writer
16 1854 Oscar Wilde, Irish writer
16 1927 Gnter Grass, German writer
17 1864 Elinor Glyn, British novelist
17 1903 Nathanael West, American novelist
17 1915 Arthur Miller, American playwright
18 1785 Thomas Love Peacock, British writer
18 1859 Henri Bergson, French philosopher and writer
19 1605 Sir Thomas Browne, British writer
19 1784 Leigh Hunt, British writer
19 1895 Lewis Mumford, cultural historian and writer
19 1931 John le Carr‚, British writer
20 1854 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet
20 1859 John Dewey, philosopher, educational theorist & writer
20 1905 Frederic Dannay, one half of Ellery Queen & Barnaby Ross
21 1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, British writer
21 1790 Alphonse de Lamartine, French writer
21 1929 Ursula LeGuin, American writer
22 1919 Doris Lessing, British writer
23 1844 Robert Bridges, British poet
23 1942 Michael Crichton, American writer
24 1904 Moss Hart, American playwright
24 1923 Denise Levertov, American poet and essayist
25 1400 Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet, died
25 1800 Thomas Babington Macaulay, British writer
25 1914 John Berryman, American poet
25 1941 Anne Tyler, American writer
26 1930 John Arden, British playwright
26 1945 Pat Conroy, American writer
27 1914 Dylan Thomas, British poet
27 1932 Sylvia Plath, American poet
28 1903 Evelyn Waugh, British novelist
29 1740 James Boswell, Scottish biographer
29 1882 Jean Giraudoux, French playwright
29 1906 Fredric Brown, American writer
30 1751 Richard Brinsley Sheridan, British playwright
30 1871 Paul Val‚ry, French writer
30 1885 Ezra Pound, American poet
31 1620 John Evelyn, British diarist
31 1795 John Keats, British poet

The stuff that happens in THE KILL RIFF is made up. It is NOT
REAL. The people are not real people. This is what is meant when
you read "any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely
coincidental". If you claim this book has made you do weird
things, you should be locked away where you cannot hurt anyone.
Repeat: I made it all up. That's why it's called fiction.
       --David J. Schow's note in THE KILL RIFF


                     NUMBER ONE FAN
                     by Annie Wilkes

Every time Halloween rolls around, I think about all the books
I've read about ghosts, aliens, and seances. Not the fiction, the
nonfiction. And every time I think about them, I get irritated.

Fiction is subject to being good or bad; but nonfiction is
subject to being true or false -- and thereby hangs the problem.
Are these books true or false? I've talked to very few people who
can be logical about the "supernatural". (I'm not sure I like the
word "supernatural", but I don't want to confuse matters any
further by inventing my own.)

The people who write these books say, "I'm not lying", which, of
course, is very easy to say and very difficult to prove. But even
if they aren't lying, that just makes their words sincere; it
doesn't make them TRUE. The skeptics will tell you, "Of course
it's not true, don't be stupid", which is hardly helpful. Then
there's always the argument to use on skeptics that goes like
this: We can send two-dimensional images through space, talk to
someone on the other side of the planet as easily as talking to
someone on the other side of the room, etc., etc., etc., and
talking to dead people is ridiculous?

Think about it for just a minute. Pick just one book. A recent
Whitley Strieber, a Bermuda Triangle book, an Amityville book
(one of the nonfiction ones), whatever. What if the events
described in the book are true? Can you just imagine all the
thinking that would be turned on its head? It would be
revolutionary. It would be IMPORTANT.

And yet we all just wander along. Believers think the skeptics
are close-minded, skeptics think the believers are dim-witted.
And, one way or the other, important issues get buried. Golly,
but this is irritating.

Publishers are all cohorts of the devil; there must be a special
hell for them somewhere.



Mother Abagail (The Stand) good
Uncle Al (Cycle of the Werewolf) good
Bobbi Anderson (The Tommyknockers) good
Kurt Barlow ('Salem's Lot) evil
Leigh Cabot (Christine) good
Marty Coslaw (Cycle of the Werewolf) good
Judson Crandall (Pet Sematary) semi-good
Louis Creed (Pet Sematary) semi-good
Arnie Cunningham (Christine) good, then evil
Barton George Dawes (Roadwork) semi-good
Charlie Decker (Rage) semi-evil
Bill Denbrough (It) good
Flagg (The Eyes of the Dragon) evil
Randall Flagg (The Stand) evil; AKA Walkin Dude
Jim Gardener (The Tommyknockers) good
Ray Garraty (The Long Walk) good
Richard "Richie the Hammer" Ginelli (Thinner) semi-good
Danny Glick ('Salem's Lot) good, then evil
Delbert Grady (The Shining) evil
Dennis Guilder (Christine) good
Billy Halleck (Thinner) semi-good
Dick Hallorann (The Shining) good
Mike Hanlon (It) good
Ben Hanscom (It) good
Chris Hargensen (Carrie) evil
Eddie Kaspbrak (It) good
Dan Killian (The Running Man) evil
Taduz Lemke (Thinner) semi-evil
Charlie McGee (Firestarter) good
Ben Mears ('Salem's Lot) good
Pennywise the Clown (It) evil
Prince Peter (The Eyes of the Dragon) good
Mark Petrie ('Salem's Lot) good
Rainbird (Firestarter) evil
Stu Redman (The Stand) good
Benjamin Stuart Richards (The Running Man) good
Beverly Rogan (It) good
Tommy Ross (Carrie) good
Jack Sawyer (The Talisman) good
Paul Sheldon (Misery) good
Morgan Sloat (The Talisman) evil
Johnny Smith (The Dead Zone) good
Greg Stillson (The Dead Zone) evil
Richard Throckett Straker ('Salem's Lot) evil
Danny Torrance (The Shining) good
Richie Tozier (It) good
Tad Trenton (Cujo) good
Stan Uris (It) good
Walkin Dude (The Stand) evil; AKA Randall Flagg
Annie Wilkes (Misery) evil
Wolf (The Talisman) good


I felt like poisoning a monk.
          --Umberto Eco on why he wrote the novel
            THE NAME OF THE ROSE


NEXT MONTH:  We're back on schedule now, so look for #6 (our
Computers and Robots issue) around late October or early
November. Keep on reading and don't hesitate to write to us.